Unusual not to be recovered at 3 mths post C-Section?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 11-19-2011, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had an emergency c-section because during a post term NST my sons heartbeat dropped to 50. They hurried but I was still cut horizontally. According to the doctor I was around 43 weeks and my placenta was old, my son showed many signs of a post term baby and it my charting so I don't think he lied.

 

Anyhow, it seemed I was recovering quickly, I had my IV taken out immediately (stupid thing), walked the same evening and was being active the weeks to follow (just walks of course, no work out)

 

Now at 3 months postpartum I am feeling  o k a y...but not back to normal. My son is almost 15lbs and holding him all day can get my abs sore, he touches and bumps my incision and abs frequently and that also hurts. I also don't seem to have much stability and suffer from back aches by the end of the day, I did not have any back aches my whole pregnancy so it surprises me, but the doctor said my ab muscles had separated and he also sewed them back together (??) not sure what he means.

Sex still hurts too, like the deeper inside my husband gets the more painful it is, and after I am leaking a clear foul smelling fluid...(still lochia??)

 

When I asked on two other forums about recovery it seems I am the ONLY one still having pains and everyone finds it odd :( (quote: "I felt normal 1 week after my cesarian", "I had a great experience")

 

Is it really that abnormal? Should I be worried?

 


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#2 of 16 Old 11-19-2011, 08:58 PM
 
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I wasn't back to normal right away, either. I still have some pain from the incision, and it has been five years. That pain is probably adhesions. It took awhile for me to feel like my strength was normal. Even after six weeks when I could do house work, it didn't feel good to do it. I'd still get sore if I overdid it. I'm sorry you aren't feeling well. greensad.gif

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#3 of 16 Old 11-20-2011, 07:50 AM
 
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Treat yourself gently. I know I wasn't truly fully recovered or normal at 6-8 weeks - I was still using a small amount of my rx pain meds then (and I was in more pain after they ran out). An emergency unplanned c can be less gentle, I'm told. I didn't recover as quickly as many in this forum mentioned but don't know if it was because it was my 6th full term pregnancy, because we moved 1 week postpartum, no idea!

 

I have a friend who was "fine" 2 weeks post cesarean and not on any meds, even OTC. I admire her, wish it was me, but that's not how my recovery went. Don't push yourself if your body is requiring more time.


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#4 of 16 Old 11-20-2011, 08:02 AM
 
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I didn't recover quickly either.  I tend to get adhesions, which I knew from having multiple abdominal surgeries, and after my first birth I started having extreme pain and it ended up being a gall bladder that pregnancy had blown.  I ended up in emergency gall bladder surgery 5 weeks after my emergency c-section, and between the two of them it took me nearly a year to really start feeling normal again. 

 

Are you older?  I was told that it can take longer to recover when you are older, and I know it did take me a lot longer to recover than a lot of my younger friends.  It can also take longer if you don't rest completely the weeks following surgery.  If you push yourself too much, too soon, it takes a LOT longer to heal completely.

 

If you feel like it is taking way too long, I would go back to the doctor and see if there is something else going on.  


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#5 of 16 Old 11-20-2011, 08:39 AM
 
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I think how long it takes to feel recovered from a section varies but it really sounds like you should go back to see your OB. The painful sex and "foul-smelling fluid" seem worrying.
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#6 of 16 Old 11-20-2011, 08:47 AM
 
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The ab pain and general tiredness and weakness is totally normal at 3 months. While I felt enormously better at two months out, I didn't feel "normal" for about six months.

 

The painful sex and foul discharge sound like a vaginal infection, which is not uncommon after pregnancy. I would get that checked out. Could be BV.


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#7 of 16 Old 11-20-2011, 08:49 AM
 
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The foul smelling liquid is likely serous fluid from the internal incision site healing ... I went to my midwife with the same concern, and that's what she told me and it makes sense.  I'm nearly two months post partum.  My abdomen hurts often and I don't feel back to normal either, and while I'm not three months out like you, I don't imagine that I'm going to feel 100% then either.  The only worrying part is the pain during sex. 


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#8 of 16 Old 11-20-2011, 11:10 AM
 
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Sex didn't feel okay to me until a couple of months ago, and our child is almost 20 months old.  Breastfeeding can dry out your lubrication, which I think was a factor for us.  Anxiety over the anticipation of pain, low drive, sleep deprivation, the whole "touched out" thing, and emotional issues are only a few of the other reasons moms have vaginal pain or at least discomfort with sex.  I still find some positions to be pretty uncool for me.  Missionary is one of them--I still can't stand any pressure or friction on my lower abdomen.  It has very slowly gotten better--much better--with time, but I never anticipated this.

 

My incision still tugs or is uncomfortable from time to time.  I likely have some adhesions, but I am not motivated to go get therapy for them as I have read other moms doing since I am pretty averse to people touching me in that way, even therapeutically.  Some pants still feel yucky around my tum.  I only was able to start wearing jeans semi-comfortably about a month ago, no kidding.

 

Three months out, as far as I am concerned (and for me) is still pretty darn new.  I always remembered my OB (who did my c.) saying to keep in mind that she had cut through six layers of fat, muscle, and tissue and that it would take a lot of time to heal.  I just didn't know how much time!

 

I had my c. when I was 39.  I have a friend in her early 20s who had a c. and her recovery time made my head spin, it was so fast.  I think there are myriad variables to healing from a cesarean, and it makes sense that age is one of them. 

 

OP, I would get the discharge checked out.  It may also just do you some good to discuss all this IRL with a practitioner of some kind.  I would also encourage you to find a mom's group or LLL or even just one other friend who's had a c.  While there's a lot of variability in "normal," it's lovely and reassuring to hear what other moms are experiencing post-cesarean. 


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#9 of 16 Old 11-20-2011, 11:33 AM
 
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It's taken months for sex to feel okay for me, every time, so that doens't sound strange to me. I think abdominal pain varies wildly from one woman (and even one c-section!) to another. I've had very different experiences with the ab pain each time. It sounds as though your doctor also fixed a diastasis while he was working, and that involves a recovery period on its own. Between that and the section, I'm not even a little bit surprised that your abdominal region is still bothering you. (I was getting random pains for 7-8 months after my second, and have had long-term issues from my third.) Nothing about the pain you're experiencing sounds out of the normal range to me.

 

However, the foul smelling clear discharge sounds worrying, and I think a doctor's visit is in order. That sounds like an infection of some kind, and the earlier it's caught and treated, the better.


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#10 of 16 Old 11-20-2011, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for the replies! :)

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Originally Posted by cameragirl View Post

I wasn't back to normal right away, either. I still have some pain from the incision, and it has been five years. That pain is probably adhesions. It took awhile for me to feel like my strength was normal. Even after six weeks when I could do house work, it didn't feel good to do it. I'd still get sore if I overdid it. I'm sorry you aren't feeling well. greensad.gif


Thats how I feel, I 'can' do thing but I don't feel great as soon as I only do a little more.

 

What are adhesions?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by happyblessedmama View Post

Treat yourself gently. I know I wasn't truly fully recovered or normal at 6-8 weeks - I was still using a small amount of my rx pain meds then (and I was in more pain after they ran out). An emergency unplanned c can be less gentle, I'm told. I didn't recover as quickly as many in this forum mentioned but don't know if it was because it was my 6th full term pregnancy, because we moved 1 week postpartum, no idea!

 

I have a friend who was "fine" 2 weeks post cesarean and not on any meds, even OTC. I admire her, wish it was me, but that's not how my recovery went. Don't push yourself if your body is requiring more time.

I went off meds after one week, I felt like I was recovering fast, but now it seems to be going slower.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Z View Post

I didn't recover quickly either.  I tend to get adhesions, which I knew from having multiple abdominal surgeries, and after my first birth I started having extreme pain and it ended up being a gall bladder that pregnancy had blown.  I ended up in emergency gall bladder surgery 5 weeks after my emergency c-section, and between the two of them it took me nearly a year to really start feeling normal again. 

 

Are you older?  I was told that it can take longer to recover when you are older, and I know it did take me a lot longer to recover than a lot of my younger friends.  It can also take longer if you don't rest completely the weeks following surgery.  If you push yourself too much, too soon, it takes a LOT longer to heal completely.

 

If you feel like it is taking way too long, I would go back to the doctor and see if there is something else going on.  


I am 29, is that older already in terms of recovery? I think I might have overdone it. I was mostly at home but after one week resumed household chores,   and my son was clusterfeeding 24/7 which got me sore because he was on my incision (or rather the boppy pillow, we now mostly nurse laying down which is better)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlesandy View Post

The ab pain and general tiredness and weakness is totally normal at 3 months. While I felt enormously better at two months out, I didn't feel "normal" for about six months.

 

The painful sex and foul discharge sound like a vaginal infection, which is not uncommon after pregnancy. I would get that checked out. Could be BV

 

What is BV? I somewhat felt better at two months than I do now...:(


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post

The foul smelling liquid is likely serous fluid from the internal incision site healing ... I went to my midwife with the same concern, and that's what she told me and it makes sense.  I'm nearly two months post partum.  My abdomen hurts often and I don't feel back to normal either, and while I'm not three months out like you, I don't imagine that I'm going to feel 100% then either.  The only worrying part is the pain during sex. 


I have been having the pain during sex since 3 weeks postpartum when we first did it and it has not gotten much better. I never heard of serous fluid...is it normal?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by caedenmomma View Post

Sex didn't feel okay to me until a couple of months ago, and our child is almost 20 months old.  Breastfeeding can dry out your lubrication, which I think was a factor for us.  Anxiety over the anticipation of pain, low drive, sleep deprivation, the whole "touched out" thing, and emotional issues are only a few of the other reasons moms have vaginal pain or at least discomfort with sex.  I still find some positions to be pretty uncool for me.  Missionary is one of them--I still can't stand any pressure or friction on my lower abdomen.  It has very slowly gotten better--much better--with time, but I never anticipated this.

 

My incision still tugs or is uncomfortable from time to time.  I likely have some adhesions, but I am not motivated to go get therapy for them as I have read other moms doing since I am pretty averse to people touching me in that way, even therapeutically.  Some pants still feel yucky around my tum.  I only was able to start wearing jeans semi-comfortably about a month ago, no kidding.

 

Three months out, as far as I am concerned (and for me) is still pretty darn new.  I always remembered my OB (who did my c.) saying to keep in mind that she had cut through six layers of fat, muscle, and tissue and that it would take a lot of time to heal.  I just didn't know how much time!

 

I had my c. when I was 39.  I have a friend in her early 20s who had a c. and her recovery time made my head spin, it was so fast.  I think there are myriad variables to healing from a cesarean, and it makes sense that age is one of them. 

 

OP, I would get the discharge checked out.  It may also just do you some good to discuss all this IRL with a practitioner of some kind.  I would also encourage you to find a mom's group or LLL or even just one other friend who's had a c.  While there's a lot of variability in "normal," it's lovely and reassuring to hear what other moms are experiencing post-cesarean. 


That is true, it is nice to hear from others post-cesarean, that is why I posted on a forum...just it seemed many had no problems...weirdly.

 

For me the pain is a strong burn and a tight, inflamed feeling deeper inside. More than breastfeeding dryness.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

It's taken months for sex to feel okay for me, every time, so that doens't sound strange to me. I think abdominal pain varies wildly from one woman (and even one c-section!) to another. I've had very different experiences with the ab pain each time. It sounds as though your doctor also fixed a diastasis while he was working, and that involves a recovery period on its own. Between that and the section, I'm not even a little bit surprised that your abdominal region is still bothering you. (I was getting random pains for 7-8 months after my second, and have had long-term issues from my third.) Nothing about the pain you're experiencing sounds out of the normal range to me.

 

However, the foul smelling clear discharge sounds worrying, and I think a doctor's visit is in order. That sounds like an infection of some kind, and the earlier it's caught and treated, the better.


 

Yes, I don't really know about diastasis recovery....that might contribute to the soreness. My ab muscles were really flabby until a month ago, they felt dead and numb and now they are starting to work again and they can tighten. My ab muscles separated painfully during pregnancy, my tummy was very flat at first and at some point I had a lot of pain and my belly just popped out and grew really big for my very slim frame...I have a tiny bone structure, I am talking ring size 3 1/2 and my heart does not have enough room in my chest and is turned because of this...I don't know what it is in english but in German it is "Steilherz".


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#11 of 16 Old 11-20-2011, 07:34 PM
 
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Adhesions are thick bands of scar tissue. That scar tissue can attach to other organs, as well.

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#12 of 16 Old 11-21-2011, 08:28 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by E m i c h i e e View Post

 

What is BV?

 

Bacterial vaginosis. I had it after my last c-section and twice so far during this pregnancy. The antibiotics they give you for it are very effective, but nasty. I'm trying to prevent this again by taking FemDophilus and cranberry, both of which I've heard are helpful for BV.


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#13 of 16 Old 12-02-2011, 09:07 PM
 
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about a week after my c-section my incision started draining (it was a traditional cut, or whatever you call the up/down one, on the outside, transverse on the inside). we packed it for about a week and a half, with no results, so I ended up on a wound vac for 7 or 8 weeks i think. it never got infected, but it just wouldn't heal. you could stick one of those 6" q-tips through my stomach! so much fun, let me tell you, lol, to take a newborn to bi-weekly appointments at the wound care center.

so nope, i wasnt feeling back to normal at 3 months post partum, lol.

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#14 of 16 Old 12-02-2011, 11:51 PM
 
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wow, ashley. i had twins by c-section five years ago and the same happened for me with the draining abcess and packing with a wound vac, and weekly visits to the wound center.  mine took 10 months to heal entirely!  they told me it wasn't a typical infection, but a "hypercolonisation" of normal body/skin bacteria.  i had to drink protein shakes to encourage the skin to reconnect.  and they still didn't know why it was taking so long to heal.  i now have a deep, extremely pronounced indentation along where a regular 6" scar should be; it gives new meaning to the notion of a "tummy-tuck"!

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#15 of 16 Old 12-03-2011, 08:48 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by E m i c h i e e View Post

 

My son is almost 15lbs and holding him all day can get my abs sore, he touches and bumps my incision and abs frequently and that also hurts. I also don't seem to have much stability and suffer from back aches by the end of the day, I did not have any back aches my whole pregnancy so it surprises me, but the doctor said my ab muscles had separated and he also sewed them back together (??) not sure what he means.

 

Sex still hurts too, like the deeper inside my husband gets the more painful it is, and after I am leaking a clear foul smelling fluid...(still lochia??)


Emichiee:  Just wanted to chime back in and let you know that my son was a big baby (and continues to be a big toddler).  He has always been at the 99% for weight.  This made babywearing very uncomfortable and often impossible for me, which was really disappointing since I'd heard how good it could be.  I was eventually able to babywear with an Ergo once he was MUCH older...like 9 months, maybe.  I do understand about the back pain with carrying a larger child. I would get pretty jealous sometimes of other moms carrying around these tiny babies while I was lugging around my lovely chunkster.  They, in turn, were often jealous because their babies were underweight...guess the grass is always greener.

 

Sex did not get comfortable for me until around a year post-partum.  I thought I was quite the freak until I read stuff on MDC that helped me know I wasn't the only one.  I have heard "inebriate, lubricate" as a remedy.  I am not able to drink alcohol and have a lot of difficulty relaxing in general, so the sex thing was quite difficult for us.  It has slowly gotten better over time.

 

Hope this is of some comfort to you.

 


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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashleyhaugh View Post

about a week after my c-section my incision started draining (it was a traditional cut, or whatever you call the up/down one, on the outside, transverse on the inside). we packed it for about a week and a half, with no results, so I ended up on a wound vac for 7 or 8 weeks i think. it never got infected, but it just wouldn't heal. you could stick one of those 6" q-tips through my stomach! so much fun, let me tell you, lol, to take a newborn to bi-weekly appointments at the wound care center.
so nope, i wasnt feeling back to normal at 3 months post partum, lol.

My good friend had a huge ovarian cyst removed, and had a similar incision. She ended up with nasty healing issues like this, too. Months of packing, MRSA, and everything that comes with it. I can't imagine. greensad.gif

Do any of you have an idea of how often that happens? I wonder what the statistics are. (They don't really mention this as part of their pre-C warnings.)

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