1. Help

You’re going to need way more help than you’d think. The nurses are great at the hospital because they do some really personal things for you. But even to adjust your body in the bed, sit up, stand up, go to the bathroom, reach anything, get your baby in or out of the bassinet – it’s all torture. Ask for help. Take the help. You’ll be home soon enough where there is no Call Nurse button. Let your husband participate. You can’t and don’t need to do everything for yourself right away.

I can’t write this post without giving all the credit to my smooth recovery to my husband. From the day we found out until even now, he’s been hands-on taking care of everything around the house, me, and all three kids. I would surely be floundering without him.

{This photo was taken sometime during my 21-hours of labor.}

  1. Pain Relief

Don’t get behind on your medicine, especially early on. It’s much more difficult to get pain under control than to keep it under control. When your pain goes up so will your intolerance for all things on the earth. When you get home, you’ll need to be as comfortable as possible because you’re back to sitting, standing, and bathroom-ing all on your own.

Just so you know… If you have extra pain-killers, you can take them to your local police station to get them out of your home. Take the whole bottle with you and when you get there, you tear off the label and deposit the pills in a lock box.

  1. Stool Softener

That’s right. I said it. We’ve all heard it. Start taking it right after birth. If it takes six (or more) days to work, you’ll be grateful for any help you can get.

**So, when I had my successful trip to the bathroom, I texted my sisters to celebrate. Unfortunately, one sister was screen-sharing her phone during a training with her whole department when my text arrived. Now all the parks employees of a whole city know, which is great because I met them all in person earlier this year. I like to keep things personal.**

  1. Belly Band

Wear it as much as you’re supposed to. I’m not sure what it’s doing but I know I felt better while I used it.

  1. Water and Snacks

Your body is doing a lot of hard work to recover from a very invasive procedure and from pregnancy. I know nursing moms have to drink and snack a lot to make enough milk, but even if you aren’t nursing remember to keep drinking and snacking. After months of pregnancy, I know we’re all a little gun shy about drinking a lot of water because of the trips to the bathroom but you’ll be glad to discover you can store more than a tablespoon in your bladder again!

{This photo was post 21-hours of labor and C-section, in the middle of the night, after not eating or sleeping for two days.}

  1. Stay Positive

Soon enough, you’ll realize you can lay on your belly or run down the stairs. Soon enough, you’re going to be grateful for the twenty extra minutes the baby can go in between bottles. Soon enough, you’ll be wearing your regular underwear and skinny jeans. And, soon enough, that baby is going to grow and change.

So, take it a day at a time, a feeding at a time, a diaper at a time. It’s going to go by faster than you wish.