Tasmanian mum musings | one year after a cesarean
So how do I feel a year after my cesarean?
I’ve been thinking and ruminating and trying to piece together my thoughts. It’s hard because the raw details have faded but I still have lingering feelings.
In a nutshell I feel shaky. Over the last year I have felt grief - but I honoured those feelings without guilt. In the early days my grief would spill over as tears when I gave the memories too much space. The shock of the experience has faded and I can see the event more clearly, more objectively. I worked really hard during labour and I’m so proud of my efforts. I do still look at my scar and wonder how I can possibly connect it with the birth of my baby. It’s just a souvenir from a surgery. I don’t loath the physical appearance of my scar like I thought I would but for me the enormity of that day can’t be distilled as line on my skin.
Physically I’m still guarding my body. Shielding it from exercise and impact that used to be commonplace. I used to do weights, jog, power uphill but now I don’t trust that my body would cope. I’ve lost faith in my body. I know my confidence will grow when I start to push myself and test my boundaries. The trouble is that I don’t want to test them. I’m scared. I’m scared that my abdominal separation will somehow be affected, or that the deep levels of muscles that were cut will end up sore and damaged. I know these things are well healed and the fear is irrational.
And it’s not just the cesarean that has made my body feel different. Pregnancy has reshaped me. My hips and ribs are wider, my stomach kind of spoungy, my breasts engorge if I’m away from Teddy too long. Things are just different now and exercise doesn’t feel the same.
These thoughts were prompted by my return to work. Now that I have a few days to myself I want to step away from “maternity” and find those corners of myself that were put aside for pregnancy and early motherhood. I feel ready to challenge myself and give myself more space for me.
So what does all that mean? It means I’m feeling better. I’m on the mend physically and emotionally. I’m not happy I had a cesarean - I never will be and I knew that would be the case. But I’m also not happy when I have to clean the windows and that doesn’t affect my mental health. But my objectivity ends there. The experience has left some deep seated doubts in my physical abilities and that’s what I’m addressing this year.
To set me on the that path I’ve signed up for pilates. I’m a huge yoga devotee but to mix things up, and really connect with my core, I’m trying reformer pilates for the very first time. It’s not a mums and bubs class - this one’s just for me!
Wish me luck