19 Months Post C-Section

You guys.

When I hear how a first time Mama is going to deliver her baby at home, I cringe. I know too much. I’ve heard too much from my firefighter husband about babies who are delivered outside of the hospital.

Looking back, I am SO UNBELIEVABLY grateful I had the opportunity to make it to the hospital where I was surrounded by world class nurses and mid – wives and ONE REALLY GREAT DOCTOR! Without this team of trained medical staff, my delivery would’ve been a disaster.

Since having beastmode Bode, I’ve had time to reflect back on what that experience was like and what it’s like to be almost two years removed.

I don’t know if I’ve written about this before because I almost never go back and reread blog posts, but I grieve for that innocent little first time Mama who imagined something completely different than what reality gave her.

I was so scared.

I can go back to those last few hours of the operation in seconds.

My mind is like a steal trap for the memory of that emergency c – section and I want to hold every Mama who has had a traumatic c – section in my arms and never let go.

The physical pain.

Not just the fact that you’ve just given birth and had your entire world turned upside down, but you are recovering from a major abdominal surgery and trying to comprehend what just happened while a baby is screaming at you until you place their little mouth over your overly sensitive nipple.

The pain of breastfeeding.

I will always remember what it feels like because at one point I had cabbage leaves on my nipples to reduce the pain.

That is until my friend told me cabbage leaves were used to reduce milk flow. WTF.

And then going up and down the stairs…

The biggest mistake you can make when recovering from a c-section.

Well the stairs and laughing or crying or sneezing or choking on water and trying to suppress a cough.

OUCH!!!!

Here we are 19 months later and I still get pain when I’ve worked my core too much, but I’m starting to see muscle again.

OH ALMOST FORGOT – the lightning strikes of pain that happen when your tissues are trying to fuse back together – that never gets old. It feels like rods of lightning in your belly that shock you any time of day or night. The pain can be so bad that it wakes you up from a deep sleep.

If it sounds like I’m complaining, it’s because I am.

I’m complaining at the lack of knowledge we have going into a potential c – section every time we give birth or that some mama’s cover up their pain by saying they are fine and love motherhood.

What the fuck is going on?

Am I living in an alternate universe where we have perfect hair and perfect makeup and pretend everything is not going to fall apart if one more cup spills everywhere?

The amount of times I use the word ‘fuck’ in my house…

If the walls could talk.

Just today, when I started the bath for the little guy, I go into my room to get a towel and by the time I’m back (5-7 seconds later) Bode has fallen in the tub, soaked from head to toe, shocked then screaming and all I’m thinking is OH MY GOD!!!!

What if I got a text, got distracted and taken another 5 seconds and what if the water had been higher and he got trapped underneath and drowned?

I think about Bode Miller and his little sweet daughter who drowned in the pool this year. She was the exact same age that Bode now. That shook up parents everywhere because drowning doesn’t discriminate.

IT HAPPENS.

So this is what I’m thinking when I see Bode dripping wet after probably feeling the water temperature and falling in.

The endless worry that they aren’t breathing if they’ve napped too long or that their cough is a little too hard or their face doesn’t look quite right, it doesn’t stop.

Some days I wonder if I’m strong enough for all the worrying.

I know I am.

But I wonder.

And then I start to think about Mama’s with mental illnesses and think about how freaking hard that must be for them!

We put our kids in front of our needs because we have too. They are our responsibility.

There are so many comparisons too.

“I only have one and she has 3! I should stop complaining.”

1 is like 20, I’ve heard 2 is like 30 and then nothing really changes because it’s such a madhouse.

And of course on one side – the hardships, but on the other the light…

Bode is a light. A joy. A smart and intuitive soul. A thinker. An observer. Aggressive. Athletic.

He’s going to get away with so much because of how cute he is – a woman at the grocery store told me my daughter was pretty today, so there’s that…

That’s why we do it despite the other galaxy parenthood soars us into.

We get to see these little humans that we’ve created evolve and grow and emulate and hope that they don’t get all the stuff we don’t like about ourselves.

We’re nutty enough to do it again and again and again because there are so many moments of PURE JOY and HAPPINESS. I’ve smiled more over the last 19 months than any other time in my life. I’m too tired to cry, but I’m sure it’s in there somewhere.

Things I wish I knew as a first time mother

My friend recently had a baby and I was immediately flooded with memories of childbirth.

26. Hours. Of. Trying.

I had a protein bar before I was induced, not knowing that it would be my last “meal” for 26 hours. That’s one thing NO ONE told me about…eat as much as possible before getting induced or arriving to the hospital.

I WAS STARVING and after a certain amount of time I wasn’t aloud to drink any water.

So hydrate and eat and you’ll be ahead of the game.

If I could go back in time (I know it might not have changed anything) I would’ve walked every day for 30 minutes up until I was induced. It was winter. I was tired. After I was 6/7 months I really slowed down. Bode man was running out of space in my belly.

BUT looking back, I would’ve put a treadmill in the garage with my favorite Gilmore Girls episode and walked until that baby came out. Do whatever you can so you don’t have to get induced. Instead of gradual contraction pain, induction takes you from 0-100 real quick. Ouch. Gremlins gripping your ovaries kind of pain.

I would’ve had tons and tons of delicious, soothing soups in the freezer because that’s all I wanted.

I make a mean butternut squash soup and that would’ve been perfect. Instead we frequented the local Mexican restaurant for fajitas more than I’d like to admit.

I swore off pain pills after the c-section but after 5 days the pain was unbearable and I caved. But something was wrong. Every time I almost fell asleep intuition me told me to stay awake.

Months later I was getting a genetic test and they said the pain pills I was taking would’ve killed me if I kept taking them. They didn’t mix well with my blood type.

Gut intuition. Trust it.

DO YOUR RESEARCH.

C-SECTION MAMA’S – PAY ATTENTION!

When they say, don’t take the stairs…DO NOT TAKE THE STAIRS. I was like, the rules don’t apply to me and I took the stairs. BIG MISTAKE. Set me back weeks, if not months.

DO NOT WORK THE FIRST MONTH after having a baby. I had two programs running and I worked while Bode slept next to me.

I didn’t take naps. I didn’t sleep. I worked.

WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING? Oh ya, I wasn’t. I was in postnatal confusion.

“keep working, you’re an entrepreneur and you don’t have time to take time off.”

I didn’t set myself up to make residual income. I had some scrilla saved, but not enough to feel comfortable, so I worked and worked and worked until I crashed.

The most annoying things you will hear after having a baby:

“Take as much time as you can off, he’ll never be this small or precious again.” You think: “What am I a millionaire?”

“Sleep when the baby sleeps.” The next person who says this…

“It goes by so fast, enjoy every second.” They obviously don’t remember every moment.

“Do you need anything?” Your response, “oh, no, just bring yourself!” But on the inside: “Let me shower, bring the best food you can whip up and stop at a coffee shop for my fave coffee.”

“You look great!” as you’re wearing your gigantic mesh diaper and robe.

“Do you want a foot massage?” You answer, “I’m okay but thank you!” In your head you’re like, why are you asking me OF COURSE I WANT A FOOT MASSAGE, A NAP AND A NECK RUB!

QUESTIONS YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ANSWER:

“Are you going to vaccinate?”

“Is your child vegan?”

“How long are you going to breastfeed?”

“How are your nipples?”

“Did you tear?”

OUTFITS YOU ARE ALOUD TO WEAR:

Robe.

Robe.

Robe.

TEXTS YOU HAVE TO ANSWER:

None.

The only thing I’ll advise you to do is to clear your photo album to make room for the 100’s of pictures you’ll be taking over the next 18 years.

I lasted in corporate America for 14 months

 

 

 

 

 

I find myself craving stability.

Desiring a community of people who ask me how my day is going and if I finished creating images for the next opt – in freebie.

I spent a total of 14 months in corporate America, receiving a paycheck every two weeks with full benefits and a 401K.

I had work friends who went out to happy hour, but I ALWAYS felt like the odd duck. I’d accept the invite, but always left early or made excuses as to why I wasn’t eating the nacho’s or buffalo wings.

The truth is: I didn’t want to eat unhealthy food.

The “up for anything girl” wasn’t there anymore.

When I realized I would never fit into the societal norm of having a 9-5 I grew scared of what people would think of me.

It was so hard to think about disappointing my traditional father who worked in the same industry and only two different companies for 40 years. Whenever I got a new job he always asked about benefits and 401K.

But when I gave Fearful to Fit 100%  commitment, my Dad said, “You’ve never fit into a corporate job and I can’t picture you doing anything else. And that’s so cool you have no overhead.”

Go figure.

I spent so much time worrying about not being the daughter I thought my parents wanted me to be, that I wasted time in jobs I hated.

Little did they know that their middle child would be a yoga teacher, interested in crystals and intuitive healing.

I surprised myself.

A teacher told me in high school to stop raising my hand because it was obvious I wouldn’t know the answer.

I was the girl guys harassed because of my womanly figure.

The girl who battled an eating disorder for a decade.

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

I never thought I’d be creating, planning, cooking, teaching and leading sold out retreats. Seriously #wtf

I continue this crazy up and down rollercoaster of entrepreneurship for women just like you, who think you can’t do it. For the women who think, “it’s too crazy of an idea to work for myself.” Every limiting belief you tell yourself, it’s just not true.

You think Beyonce ever said no at the beginning of her career?

In October, I’m leading my last women’s retreat for a while. Mama needs a break.

With Love, Hustle + Healing Vibes,

J Muenz