I did not get much rest during my hospital stay. I found it very annoying that nurses come in every hour or two to disturb a new mom who is trying to sleep. After the first night I had them take Jason to the nursery the next two nights and just bring him to me when he was hungry. During the day DH had school that he couldn't miss and when he was at the hospital he spent most of the time studying because it was midterm week. Poor guy was exhausted too. We got visits from family a few times, but mostly I just spent time holding my little boy and watching TV.
They had me get out of bed the day after I had him and I almost fainted. I was so weak and I couldn't stand up straight. The nurses helped me shuffle to the bathroom dragging my IV where they removed my catheter and cleaned things up. Later that day I got to have my IV removed. I got up occasionally to walk around, but mostly I was exhausted and stayed in bed.
Thursday, Sept. 30 I got to go home. My mom came up again to spend that first day home with me to help out. It took us forever to get checked out and then they didn't even offer me a wheelchair out like usual, so I shuffled out of the hospital and got into the uncomfortable car seat next to my baby. It hurt to be in the car, every bump and turn made my incision hurt. When we got home though I got to relax a bit. I mostly sat around on the couch while my mom refilled my water and had me stick my feet in ice water to reduce the swelling. My feet had ballooned from all the IV fluids, I couldn't wear anything but slippers. My milk had also come in after the first day so I was engorged and my mom went out to get me a pump to help. I was so tired and so I didn't do much besides feed the baby.
I continued taking pain meds for the first few days back, then stopped by about a week postpartum. I've always hated having to take meds so I don't unless I absolutely have to. I sort of wish I had taken them longer because I remember that it hurt to do anything. Getting up, laying down, rolling over, getting out of bed, laughing, coughing, sneezing. Anytime I moved it felt like my stomach would rip open. I was still walking hunched over for about a week. My first postpartum bowel movement the day I got home was awful. I cried. Nobody had told me how important a stool softener would be. I have a memory of watching a movie at my brothers apartment and something was funny and I was holding a pillow to my scar and telling them to stop because laughing hurt. I did go on walks a few times a week, but they were short and wore me out.
I cried when I had to wake up and feed Jason at night because it hurt to roll over and get out of bed and I was just so tired. I remember a day when DH took the baby and told me to go nap and as I walked back to our room I just started bawling, not from the pain so much as from exhaustion and hormones. One night when he was about 2 weeks old I even fell asleep while nursing him and woke up hours later in a panic. He had ended up under the covers near my legs at the edge of the bed. I knew I needed to somehow get more sleep. At that time I learned to nurse laying down and moved him in to bed with us. We both slept much better and things started improving.
After those first two rough weeks, every day was a little better. I still couldn't move too quickly, or cough too hard, or do anything strenuous, but at least I felt halfway human again. By the time Jason was a month old I was almost back to normal. We were even up to resuming physical relations at that point. When he was a month old we went to WalMart for family pictures and there was another family there with a brand new baby. I noticed the mother walking in the same shuffling, hunched-over, exhausted way I had and knew that she must have been recovering from a c-section too. I wanted to go over and reassure her that it does get better.
I never had any problems with my incision. No infections or re-openings. All together my physical recovery was considered good, or as good as any recovery from major surgery is. But just because I had a "good" recovery it didn't mean I ever wanted to do it again.