5 weeks ago, we were blessed with our 3rd child and needless, to say the least, it’s not been easy. I have now slowly realized how much my mental health is affected by what I eat/don’t eat and how that reflects in how I am as a mother, wife & homemaker. I contacted Jalila whose first question was “Afra how are you nourishing yourself?”. She was kind enough to share knowledge on this as it’s so important for us mothers to feel nourished and have proper nutrition especially when breastfeeding. Please do leave a comment below and let us know how this has helped you and also visit Jalila’s facebook to see what she is upto.
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure at the end of the post.
A woman is never really prepared for a c-section even though there is always the unknown of what direction your birth will take. When one doesn’t really prepare for it, that affects the knowledge you have for aiding recovery.
I had 2 unplanned emergency c-sections after 20-40 hours of labor. My first c-section recovery was the hardest out of the two. I was trying to be a superwoman and manage my pain, I was depressed about the fact that I ended up with a c-section and my body couldn’t do what it was meant to do (i.e. birth a baby), and since it was my first child, I was adjusting whilst recovering and dealing with colic and painful breastfeeding. The other situational factors postpartum can make or break your recovery from a c-section and it’s so important to keep in mind the things you can do to aid recovery.
Based on my postpartum experiences with both my surgeries I wanted to write this post so that women know what to do, what to expect and don’t need to beat themselves up.
Use a C-Section PostPartum Girdle
Now I know there are so many of these on the market. However, buying the right one for your body will help you recover faster and help you feel better when moving around the house. Because of the nature of a c-section and how low the incision is and how bloated your tummy can feel it feels like your insides are coming out every time you need to use those muscles. I purchased a C-Panty which I highly recommend because it is a high waisted panty. With an incision so low, and with our bellies being so bloated after surgery we get a hang. That hang put pressure on my scar and made it hurt more. That’s why I couldn’t use a normal “girdle wrap” and needed something to lift up that hang. Honestly, this girdle was the only reason I was able to get in and out of bed, sit/stand, and laugh without excruciating pain. It also helped compress my belly and worked the same way a normal girdle does and made me feel comfortable. C-Panty also has a medical-grade silicone panel that minimizes scarring, helps reduce itchiness and redness, and protects the delicate incision area. The silicone is durable, washable, and integrated into the c-panty, so you don’t have to hassle with scar gel or scar gel pads. Bellefit has a comparable version of this which is a little more expensive and from what I hear has more compression. You can check that out here.
Take the Medication
Typically due to the nature of the surgery, we are given strong painkillers to take every 4-6 hours. I remember if I didn’t take my meds on time and even only like 10-15 mins would pass the 4 hours, for example, I could feel the pain come back. The day I got home from the hospital after my first c-section, I remember having a complete breakdown while my husband ran out to grab the medication since it wasn’t ready when we were on our way home. I had my in-laws and my mother over and they heard me in the bathroom and got so worried and thought I had maybe collapsed. They helped me out of the bathroom and put me into bed to rest while I waited for the painkillers. Don’t feel like you need to try to space it out longer and make things worse for yourself. As long as you feel you need the painkillers, take them. I think I took them for about 10-14 days and after that, I took it as and when I needed it and I was able to manage my pain. I also made sure to get constipation and gas meds and if you are able to get a suppository in the hospital that would help too. This will enable you to use the bathroom normally by the time you are out of the hospital. I suffered after my first c-section because I didn’t know and so I made sure to request it after surgery and I was using the bathroom normally once I got home.
Movement is really important after surgery to help reduce the gas build up in your abdomen. Walking also helps you with the pain and get your body back in motion after days in the bed at the hospital. I was advised to walk even in the hospital around the ward to help get the blood flow going in my legs.
Take time to Bond with your baby
With most Unplanned/Emergency C-Sections, it is almost impossible to get that first moment and bonding experience as soon as the baby is born. Due to being in a surgery room, and also being drugged up it is really hard to breastfeed immediately or hold your baby immediately until you are taken to a recovery room where the baby is waiting for you. I made sure to ask for the baby NOT to be fed any formula until I could breastfeed them and also ask for time to have skin to skin once I was able to hold them after surgery. Any c-section mom will tell you it feels like you got robbed of that emotional high when you deliver your baby naturally and get to hold them and watch the umbilical cord being cut. It’s so sad that we end up feeling this way which most times makes many moms feel like a failure. As a mother who has gone through 2 C-sections I know how this felt, but I also want to assure moms that it is possible to bond with your baby even if it is an hour later, it is possible to feel that emotional connection, no matter how your baby was birthed. Please don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise and demand your rights from the time the surgery is over.
Organize a MealTrain or get help
Everyones situation is different and sometimes some women are able to have their moms or inlaws help them once the baby is born with cooking and just around the house. For me I luckily had my mother come down from Dubai to help me with my first, and she couldn’t make it with my second. My lovely friends organized a meal train because my mother wasn’t able to come the second time around and they brought meals to us every other day for 2 weeks. It was such a blessing. Don’t feel shy to ask your friends for help or hire help or get a postpartum Doula if finances are available.
Rest it Out
Last but not least, please rest. C-sections are no joke, and even though you feel like super mom, don’t push yourself because once you do, you risk either getting more pain, or an infection or even just more postpartum bleeding. I remember with my second (read my birth story here) I felt GREAT after a week and pushed myself to do the normal stuff, and even though my postpartum bleeding stopped around 3 weeks, I started getting heavy bleeding and really strong cramps and pain that was unbearable. The more I rested the better I felt, but you don’t want it to reach that point! Give your body time to heal and don’t go lifting heavy things, driving, or pushing yourself too much.
Stay away from Shame
Sadly people love to shame c-section mama’s by claiming we didn’t birth a baby, and we had the EASY way out. We DID NOT! If anything recovering from a c-section can be much more brutal than a normal birth. We are all warriors for going through these surgeries to bring our babies into this world. Even though it doesn’t feel like it, and sometimes you feel like a failure, let’s remind ourselves of what our body did, and what it sacrificed. That scar is a testament of your strength! Don’t let ANYONE bring you down or make you feel like you didn’t birth a baby just because you had a c-section. Definitely, work towards a VBAC next time around (provided you are aware of any risks, it is medically ok for you and your doctor approves) but don’t feel ashamed or let anyone tell you otherwise. It’s your body, your decision. Massive Virtual hug to all my c-section mamas!
I hope these tips were useful! If you have any questions about recovering from a c-section or concerns I would be happy to answer them based on my experiences. However, I am not a medical professional so it’s always good to get your doctors input.
Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may get a commission if you use it to make a purchase. However, it costs you nothing and enables me to keep bringing you great content. I only ever recommend products I use and love myself.
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure at the end of the post.
Time to get really vulnerable here and talk about my birth story with my second (rainbow) baby. Even though this was 2 years and 1 week ago in August 2015, I can remember it like it was yesterday. That’s the thing with birth’s, they leave truly unforgettable memories whether traumatic or happy.
The pregnancy with Asiyah was Alhamdullilah (thanks to God) pretty smooth other than lots of nausea, severe back and rib pain I was pretty ok considering I had an 18-month-old toddler. I did have a scare of light placenta previa around 16 weeks but it went away within a few weeks.
There’s something about becoming a mother that sort of disrupts any skills you had being structured or organized. Well, that’s the case for me at least and some other moms I know. There are mothers who are pros at continuing to stay on top of things and schedules like my super mom sister from And Then She Said. Especially since we just moved apartments and our life is changing in so many ways from the environment, facilities in our complex and most importantly my son starting pre-school this week.
For me, on the other hand, I found that over the last 4 years I became more and more disorganized as time went by and as my kids grew. I still find myself just going through my unplanned or sometimes even planned days not knowing what to do next or just winging it based on my kid’s moods. After having 2 children and starting this blog late last year I decided enough was enough. I knew I needed something to keep my day grounded and so I came across the Happy Planner in Costco and purchased it. It was colorful, had loads of pens and stickers and sayings and I was mesmerized. It felt like this was what was going to change my life in 2017 so I quickly grabbed it! Come 2017, I procrastinated using it as it was just so intimidating. The washi tape, the way the days were structured on the daily planner and just how bulky the planner was in general. Don’t get me wrong it’s GORGEOUS! And there are thousands out there who love it but I quickly came to realize it wasn’t for me. I started to research, I wanted something that would change everything for me, I looked at personal growth planners and mom planners. Many of which are pretty pricey starting at $50-$60. I really didn’t want to spend that much and come May 2017 I was still using my notebook to create my to-do lists.
My sister then again suggested the Personal Planner. She had actually told me about it in December last year but the way she described the “customization” put me off and I never looked into it. So I started looking into it and watching some Youtube Videos/Reviews and it looked super simple. It might take a day to set up but that’s what I was going to have to do with my Happy Planner on a weekly basis! So this was really appealing considering most of the customization could be done prior to the diary being printed (specially for me!).
I quickly created my own planner and below I will show you how easy it was to set up and how I have used it so far.
Planner Size & Cover
To Start, you will need to pick your preferred size and start a month. I picked the A5 size and its perfect to carry around and also fit into a pouch or smaller purse and into my Fawn Design diaper bag. You can see a video of how it fits in my bag here. Next thing you will need is a nice cover page that you can design yourself (or on Canva) or buy off Etsy. I chose to purchase one on Etsy so I can keep it for continued use. I purchased mine from
Next thing you will need is a nice cover page that you can design yourself (or on Canva) or buy off Etsy. I chose to purchase one on Etsy so I can keep it for continued use. I purchased mine from Printable Beauty Art which is an Etsy shop based out of Greece!
Planner Layout & Design
The planner is so awesome you can pick the language you prefer! I chose English of Course.
Next is the writing space. The first thing to pick is a layout. You can choose from blank columns, blank rows with the weekdays having more space, blank rows with an equal distribution of rows across all days or lastly cubes for each day. I chose the first option and picked it to be ruled across the whole page to organize my lines/size of my writing. It is a little small to write in if you have a thick pen so I would suggest using a thin pen tip and it works great.
You can also choose to have your lines striped with a choice of 5 colors. I quite liked this because it helped kind of seperate each line rather than having each look the same.
Next you can choose a ruler which I found can be really useful especially if you don’t have a ruled page. My favorite part of the writing space is the choice to have a “timetable” in each day column/row. I chose to have this so I can schedule my day more effectively. I chose to have the timetable on half the column so that I can use the remaining blank part of the column to add random notes/lists. It works quite well for me as I don’t use the time tables regularly so I have the choice to use the blank lines.
Here you are able to customize your daily columns/rows with the weather, work, and workout info. I chose to have work in there so I can set a time for work since I am a work-from-home mother. It baffles me why anyone would need the weather in there, but who knows, maybe it helps plan days or people involved in weather type work?
For the other Options I picked this weeks dinners so I can meal plan and it’s super helpful when you need to create a grocery list. I also picked list of the week with 10 to items to add to the list. I am currently using this to add items to gett for our new apartment that we just moved to. On the right page of the daily layout I add “to do” and I can mark complete or not to track my progress.
This is one of my favorite features on the planner. This section allows you to enter any number of birthdays, anniversaries, special days, etc on the calendar. This is what really really makes it personal to you. This is probably the only time consuming part in the setting up of the planner but it’s worth it in the end.
Theme for Spread
This part allows you to pick a theme for your header and accordingly changes the colors of your lines dividing the days.
Lastly we have 3 more customization options for 3 sections at the bottom of the page which is another one of my favorite features. For each you can pick from things like to do list, meal planning, Preschool Scheduling, etc. I chose to have a meal planning section, list, and a to-do list.
All pages in the planner will have a tiny monthly preview in the right corner.
You are almost done now and you can customize your back pages too! Here you can pick from having a monthly overview before each month, yearly overviews at the back, a coloring book!!!, maps, Sudoku and a bunch of different options for writing pages. Teachers can even pick their very own teach pages which shows class list, test results, absences, telephone numbers and schedule of classes! I picked a Month Overview, 2018 Year Overview, some ruled pages and coloring pages which my kids have already started to draw on!
The last customization is to add your personal information to the back. I was inspired by And Then She Said and added a Dua’a (Prayer) along with my phone and email.
The planner takes about 3-4 weeks to print, and ship from Sweden so it’s always best to order ahead of the time you need to start using it. It normally comes with about 5-7 days prior to the month you choose.
The pens I have pictured were useful for this planner because you can erase anything you right. Yes, you can erase just like a pencil eraser! This was the coolest thing I found 🙂
The team from Personal Planner has been kind enough to offer 1 FREE Planner to our following! In order to enter please comment below your favorite feature from the planner and how you would use this planner as a mother.
Disclaimer: I received a free A5 Planner from Personal Planner in exchange for writing for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by the developing company or affiliates in any way.
I recently reviewed my Fawn Design Bag and wanted to share the love with you on this beautiful month of Giving called Ramadan. Enter for a chance to win the latest Black Fawn Design Diaper Bag, with a Free Pouch and Tassel!
The giveaway will run from 12 PM PST June 20th, to 12 AM PST 30th June and is only open to US Residents.
This giveaway is sponsored by Through Mama’s Eyes; it’s all because I love this bag & Fawn Design so much.
To see how I pack my Fawn Design check out the below video:
I am so excited to finally be sharing my Part 2 in the Diaper Bag Series where I will be talking about how I pack my Fawn Design Diaper Bag. It’s been a while since my first Fawn Design Review when I launched the blog in November, a lot happened personally, so I ended up postponing Part 2 to be released this month with some special news at the end!
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure at the end of the post.
I remember when I first got pregnant, I really had no idea how breastfeeding was going to work for me. I did get some advice but nothing actually prepared me for what was ahead of me…..
My son was born via c-section after 20 plus hours of labor. The recovery was brutal as it was my first every surgery. Although breastfeeding seemed to go well those few days in the hospital, it got a little harder when we got home. I was exhausted, sleep-deprived, in so much pain from the surgery and sore from breastfeeding. My son was colicky the first 6 weeks so you can imagine how that went along with recovery.
This is a Guest Post from Randy Fishell from An Anxious Kind of Mind.
So, I was an anxious person before Diana and I had children. But adding three boys to the mix didn’t exactly have a sedative effect.
My particular stripe of anxiety disorders has included obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and agoraphobia. I’ve risen above all that, but that’s for another time. Suffice it to say that I speak with some authority on the subject of being an anxious parent.
Last week I told my son to help me clean up quickly so we could eat and head to Aunty Iman’s house. He excitedly said “Yesss Mama then I can see Yusuf at Iman’s House!!” and did a little happy dance. This broke my heart. Why you may ask… Well, he has 2 Aunty Imans. One is my sister who lives in London, the UK about 5500 miles away, and one is my sister-in-law who is walking distance away. Does the broken heart make more sense now? To make it even more sad, a few days later Yusuf said something similar about seeing my daughter and asking his mom to bring him to our house so he could play!
Being a mother who lives on another continent between 11-24 hour flights away from immediately family is extremely hard. Some days are easier than others, but most times it’s very tough. I didn’t really understand how hard it could be until I had one child, and then another child. There is so much value in having your family around. Having them grow up getting to know their grandparents and aunts, uncles and cousins.
Teething is the 2-3 year journey. It involves, drooling, biting, crying, fussing, no sleep, pain, crankiness, crazy behavior, fevers, flus, ear aches, diarrhea to name a few symptoms! A few? You call that a few? Seriously, it’s not a joke. For some moms, teething just flies by and within 6-12 months their babies have all their teeth. One mom told me she never had any issues with teething, the teeth just popped in and no pain! If I were her I would go into hiding…
On the plus side, you get the cutest little pictures, transitioning from gummy smiles to rabbit smiles, to 8 teeth smiles (where we are at now), to a full set of beautiful teeth and you wonder where the time has gone. My 3 and half year old has a full set of teeth, and completed his teething journey about 8 months ago. My daughter who is 20 months now has 8 full teeth and her upper molars and upper canines are almost cutting through. We still have a long way to go but I am sure God willing we will get through it!