Lift and Support

Before I was a Mom, I don’t think I really pushed myself, physically.  I have never aspired to be an athlete.  I don’t dream of completing a marathon and if I’m being totally honest, I have never dreamed of even running a mile. When we had to do it in phys ed in high school, I walked the mile and was always last.  I was totally fine with that.
While I still don’t dream of running… ever, I do feel the need to push myself now.  I want to hold my kids.  Who knew that that would be over-doing it, physically.  I’m not supposed to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk for the first two weeks post-op.  So I’ve been good and haven’t lifted the girls, but I can’t stop the motherly instincts that make me reach out and catch them when they fall.  This happens a lot (or maybe I just flinch a lot, ask my older brothers who used to roll over laughing every time… “made ya flinch!”).  These sporadic physical moments make me sore.  Not sore enough to need pain meds and not sore enough to stop interacting with them, thank goodness.
I feel mostly back to myself now about 9 days after surgery, just maybe a little more tired than I was before.  My surgeon advised me to really “pack ’em in” when I start lifting the little ones again.  He has told me to wear a bra with excellent support for at least the next 6 weeks.  Day and night, underwire during the day and compression bra at night.  None of this is ideal, but it sure as hell beats the alternative.  As always, I will heed the warnings, follow directions, and wait until Wednesday to lift the babes.

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Kids Say the Darndest Things

When the big girl asks me about my “boo-boos”, I’m not quite sure if she’s referring to my breasts or my scars or if they’re now one in the same to her. So far, it hasn’t been a problem to show her inside my shirt.  The scars are covered by thin white strips and the clear plastic that keeps them in place.  I can shower with them on and tomorrow my surgeon will take them off, unveiling fresh wounds.
I had shielded the girls from my scars directly after my last surgery knowing that the initial gruesome imagery would likely freak them out.  Now that they are used to seeing Mommy with lines across her boobs instead of nipples, this won’t be much of a shock.  However, seeing an incision just one week post-op is a very different sight to behold.  So I plan to exercise modesty once more, at least for a little while.
Last night, while my mother was putting the little one to sleep and after my mother-in-law had bathed the big girl and lifted her out of the tub (what I would do without the support of these amazing women, I have no idea!), the big one asked if I would put her to bed.  On our way into her room she asked me, “Mommy, what’s going to happen to your boo-boos?” I replied, “They’re going to heal.”  Ten minutes later, after she was dressed in her jammies and in her bed, she looked up at me and said, “Where are your boo-boos going in high-heels?”  I think she’s going to be relieved to see my scars again in lieu of the visual she apparently has… of my breasts walking away in high heels. Oh, how I love my little fashionista!

Drain-no

You know that feeling you get when there’s something foreign stuck in you and you just don’t want it there anymore?  (No, I’m not referring to your semester abroad).  Whether it’s a piece of your dinner stuck in between your teeth, a splinter in your foot, or the child you carried for the last nine months, you just need it out already!  That’s how I feel about drains.
After my first surgery, I recounted the awful sensation of having drains ripped from my body.  I had four after the double mastectomy.  Two pairs that stayed in me for 8 days and 11 days, respectively.  This time, I only had two and they came out today (4 days post-op).  I won’t soon forget the pain that I felt when those first two sets were removed, so I was incredibly anxious heading into today’s appointment.  Anxious, but eager.  I wanted them out!
I doped up in preparation, taking a Percocet and a Zofran (to avoid carsickness… I can’t drive for 10 days so my favorite chauffeur, Dad, drove me.  Prompt service, door to door, very good rates.).  I was even more nervous knowing that my surgeon wasn’t in the office today and that his young nurse would be taking the drains out.  As she took the dressings off around the drain sites, I quizzed her on how many times she’d done this.  “So, you’ve done a billion of these, right?”  “A billion is a lot,” she responded.  Touché.  I bore down and braced myself for the pain. Amazingly, it did not hurt at all!!  I was so relieved.  This was not like my previous experiences with birthing drains or children.  I cannot wait to sleep drain-free tonight!