One thing that I had looked forward to all through my twin pregnancy was being able to exercise. I love to run, bike, workout and be active. Of course, it was nice to take it easy but by the end I was so ready to get back out there in my running shoes. Little did I know that recovering from a second cesarean would be completely different from the first one.
I delivered the twins via cesarean so I figured I would have to wait to get back in the saddle the requisite 6 weeks and get the doctor’s okay. No big deal. I received the okay but the idea of running just sounded crazy to me. My body was still bloated from all the fluids (I cannot believe how much my feet and legs swelled up – it was several weeks until they looked somewhat normal and even now my feet are a size bigger than before.) Plus, I was still having major cramps and my incision was very sore and tender. Almost none of my clothes worked for me because the rested on my incision, especially my low lying running pants. No way was I putting those on!
My bloated feet. Sorry for the visual.
When I had my first son, Ian, I felt like my recovery from cesarean was so much faster. Looking back now, Im realizing since Ian was in the hospital for two and a half weeks and I was getting a lot more rest than I did this time around. I was able to go home every night and get 10 hours of sleep those first two weeks while Ian was in NICU. But this time with newborn twins at home PLUS a toddler PLUS living in a house with two stories whereas before we were on one level it was just insane. Additionally, after talking with other moms and my doctor I found that the second and third babies are a lot more painful to recover from. Something to do with the uterus contracting more and causing more cramps. Basically, by week 6 I was nowhere near running and was finally feeling well enough to go for walks. I didnt want to push myself and get injured so I gave myself 4 months to completely recover. Thats a long time but to me, it was worth it. I did do small little runs at 3 months and some light yoga but that was it. By the time January rolled around my body felt better and I really did feel ready.
My first 4-mile run in January was such a challenge but felt great. I didnt have pain (well, cesarean pain – the breath rushing through my lungs again was the regular exercise “pain” and I was happy to push myself through it.) I ran the whole shebang. My miles were slow and slogging at around 11 minutes a mile but I did it! What a great accomplishment.
From there, I have been running two to three times a week and slowly my pace has increased and I have felt those wonderful endorphins feel me up. It is so freeeing to go for a run when you are stuck at home with three kids, especially in the winter! People may say, why would you choose to run on your free time but that’s the point. Its freeing to do it! It clears your mind, you feel accomplished and plus, your body loves you for it.
Last week, Ryan and I took all of our boys for a run on one of our first warm spring days. I pushed the twins in the Bob Revolution stroller and got an arm workout along with the 5-mile run. Ryan pushed Ian in the Burley. As we ran around the lake, we got so many looks of amazement from others walking around the lake. Our little train was the main attraction so to speak. Like, I keep saying, having twins is like winning the compliments lottery. Everyone wants to look, say hi and wish you well. Its lovely.
At the end of our run, we stopped at the park and Ian got to play and the twins went in the swings for awhile. We finished it off with a picnic and I nursed the twins while Ian ate and then played with his daddy in the basketball court. It was a wonderful Saturday morning. We’ll be doing this often through spring, summer and fall.