The Birth Story of Avery Nicole

 

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Avery Nicole Alfred was born via planned cesarean delivery at Oakville hospital on March 20, 2020, weighing 9.6lbs. I was blessed to give birth to a healthy baby girl. She let out a huge cry when I birthed her from my belly, and the first thing I thought was that she looked so much like Ares, her older brother.
Our baby was born a week after the announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic. These times have been unprecedented, uncertain and very scary.
I prepared so much for this birth mentally and physically and wanted to feel very empowered-which I did. This was the best birth experience I could have asked for, even though I had to give up any plan I had for birth and postpartum (it wasn’t easy).
On the morning of delivery, we found out our OBGYN was unable to attend our birth because she was isolated after travelling out of the country. The new OBGYN who filled in for her seemed like such a happy person. He listened to all my concerns and birth wishes. He talked me through the whole surgery and let me know when our baby was about to be born. It was so important to me to feel like I was apart of the birth process and that it wasn’t just a surgery. I also got to hold our baby skin to skin right away while they closed up my womb. The nursing staff was so friendly and introduced themselves to me before birth. The anesthesiologist was very kind and made sure to replenish the warm blanket she laid on my chest and arms to keep me comfortable during the initial stages of the surgery. I felt that they were creating a caring environment for me to give birth to our daughter and my husband, and I am so thankful for that.

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The most memorable nurse we had in postpartum had such caring energy and reminded me of my mom. She took me to the bathroom and washed me with a cloth on my neck, upper back, chest and face. I have never experienced something so nurturing from a health practitioner before. It was such a simple gesture, wiping me with a warm cloth, and yet it gave me so much dignity, and I felt human again.

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Recovering in the hospital was great (other than the food). We felt like we were in a safe bubble. Although I wish I could have had our son with us, it was so beautiful to bond with our new baby girl. Leaving the hospital was a little eerie. The hospital hallways were busy when I was at an ultrasound just a few weeks before. That day, it was empty.

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We had no visitors at the hospital, and I knew we wouldn’t have any visitors at home either due to social distancing. I made sure to dress Avery in the cutest outfit and showed her off to all the nurses and staff guarding the doors of the hospital before we left. Seeing a new baby gives people hope, so I wanted to show her off to as many people as I could (from a distance, of course!)

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Our son was dropped off by my parents soon after we got home, and I instantly felt so much love. Ares, our son, who is almost six years old, was finally a big brother, and my heart was so full.
The recovery after this cesarean delivery has been amazing. I have been up and walking outside since week two and getting back into my regular activities slowly. I feel like I was prepared for recovery this time and gave my body all the tools it needed to heal quickly.
We may not have had the same kind of support from family and friends as we wanted in postpartum due to social distancing. Still, we are so thankful that we have had so many people check in on us and best of all, we have each other.
I believe Avery was born during a pandemic for a reason. It has made me stronger and more resilient. I learned that trusting my instincts is so important, especially when there is little healthcare available in person. I realize how little I prioritized the simple things in life like a hug from a parent or friend. We need to make the best of our situations and find happiness in things that did go the way we wanted.

Choose Massage Therapy To Help You Heal After A C-Section

Nicole Nifo RMT

We can say that most women experience similar things in postpartum and adjusting to life with a new baby. When it comes to healing your body after c-section, it’s not realistic to expect everything to heal on its own. You will not be back to normal after eight weeks.

Those of us who have had children realize that our body doesn’t usually go back to its normal state after having kids on its own. It takes a lot of time and effort to support your body while it heals.

Massage Therapy and My Postpartum Healing

Postpartum healing does not have to be complicated. Enlist the help of an experienced health practitioner, like a Massage Therapist. Massage Therapy is a useful tool that will help you feel calm and also aid your body as it adjusts to being postpartum.

Common injuries or strains that a Massage Therapist will treat with a postpartum patient are general muscle pain and tension, mummy thumb (De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis), blocked milk ducts in the breasts, headaches, cesarean scar rehabilitation.

When Can I Start To Heal My Scar Tissue?

After birth, we focus on desensitizing the skin and emotional barriers from birth around the scar. A cesarean delivery can carry some trauma with it. As a massage therapist and cesarean momma myself, I take caution with your c-section scar before I start releasing the layers of tissue around it. Try placing your hand over your scar and breath to connect to it, see if anything comes up.

From two to twelve weeks you can start to desensitize the skin around your c-section scar if it has closed (skin has unionized) and there is no risk of infection. Desensitizing will help to minimize the numbness. Using different textures, you will rub the skin in a downward brushing motion. I like to use a facecloth, drybrush and sponge to help bring back the feeling in the skin around the scar.

What Happens During My Massage Therapy Treatments?

After 12 weeks, we will start working with the skin layer, progressing to the muscle layer and finally the visceral/organ layer. This progression can take a few treatments depending on how you are healing and how you feel during the massage. I go at the pace that you are comfortable with and let you guide me so that you can experience the release of adhesions in the scar without too much discomfort.

The goal is to decrease any pain you have in the abdomen, improve the movement of the soft tissue around your scar and minimize the adhesions that have formed under the scar.

Book a one-hour treatment for your first appointment. In subsequent visits, book 30-45 min sessions if you prefer to focus on the scar work (longer treatments if you want to have other areas of your body worked on).

Your C-Section Scar and How To Heal It

Let’s be honest here, there is little to no guidance on how a woman can help her body heal after giving birth from her primary care medical team. There is even less guidance given to someone who had a cesarean delivery (major abdominal surgery).

Like many of you, I found myself in postpartum after having an unexpected cesarean delivery, not taking care of myself because well… I needed to care for my new baby. I was the last person I thought I needed to care for.

It wasn’t until I was at a professional conference that I met a company that had a product using microcurrent point stimulation for Scar Release Therapy called The Dolphin Neurostim. They offered to test their microcurrent tool on my cesarean scar and I accepted. I was amazed at the improved movement of my abdominal tissue when I stood up and couldn’t help but feel a flow of energy to my scar that had felt like a dead zone for so long!

Adhesions

While a lot of people like to talk about and focus on the look of their scar, we really need to focus on the functionality of the scar and how the tissue around that scar is doing. Adhesions are formed under the scar creating scar tissue. While they’re naturally occurring, they can have adverse effects on our bodies by connecting tissue that shouldn’t be connected, like organs – in fact, women who’ve had a C-section sometimes develop Small Bowel Obstruction, a condition where the intestinal tract is kinked and twisted by adhesions. Adhesions also connect to our fascia, the web-like structure that connects all organs and tissues in our bodies. When they connect to our fascia, they can distort it, pulling muscles and pinching nerves. This limits our ability to move freely and heightens the sensitivity of the autonomic nervous system, which controls our pain.

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How Does The MPS Tool Work?

It’s simple! The Dolphin Neurostim™ is applied to each side of visible scars, transferring gentle, DC microcurrent deep into the tissue of the skin. When the microcurrent enters our body, it helps electrically “repolarize,” or release, the thickened scar tissue, as well as release fascia and muscles impinged by the scarring. Circulation is also increased, which, in turn, helps the lymphatic system remove dead cells from the body and encourages blood flow and healing to the area. All of this helps return mobility, improve appearance, and decrease pain both at the site of the scar and anywhere else in the body that scar may be affecting. In many cases, relief can be felt with one application!

Combined with manual therapy techniques, I use the MPS tool to help women regain mobility, function and overall wellness of their body after having a cesarean by performing scar release therapy.

How Many Treatments Do I Need Before I Can Feel Results?

Because we all heal differently, everyone has a different experience. Some patients feel results after one treatment and others after five. Our treatment goals are important too! Some want to see a visual difference on the scar, others want to feel less pain or discomfort after doing physical activity like long walks or workouts from the scar. Every treatment you come in for we talk about what you felt on day one and we see if there are any changes to compare to.

How Long Are The Sessions?

I always ask patients to book at least an hour for our first visit so I can do a proper assessment and health intake, if we are only focusing our treatments on SRT, then we can book 30 minutes follow up appointments after that.

Feel free to email me any questions you have about how SRT can help you after your cesarean delivery or book online now!