Gretchen Rossi from ‘RHOC’ Experiences a Common Side Effect After Her C-Section

Gretchen Rossi from The Real Housewives of Orange County joyfully welcomed a baby girl on July 10.

Rossi and boyfriend Slade Smiley announced Skylar Gray Smiley safely arrived via cesarian section and the new mother and daughter spent a few days in the hospital recovering and getting to know each other. Rossi wrote on Instagram, “Most amazing & emotional day of my life! I am doing good as well 🙈 of course I have some pain from the c-section, but it was all so worth it!” 

Slade Smiley and Gretchen Rossi
Slade Smiley and Gretchen Rossi | Greg Doherty/Getty Images for The Salvation Army)

Since her delivery, Rossi has generously shared a number of images, videos, and thoughts about being a new mom. Along with the joys of snuggling and bonding with the baby comes some of the unpleasant after-effects from childbirth, specifically from having a c-section.

Recovery hasn’t been easy

Many first time new mothers find that bouncing back isn’t easy, especially after a c-section. Rossi wasn’t shy about posting about her pain and recovery. “We took some time off social media to just bond and be with our little angel! My recovery has been really tough (headed back to the doctors now to check if I popped a stitch 🥴),” she wrote.

The post-op pain has been challenging. “This has been the most difficult thing I have ever done yet the most amazing, rewarding, incredible experience of my life! I cry every five seconds it seems, either from pain, hormones, or just puré bliss looking into her sweet little eyes! Breastfeeding 24/7 as well, but she has latched on well…. thank God!” 

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And then there were 3 ❤️ ————————————————————————-Thank you to the good Lord above for the most precious gift we have ever been given! Our perfect little miracle! ————————————————————————-Introducing our precious baby girl SKYLAR GRAY SMILEY!! @skylargray777 ————————————————————————-We took some time off social media to just bond and be with our little angel! My recovery has been really tough (headed back to the doctors now to check if I popped a stitch ) This has been the most difficult thing I have ever done yet the most amazing, rewarding, incredible experience of my life! I cry every five seconds it seems, either from pain, hormones, or just puré bliss looking into her sweet little eyes! Breastfeeding 24/7 as well, but she has latched on well…. thank God! ————————————————————————-Of course we have a million more pictures to post and I’m sorry in advance! (Proud new parents ) I will also start posting on my stories all the fun we have had this past week getting to bond and know her. She is one week old today and these pics were about 2 hours after she was born last Wed July 10th at 10:57am by c-section ❤️ She was 7lbs 1oz and 20 inches long! ————————————————————————-Thank you to all of you who have been patient and understanding as I took my time to recover and bond with her. Love you all so much for your support and love for the 3 of us! #newborn #IVF #firstpics #SkylarGray—————————————————————————Beautiful photos taken by the wonderful @pattyothonphotography Adorable matching Outfits by @poshpushers

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In addition to pain from surgery, many new moms find their hormones become unruly. “Those 4 days and 3 nights were some of the toughest days I have ever navigated, being that you are trying to recover from a major abdominal surgery, (not to mention I have never had a major surgery in my life),” Rossi admitted on Instagram. Plus, “deal with all the swelling and hormonal changes going on with my body, all the while trying to learn how to breastfeed, and meet your babies needs, but also trying to keep your head above water and take care of yourself so you can be the best mommy to your baby. I cried a lot, I was nervous, scared, in pain and not sure I was doing it all correctly.”

She also experienced this post-op side effect too

Having a c-section may also mean the new mother may experience considerable swelling too. Rossi took to her Instagram story to remark about her swollen face, legs, and feet. “Look at those cankles,” she hilariously wrote along with a video of her ankles.

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This was right out of surgery and the very first time I got to hold my baby girl This was the most amazing exhilarating feeling, and a moment that will be forever engrained in my mind. ❤️ @skylargray777 #firstmoments #babygirl #csection #baby #blessed ————————————————————————Thank you to my amazing Doctor, Dr. Flora, and the whole wonderful and caring staff at #HoagHospital for taking such amazing care of us while we were there. Your love and dedication to your jobs did not go unnoticed! Thank you to all the nurses, pediatricians, doctors and lactation consultants for really helping me with my first days of being a new mom and keeping me encouraged. ————————————————————————-Those 4 days and 3 nights were some of the toughest days I have ever navigated, being that you are trying to recover from a major abdominal surgery, (not to mention I have never had a major surgery in my life) deal with all the swelling and hormonal changes going on with my body, all the while trying to learn how to breastfeed, and meet your babies needs, but also trying to keep your head above water and take care of yourself so you can be the best mommy to your baby. I cried a lot, I was nervous, scared, in pain and not sure I was doing it all correctly. But I had an amazing support system between the hospital staff, my parents, my brother, and my dearest of friends all surrounding me and telling me, I got this, and was doing a good job! Felt so beyond blessed to have everyone there! So thank you from the bottom of my heart. ❤️

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Post-op swelling is common after a c-section, according to The Bump. New moms are typically not prepared for their face and extremities to swell.  “I wish I had known my feet and ankles would swell to four times their size,” one new mom told The Bump. “I learned later that this is common, but it was still really disconcerting because it was unexpected.”

Swelling often occurs because of the accumulation of IV fluids. Plus post-pregnancy hormones can also encourage swelling too. The good news is swelling should retreat within about a week. In the meantime, it appears Rossi and Smiley are enjoying their new roles as mom and dad.