What I Didn’t Expect During My Recovery

by jessicaturner on January 18, 2017

As I mentioned this weekend, last week was my first week back to work. I have been unexpectedly quiet as I have gotten my feet under me, once again doing the tap dance of working motherhood.

You see, I thought my surgery recovery would be much easier.

That not to say I didn’t think it would be challenging physically. I expected that part.

But because many people compared abdominal surgery to recovery from a c-section, I had high expectations. I had a c-section with my third child, Ezra and released a book 6-weeks later. While I certainly had pain, I was very functional.

In my opinion, diastasis repair and abdominoplasty have a much harder recovery than a c-section (and I had a breast reduction, too!).

I didn’t expect to be so tired that I would spend many hours napping.

I didn’t expect to not be able to tackle some fresh writing projects.

I didn’t expect the medication to affect me in such strong ways.

I didn’t expect to not read during my time on medical leave.

I didn’t expect my recovery to be so tough mentally.

I didn’t expect how hard it would be to not do simple things for my children, like pick up Ezra.

I didn’t expect to be unable to really do anything extra.

But those things were my reality. I joked with a friend yesterday that I need a month off from my month off.

I’m still processing the past six weeks. For someone who likes to be highly productive and whose mind is continuously running, I have learned a lot. I have seen the value in presence and in slowness in a new way. I developed more empathy for those will medical challenges. I’ve thought a lot about my friend Sara, who had a chronic disease and was homebound.

As 2017 has begun, I have seen many friends (and strangers) setting big goals and moving quickly. I have had the opposite experience. I have been quiet and entering things slowly. I am making very deliberate choices as I ease back into all the things. 

And it’s been good. 


Weekend Links: Back to Work Edition

by jessicaturner on January 14, 2017

Photo by Melissa Morgan Photography (my sister!)

Helllllooooo friends! I didn’t anticipate not writing all week, but it was my first week back to work and I had some health setbacks in my recovery. I’m okay now, but had a few rough days.

This weekend I’m looking forward to boxing up our Christmas decorations, decorating the mantle for Valentines, cheering on Elias at his first indoor soccer game, running errands with Adeline and napping. Lots of napping.

I’ve put together some fun links for you to enjoy:


First, did you read this letter from the Bush sisters to the Obama sisters? If you haven’t, it’s this week’s must-read. You can also watch them reading the letter here. (Side note, I wish Jenna Bush Hagar was one of my friends. I think she is delightful.)

I also loved “2016 and the Risk of Birth” by Rachel Held Evans. So many honest and real words reflecting on the past 12 months from her perspective of a new mother. Words like this:

For me, the dissonance of this strange year is compounded by the fact that motherhood turned my bleeding heart into a hemorrhage.  It’s as though I’ve become porous, my skin absorbing the pain of others, particularly other mamas and babies.

Jen Hatmaker’s mom words of things she is always saying rang SO true to me this week.

“If I need your help parenting, I will ask.” 72 million. Is the number of times I say this a week. For a bunch of nonbreeders, my kids sure do know EVERYTHING about how to punish their siblings.


Why audio books are great for busy women

Now that I am back to work, I’m back to my regular audio book listening on my commutes. Are you an audio book listener? If not, what is holding you back? Audio books are the easiest way to fit more reading into your every day life. Try Audible and get two free months (which is basically two free books). What do you have to lose? Lilac Girls was my favorite audio book I listened to last year.

With my new body (hello normal sized chest!) I am having fun doing a bit of shopping. This week I had boxes arrive from Trunk Club, Stitch Fix and Amazon. Trunk Club remains my favorite because they send SO many options. It’s like receiving a dressing room of clothes to try on in the comfort of your bedroom. I highly recommend trying the service out. I have bought so many things from them — from staples like plain tees to pajamas for my surgery recovery to gorgeous dresses to wear for work and speaking engagements.


We do family movie night every Friday. Last night we watched The Water Horse, which was totally unfamiliar to me, but we really liked it. Perfect if your family liked Pete’s Dragon, Narnia, The BFG, etc. What are your favorite movies to watch as a family?

Nintendo sent me a Nintendo 3DS to review and we gave it to Elias for his big Christmas gift, but really we should have given it to me. I feel like I am reliving my childhood playing Mario Bros. and frankly, am having even more fun. If you have a Nintendo 3DS in your house, what are your favorite games? I have been looking at others to buy on Amazon.


Photo credit: National Geographic Channels/Matthew Paul Turner

Remember when Matthew traveled with Morgan Freeman around the world for the filming of the show, The Story of God? The DVD of the series is now available and its on sale for just $9.99 on Amazon. Our copy arrived yesterday, and we were so excited that several of Matthew’s photos are on the back cover of the DVD. I bought a few more to give to family members. (#proudwife) It would be a great series to buy and watch as a family, particularly if your children are a bit older.

Maude was one of my favorite books I read last year and right now it is on sale for 99 cents. I cannot believe it is a true story. Read it now and thank me later!

Have a great weekend!

Disclosure: Some links used in this post are referral links or affiliate links


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