If you are using gradient mesh in Adobe Illustrator, and need a compound path, you may be into troubles. One workaround is to use layer mask to define what to show or hide on a given layer.
Start by drawing the shape you are going to modify as a shape
Make a copy of the object, by pressing Control+C and Control+F (Win) or Command+C and Command+F (Mac). This uses "paste in front" to paste the copy in the exact same position, as the copied. When I draw with meshes, i generally tends to save an unmodifed copy of the mesh, just underneath it for situations where a mesh cant be used - or if I need to start over on a clean mesh.
Draw the gradient mesh, by clicking on it with the Gradient Mesh Tool or selecting Object > Create Gradient Mesh with the object selected. When selecting the individual mesh points, I find the Lasso Tool quite effective, when it comes to selection indiviual mesh point around corners etc.
Drag the path to the top, by opening the layers panel and "Layer 1" and drag the path object to the top of layer 1.
Give the shape a stroke and no fill, and set a fairly wide stroke width. Open the stroke panel, and make the stroke expand inwards.
With the path stille selected, select Object > Path > Outline Stroke to convert the stroke to a compound path. Of course I could have made any two shapes. Click the Layer 1 name in the layers panel and click the Make/Release Clipping Mask icon in the bottom of the panel.
Now you have a clipping mask, placed in the layer 1. It will actually clip all content (below or above it) there is drawn in it. If you need to, you can easely hide the mask (clicking the eye in the layers panel) and edit the whole mesh.
Here, I have used my original path. I told earlier, that I tend to keep a copy, underneath the mesh. Now the path is in the clipping mask. It is still easely accesible for me, so this one is the exeption to the rule :-)
Good luck. Questions goes into the forum