Baby · Breastfeeding

Postpartum 101

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I read every birth story I could find. I never once thought about what happens after.

I was completely unprepared and NO ONE explained to me what I was going to go through after I delivered my baby. You think my doctor would have informed me but I knew diddly squat. 

I have since realized that not too many women share their postpartum journey. Why? I’m not completely sure. Maybe its too personal to share? maybe its not appropriate? maybe they don’t want to sound as though they’re not appreciative of their newest gift? or maybe... they just want to forget it ever happened? Yeah, I choose that one. Postpartum stuff stinks.

I guess once you have a child, or two, you learn that so many of those things “you just don’t talk about” are normal. 

Blood is normal. Gas is normal. Poop, sweat and tears are normal.

If any of that has scared you, I’d say turn back now.

Sulcus Tears and Scrapes

I thought that once I delivered my baby, that would be the end of it. I would go back to normal and all would be good. I hate to say that didn’t happen, both times. When I gave birth to my first daughter, I had a bilateral sulcus tear. The doctor that stitched me up actually didn’t even tell me what kind of tear I had. I remember my mom asking her “is it bad?” and the doctor kind of just shrugged her shoulders. Thankfully, I found out the next day when my OBGYN came in to see how I was doing. Apparently its not very common and its a deep muscle tear.

A few hours after I had my baby, a nurse had to show me how to pee. Never saw that coming! She gave me a peri bottle filled with warm water and told me I had to use it for the next couple of weeks, instead of toilet paper. Then she gave me a baby diaper filled with ice and mesh underwear with a large thick pad on it. I used the ice packs until I left the hospital and I brought the extra pads and mesh underwear home with me as well. I was scared to use real underwear after that.

For the next FOUR months I had trouble sitting, standing, laying down, pretty much everything. My stitches took about 5 weeks to dissolve and itched like crazy. I don’t think my “lady parts” ever went back to normal after that.

With my second baby, I had a few scrapes. Whatever THAT means. I wasn’t exactly told where they were either and I couldn’t really tell anyway because everything burned when I used the bathroom.  I thought I was healing much better than before because a week later I wasn’t hurting as bad as I was when I had my first baby. But I was wrong again. Every few days something new would swell up and hurt like crazy. Then I’d feel okay again. Then everything would swell up and hurt so bad I wouldn’t be able to stand up. And lastly I started to notice my scar tissue was causing a lot of pain. So now I felt the same way I did after having baby number one. After almost 7 weeks pp I still felt this way.

I am 99% positive I had Symphysis Pubis DysfunctionIt hurt SO bad to turn to one side while laying/sitting or to even try and get out of bed! And to put my legs over an obstacle when walking. It literally felt as though my pelvis was ripping and this began close to my third trimester. I remember not being able to lift my leg to even put pants on because I would instantly have a shooting pain. Thankfully I had my husbands help through everything.

Pooping

Well if you didn’t get an epidural for labor, you may want one now. No, seriously. Using the bathroom after pushing out a baby IS as scary as it sounds. Drink lots of water, cry it out, and take a warm shower.

Hemorrhoids

Dear goodness I have never had any before giving birth to my daughters and now I have like, ten. I was terrified of getting them “removed” and even more so, bringing it up at all. It seriously took some courage to tell my husband why my butt was hurting. I couldn’t even sit properly. The thing with hemorrhoids is, they come back. And literally bite you in the butt. 30 some weeks later, they’re still here. Hello!

Baby Belly 

I didn’t think my belly would be back to normal as soon as I got home from the hospital but I did expect to put on some “normal” jeans. Well thanks to my new stitches and sore belly, that didn’t happen. I was pretty disappointed. After a few weeks passed, my belly did go down and I was able to wear normal clothes again. With my second pp journey I lost weight a lot slower but it’s something I actually wanted. I can do without the baby belly, but I’m still not too concerned about it. Babies need their living space! And I’m beyond thankful I was able to provide that for 2 of them. 

I do wish I had some sort of muscle though! Holding up a baby with a floppy mid section is hard. It’s also a weird feeling not being able to get out of bed because you have 0 strength left in your core. I’m nearing 13 weeks pp and I’m just now starting to feel “normal” and I can actually lift things and get out of bed without any problems. I also haven’t had to take Tylenol for the past 2 weeks or so, which is great! My belly did feel tender until about 10 weeks and I’m just now starting to be able to touch it without feeling weird. I also got 5 small stretch marks this time around and they hurt (even deep down) until about 10 weeks as well.

Bleeding

After my second baby, I bled. A lot.

and for a long time. 10 weeks to be exact. I had a mild stomach ache every day until well, now at 13 weeks. I was also losing tissue that very much resembled placenta so I had to get an ultrasound, which wasn’t pleasant in the slightest. Talks of polyps and other scary things were in the air because I would. not. stop. bleeding. It would stop one day and a couple days later start over again. One doctor said it was normal until 12 weeks, the other was more concerned. I’m still nervous about the whole thing and what do you know, I started bleeding a tiny bit this week. Maybe it’s stress. 

Healing

You’ll have more contractions, especially as your baby starts to feed more (when you’re breastfeeding) and it’ll hurt all the same. I noticed it got worse with my second pregnancy. I felt horrible.

Carpal Tunnel

Oh my hands! During my second pregnancy they got so bad, especially during the night. It didn’t go away until several weeks after my daughter was born. Can’t. Type. Anything. 

Rashes/Welts

Random welts and rashes. Everywhere. 

Crying

I cried a lot. More than I probably ever had before. I still cry, almost every day. You think you’d get used to it. That it would feel normal. But it still catches me off guard. Learn to laugh and pray and you’ll be good to go. 

Breastfeeding

Never easy, always worth it. I had a crazy breastfeeding journey with my first born ( you can read about it here) and with my second it’s been going a lot smoother. We did have a rough beginning though. My second daughter has a lip tie and had a hard time latching properly for the first few weeks. She also “snacked” a lot and we got flagged for it. “She’s a stinker” (insert Ana voice) 

 

Smells

My sense of smell heightened after both pregnancies and it makes me crazy. Everything bothers me unless it smells clean, like lemons. I can tell if my husband has put on Chapstick from a mile away. BUT as the weeks pass, it’s getting more faint.

Hair

My hair got thick and wonderful during pregnancy. After my first daughter was born it started falling out in clumps almost immediately. I cried uncontrollably because no one told me that was going to happen. I freaked out every time I saw chunks of hair fall. This time around it took about 10 weeks to start falling out, I think taking my prenatal pills and eating better helped it come slower. But once it came, it came fast and hard. I have several bald spots. 

I had a million baby hairs growing out from my first born and they were orange. After my second pregnancy it seemed like it got even more red along with the some orange bits. Like straight ginger. But once I near 7 months pp, the color goes back to normal and baby hairs pop out. Hooray! 

Night Sweats 

No one told me I would sweat out all my extra water. I woke up soaked several nights in a row 

Pregnancy Brain 

I can’t remember what else I was going to write about….  

Thank you God for getting me through that hard stage. You are forever faithful and a mighty healer 

Any Moms reading this? What are your experiences? 

 

 

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