The reality of postpartum

Dear Delilah,

‚ÄčThere are plenty of things women know about postpartum struggles; flabby bodies, soreness, breastfeeding issues, etc. I’m here to talk about the things nobody tells you. This blog is not for the faint of heart & it will not be sugar coated. Continue if you dare. 

After 29 hours of labor, in the midst of sweating, crying, pain, & exhaustion, you were laid on my chest. I was terrified because I was so weak I knew that I couldn’t support the weight of a baby even if I tried. My brain screamed “no, I can’t hold her!” but words failed me as my head fell backwards onto the hospital bed. The truth is with all the nurses, your dad, & grandmas standing there, there was no way you were falling but I was too far gone to realize that at the time.

So that was the beginning of the “postpartum” stage.

Shortly, the doctor informed me that I had a second degree vaginal tear. This happens in 50% of women. I somehow thought that it was a less common thing but after pushing a baby out it is completely understandable. So after delivering you, I placed my legs on stirrups while the doctor sewed me back together. We’ll go more into the tear shortly.

Next came the uterus “massages”. What the hell is the definition of a massage?! These are horrible. Basically, nurses shove their fingers into your abdomen & into your freshly emptied uterus to make sure it’s contracting. Every time they did this blood gushed out of me. Disgusting right?

The first several trips to the bathroom were a nightmare. They looked like a murder scene & I was the victim. Not to mention the smell of blood is crippling. Toilet paper is out of the question, especially with a tear because it’ll rip your stitches out. So they give you this little Peri bottle to fill with water & squirt yourself clean.

My first shower was supposed to be great & refreshing, ha. As I walked from the toilet to the shower I left a blood trail behind me. In the shower I scrubbed clean from the blood stains that covered my legs. Then, before I could even step out of the shower or dry off, blood ran all down my legs again. I quickly put on the huge pads they gave me & proceeded to clean my own blood off the bathroom floor & myself.

It’s been a week now & this has gotten easier in terms of the blood flow. But the bathroom routine is still a process. With my second degree tear, using the restroom burns. I mean alcohol in an open wound burns. I lean as far forward as I can to prevent my laceration from getting hit but it never works. I then use the Peri bottle to rinse, pat myself dry, apply soothing ointment with cooling pads, spray myself with duraplast spray, & apply a frozen pad that has been soaked in witch hazel & diluted lavender oil. Can you imagine attempting this in a public bathroom? It’s hard. The doctor has also prescribed me ibuprofen & Tylenol that I take religiously every 8 hours or the pain takes over. They also prescribed me stool softener because pooping is rough. The swelling of the tear has to be the worst part. I tend to waddle around the house & sitting up hurts. I still involuntary gush bodily fluids at times but it’s happening less all the time. 
Did I mention that I’m not allowed to take a bath for 4 weeks? So sad..

My bathroom supplies. 

Everyone knows there are obstacles to overcome with breastfeeding but my goodness there’s a lot. I may write a whole blog about it. Your breasts become engorged (painfully full of milk). They become rock hard & you literally have to massage the knots out of them (Heating pads help). You’ve got to constantly apply lanolin or some type of cream to your nipples because they quickly become raw & will crack, bleed, & scab over. Breastfeeding is a wonderful, beautiful thing but it doesn’t come easy.

Your postpartum body is strange. First off, I was so sore after labor that I discovered muscles I didn’t know I had. Pushing, I was laying on my back, pulling my legs towards my chest, my back & head up, & pushing a baby out. It took a toll on my nonfit body. Also, it’s a huge change going from a firm baby bump to a flabby, loose stomach. I went from feeling pregnant to just feeling fat. Eventually I’ll be able to do something about it but right now I’m still too sore & swollen for that much activity. Your dad constantly tells me how beautiful I am, it really does help. Now the huge pads & mesh panties, not so much. lol 

I thought labor was the hard part of it all then you take home your baby & lose sleep but live happily ever after. That is soo not the case. Nevertheless, I would do it all over again to have you. You, Lilah Bear are so worth it. 


Childbirth is beautiful but there’s nothing pretty about it.

Dear Delilah,

I had a beautiful pregnancy; no morning sickness, no complications, few stretch marks, & average weight gain. But labor was Hell.

(My last belly pic) 

Towards the end of pregnancy many women want to induce their labor, I however was not one of them. I didn’t want to strip my membranes, insert primrose pills vaginally, stimulate my nipples, or eat dates. I wanted you to be ready. I wanted it to be the right time.

Now don’t get me wrong I did some walking & bounced on an exercise ball for a little while but that was more to get through the anxiety I was feeling. I was ready to be done lying in bed for hours every night over thinking every possible scenario.

The truth is, you can’t prepare yourself for childbirth. Trust me, I tried. I took the classes, read the articles, asked the doctors all the right questions but nothing can prepare you for your unique experience.

On your scheduled due date, April 1st, around 1pm I started having minor contractions. Your dad & I were in HEB so we continued to shop. After that we came home & I monitored my contractions for 12 hours before your Granny & Nana got here. Due to all my questioning I knew the doctors did not want to see me until my contractions were 3 minutes apart for 2 hours. Around 4am I was assessed & only dilated 4cm, this wasn’t enough to be admitted so they told me to come back in 2 hours.

We went to IHOP where I continued to have contractions every couple of minutes. The pain wasn’t unbearable but it was enough to keep me from being able to talk or move. At 6am, I was dilated to 6cm so they admitted me, after laboring for 17 hours.

Waitress: “Are you..?”

Me: “Yes. I’m in labor.”

They asked me my plans as far as pain meds & an epidural went, I told them I was winging it. I didn’t want to be set on one thing & let myself down. After 24 hours, once I was crying hysterically through every contraction, I broke & decided to get pain meds administered through my I.V. Within minutes I was knocked out. 

While I’m sure my body needed the break, the medication slowed down my contractions & laboring process. They woke me up with pitocin. This is just liquid pain that makes your body attempt to self destruct.

After 27 hours of laboring, I got an epidural. While most of that decision came from pain, they also promised to step in & get the ball rolling. They broke my water soon after that & I can honestly say the epidural allowed me a little while to breathe & remember what I was doing all of it for. I was able to look at the faces of the people I love around me & see that they were no longer having to cry through each contraction with me.

Then as you were decending, the pain was too low for the epidural to reach. We were in the home stretch. About 5pm, after 28 hours of laboring, it was finally time to push. Movies & Facebook videos can’t express the pain I felt. With your granny on one leg, your Nana on the other, & your dad taking care of me, I began to push. For about an hour I pushed & screamed. I needed an oxygen mask to breathe & they were using an ice pack & a wet towel to try to cool me down between pushing. I thought I was going to die, quite literally & I wanted to. At 5:57pm I heard everyone in the room scream as the midwife pulled you from my aching body. As they laid you on my chest I fell backwards, thinking any moment I would pass out from pain & exhaustion. But the pain subsided & the look in your dad’s eyes some how brought me back. I had done it. After 29 hours, it was over.

I wish someone would have told my terrified pregnant self not to fear the inevitable. Did I poop? Yes, I pooped with every push. I could smell it & I’m sure it was a sight to see. But I was pushing harder than I ever knew I could & I can’t blame my body for emptying out. Did I tear? Yes, I had a second degree vaginal tear. But my body birthed a whole human & I can’t blame it needing a little more space. Did I say things I didn’t mean? Yes, & I choked your dad once.. I’m sore & swollen. Using the bathroom looks like a murder scene (& the smell of blood is crippling), it hurts to sit up, or walk. But I’m healing. This pain is all going to subside & you know what? I look into your little eyes & I see how much I mean to you. One day I’m sure I’ll just be your lame mom, but right now I’m your life source. I’m your warmth & comfort. Your favorite voice & your safe place. Thank you sweet girl for making the pain melt away & bringing so much beauty & light into mine & your daddy’s lives.  

Delilah Rain

7lbs 12 oz

21.5 inches long. 

Creating your space

Dear Delilah,

Your nursery is coming along beautifully. I wish I knew what kinds of things you are going to be passionate about so I could decorate accordingly. As your dad & I fill your bookshelf (that he made by the way) with books from our friends & family, I can’t wait to read to you. As we set up the rocking chair, I know we will spend many nights there, holding you close. Your walls are covered with signs made & purchased by people who love you & your dad’s poem to you is framed by your bedside.

Your bedding was handmade by your Aunt Trisha who already loves you so so much. 

Your closet is stocked with more clothes than you’ll ever be able to wear, but you’re guaranteed to be the best dressed baby around. 

& should I even bring up your future shoe addiction? 

Your nursery brings me so much happiness but I can’t wait to make this house a home when you make your big arrival soon. 

A poem from your dad

When Delilah arrives, it will be so grand. We will be picking out flowers, playing in the sand.

This time of our lives will be so much fun, watching her grow, walk, crawl, run.

A new experience is right around the corner, not one new special moment at all like any other. 

Watching her grow from a little human being, to a great big tall giant at only age 3.

To see her smile, to hear her laugh, to watch rage build up as she gets mad.

To calm her storms and broaden her mind, to make sure she knows how bright she can shine. 

How lucky we’ll be just to watch her roam, as she dances around, our hearts she will own.

How beautiful and happy our little girl will be, when this house becomes bigger, not two but three.

When Delilah arrives, she will be so adored, A piece of us both, sewn together by the Lord. 

An unfamiliar reflection

Dear Delilah,

I’m selfish. It’s not an easy thing to admit but as my body enters a state it’s never known, I find myself feeling less beautiful. Being 20lbs heavier than I’ve ever been isn’t easy. Growing out of all of my favorite clothes was no fun & trying on new clothes is a nightmare. When I used to wear mediums, a 1XL can feel like a punch to the gut. I lather my body in lotion daily but I still watch as pink lines stretch across my sides. I’m considerably slower & I tire abnormally fast. My body aches from carrying you & the extra weight puts pressure on my already sucky joints. Sitting hurts my tailbone, standing hurts my ankles, & laying down hurts my back; what’s left for a girl to do? Your dad reminds me every day how pretty I am. He says he’s never seen a more beautiful version of me. We really hit the jackpot with him. He’s the definition of the word beautiful in the most raw, pure form. There are days that his compliments are reassuring & when they’re not, I’m reassured by you. You remind me that I’m stretching, so you can grow. I’m tired, so you can rest. My breasts are growing to feed & nourish you. I have trouble breathing so you can breathe with ease. I complain but I promise I wouldn’t have it any other way. In approximately 5 weeks I’ll hold you in my arms & part of me will miss feeling your hiccups inside of me. I’ll miss having you all to myself & most of all, I’ll miss being all that you need. 

Who will you be?

Dear Delilah,

You bring me so much joy, it’s unreal. It is strange to love someone you know nothing about. I can’t tell you if you’ll be a dancer, a soccer player, or an artist. I don’t know if you’ll listen to country music, screamo, or jazz. Will you be into romantic comedies like me or action movies like your dad? I have no clue, but I am so eager to learn. I promise to always encourage your individuality. I will never diminish the things that make you unique. No matter what adventures you decide to embark on, I promise I will always be there supporting your dreams. When you fall, I will be there to pick you up & remind you to never give up on yourself. There will be times you envy the talents of others. In those moments I will remind you of the skills that make you special. When I was younger I wanted to be a dancer. I tried out for the school drill team & cheer squad & made neither. The truth is the only kind of dancing I can do is “Just Dance”. However, I’ve got countless medals from singing competitions & was awarded Best Actress in my college. Those are the gifts God chose for me, what will he choose for you? As I lie in bed every night I try to picture you, but there are still so many questions unanswered. Will your hair be red like your dad’s? Will you have my brown eyes or his freckles? How is it possible to love someone so unconditionally when you’ve never even met them? I can’t quite answer all of these questions but I know one thing for certain; Delilah Rain, I can’t wait to meet you.