There 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.