Friday, July 2, 2010

What to Expect When You're Done Expecting

Before I talk about my recovery, I just want to give a shout out to my sweet husband's blog!  Have you seen it??  It looks amazing.  Mine also looks really snazzy too huh? I'm so thankful to him because he gave our blogs makeovers last night instead of studying! haha.

I have been wanting to write for a few weeks now about my recovery after giving birth to Lilibear.  It's really upsetting that the books rarely talk about this stuff.  They talk plenty about the pregnancy and about giving birth, but stop after that! Are you kidding me? Why didn't you warn me that the worst was yet to come?  I should also warn that this post is a little more graphic than some would like...there are definite moments of TMI, so if you don't wanna read about it, then just click the X at the top right hand corner! : )

For me, personally, the worst was yet to come!  I had a really tough time with recovery.  It was painful and didn't seem like the end was in sight.  I thought giving birth was a joke compared to the recovery.  I should probably start by saying I was fortunate and didn't have any kind of tear (other than a labial tear).  I didn't have an episiotomy, but mainly because my epidural wasn't working so my OB decided against it.  Because I was so lucky in all these regards, I thought the recovery would be a breeze...I was wrong.

One thing I wasn't prepared for was the bleeding!  I knew I would bleed, but I didn't know gallons of the stuff would come out!  It was disgusting and frustrating.  The hospital provides you with these huge underwear and I loved them, haha.  In fact, I asked for some extra ones before we headed home.  They also give you these huge pads.  Again, loved them.  One thing I wish the books would have said: the bleeding doesn't go away for a while.  I thought I would be done bleeding after just a week.  Nope.  And just when you think it starts getting better, you bleed heavily again.  As I said, very frustrating and very disgusting.

Another thing you might not expect: contractions.  Yep, that's right, you're not done with those.  Now, these I can't complain about too much because I didn't think contractions were that horrible when I was in labor.  And before you start saying "yeah but she had an epidural," I made it to 6 without complaining.  Really, I didn't think they were that bad, just weird feeling.  If you're breastfeeding, you'll get contractions more by the way.  A good way to help with this is to force yourself to walk around the hospital floor.  This makes you have contractions and makes you bleed more.  It's a way to speed up that recovery.  I wish I could have done more of it the first day but since we hadn't slept in over 24 hours, I was naturally pretty sleepy.

But the hardest thing, by far, for me was the pain in that area.  Every time I peed, it hurt like crazy...I cried and nearly screamed in pain.  That's how bad it was.  As I've said before, my epidural didn't work for the vaginal area, so I know pain...and yes, those last 3 pushes hurt like hell.  But, I didn't cry!  Yeah, that's how bad this stinging was when I peed.  To make matters worse, it lasted for about a week.  That was horrible.  I never wanted to pee and every time I did, I was in pain for at least 30 minutes after.

Now, I must admit, I'm lucky because I neither got hemorrhoids during or after pregnancy, so I can't give advice there.  But, let me tell you...I've heard they're the worst!   The one thing I can talk about is to also get ready for your booty to be sore!  I mean, you just pushed a baby out quite closely from that area.  Also, the hospital will give you stool softener and send you home with a prescription for it...take it.  That helps.

My last symptom was teaching my boobs that I wasn't going to breast feed.  First off, your boobs get huge and hard.  It wasn't super painful (for me at least) but it was uncomfortable.  I just wore two sports bras for three or four days full time.  Then, once I thought I was in the clear, the leaking started.  Just beware.  Don't wear anything without a bra for at least a month after giving birth.  In fact, just wear those pads just in case...I didn't...I should have.  Ewwwwww....I know.  I learned the hard, and embarrassing way.  Also, in case you don't leak when your baby cries.  It's pretty fascinating and gross all at the same time.

Here's my advice for women recovering:  

(1) Walk. around as much as you can (obviously don't over do it.  I did that once and regretted it because then I didn't want to walk around for quite a few hours after).

(2) ICE PACK ICE PACK ICE PACK.  The stupid nurse didn't give me an ice pack the first day and I really wish she would have.  Evan went out and bought ice packs when we got home and I did that a couple times a day to help with the pain.  It really helped.

(3) Numbing Spray.  Oh yeah, this stuff ROCKS.  I used it 4 times a day for nearly two weeks.  While it sounds disgusting, I found it easier for Evan to spray it on there for me because he could get a better angle.  I'll do another post some day about how essential spousal support is through the recovery process.

(4)  Medication Regiment.  When you're at the hospital, they come and give you your medication every 4 to 6 hours (depending on what you're taking).  I wanted as much as possible to be medication free so I only took Ibuprofen.  But, when I got home I did some stupid things: I only took the medications when I started having pain.  Evan quickly changed this and even asked me if I wanted the Lortab.  I caved in...I took it for a week and also took the Ibuprofen.  Every four hours, like clock work, I took some sort of medication.  This was amazing.

OOOK, I think I'm done with recovery updates.  Was that some effective birth control or what? ; )


  1. I think YOU should write the next "what to expect when expecting". That thing needs to be updated badly anyway! =) You're a great writer and I'm glad you write the stuff no one ever talks about... I'll definitely use your blog as reference in the future, hehe.. Love yall!

  2. dude. the numbing spray? BEST THING EVER! also. a little too good because oversprayed many a time and my tongue went numb.

  3. Is there a medical reason why you chose not to breastfeed?

  4. The main reason I chose not to breastfeed is because I'm studying for the bar exam and I just don't have time. I go to bed at 2 a.m. every day as it is with all the work I have to do...yuck! : ( Maybe with the next though!

    In the mean time, my husband loves that I'm not breastfeeding because he gets to feed her whenever he wants and they can spend a bunch of time together.

  5. The recovery is horrid! I was allergic to both of my boys. I didn't know that was possible, but I broke out in a rash ALL over and literally was scratching my skin off for 3 weeks. Add adema to that and you have a fun filled recovery. Thanks for posting this. Happy SITS.

  6. Ah, the memories . . . makes me all nostalgic and stuff.

  7. Girl, that numbing spray was the Best! Thing! Ever!!! And, yes, the heavy (HEAVY!) bleeding came as a surprise to me. Why on earth does no one talk about this?!?

  8. HAHA while this hasn't put me off baby-making. I bet it would my husband, so glad he won't see all this.

    Happy SITS day!