Here’s another baby related blog post! Unlike my birth story, this one isn’t traumatizing. I had a lot of people say that after reading my birth story post, they thought twice about having kids haha. My birth experience wasn’t the best, but I will say I will do it all over again to have another baby like Brooks. I literally cannot get enough of that little ball of cuteness. Anyway, back to POSTPARTUM! This is a topic I feel like isn’t talked or asked about as much as it should be. I know this was a topic I was also SO curious about pre-birth because I was terrified about everything about delivery and recovery. I will get into all the details and be warned now, there will be a lot of TMI happening!
Everyone’s postpartum experience is different, it’s up to your body on how fast or slow it wants to recover, and also what your body went through during labor. I am going to break down the topics I experienced and go into detail on that! Hope you aren’t eating a delicious meal right now! 😉
One week postpartum
You don’t feel pain immediately after you birth the baby. I was so drugged up and out of it, I was in zero pain! All the pain began the next day for me. I never had any vagina pain, just lower abdomen area where the uterus is. I was sooo crampy and achey. It was like a very bad period cramp mixed with occasional sharp pains. Sometimes I thought I was having contractions.The doctors gave me a stronger dose of ibuprofen while I was in the hospital to take for the pain, and also when I was discharged to go home. This lasted for a full two weeks, and then it began to wean off. I was fortunate enough not to rip during birth, so the vagina area was the least of my worries.
My stomach was in a very weird state for three weeks. It was shrinking so fast, that my skin didn’t even feel like my skin when I would touch it. My skin was so sensitive, it almost hurt to touch. Everyday I noticed a difference on the size of my belly, it was shrinking at a rapid pace and that is probably why my pains were so strong. At week four I am able to fit into one of my high-waist jeans, which now I am living in them because I have been dying to wear my denim for the last five months. My hips are much wider, which I cannot wait to start working out and slimming that area back down. But in good news, all my shoes fit again, and I don’t have to wear my UGG slippers everywhere! The body seriously does amazing things, I’m still shocked to this day by the changes.
Well…after not having a period for the last seven months, I sure had a wakeup call! The bleeding begins immediately after birth. I never felt pressure on my vagina, but the bleeding was happening. It’s a very heavy bleeding cycle, much more than a heavy period. It was disgusting and probably my least favorite thing about postpartum. I always felt dirty, and being in a diaper or pad wasn’t fun. Yes..diaper. Trust me, it’s not a glorious time. My bleeding lasted a full two weeks, and then it just went away. The doctors said it could last anywhere up to 4-6 weeks after birth. Don’t be scared if you have a blood clot or two, but def know what’s normal by asking your doctor! After birth, all my modesty was gone and I gave zero shits who saw what, and what gross questions I had to ask. My bleeding phase was short, but gross…
I was very non-mobile for almost a week. Normally the doctors would have you walk around, etc., but I was still battling my blood pressure so they wanted me on bed rest. When I did move around, it was very slow and uncomfortable. I couldn’t lay on my side right away, that took about two weeks. My body was undergoing so much change so fast, and was definitely telling me to slowww down. I was the ultimate couch potato, and for the first time I didn’t mind it one bit.
As many of you have noticed, I have boobs now! I didn’t get any while pregnant, but definitely afterwards. It’s from breast pumping, and as great as it is to have them, the beginning stage was BRUTAL. It felt like I had gotten a boob job. They were so swollen from milk building up, rock hard, and basically to my chin. I had to literally plan my days around pumping because of the pain, and the leakage. To get the milk flowing, I was pumping every 3 hours. At first, I had NOTHING, then one week later I was filling up bottles. It’s finally calmed down at week 4 and I am able to go about my day not wearing a bra or pettles on my boobs so they don’t leak through, and they don’t fill up and become rock hard. I pump about 3 times a day now, and feel completely normal! I do leak occasionally, so I plan what I’m wearing if I am going to be out and about.
The one thing I tried SO hard not to get…stretch marks. I have two right below my belly button on both the left and right side. One is much more noticeable than the other. You can see it in the picture above. I am working really hard on treating it to make it go away. Anyone have good tips to get rid of them!? I would appreciate it sooo much, these need to go.
Knock on wood…I haven’t experienced a change in my emotions. I’m not a very emotional person to begin with, and I don’t feel like much has changed. Given we were experiencing a tough first month with Brooks being in the NICU, but I felt I was more put together with my emotions than ever. I had a few breakdowns here and there, but for the most part I was able to keep it all together. When Brooks came home, the emotion level was still the same. I haven’t experienced the postpartum blues, no freak outs, I’ve just been pretty happy and excited!
This is the most bizarre aspect of postpartum. I briefly had heard about it from others, but the night sweats are a thing! I don’t sweat all over my body, just my head. I wake up and it’s like I just went for a light workout. I’m always hot at night even with the AC. I started getting this at like week two postpartum, waiting for it to end!
One month postpartum
I hope my experience has helped prepare you or feel like you aren’t alone during this wild recovery phase. Giving birth is one thing, but postpartum is totally another story. All you mama’s out there, I PRAISE YOU! Our bodies go through an intense work of labor, and I am proud of what I have accomplished.
I wanted to list out things that I found to be helpful to purchase for postpartum! I highly recommend them all, I used all of them 🙂 If there is anything else I missed, comment below to help all our mama and soon-to-be mama’s get through postpartum!
- Women’s diapers / pads
- Peri Bottle to clean area
- Comfy underwear that you aren’t going to be sad about ruining
- Cleansing wipes
- Nursing Pads
- Comfy bralettes, nothing tight!