Saturday, December 12, 2015

10 Things I Wish I Knew About Postpartum

So during my pregnancy each week I read a few different apps as to what was going on. And I read a few books. Things that prepared me for each week. Also I read a lot about labor and delivery. 
What I didn't read a lot about was recovering. And what would happen after the baby is born. There is a lot out there about this topic. But I just didn't feel like it was that necessary. I'm such a naive first time mom, huh? If you're a first time mom-to-be I highly suggest you research about what happens to your body after the baby is here. And especially if you're having a hospital birth, it's a good idea to have an idea of what they do after your baby is born. 

Every recovery is different, just like every birth is different. Some have an easy time and some have a hard time. Since I had a pretty hard labor and delivery, my recovery hasn't been a breeze either. So here a few things that happened to me afterwards that I was so clueless about. 

1. Body Shakes- Lucky for me, my whole body shook the moment I got admitted to the hospital. But that has always been my way of showing nerves for some reason. What I didn't know is that it would become uncontrollable and hurt. And get worse right after the baby is born. It's your body's way of dealing with all the hormones. My entire body was so sore for a week after. 

2. Swollen Legs- My whole pregnancy I didn't deal with being swollen. Well apparently if you're pumped full of fluids during labor your legs will swell so much. And they'll also feel like 20 lbs each. My doctor kindly told me that it'll go away in three weeks. THREE WEEKS?! I was terrified l. Thankfully after just a week they're back to normal. 

3. Dignity- Yup, you'll lose that and not feel ashamed. There was a lot of things that I used to care about that went out the window after I had Ellie. I basically was useless the first few days and could barely bathe or dress myself. Caleb was the biggest help and never once matter what I asked of him. 

4. Bleeding- Okay, I knew that I would bleed a lot. But what I didn't know is that while in the hospital nurses would press on my stomach and push out blood every so if I wasn't tired of pain already. They have to make sure your uterus is going back down and it's not like they press to hard, but after going through labor and delivery. It's not a nice feeling. I didn't want anyone touching me after I gave it was just miserable. And they aren't kidding when they say you'll be wearing a diaper. But after putting in healing tuks pads and pain reliving spray, I had not a single care about what I was wearing, at the time. 

5. Aches and pains- After delivery I experienced the worst body aches. And they didn't go away until the second week. I literally felt like my whole body was beaten up. I actually looked like it because I bruise so easily and I had a lot of IVs in both arms so I had so many bruises. And if you have back labor, or something happens to your back during labor. Be prepared for it to hurt really bad afterwards. I see a chiropractor and I highly suggest going to one after you give birth to set your spine back into place. 

6. Cramps and contractions- I don't think I knew about this. When I got home from the hospital I started having the worst cramps I have felt. Thankfully I know quite a few people who have given birth that reassured me that they're normal and it's just everything contracting into place. But I seriously thought I was about to have another baby....(yes, I'm pretty dramatic) 

7. Breastfeeding- This is probably a whole other post within itself. But I never knew how hard breastfeeding was. And I'm talking about the pain. I think I have forgotten all about the birth pain because every time I fed Ellie I just cringe because it hurts so bad. I was told the first few weeks are the worst so I just did everything I could to distract myself...."conceal...don't feel...."

8. Emotional Mess- While I was pregnant, I actually didn't have crazy mood swings. Of course I could be moody here and there but not the "typical" pregnancy mood swings you hear of. The week after I had Ellie...I cried. A lot. Anything would put me in tears. Most of the time it was just looking at her. Poor Caleb would ask me what's wrong and I would say I have no clue. We would end up laughing about it because I was warned that I would be flooded with emotions. Of course I thought that I would be in the clear since I handled pregnancy emotions well. Nope. I wasn't. And I still will cry over things. Mainly unknown. 

9. Exhaustion- Not only are you trying to recover...but you have a little life that you have to care for. Most newborns have their days and nights mixed up, so you can kiss a goodnight's sleep goodbye for a long time. I have never felt so tired but yet I still find energy to take care of her. It's a weird feeling. But I certainly long for a night's sleep without interruptions. And sleeping when the baby sleeps? Uhhh yeah that's not possible when I know have things to do like clean, laundry, make food, shower, and  etc. Even though I should rest more because I can't recover unless I'm rested. 

10. Your body- It's hard to describe. But you will not feel like you even know your body. Which makes sense because you just went through so many changes in a matter of hours. And the feeling of "normal" won't return for weeks but it slowly comes back. 

In the end of it all. You will feel the most deep indescribable love for someone. And everything that you're feeling kind of just goes away. You're putting someone else's needs before your own and I think that's why it's easy to forget all the pain that we just went through. And even though I had a really hard labor and delivery, it was all worth it for my daughter. I would go through it all again, just for her.