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What no one ever told you about the post-partum period... - Page 3

post #41 of 63
How much help you'll need your first night at home.

Maybe it was just because we had twins and a homebirth, but I didn't plan anything for the first night. My mom, DH and I were exhausted from labor. Thank G*D my in-laws came. They didn't even ask, they just descended, stayed in our guest room and brought the babies to me whenever someone needed feeding. I never changed a meconium diaper, it was perfect.
post #42 of 63
I don't know if it is a common experience, but after all four of my births (two c-sections and two vaginal births) I would have these bouts where I would get the chills really severely. It happened maybe 5 to 7 days PP, mostly at night (though there were a couple of times when it happened during the day). It was very weird- my teeth would start chattering, I would shiver so hard my muscles hurt (especially after my c-sections, that hurt so bad!). I would wrap myself in the thickest blanket I could find and it would pass in about 5 or 10 minutes. I don't know if it was a hormonal thing, but it was really unpleasant.
post #43 of 63
That my vagina's appearance would frighten me! Another poster said don't look...there's no way I could not look, but dang, I just had NO idea parts could get that swollen and um, open.

That I would be scared to poop...after the birth I swore I'd never poop again, was even scared to eat. Thanks to stool softeners, it wasn't half as bad as I had imagined...

That I would be so incredibly sore, all over. As the previous poster said, felt like I'd been hit by a semitruck. For some reason, I expected just to be sore "down there" but EVERY single muscle everywhere hurt. Blinking hurt!

What surprised me most of all was how relaxed I was with my newborn. Once she was born, every worry I had totally disappeared and I actually felt like I was born to be a mother and knew just what to do. That went hand in hand with the total and absolute instant love I had for her. Both of those feelings were a great relief since I never grew up wanting children, didn't like to be around kids or babies, and all during pregnancy felt rather ambivelant about being a mother.
post #44 of 63
I had those chills too. It was a remarkably rainy and miserable October so I just thought that was it.

I didn't expect my feet to hurt so much after giving birth. LOL I spent a good chunk of my labor walking. A lot of it was barefoot or slippers instead of comfy track shoes I was afraid messing up.

I really could have used more help with my older child. She wanted to be right on top of me and I get why she wanted to be close but I just didn't a square inch of skin left to spare anyone.

The hunger, thirst and need do pee do not mean you have diabetes or that the gestational diabetes didn't go away! My mom kept hounding me not to eat and drink so much. I earned that brownie!
post #45 of 63
Oh, I forgot one thing - I never expected to wake up in puddles of milk and sweat for MONTHS after DS was born! It took me forever to find a system that worked for nighttimes where we didn't both wake up wet and smelling of sour breastmilk!
post #46 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post
Ahh, thanks.

Not to be snarky, but this is kind of abbreviation to the extreme & is confusing to newcomers like myself. I mean SEX has the same # of letters. (or is that word taboo?)
This is off-topic, but I totally agree! I don't like euphemisms for sex, anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smeisnotapirate View Post
Oh, I forgot one thing - I never expected to wake up in puddles of milk and sweat for MONTHS after DS was born! It took me forever to find a system that worked for nighttimes where we didn't both wake up wet and smelling of sour breastmilk!
Hah, yes! The first morning that I woke up soaked w/ urine (thankfully, hers), sweat, and breastmilk (I leaked so much that I totally soaked through the lansinoh disposable pads overnight), I thought, "huh, I guess I'm officially a mother now."

Finally, I just want to add my voice to the others recommending stool softeners (or fiber or something). I was sore after labor, but that was nothing compared to how horrible I felt after one particularly awful bowel movement a week or so PP. The pain from that (I don't know if I actually had a fissure, or if it reopened an internal laceration from labor, or what) lasted about 6 weeks, and I didn't feel totally "safe" pooping for months. Ugh.
post #47 of 63
I wish someone had told me that even if you had a completely unmedicated, natural, vaginal birth, it would still be hard to remember how to pee afterwards! It was like my muscles just couldn't remember what to do to let the pee come out. Next time I will definitely try to peppermint oil trick!

I also wish someone could explain to me how my upper body could be sooo sore when the baby did not come out anywhere near that area. I felt like I had over-done it at the gym for weeks.

That I would get less rest at the hospital than I would at home. It seemed like everytime DD and I would fall asleep a nurse, ped, or MW would come and want something from us. I left there totally exhausted.
post #48 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by channelofpeace View Post
I don't know if it is a common experience, but after all four of my births (two c-sections and two vaginal births) I would have these bouts where I would get the chills really severely. It happened maybe 5 to 7 days PP, mostly at night (though there were a couple of times when it happened during the day). It was very weird- my teeth would start chattering, I would shiver so hard my muscles hurt (especially after my c-sections, that hurt so bad!). I would wrap myself in the thickest blanket I could find and it would pass in about 5 or 10 minutes. I don't know if it was a hormonal thing, but it was really unpleasant.
Finally someone else that this happened to! It happened to me once during my pregnancy and a few times during labor. It was so unpleasant and I couldn't move I was so cold even with blankets on me. I had to have the heater on me full blast. It also happened after my first birth.
post #49 of 63
Immediately after:

1) That I would pee out most of the extra fluids I was carrying within an hour of birth.
(I wasn't retaining a lot of water; I could still wear all my rings. But you put on 50% more blood volume to support the baby's circulation, and even though I was peeing about every 20 minutes during labor, I was amazed by the racehorse-like bathroom visit the first time I got up after my kids were born.

2) How HUNGRY I would be right afterwards. I think I handed both babies off to DH after their first nursings, the better to STUFF MY OWN FACE

3) Leaving a blood trail from the bed to the bathroom. Ew. The books describe it as "Like a heavy period," but man, mine have never been THAT heavy.

4) Even if you feel GRAND a week after giving birth, your pelvic ligaments may not have tightened back up. Going for a 2-mile walk, even a leisurely one, may feel good for mile 1, but by the end of mile two you MIGHT just feel your pelvic bones grating against each other
post #50 of 63
How big my feet swelled! Seriously, like three times bigger than normal, I couldn't fit any of my shoes or socks, had to wear my husband's shoes, sans socks! And they stayed swollen for over 2 weeks! 6 weeks postpartum, they still feel a little swollen every once in a while.

And I was SO worried about the first bowel movement, and just took one stool softener and drank a glass of plumb juice morning and night, and three days after birth, I had my first bowel movement, and it was an absolute piece of cake. Actually it was almost heavenly, as my stomach hurt it was so full of poop!

Oh, and my arms hurt worse than ANYTHING after birth, because I used them to pull up my legs while giving birth on my back, and pushing for 3 hours! My arms were so tired and sore, I couldn't even pick up or hold my baby for like 2 or 3 days, or it hurt really bad to do so!

When the baby is first born, they sleep really good at first, so take advantage of the sleep for the first week or so, because soon after it's like the baby becomes more demanding, and you only get a couple hours of sleep every night. And DEFINITELY do what everyone tells you to do, REST after birth, for the first couple weeks, do NOTHING except lounge in bed with baby, no housework at all.

And my biggest shocks of all is that I cried so much the following day or two after birth, I was SUPER emotional, and I was so sure that I was going to breastfeed that I didn't even plan for a bottle baby, and refused to entertain the notion of it. Well she was born with latch issues, and breastfeeding has pretty much gone out the window, she wouldn't latch, my supply dropped, and pumping sucks. Yeah that made me cry the hardest...basically be prepared and at least prepare yourself that maybe not everything will turn out how you want.
post #51 of 63
Thread Starter 
I too, felt like I'd been hit by a truck two days afterwards. I had Pitocin but no pain meds, and those contractions were intense. I remember trying to relax my shoulders with every.single.contraction, but I still ended up feeling super sore in my shoulders and back two days later. This was right when the hormones were really doing a number on me, too, so it was hard.
post #52 of 63
I wish someone would have warned me that I'd have trouble breathing after giving birth! I pushed flat on my back () for more than four hours, pulling my legs up with my arms. My chest muscles were absolutely pushed beyond their endurance, and it hurt to breathe for days after that. I didn't make the connection for a while, though, and I was scared that I was struggling to breathe - I thought I had seriously injured something, or was having some weird complication.

I didn't realize just how physically and emotionally overwhelming my letdown would be once my milk came in. For the first few weeks, I would burst into tears every time my milk let down. Nobody prepared me for that!

I wish someone had warned DH just how much of an emotional rollercoaster the first few months would be. I was a hormonal mess - it was like three months of the worst PMS ever. Yuck!!!
post #53 of 63
what surprised me was:

-how much peeing could BURN!
-how my first BM was just as bad as giving birth!! (take those stool softeners) It was 10 days before I could go...omg
-That the muscles down there feel like they have gone to mush. I had to relearn how to go to the bathroom
-That I got ZERO after pains
-That I swelled up AFTER giving birth and none in my pregnancy
-How GREAT that first pp shower would feel
-How great I would feel just 3 days after birth, I seriously thought I could run a marathon
-How I woke up drenched in sweat every single night
-How emotional everything was. You only needed to look in my direction and I would start bawling
-How much hair would fall out even up till 4 months later!!!
post #54 of 63
I third the "do not look down thar" advice. Gory.

Also, prepare yourself to languish like a Victorian woman decked in ruffles for a few weeks. My version of "not taking it easy" was getting up for ten minutes... whereupon I blacked out in the shower. Next time I'm not even going to THINK about being the superwoman who slings her baby and walks to the organic market two days after the birth... I'm going to plan on utter sloth. I felt kind of silly being so feeble after birth, but combine labor with sleep deprivation and I really had no more energy than required for going to the bathroom and breastfeeding.
post #55 of 63
Thread Starter 
bump!
post #56 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
I third the "do not look down thar" advice. Gory.

Also, prepare yourself to languish like a Victorian woman decked in ruffles for a few weeks. My version of "not taking it easy" was getting up for ten minutes... whereupon I blacked out in the shower. Next time I'm not even going to THINK about being the superwoman who slings her baby and walks to the organic market two days after the birth... I'm going to plan on utter sloth. I felt kind of silly being so feeble after birth, but combine labor with sleep deprivation and I really had no more energy than required for going to the bathroom and breastfeeding.

Yes. I had an uncomplicated, unmedicated natural birth. Only had a tiny tear. And I couldn't carry a laundry basket or walk up stairs without blacking out for the first two weeks. I walked around the block after two weeks and felt like I was going to die. And this is from someone who exercised the entire pregnancy. This time I know to give myself a few weeks before trying to do, well, anything.
post #57 of 63
I was surprised at just how swollen everything was after the birth. It felt really weird (and painful!) to walk around.

I was also surprised at how difficult it was to pee the first time. A trick my mom told me worked with both of my labors. Put water in a cup, put a straw in, blow into the straw as you try to pee. It relaxed me and I peed pretty easily after that. Phew.

Use your peri bottle! Really! Spray while you pee.

I ate tons of raisins to help with the first bowel movement after birth and that worked.

I was surprised that my 2 year old suddenly looked like a giant kid next to the tiny newborn I was holding.
post #58 of 63
That I would get severe cramping every time I BF, man it felt like labor pains all over again. When I had DS2 at the hospital I requested a heat pack and they looked at me like I was an alien and brought back a warm wet wash cloth in a garbage bag. Not sure what they thought that was going to do.

Oh and that I would be wearing maternity clothes for weeks after having the baby.
post #59 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by smeisnotapirate View Post
Nobody told me:

* breastfeeding would be worse than labor and more agonizing - but totally worth every second
* that my c-section meant that for the next 3+ mo, I would be wearing granny panties (I hate those things!)
* afterpains! Nobody even mentions those!
* sex after a c-section SUCKS. Most positions do nothing but remind you of your scar, and you're so horribly tight and dry.... yuck. We didn't have comfortable sex for months.
* post-c-section, you feel like your insides are going to fall out every time you move. I had a towel wrapped around my belly just to move from the bed to a chair.
* your scar is EXACTLY where baby likes kicking while they nurse.
* PPD might not show up for months, so keep watch!

That's kinda a sad list.... I'm trying to come up with a positive to my postpartum period with DS, but there's not much.

I'm excited to actually get to hold my baby after my HBAC this time! And take a shower after giving birth! What a luxury!


i had a c/s too (two actually) and not all of this was true for me (not to be contrary, just another perspective!!).

i had such easy recoveries that i overdid it after #2 was born (back to my regular routine within 2 weeks pp, including wearing my newborn for a 3 hour trip downtown). so, my bleeding, which was totally gone, came back. it was about 8 weeks until all of the spotting was entirely gone.

other than that, i never felt any incision pain. i could nurse without a pillow and didn't feel anything, and getting up and down was fine. i mean, it hurt to use my abs for a week or so, but just that one second. oh, well, laughing hurt! i remember after DD1 was born i had to turn off arrested development because it hurt too much to laugh.

sex was another story though! it didn't hurt my incision, just my vagina. but i am one of those women who goes DEEPLY into that pseudo-menopause of nursing, so being dry with the thin vaginal walls was the problem. DD2 is 20 mos old yet and i still haven't gotten my period back. i still have problems with dryness, too. and desire... poor DH!

i wasn't expecting to have so much milk! i also didn't realize the side i wasn't nursing on would spray like it did. a bit shocking the first time! oh, or how BIG my boobs would be when my milk came in. i felt like i'd gone to the hospital for a tummy tuck and a boob job! :-P

it's different for everyone of course, but it can be super easy and blissful like it was for me.
post #60 of 63
-it's not always love at first sight. That's ok, let it happen. It will.
-crazy night sweats for the first month. Kept extra shirts by the bed and slept on a towel!
--Pooing is very scary. Use a wad of toilet paper pressed against your perineum, that helps!
--Pregnant mom hunger is NOTHING compared to nursing mom hunger! You're feeding an even bigger baby now. You'll also be extremely thirsty.

I think the most important thing I wish I'd been told was that everything's going to be okay. It's a huge adjustment, even if you've done it before. Be gentle with yourself.
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