Apologies for all the back-to-back pregnancy posts but I want to make sure I get these out of the way before I forget the gory details (LOL). It seems like everyone really wants to know the nitty gritty of what happens AFTER you give birth and I totally understand why. Not many people talk about because quite frankly it’s gross, personal, TMI, etc. BUT, you know me. I love to share details because I want you to walk away from my blog feeling like you’ve gained value from reading it. So if that means getting into the details of my vagina post-birth then so be it!
I decided to break each category down to make it easy for you in case you are only interested in a particular area of postpartum. Of course, if I miss anything feel free to leave a comment below and I will get back to you. Hope you aren’t too grossed out…enjoy!
I had a little internal tearing that my doctor sewed up really well after labor. I felt nothing when it happened and while he was sewing me up (thanks to the epidural). The stitches dissolve on their own so there isn’t any painful removal or anything. I attempted to find them once to see if there was anything visibly different but it was too difficult to see anything so I gave up. I’m going with all is well down there.
Once you’re moved into the recovery room after birth a nice nurse came and hoisted me into a very large adult “diaper.” Basically a pair of hospital-grade boy shorts with a massive pad. To me a pad is very uncomfortable but you don’t exactly have a choice. My recovery looked like a heavy period. The first day was the worst and each day it got lighter, just like a regular period. Luckily, I didn’t have any scary blood clots or crazy crime scene in my panties. I know that happens a lot with birth recoveries so I’m very thankful I didn’t have any of that.
As my bleeding lightened up, I down-sized my pads and switched to a regular underwear (not thong). The hospital also gave me witch hazel cooling pads to place over the pad, which is honestly the best. It’s very soothing and helps with the healing. They also gave me a squirt bottle that I fill with warm water to clean after each bathroom session.
The full recovery is supposed to be around 6 weeks–no tampons, working out, sex, or vigorous activity.
The only pain I felt postpartum is pressure in my vagina. Basically my doctor explain that it’s all the fluids puddling in the vagina, making it feel heavy and crampy. While I was in the hospital I was taking Motrin so I didn’t notice the pain at all. When I was discharged they didn’t give me any pain meds to bring home so I woke up to an annoying fever and pain the first morning at home. After realizing I was in pain, I called the doctor and now I’m taking Advil 3 times a day to manage my pain. Occasionally I feel the cramping if I’ve waited too long to take the Advil but it hasn’t been too bad. Nothing is too bad after birth LOL.
So as I said above, when the pain meds are doing their job, I don’t have pain. I can sit just fine but I go down slowly, as to not be too rough on my stitches. I’m not sitting at my desk or any hard chairs though. I can only be at the dining table for a meal before it feels a little uncomfortable. I’m pretty situated on the couch for feedings, pumping, visitations, relaxing, etc. It’s still only been a few days (currently writing this post at Day 6 postpartum) so I’m not too worried about my couch potato ways quite yet.
It’s truly incredible how our bodies work. My uterus is shrinking in size every single day in a very noticeable way. Apparently breast feeding really helps the uterus shrink down so I’m glad that has worked out for me. The fluids seem to have disappeared too, which makes me very happy because I can finally wear my shoes again! But my stomach has really amazed me. I was lucky and didn’t have any stretch marks, but I’m still using oils to ensure the shrinking process doesn’t leave my skin cracked. I can’t work out yet but I can already tell that I will need to work on my waist–it seems wider so I’ll need to tone up the shape. Also, because I laid out so much during my pregnancy my stomach is insanely tan now that the skin isn’t stretched out. Not mad about that, obviously.
Before I got pregnant I was 115 pounds. The day I gave birth I weighed 142. I gained 27 pounds during this pregnancy and when I got home 3 days later I weighed 130. When I look back at my pictures right when I found out I was pregnant (January 2018) I feel like I look a little too skinny. I like having some curves to my body so I’m thinking I want to get to 120 pounds with a nice shape and tone. I’m excited to embark on this fitness journey with my trainer so stay tuned for that. I also have a fun activewear collab coming out soon so that is motivating me to get into shape!
They say your boobs with go up 2 sizes after your milk comes in. I feel like that’s pretty accurate. Not that I have measured or anything, but my boobs are massive right now. So far one of the most annoying things happening with my boobs is the midnight sweats I have because my milk is coming in. I wake up about twice each night drenched in sweat. Breast feeding is a whole animal in itself and I’m happy to get into that in another post, but I do feel like having the right tools to make your life as easy as possible is key. I’ll keep you posted on that in a few weeks.
This is one thing NO ONE prepped me for. We are all so focused on the vagina, tearing, pain, etc. that sometimes the little things that are truly the most uncomfortable are forgotten. I’m not entirely sure if the night sweats are happening because my milk is coming in or if it’s all the hormones from labor, but every night I have to change my clothes twice because I wake up drenched in sweat. It’s my least favorite part of the postpartum recovery so far. I can’t keep my hair clean to save my life and the amount of laundry I’m doing to keep up with the sweaty bedding, towels, and pajamas is absurd. So far everyone I’ve spoken to has said it can last anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months but I’m reallllllly hoping it’s on the shorter side for me.
On the flip side, I do feel like I’m sweating out a lot of the fluids, which is contributing to my shrinking belly and overall swelling. So…if that’s accurate, I guess I shouldn’t really complain. But I mean, it does suck LOL.
When you give birth your hormones are raging. I feel like I wasn’t too hormonal during my pregnancy, but now that baby is here I’m a mess. I cry at everything–mostly happy tears–and feel SUPER emotional about everything. I can’t even lie, I was really nervous about postpartum depression because of my thyroid condition. I didn’t know if my hormones would handle it well or if I would be depressed. The overwhelming level of love I have for my baby and situation clearly says otherwise, but I do feel the effects of my raging hormones. The night sweats, tears, and emo tendencies are definitely in full swing.
I think that’s basically it. I feel like my recovery has been really great so far. I can’t really complain because I feel great and nothing has been SO terrible. I do feel like following the advice of your doctor, eating healthy, drinking LOTS of water, and rest is the key to a fast recovery. I am VERRRRRRRRY lucky to have a night nurse because it allows me to maximize sleep at night, which is a big part of the recovery process. I can’t even imagine how I would feel if I wasn’t getting the sleep I am getting. Paul and I have repeatedly expressed our gratitude for having a night nurse after 3 sleepless nights in the hospital. It has really allowed us to enjoy these initial days with our baby and have enough energy to be present and happy.