I have been trying to find time to sit down and write this for weeks now but it just hasn’t happened. I have finally resigned myself to typing it out in my phone which I HATE but if I don’t do it now the whole thing will become a fuzzy distant memory and that’s not helpful to anyone, least of all me if my ovaries start to ache again and I think I want another baby.
Here we go, best as I can remember.
DAY 1 – OMFG I feel like I have been hit by a truck. My body feels wobbly, like a skeleton hanging from the ceiling and jiggling at the joints. Is my pelvis even connected anymore? And that region between my legs? I know I wanted a natural birth but faaaaaaark. OUCH.
They had to put a catheter in last night as my bladder wasn’t draining and it was pushing my uterus off to the side so at 4am they were sticking stuff inside the place that had just been stitched and stretched within an inch of its life. I feel a bit ripped off about this but anyway.
I think it is safe to announce that NO HUMAN IS COMING OUT OF MY VAGINA WVER AGAIN. We are done.
But are we done? Is this what complete feels like? People always say they know. I started analysing this almost as soon as she was born. I can say with certainty that I am ok with this being what my family looks like. No one is missing to my knowledge but you know, sometimes people just show up and then you can’t live your life without them so I am ok with that too…I suppose. So in short, I’m not ready to tie loops in any tubes or anything but I would approach the third child thing hesitantly.
On the upside, baby did quite well last night but they always do the first night. They are generally so shell shocked from being brought out into the bright lights of life that they sleep like they are never going to sleep again for months.
DAY 2 – yeah so the baby woke up. I confess, I had a moment during the incessant night feeding last night where I stared at her and thought “What have I done?”. I adore her and she is beautiful and I wouldn’t give her up for all the tea in China but man, I’d kind of forgotten the intensity of the newborn bringing the milk in phase. It takes awhile and it isn’t easy. My nipples are fucking killing me.
No more babies. We are done. Forget the birth issue, I don’t have another season of night feeds in me.
As far as the body goes I do not yet feel as good as I would like. I mean, people go home from hospital by now regularly in the public system. I am simply getting mollycoddled because I am in the luxurious private system! So I expected to feel better than this by now. When I stand up it feels like my vagina and whatever else is in there (bladder? Uterus?) is about to come falling out of my body. The pressure is intense. It is heavy.
They took the catheter out this morning which was a relief as it was starting to get caught and pull a bit as I was moving around to change nappies etc so I was worried about doing some damage. The thing had to go.
Did some walking around the ward today. It was minimal but it is progress.
DAY 3 – The OB scooted in and out so quick I barely saw him. Body still feels like it is breaking. They are going to send a Physio for me to chat to as maybe it is a bit too much because of the whole sacrum popping thing during the pushing stage. Baby has started that “DON’T PUT ME DOWN” phase some of them seem to favour and it is terrifying me that this is will be her thing.
I thought I’d feel a lot better by now. Waaaahhhh. After being more mobile today and yesterday I started to get a scratchy feeling on the inside of my vagina. It feels like maybe on a stitch? And it stings like a motherfucker when blood comes out of there. The perenium…not so bad. But this does not feel right.
I think I’m going home tomorrow but no one really has told me officially. Some midwives in the evening have the chirpy “Going home tomorrow?” question but I don’t know how I’m supposed to answer that. I STILL haven’t pooped so I figure that might keep me about for awhile? Eric has a few things to do in the morning and I think there is a check out time so not sure how that is going to work. The whole thing is stressing me out a bit.
DAY 4 – Baby blues arrived overnight on schedule. Thankfully had an amazing midwife on who took Holly for a bit to try and allow me some sleep. This internal graze business is really painful. I was basically sat on the toilet in the middle of the night bawling my eyes out with the pain. I am starting to feel ripped off by my vaginal birth. Isn’t it supposed to be easier than a c-section recovery? Because right now it doesn’t actually feel that way AT ALL. The c-section recovery was no picnic but I don’t remember it sucking this hard.
Maybe my expectations were too high? I don’t know. All I know is that I thought it would be easier than I am experiencing.
Had to have an enema this morning because still hadn’t pooped. Thought that would be an awful experience but honestly the pressure to go was so intense by that point I almost kissed them when they suggested it and it wasn’t all that bad. Why does no one talk about these experiences? Surely women are having them all the time?
We are home by lunch time after more tears and I am so grateful my mum is here but am so uncomfortable I’m not expressing it very well. Monkey is sick so we are trying to keep him away from the baby. It is stressful. I am so happy to see him and he just wants to shower her with love and we can’t let him and ugh. This is hard.
DAY 5 – I didn’t think it was possible but I feel worse today. That graze is REALLY painful. This healing from a tear business is no fun. People keep asking to visit and I keep saying no as I feel so awful. I pretty much can’t walk properly. I hobble and hold the area between my legs as when the blood gushes out it stings so bad. It is intense but surprisingly mood wise I am coping ok, just not very chatty.
DAY 6 – I let my neighbour visit as she has been asking since the birth and we talk a bit about healing from tears – she had them with both her births. Mine seems more intense than it should be so I decide to call the OB and leave a message for the midwife to call me to talk about whether or not to come in. Around lunchtime the local area midwife calls to arrange an appt and I tell her what I am experiencing. She says to put pressure on my OB’s office to see me ASAP as it could be something serious so I get on the phone and start hassling. Finally I get to speak to someone around 3pm and they tell me to come straight in. Then it’s a fucking last minute nightmare dash out the door when they could have just called back this morning but anyway, at least I am getting it looked at.
Anyway, turns out my OB LEFT A SWAB inside me when stitching me up and that’s what has been causing all these issues with the graze and bleeding and walking and recovering. I love my OB, I do, but for fucks sake dude. I felt about a million times better as soon as he removed it. The transformation was incredible. Suddenly I felt lighter and happy and chatty and NORMAL. No wonder things felt so heavy in that area.
He gave me antibiotics but they can impact baby and breastmilk so just going to see how it feels over the next few days before delving into that (at his advice). I see him again in just under a week for follow up. He is sheepish to say the least.
DAY 7 – one week since baby girl was born and finally I feel a bit normal. NOW I can see more what people are talking about when they say recovery from a vaginal birth is so much easier. This is better and I’m not even 100% yet.
DAY 9 – last night it was just Holly and me hanging out. I am all set for a night of being on my own for a gazillion night feeds but she isn’t waking for her usual feed times. I try to wake her and find that tricky. Eventually I manage it but she feeds quite slowly and sluggishly and for a much shorter time. Is she sick? Something doesn’t feel right. Her temp is 37.5 C which is borderline concerning for a newborn. Once Eric gets back at lunchtime things haven’t improved and I am starting to stress so off we go to the local hospital ER.
AWFUL! As soon as they ask me her name I burst into tears. I was so afraid that after all we’d been through to get her something was about to come and take her away from me.
DAY 12 – we bought baby girl home from hospital for the second time yesterday. It is has been a bit full on as my milk went down when she wasn’t feeding as much while sick so we are working on bringing the supply up again.
Today we venture out together, just the two of us, for our follow up appointment with the OB after SWABGATE. The graze, while improved, is still bugging me so I ask him to take a look. It IS a stitch and it is slightly inflamed so I am NOT completely crazy which makes me feel relieved. He gives me different antibiotics which are supposed to be the shiz for this sort of thing.
DAY 14 – two days of antibiotics so far and I am feeling good and pain free. THIS is what I am expecting for my vaginal birth. It has been an adventure but can now honestly say that I feel better at 2 weeks post partum than I did 2 weeks post c-section so that’s a win for the vagina!
5+ weeks PP
Well here’s how it has all panned out a few weeks on.
- Baby girl got an upset tummy from the antibiotics I was on so that shit was trying. I stopped them after 6 days which OB was ok with. I had a follow up appointment last week and he says all looks good. Apparently I am cleared for…ahem…usual activities. We’ll see.I am not bursting to get back there.
- I am starting to get a bit concerned that I have a bowel injury from the birth and that is not making me happy. Nothing too major but there are some less than ideal symptoms so it is back in touch with the OB about this, just when he thought he had closed my file! Ha! I have been doing kegels like crazy to strengthen the area so I hope it helps. If something is going on down there then I can safely say this is my last baby. There is no way I would do it all again and ruin it completely. Fuck that.
Childbirth is brutal peeps. Some of us come through unscathed, others carry a lifetime of bumps and bruises and scars with them that they need to deal with. I feel sorry for women before the advancement of medical science. If they survived the whole caper I bet their bits were never the same again. Awful.
Writing all this out has made me see how tough this process has been for me. And yet my mood has stayed relatively normal throughout it all. So those birth hormones that I missed out on because I was asleep for Monkey’s birth really have been so powerful this time. It is incredible. I am glad I had this experience and wouldn’t change my choice for anything despite the hurdles. On the morning they broke my waters I prayed for a birth without trauma whatever happened and I believe I got that. Sure the aftermath has been trickier than I anticipated but I am not traumatised by the birth and that was what was really important to me.
You know my Grandma had 7 babies and my nana 6. Talk about some amazing women and amazing bodies. I am in awe of them.
…and so these are the days postpartum…