MY POSTPARTUM RECOVERY
Before giving birth, I was actually more scared of the recovery process than I was for labor and delivery! So many people told me that the recovery was the hard part and birth was nothing compared to it! I found that to be the total opposite for me. I had such a horrible birth experience and such an easy physical recovery.
I was so thankful that my recovery wasn’t all that bad. I was actually pretty surprised since my labor and delivery gave me hell. But I guess at that point, God decided to take it easy on me LOL.
Anyway — I’m going to discuss my postpartum recovery starting directly after birth through 11 weeks postpartum. I will also discuss my postpartum mental health!
After giving birth, I was a complete mess. I couldn’t even get off the delivery bed without two nurses helping me up and basically carrying me onto a wheelchair! I felt so so weak and as if my stomach was going to drop to the floor. It felt like my insides were all scrambled up and in the wrong places. It also felt like all my insides were about to pour out of me! Lol, it was a very weird feeling. Luckily, after birth, I wasn’t in pain. It was more like I can’t move because I’m so weak and my stomach feels weird AF. I didn’t have strength — my body was truly defeated and exhausted. So I got wheeled to our recovery room and put into bed around 4:00 am. I couldn’t get up to walk to the bathroom by myself for like a whole 24 hours. It was the hardest thing to do! To walk. It was insane. But each time I did it with the help of my husband, I got stronger and stronger. It felt amazing when I finally did it on my own!
After a few hours, postpartum cramps began. Apparently, you get these insane cramps for AT LEAST a few days to a week after birth. It’s because your uterus is contracting to go back down in size. And each time the cramping came, it literally felt paralyzing. I had to freeze and stop everything I was doing just to get through the 60 seconds of excruciating pain. I don’t mean to scare anyone — but the postpartum cramps hurt like a bitch. Either that or I’m a baby. I know I have a low pain tolerance, but come on now... They were bad. And the cramping would be worse when I’d attempt breastfeeding or pumping. And this pain continued for maybe a week. It would happen at random times but be SO HORRIBLE while pumping. So that was not a great experience.
In the hospital, I was on Motrin and Tylenol around the clock. I would literally page them 10 minutes before my next dose so they wouldn’t be late! Lol. I wish they gave me stronger drugs tbh.
When it came to down south, I shockingly had very minimal tearing. I am so thankful it wasn’t that bad. I didn’t really have a problem sitting much — it was quite an easy recovery for me in that area. I will say, though, the dermaplast spray, ice pads, witch hazel pads, and the peri bottle were all life-savers! It made me feel a lot more comfortable. I was spraying that shit every hour even though it was only supposed to be like three times a day LOL. The hospital provided all that stuff for me, so I didn’t use my own that I brought. When I got home, I had a postpartum basket ready in my bathroom! It had everything I needed in it and I found it very convenient. It had my peri bottle, postpartum disposable underwear (which I loved), pads, witch hazel pads, dermaplast spray, and perennial healing foam. I didn’t find the need to use ice pads once I was home.
As for bleeding, it was pretty heavy the first 24 hours after birth. Then it slowed down quite a bit by the time we left. I gave birth 2:30 am on a Friday and we left around 7 pm on Saturday. I continued to bleed like a period for a good couple weeks. Then, it continued to be a very lightly period for another 2/3 weeks. Bleeding completely stopped around 6 weeks postpartum. Then, I got my period again for the first time at 7.5 weeks postpartum. I did NOT miss that!!!!
Omg one thing that is probably SOOO TMI, but I need to say it, is that it’s kinda easy to pee yourself after birth! It was the weirdest damn thing. It’s because I had the epidural and a catheter was placed. So it’s like your body is learning to control itself again and a couple times I literally just started to pee. LMAO! Luckily I had my disposable underwear on, which is basically a diaper pad, and I was in the bathroom already. It just started flowin’ and I had no control over it. It was so damn weird. 😩😂
BREASTFEEDING / PUMPING
Ah — The most annoying thing in the world! I hate pumping and I hated even attempting to breastfeed. Breastfeeding for me was super uncomfortable and just weird. It felt weird to me & just didn’t feel natural. I already had it planned to pump and give her the bottle in the back of my mind in all honesty. I didn’t want her to become addicted to the boobies! That would’ve left me chained down and not be able to go anywhere without her. I wanted my husband to be able to feed her — not just me! That way we can split night feedings. 😜 It’s a team effort, in my own opinion!
When I began pumping, it was a little uncomfortable. I honestly never experienced pain in my chest area since I began! The only thing that was HORRIBLE were the postpartum cramps that would occur while pumping. It was the absolute worst. Thankfully it only lasted like a week or so. I’m going on 11 weeks pumping & I’m tired of it. It’s just annoying to do! My plan was originally to pump for 6 months but I’m not sure still. My goal is to for sure complete 3 months & see how I feel about continuing. We give her formula sometimes when I’m trying to catch up on breastmilk & it’s literally the best thing ever! It’s so easy & quick to do. I cannot wait to have her exclusively on formula!!!! Bc this pumping shit is annoying, even though I only do it 2-3 times a day now. I don’t like feeling like a cow, sorry not sorry. Lol!
MY PHYSICAL BODY
I’m not going to give you that “I love my body even more after giving birth” bullshit. It’s not true. And I’m sure most bloggers who say that are just lying to you and themselves! I literally could not wait to hit the gym and start working on my body. Right after I gave birth I was disgusted by what was left over. Even though I know it takes 6 weeks or even more for my uterus to go down, I was not a fan.
What’s worse is even after that 6 weeks! When you know your uterus is back to its original size & that’s just your brand new belly now. I literally hate it. Yes, I feel a lot better about being thinner and not being pregnant anymore. Yes, the postpartum bands & undies help you look and feel slimmer. Yes, I feel confident when I’m wearing clothes and you can’t see what’s under!
Every time I look in the mirror at my bare stomach I get stressed out. It feels like I’ll never ever have my original stomach again & it literally sucks. It’s okay to be so happy and thankful for your body being able to create someone you love so much. Yes, it was all worth it. But it doesn’t mean I’ll love how my body looks afterwards. I hate my stomach now and I’m embarrassed by it. I’m trying my best to workout and lose the stomach fat, but at the same time... You can’t do anything about that excess skin. All these celebrities you see with hot abs and bodies after birth is all fake. They get work done! So don’t be fooled. Your stomach will never look identical to how it was before. And it’s okay for it not to be okay with you! I’m just doing my best to burn as much fat as possible in my stomach to feel relatively OKAY about it.
I also gained weight/fat in my back, arms, & thighs. My entire body is completely different than it was before. I have a lot of work to do and sometimes it’s hard to push through! You feel so behind and you just see this long ass road to achieving your goals. The stressors of new mom life doesn’t make it any easier, either. So my advice to you if I have any would be to be prepared for a new and completely different body. After birth, it’s up to you to decide whether or not you’ll do what you have to do to gain your confidence again.
BABY BLUES & POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
The hormones after birth are insane. Some people experience the baby blues and sometimes it can transition into postpartum depression. For me, I did experience the baby blues and was kind of sad here and there after coming home. And then a couple weeks later, shit hit the fan.
I do believe I experienced several symptoms of postpartum depression. My hormones were all over the place. I was so moody. I felt like I hated myself. I was so down, so angry, so irritated, and just not myself at all. I would argue a lot and just have these outbursts. I broke down a couple times and was super aggressive most times. It was insane. I never dealt with something like that in my life! It’s like I had no control over my emotions. I felt disconnected from everyone. I didn’t feel connected to my baby. I had a hard time with my feelings and emotions. That’s what postpartum depression does to you! I literally didn’t want anyone coming over my house. I was so annoyed by everyone — I didn’t want to talk to anyone, either. I wanted to be left alone and keep to myself. It was probably the darkest time of my life now that I look back at it.
I would say my postpartum depression started a couple weeks after Sara was born and lasted for about a month or so. It was torture. I’m much better now and I have been for some time, alhamdulillah. I’m currently 11 weeks postpartum & I feel that I’m 100% back to my normal self (mentally). It was an insane first 2 months! I’m just so happy that part is over with. I’m thankful that I feel back to who I am. And I hope I or anyone else doesn’t have to go through that again!!!
Overall, my recovery was decent. I’m thankful I had a good physical recovery and that I wasn’t in much pain. I feel that I felt better rather quickly in terms of my body after giving birth! However, I did have a very hard time mentally & emotionally. It was hard to get through, but thankfully my husband is a great support system. I am still having trouble being confident in my body & I think that’ll probably last at least 6 months postpartum as I work my way through this journey. All in all, though, my baby girl is worth every single pain I went through. Each day I grow more and more attached to her and in love with her! Alhamdulillah! I feel so much more connected to her now than I ever did before and I’m so thankful for that. Alhamdulillah for everything!