Monday, May 17, 2010

Recovery: What your Doc Might not Tell You...

{minutes after i became a mama}

before i get started, i just want to make sure i have a few things very clear:

1. every single pregnancy is different!

2. i chose to have an epidural and i also had to get an episiotomy. that may be a little tmi but i think it greatly affected my healing process.

3. i really, really, really don't want to scare you sweet soon-to-be mama's. however, the things i am about to tell you were unknown facts to me pre-birth. oh how i wish someone would have filled me in!

4. remember that BILLIONS of women have given birth! you can do it!! the "after math" of birth is totally worth the countless snuggles, kisses, smiles and hugs you will get from that sweet little babe.

{similar to the one below! isn't he cute??}

so. without further ado.

things i wish i would have known:

i bled. a TON after having my little boy. everyday i woke up thinking, "today is the day that this gush of blood will stop gushing." that day didn't come for awhile.

my advice? stock up on those mega pads that they give you at the hospital. those things were my best friends for the weeks following birth. you may feel like a grandma but i promise it's okay.

i felt like i was going to be immobile for the rest of my life. okay, that may be a little sarcastic, but the first week was pretty darn bad.

my advice? don't resist when your husband encourages {forces} you to take walks with him every day. even if it is just to the mailbox! it is probably going to be the last thing you want to do but it will help immensely! getting out of the house, breathing in some fresh air, and exercising your body is just what it needs.

there is a lot of talk about stretch marks during pregnancy. what i failed to hear about were the stretch marks on your boobs! i chose to breast feed my son and apparently my body thought it needed to produce enough milk to feed quintuplets. it took about a week to finally regulate.

my advice? if you feel like your boobs are about ready to explode, call your doctor/midwife. and if they give you good advice, pass it along to me! i don't really want that happening again with baby number two.

lastly, it HURT {really bad} to poop. i'm pretty sure it was mostly due to my awesome stitches.

my advice? as soon as you are allowed to eat, drink prune juice! my husband told me to, and unfortunately i didn't listen. i'm thinking i'll pay attention next time. also, those baths they tell you to take work wonders. take them religiously.

lastly, don't try to take on more than you can handle.

my advice? your body will take as much rest as you give it! take naps whenever possible and accept any help that comes your way. enjoy spending as much one-on-one time with your hubby and your new baby as you can. this is a special, wonderful, amazing time of life. i look back at these pictures now and wonder where my little baby has gone.

{little max, just a few weeks old}

do YOU have something to add to the list??



  1. Oh how I love you, Jessie. I read on a babycenter board that a lot of women bring depends to the hospital and wear them for about a week. Adult diapers sound intense, but so does the bleeding. I'm actually really glad people have filled me in because I would be MORTIFIED if I were to just 'figure it out on my own'. I'm glad you're not dead and that you realize that your beautiful little Max was worth it. :)

  2. It's so funny, I just wrote a post about this... I think the poop after the birth is the WORST. Maybe it's just me, but I think it was worse than the actual birth of my baby! Ugh. lol. I don't know if the prune juice really would've helped because my doctor prescribed stool softeners and that STILL didn't help. :-/ But I guess it's worth a try.

    I would add to the list that the water spray bottles are your best friend after peeing... and that they don't tell you your stomach doesn't shrink right away after you give birth. (I was really ignorant and thought that you lose the pregnancy belly immediately after baby comes out. Boy was I wrong! hehe)

    Gosh, if I was thinking about getting pregnant and read this post, I think I might re-think it. Haha.


  3. Jessie this post is so good because people need to know "the facts." Thanks for laying it all out!

    I agree with Trace on her comment -- the spray bottle is your best friend. I had intense stinging for awhile after birth, and the hospital didn't tell me to spray the bottle down there while you pee. That made it go away, thank heavens.

    Also, I'm with ya on the boob stretch marks. I thought I was safe from stretch marks getting through my entire pregnancy without them, but it's when your milk comes in and your cup size fluctuates so much so often during those first few weeks of breastfeeding that cause the major stretch marks. I think some daily cocoa butter and pumping/feeding right when you're engorged would have helped. Also ladies, stock up on some really awesome nursing bras for day and night.

    But I agree -- despite the "aftershock" of birth, it is so worth it.

  4. i would just add- take the medicine they give you!!!!! lol. my pain meds were my best friend!

  5. There was a really really nice nurse who gave me stool softeners as soon as I had the baby and was cleaned up and it was the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me! :0) Going poop the first time wasn't that bad and I did tear and I owe it all to those stool softeners.

  6. Coming from a second time mom...after birth contractions! I don't even remember feeling them the first time but the second?...ouch!! It was like labor all over again and I was trying to be a hero not taking tons of meds. I wised up fast and took the allowable pain meds. Unfortunately the nurse told me they get progressively worse with each birth :( so I just have to keep reminding myself it's helping me get thin again shrinking that uterus!

  7. Your post made me laugh, Jessie. It's true. I treasured those hospital-sized pads, wishing I'd taken more of them. So stock up all you mamas-to-be! I also wish I would have known that I'd be in pants-limbo for a while. I assumed that I'd transition from maternity pants to normal pants relatively smoothly after I had my baby . . . but there was a while there that the maternity ones would fall off and the pre-baby jeans wouldn't zip. I was relieved to have a Bella Band.


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