Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Postpartum Recovery - Birth to 3 weeks

I was fairly lucky as recovery goes. As you know, I didn't experience much in the way of active labor, so the only recovery I had to do was from my c-section. (I say only, but recovery from a c-section can be rough!)

In the Hospital:
I was able to eat the night of my surgery, so that was lucky.
I first stood up late the night of my surgery. I had a CNA who helped me stand up, and then she wiped me down and changed my sheets while I kind of just stood there.
The next day I was up and able to shower, and later Kyle and I went on a little walk around the floor.
I was on IV pain meds for about 24 hours after the surgery, and then they switched me to hydrocodone every 4 hours and 800 mg of motrin (ibuprofen) every 8.
For the first 24 hours I was also hooked up to these leg compressor things, to make sure I didn't get any blood clots. (Think the arm band for getting your blood pressure checked, but the length of your calf and continually blowing up.)
My incision site never really hurt - I had what a midwife called "referred pain" which was on my right side, above my hip bone. I could have sworn that was where my incision was. It was a burning, twisting pain. I occasionally got it on my left side, too, but the worst of it was on the right.
I also never really had any "after birth" pains. A lot of women get contraction like pains after they give birth while their uterus contracts, especially when nursing. I only experienced that once in the hospital, and it wasn't very bad.

At Home:
I stayed on top of my pain meds (the same hydrocodone and IB schedule) until I ran out, which was about 10 days. Since then I have just been taking 400 mg of ibuprofen as needed, which has been about once a day.
By two weeks my incision was pretty much healed up, and now at three weeks it's doing great.
The area around my incision has been numb-ish since the surgery - I read online that it's because of severed nerve endings, which makes sense to me! It definitely feels strange though.

Kyle was so great the first week home. I owe my quick recovery all to him! I was able to stay in bed the majority of the time. He would pick Abe up from his bassinet and bring him to me to feed, he changed all the diapers, and he brought all my meals to me, too.

Postpartum Bleeding:
The only heavy bleeding I had was in the hospital. Since then it's just been light, and I am just spotting now. I have heard that when they do a c-section they are able to take out a lot more of the excess stuff that is in the uterus, and that it's not uncommon for c-section moms to bleed less. Not sure if that's true, but it's been the case for me.

Weight Loss/Postpartum Body:
When I weighed myself at home 2 days after birth, I found I had barely lost the weight of my baby (6 pounds). I know part of that is because I had so much fluid pumped into me that hadn't come out yet. At one week I weighed myself again and I had lost 10 pounds since coming home. At my 2 week appointment (to check on my incision) I was down to 147 (which is only 2 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight). I think I have even lost a little more since then. I am actually feeling really good about my postpartum body.
The only stretch marks I have are on my hips and a few weird looking ones below my belly button (around the linea negra). My belly button is also stretched out, and of course my abdominal area is extra .... pudgy.

I can't say I've really suffered too terribly from the baby blues. I have been extra weepy though - I cry at everything (and I thought I cried at everything before!). I mostly cry at bedtime, because I don't know how he will sleep and I'm so tired. And I also cry when I sing him primary songs and hymns.

Has been going pretty well. The lactation consultant at the hospital gave me a nipple shield, which has been great. The first week was a little rough - recovering from a couple of bad latches without the nipple shield, but since then I only get a bad latch every once in a while. I feel very grateful about that :)

My bum also fell asleep really easily the first 1-2 weeks. I imagine it is some sort of side effect from the spinal block, but am not sure. It was kind of uncomfortable, as I was sitting down pretty much all day for the first week or so. 
Everyone talks about your first poo after birth - while it wasn't as bad for me since I didn't have a vaginal birth  - I will still say, take all the stool softeners. And expect gas pain.
It was really nice to have all my pregnancy symptoms disappear! And so quickly! No more lower back pain, no more congestion! My inner thigh area was still sore for a few days though, which I found strange. And my upper back started hurting, from getting used to carrying a baby around, I assume.

I think that's all.
Honestly, I feel like I have recovered quickly and very well, and I feel very lucky. And although I didn't get to experience labor and "real" childbirth... That's ok! (The post about my thoughts and feelings is still coming...)

1 comment:

Lindsay Ingram said...

You make it sound not that bad.... In a good way! And You are blessed with a sweet hubby! :)