Squeezing this whole human out was a breeze! Lol yeah right… it was a lot of work and tiring but it was 100% worth every stitch, stretch mark, and tear shed.
YOU ARE NOT SUPERWOMAN.
Nope, don’t even try to be. It’s not worth it.
I have to admit, I was pretty shocked and disappointed that no one told me about this part. Every single woman who has given birth that talked to me, asked about breastfeeding, how many children we want, told me how good or bad their children were, and my favorite: your life is going to change forever! – HA! duh…. Anyway- out of everything I heard, nothing was important to me except- I wish someone had mentioned this part. These 4-5 weeks were the worst of my life (physically and emotionally) and I am putting this out there in hopes that any woman will read it and at least be prepared for birth & postpartum to some extent. It can be way easier, and it can be worse… but at least you read it here first!
- Slow your roll! Listen to the doctor when they say slow down. After 6 hours, they made me get up and attempt standing and peeing. I could stand and I (had to remember how) peed a little bit but I had the epidural done TWICE! So my legs had absolutely no function during birth and afterward. I needed rest. Upon getting home, I was go go go and I really should’ve just sat and not moved!- it’s just not me though and that was a hard mental breakthrough and conversation with myself. I needed to stop and just slow down.
- Do not sneeze! I REPEAT, do not do it. Don’t laugh, don’t cough, and don’t sneeze. You really use your muscles down there & that’s something you don’t know until YOU KNOW. Lol! The pain was more excruciating than giving birth (because there was no more epidural, lol) and I will probably never do any of these things to my full potential ever again (that’s just what the pain tells me right now, lol!)
In the hospital, they provided mesh underwear, huge thick pads, witch hazel pads, a numbing/non-itch spray, and a water squirt bottle.
You can ask them for as many ice packs as you want, when ever you want… they stop offering because…what is work!? lol… They used baby diapers, cut them open, put ice inside, and then closed them up…. Magic! No mess ice packs.
- Cleaning the lady bits! I also preferred switching between warm water and cold water in the cleansing bottle. You can’t wipe with toilet paper/wipes for about 2 weeks or so, so rinsing is the way to go. The warm water was a lot more soothing and it actually helps in healing (they tell you you can do warm Sit Baths for this purpose.)
- Comfy lady items! I brought my own “Women’s depends” that were black and tighter fitting on me… I used them with pad/panty liners (depending on your bleeding and your flow) and it was more functional for me because the pads they gave me are HUGE… lol I didn’t need that much padding and it made me very uncomfortable. I have always been a tampon gal and I literally cannot any more with these pads! (crying emoji)
Don’t invest in other products before getting to the hospital, but DO ask the nurses for more products before leaving the hospital. I ended up not using the numbing spray anymore because I felt like it irritated me more than it helped. I also didn’t use the witch hazel pads for very long. My body is healing itself… ibuprofen and warm water is all I need. The only thing I did buy were some cheap regular underwear from Walmart so that I could comfortably wear the pads.
- Tighten it up! Everyone will throw “girdle” or “faja” at you! Okay, first, yes you’ll want to use them but IT HURTS. Be nice to your body. I started using the pregnancy belly band and used it backwards for support and to get used to the “squeeze” feeling. I transitioned to a regular tight girdle after about a week. I also used my tighter high waisted leggings and that helped. However, be careful and simply portion control. While pregnant, I’d have a few bites and be too stuffed- all of a sudden there was space in my belly and I was able to eat TOO much and I was like, woah… I need to stop! Haha
- My pee system! Everyone tells you to practice keegles throughout your pregnancy but no one informs you what life is like after birth. You basically have to learn to pee all over again. There is so much pain and you get concerned about the stitches that you just don’t want to ‘push’ and squeeze too hard. I literally had a mental block and would have to tell myself to let it out and relax. So do as many exercises as you want while pregnant- that baby coming out is still going to mess you up. I believe the keegles are more important AFTER birth, lol! You can also ask your doctor for pelvic floor therapy. They’ll refer you to someone. This is important for many reasons but mine is for the fact that I have no postpartum birth control and if I get pregnant, I want to be strong enough to hold another baby.
- Clean up on isle wtf! I am blessed that I didn’t bleed afterward as much as I have heard from others. My poor husband was walking down the hall in the hospital and happened to see a lady PP with blood everywhere/in the bathroom. It can happen and it’s okay. For home, I made sure to have paper towels and baby wipes on hand in every bathroom. After a shower, use a paper towel, not your regular towel, while you get your pad and underwear on. I also use these and wipes to clean up after I use the restroom. I can’t wipe as normal (like I stated previously) but you can dry up and clean what you can.
- USE A MIRROR! Check it out, mama! See what you’re up against!! How amazing is everything that your body just did but also, don’t you want to know what’s happening? I had awful tearing and PP has been a B!*#%. I didn’t know what was what down there and why certain spots hurt SO badly. Standing up is so hard to do and walking has been a challenge.
- We meet again… I did not breastfeed Eli so my favorite visitor of every month came slamming through the door like the police! Just when I thought that my birth bleeding was over and I could take a rest from blood and messes, BAM, hello period. This period came about 5 weeks postpartum and was the heaviest and nastiest one of my life. Bleeding through so quickly, messes on my postpartum undies, what am I? 11 years old again!? It was a hot mess and sort of scary at first.
Show yourself and your body love. Say you can’t do it and ask others for help… Drink water and take your prenatals… When you think your head is going to explode, breathe… Clean/tidy up as you go or it will pile up and make it 10x harder to be motivated to do anything at all… Mama, you got this. This has been the hardest time (of my life) from day one of pregnancy but lean on your loved ones, and do not worry about the people who don’t make an effort to support you and all these big changes.
I am SO grateful for family and friends who have visited us, sent a Venmo treat, brought us food, and just genuinely care about our new experience and want to be involved. THIS has been the most eye opening time of our lives because we truly value our future relationships and the people involved with Elijah (and Scarlett.) I am learning to be a mom, love my body, take care of my body, and whole heartedly giving Elijah my everything. To my husband, you are my rock and I am blessed, I love you!
Get prepared, mama! Everyones story is different. You got this!