• hamillwhitney

EVERYTHING YOU [DIDN'T] WANT TO KNOW ABOUT CHILDBIRTH (PART II - RECOVERY)

RECOVERY:


So. You've just pushed a human baby out of your body through your Birth Cannon.


Vaginageddon is over.


Now, just like after any natural disaster (because, I'll tell it to you straight, girl, it WILL be a disaster down there) it's time to assess the damage and clean up the aftermath.


Usually it's around when they transition you to the recovery room (about 2 - 2 and a half hours after birth) that the numbness will start to wear off and the whole "ripping apart of your little red wagon" begins to take its toll.

(No epidural to save you now, ladies.)

This is when it all hits you, especially if this is your first: Your life (and your vajajay) will never be the same.


Congrats. You've just joined the Mile Wide Club. Because that's about how far it feels like your pelvic floor has just been stretched.


{I don't know if that is an actual club, but it definitely should be.}

The nursing staff will wheel you to your new, smaller (for some stupid, inexplicable reason) room and your postpartum nurse will step in to get acquainted with what is now your gaping, bloody, swollen vag.


[At this point several strangers have had more direct looks at your love biscuit than you probably have.]

She'll help you with your first, post-baby, visit to the bathroom where you will sit down and get your first peep at it for yourself.

Nobody prepared me for the fact that I would look down and have to wonder if my OB had somehow replaced my delicate lady bits with a GIANT PAIR OF MAN BALLS. (I can't stress this enough, that's literally what they looked like.)

{sorry} Somebody had to warn you.

I mean, I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't that (or those, really).


She'll give you an ice pack, a pad that could cover Rhode Island when it rains, and some fabulous (I genuinely enjoy them for the first couple of postpartum days) mesh panties. Most hospitals will also give you some Tucks pads and Dermoplast numbing spray to use for your bathroom trips.

Nothing about going to the bathroom is all that pleasant (especially when you go into labor with your first, post-baby 💩). And if you tear, it might be even more unpleasant, but IT DOES GET BETTER SOON. I PROMISE. (staying hydrated helps!)

During your hospital stay you can look forward to:

Visitors arriving every time you are bare-boobed and trying to feed that baby for the one time a day it's awake.

A nurse coming in every 3 hours just to wake you from what little sleep you were getting.

Helga the Viking coming to push on your raw insides to make sure there's no clotting.

Panicking when you start feeling painful contractions while breastfeeding. **WTF body? We already had the baby, be cool. **Don't worry, you're not in labor again. These are just contractions shrinking that inflated uterus back down.


Meet Your New Stomach.

I will say...

...As someone who has been through both a C-Section and Vaginal delivery, I can tell you, as much as the getting the baby out part sucks, the recovery, while still less than pleasant, is more manageable than it was with a C-section. (They both suck, but it turns out your Fuzzbox heals a little quicker than your internal organs do.)

If you're lucky, they will send you and baby home in 24 hours (barring any complications) with arms chock full of extra diapers, wipes, pads, and other goodies.

Raid your hospital room and take everything that's not nailed down

My favorite items that I brought home from the hospital were these extra pads that feel like a soft cloud of heaven on your torn perineum and the peri-bottle, which is a plastic squirt bottle you fill with water to manually bidet yourself each time you go to the bathroom instead of wiping while you wait for that poor vajayjay to heal. (Now, don't you feel fancy and French? 🚽😉)


Before you are cleared to go home (usually 24 hours after baby if all goes well), both your doctor and your baby's pediatrician (or the on-call pediatrician if you don't have one yet) will need to sign off on you and baby being discharged.


After lots and lots of paperwork and forms you will finally get the all clear to leave behind those fluorescent lights, scratchy sheets, and food that will stop your digestion right in its tracks. They'll double check that baby is set up correctly in their carseat (you think those buckles are simple but it can be harder than it looks) and that you have the seat properly installed in your car. So little trust, but honestly for a good reason.


You'll head home, probably stopping at a pharmacy on your way to fill the 3 prescriptions your doc most likely prescribed you: ibuprofen, a stronger pain pill, and colace (for your poops). You think these are unnecessary, but I promise you'll at least want ibuprofen and the stool softener.


When you get home you will probably be exhausted. For good reason, (you've been through a lot).

You might be tempted to clean something or do laundry. DON'T DO IT WOMAN.


It's a great idea beforehand to make some freezer meals to have on hand because I can promise you, that first week or two after coming home, You will NOT feel like cooking. Or, if you are lucky, you will have lots of amazing family and support people offering to bring you food, help take the baby for a couple hours, or do dishes, laundry, etc while you get some much needed rest.


As for your Peach Wagon, it's still sore and it's going to be sore for a while. If you are one of the lucky few who don't experience tearing, recovery will be a little less of a pain in the...well, vagina.


If you're like the rest of us who did have at least some tearing (pretty common, especially with your first,) then as you heal your stitches are going to start to get itchy AF. It's going to suck. Sitting is going to suck. Going to the bathroom is going to suck. All the bleeding (this will last around a month or more) is going to suck. Not being able to use a tampon, or take a real bath, or have sex (if you're one of those eager beavers) is going to suck. The first time you have sex (you should really listen to your doctor and wait until your are fully healed - around 6 weeks later) is probably going to suck. Pooping with your newly acquired hemorrhoids? Yeah it sucks.


But the good news is, there are things you can do to help.


1. Drink lots and lots of water.


2. Get as much sleep as possible (don't feel guilty about calling on and relying on loved ones and family to make this possible for you)


3. Sit on soft surfaces or get a donut pillow.


4. Stick these Tucks Medicated Pads into your regular pads throughout the day for cooling comfort and relief. (Giant puce underpants and stretchy pants are also a must.)


5. Try some Dermoplast numbing spray and use pads that are extra thick as an added cushion for your tender taco and tush.


6. Try making these Padsicles.


7. Use the meds your momma gave you. Just kidding. Use the meds your doctor prescribed you (responsibly).


8. Talk to someone (anyone) you can trust about how you're feeling. Especially if you are feeling overwhelmed or excessive stress or think you might be suffering from postpartum depression (it's unbelievably common and normal)


9. Take care of your now engorged, leaky breasts (whether you plan to breastfeed or not). Read more about entering the world of breastfeeding here.


10. Try a sitz bath if you need any added relief for your Hot Pocket.

Hopefully by a couple of days later you will feel more like a human and less like a pillaged meat locker, and by a couple of weeks, you'll start to feel like your actual self again. (If not, talk to your doctor, girl because something is not right.)


So there you have it.

That is probably waaaaay more than you wanted to know so you're welcome for that.


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I know I talk a mean game and I probably make this all sound fairly traumatic and horrifying (because hello, it kind of is?) but don't forget, aside from what is now your bloody little shop of horrors, you now also have a brand spanking new baby (that is cute in your eyes and that's all that matters) and you have A LOT more to look forward to than just 6 weeks of twat torture; you have a bundle of joy that is going to love you unconditionally and make you feel like a million bucks. One look from those big blue eyes can make you forget all the pain and know you'd gladly go through it all over again in a heartbeat if you had to (yep, that manipulative little angel has already got you dialed in, mama).


It's a lot to put yourself through (physically, mentally, emotionally...) but there is SO much good that is going to come from all of it.

{PROMISE}


Best wishes to you and your lady bits.


You're going to be okay down there.

{Bigger}

but okay.

K.LOVE.YOU.BYE.

♡ - WHITNEY


Psst! If you missed Part I Check it out here!

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