What people don’t tell you about birth is the events and what happens to you once labour and delivery has finished – the afterwards is nearly as bad as the during! Once you are handed your new bundle of joy, your whole life turns upside down whilst you try to figure out how to look after the little person but you also have to consider your own recovery from the birth.
Whilst you are in the hospital there are a few things that you have to deal with both physically and emotionally. one of the first things I had to deal with was when Gavin had to leave me on the ward to go home. I felt so alone with a baby that I didn’t know how to look after, what made me feel better was talking to Gavin and he admitted that he felt a little left out and lonely also, having to go back to an empty house.
After I got the feeling back in my legs, following the operation I had to go through, one of the first things I had to do was go to the toilet, I was simply petrified of doing this, just in case everything fell out! Scarily, I lost all sensation of needing to go to the toilet and kept having accidents when laughing, coughing or moving suddenly. the midwives do advise you of some exercises to complete every day to gain this back and since doing the pelvic floor exercises I have found this helped massively – youll be glad to hear that I have fully gained control of all aspects in this area!
This might be TMI for some people but after the birth I had to deal with stitches, piles and bleeding. The stitches had to be looked at by the midwives every time they came to visit, that isn’t the worst pat however, believe me when I say that you wont dare move sideways or spread your legs whilst the stitches heal – the pain killers certainly took the pain away. All chores seem very difficult to do so don’t give yourself a to do list as even just walking and moving about can seem like hard work. My stiches have healed perfectly (so far) but I would hate to think what it would be like for someone if they were to get infected or become uncomfortable. The piles are from over-exertion (pushing too hard!) whilst in labour but they go quickly with haemorrhoid cream. Finally the bleeding seems to last forever (its like the longest period you have ever experienced) I am now in week three and still haven’t stopped.
My tummy felt like jelly straight after the delivery but despite this, I was still quite a lot bigger than before pregnancy. This is partly because the muscles have been stretched. I suffered from extreme cramping in my stomach and sometimes it felt like the contractions had come back and I was giving birth again. I even managed to wake myself up a few times whilst this was happening. Since then I have read that breastfeeding encourages this motion and is a great benefit to helping your body slim back down, one site said it felt like painful period like cramps, believe me the pain is extreme!
There’s a lot of emotions that come out in the first couple of weeks. The midwives will tell you this only lasts a couple of days, this is a lie as it can last a couple of weeks, but you do come out the other side. As the midwives and health visitors all keep asking how you are emotionally, I think if someone was struggling there seems to be a lot of support out there.
People warn you about the sleep deprivation, I never believed this and thought there would be lots of time to do chores etc. however take my word for it there is no sleep with a new born and being exhausted doesn’t help with recovery or your emotions. I found that Gavin was a big help in this aspect, as a baby (or at least Baby Tobias) thinks that night time is day time and vice versa. Even though Gavin and I are both knackered, we seem to be able to help each other when needed.
As I am breastfeeding my breasts felt very tender to start with and I developed cracked nipples as they just weren’t used to being touched all the time, but after using Lanolin cream this helped and made it easier to feed. I was lucky enough that Baby Tobias has a good latch and I didn’t need much help with breast feeding as it came very naturally, however if I ever did need any help the midwives on the maternity ward were very helpful. However when I came out of hospital and met with the community midwives it was a very different story, I asked about how to start expressing my milk and how to do it, which I soon got cut short and was told that this would not be a good idea. I haven’t asked since and have just been reading up on everything I may need to know on the internet.
Finally, just a quick note to say thank you to everyone for your lovely messages and helping us welcome our little man into the world. Also, in one of my previous posts about gender predictions I said that one of the predictions would be revealed after the birth, this was following the needle and thread test that a friend of mine conducted. The prediction was correct and I just wanted to share the proof with you: