Baby #2 Diary - Postpartum Recovery
Let me paint the picture I often saw in movies and social media about life post baby: After giving birth, you lay comfortably in bed with your precious baby and enjoy every moment of this new chapter! It’s all about the cute newborn pictures, visits from family and friends, and how amazing you look in your pics just a couple days after delivery! Sounds amazing right??
Well, allow me to ruin your picture for a moment (because I wish someone had ruined mine when I was planning to have my first!). Postpartum recovery is not much fun and it is very uncomfortable. I believe that’s one of the reasons why women don’t talk much about it; we’re afraid it will ruin the empowering image we have of bringing life into this world. However, if you’re like me, you appreciate a full picture of what’s to come - the good, bad, and ugly. And I must admit, recovery for me is the part I look forward to the least. Here’s why…
Maxi Pads and Mesh Underwear
Who wants to wear anything oversized and uncomfortable down there?! Due to heavy bleeding for days (or even weeks) after delivery, maxi pads and mesh underwear become a woman’s best frenemy. I dreaded going to the bathroom just because I felt that no amount of bathing down there could keep me clean. And the thought of putting on another oversized underwear with an extra large maxi pad...let me not even go there!! Can you tell this is my least favorite of all?!
Ok, yes, this sounds great...for maybe 48 hours. But after a few days, you may begin to go crazy! For a speedy recovery, women are suggested to stay in bed as much as possible, limit walking and stairs, and only focus on herself and baby. For someone like me who thrives on productivity, I felt like my life was rotting away in bed (ok, maybe I’m exaggerating, but you get the point). I found myself craving social interaction and overly excited when I’d see a text, “Are you up for visitors?” Ummm, yes please!!
Tears and Stitches, Ouch!
Sitting down sloooooowly becomes the new norm because perineal tears can happen during delivery. I was fortunate that with both of my deliveries, my tears were so minor. 1-2 stitches were recommended just to speed up the recovery, but not necessary. Some women have more severe tears or episiotomies (a surgical cut). Regardless, the swelling and soreness post delivery is real and requires care and patience.
When you feel the urge to have your first bowel movement, you can’t help but clench your butt tightly and pray that the feeling will go away. And when it doesn’t, you make the dreaded visit to the toilet, sit for a while, and contemplate the next big life decision on your mind: how am I going to do this?? Using the bathroom can be a relief or painful depending on tearing, stitches, and stool. Because I knew a bowel movement would come eventually, I spent the first days eating foods that were high in fiber, probiotics, and drank tons of water. This really helped me have pain-free bathroom visits. But the experience is different for every woman.
Postpartum recovery is no fun, but it is necessary. If you treat your body well and fuel it with the proper foods, it will put in the work and get you on your way to a speedy recovery! I’m anxiously awaiting the day that I can be fully mobile again, pick up my 2 year old, go for long walks at the lake with my family, and the list goes on. But for now, I focus on Nadae’s warm snuggles, cute yawns, and funny facial expressions to get me through the days :) And holding her close reminds me that the recovery period is worth it!