At the end of your pregnancy you’re just so over being pregnant. You can’t wait to meet your child, but also you can’t wait to just get her out so you can have your body back too! While preggo, you read all about pregnancy, labor, and how to care for your newborn, but you never really read about what happens after you deliver your baby…the afterbirth. And since there may be some ladies who are expecting that read this blog, or plan to have babies in the future, this is just an F.Y.I. 🙂
They pull the baby out….she cries…RELIEF! They put the baby on your chest…Oh Hi Honey! Your doctor tells you to give her one final push, you do, and then she pulls out your placenta that looks like a big ole sirloin steak – aaaaaannnnnd she used tongs to get it out. Then you feel tugging at your crotch and you realize doc is sewing you up because your tore. OUCH!! But thankfully, with an epidural, you won’t feel the pain in this procedure – for now. In my case, I had a fever during labor (not that I felt it, I was asleep with an epidural the entire time), and because of this, my baby had to have an IV and be monitored by the NICU for 48 hours. So they took her away soon after birth for like 6 freaking hours. So I slept.
The gory postpartum
After a couple hours it’s time to move to your postpartum room, so your nurse wheels you there, and with an epi, you’re in a total sleepy fog. The nurse wheeled me to the NICU, parked me and someone handed me my baby and asked me if I’d like to breastfeed. I’m all; “sure…” I probably slurred my word. The nurse hands me the baby, positions her, and then helps your baby latch on. One thing that you quickly learn during childbirth and beyond is to get over your modesty if you have any. I have a lot. But it’s true what everyone says, you get over it really quickly – you’ve got no choice anyway! Within 3 minutes of breastfeeding, which maybe felt weird to me at first, I can’t remember, I was asleep with a baby on my boob. Breastfeeding releases a hormone called oxytocin, which makes you super sleepy.
Then I’m wheeled to my postpartum room and handed to a new nurse. She puts me in bed and comes and checks on me periodically. Then she did what I was dreading – she took out my catheter. So now, I’m going to have to be a big girl and pee on my own. This is where you kind of feel like you lose your dignity. Your nurse sits in front of you and squirts your crotch with a water bottle because wiping is out of the question at this point in time! Then she helps you into gauze type underwear that make granny panties look sexy, and gives you a giant maxi pad. She comes in throughout the day and night to check your pad to monitor your bleeding, then checks your ass to monitor your hemorrhoids! To say you have a bit of a sore ass and crotch is an understatement. I lived in constant fear of having to go to the bathroom.
Aside from your personal nurses constantly checking you and your NICU nurses checking your baby, lactation nurses come in and want to check your baby’s latch on your booby, and if you’re doing it wrong, she’ll reposition the baby’s mouth, move your boob wherever it needs to go, etc. Like I said; modesty has no place here. But here’s the thing… yes, you lose any shred of modesty that you had coming into this place, but if your nurses are anything like the postpartum nurses at my hospital, they’ll make a rather unpleasant experience a good one. I had the best ladies taking care of me; they were so motherly and bright and happy which certainly helped me see everything I was going through more positively. By the end of my stay, I’d seen the same nurses multiple times and I felt like I wanted to leave thank you cards for each of them…but there were too many and too many names to remember for me to do that. This is just another day at the office for postpartum nurses, but for me, it meant a lot how well they treated me and my baby.
Aside from the gory details of what your body goes through in the first days following delivery, let’s not forget that you’re now a parent and you’ve got a newborn to take care of – even in your delicate state. And guess what…newborns cry and poop and eat and cry, poop, and eat A LOT. Problem is – if you plan to breastfeed – your milk hasn’t come in yet and it won’t for 3-5 days (or sometimes more!). So you’ve got this colostrum that comes first, which is supposed to be super awesome for your baby, but it’s just enough to line their stomach…not quite enough to satiate them. So what does this mean…………….WAH! WAH! WAAAAAH! WAH! *Baby crying*
Oh no! This is where the breastfeeding woes begin. You go home and you’re all; “What did I get myself into? HELP!!”
Next blog: breastfeeding drama lama! Someone pass me the pain killers and a beer. This. Freaking. HURTS!