I am writing this blog to provide an update on my postpartum journey. I am alive and well and I survived. I am still recovering and not a 100% but close enough. I can walk, I can stand and I can sit for prolonged periods of time and at the beginning of this journey that was rough for me. It took me seven weeks to feel like myself again. I’m mentioning that because sometimes the healing process is not as quick as we would like it to be. I am going to discuss several things as it relates to my postpartum journey. I will start with my 6 week checkup.
6 Week Checkup
I was still in a lot of pain when my 6 week checkup rolled around. I remember being pretty miserable and upset that I wasn’t healing as fast as I thought that I should. I literally only had one pain pill left and I was saving it for after the doctor’s visit. I was scared about how I would manage the pain without the stronger dose.
The first thing that I had to do when I got to the doctor’s was leave a urine sample. And, then the nurse checked my weight. I was 160 and had lost 20 pounds since my last weigh in. Then the nurse and I went into the room and she asked me about pain, depression, and how I was feeding my son. Once I talked with the nurse, the doctor came in the room maybe 10 minutes later.
We went over everything that I told the nurse and I explained to her that I was still in a lot of pain. We also talked about birth control in great detail. And then she did the examination which was very painful and very uncomfortable. She discovered some raw tissue that had not been stitched in and was pretty much healing on its own which was why I was in a lot of pain still.
I popped my last pain pill after that visit. It was great knowing that I was healing properly and no infections. But, it was horrible knowing that I was in pain and there was nothing that could really be done.
First Period After Birth
My period started at the end of week 5 going into week 6 so I had to go to my checkup while on my period. That just made everything worst. Before Rylan, my period would last only 3 or 4 days with one heavy cycle day. Well, this period lased almost two weeks and it was very tricky. Some days were heavy, some days were light like it was ending only for the next day to be a heavy cycle day. I used overnight, ultra thin and pantyliners depending on the day. I never experienced cramping on my period before Rylan but I experienced it during this period. The pain was manageable and nothing compared to labor pains.
I used a lot of different pain management methods to help my recovery and I think these things really helped.
I made padsicles where I put Aloe Vera and witch hazel on a pad and put the pad in the freezer. I did about 20 pads at a time.
I discovered Earth Mama Bottom Balm and that seemed to move everything along. The balm did everything that it said it would do. It promised to have me sitting pretty after a couple of uses of the balm and it did. You can put this in the refrigerator for a cooling effect. And you can use this balm for other things like a shaving cream if you have anything left over. I liked that this was a natural product and it smelled pretty good.
A lot of my pain came from pooping so stool softeners and Mira-lax really helped making #2 easier which made #2 less painful.
If the pain became unbearable, I took Advil and that helped. By the end of week 7, I no longer needed the pain killers for pain management.
I do not want anymore children so having this conversation with my my doctor was a must. We talked about the different options and I opted for the pills. I’m not a fan of birth control for many different reasons but I wanted the pills as a just in case measure. I’m single so I’m not worried about pregnancy but when I decide to be back in a relationship, I do want to be knowledgeable about my options.
An idle mind is a devil’s playground. I believe this and I keep busy. Because I have suffered from depression in the past, I was really worried about baby blues. I even suffered a little after having my first son so I was very worried. I think that I was so focused on my recovery and so focused on my little one that I haven’t had much time to be upset and sad. I know the importance of taking time for myself so when my mom gets home from work, I usually take a 20 minute break to take a shower, take a moment to just breathe, read a book or anything that I know relaxes me. Self-care is not selfish and it is very important. I am coming to grips with my traumatic birth and it no longer makes me sad when I think about it. I am glad to be alive and to be with my boys. I have been keeping busy with my blog and YouTube so I haven’t had much time to think and overthink which has always been the source of my depression. I actually feel pretty good mentally on most days and I have learned that negative things and people do not serve a purpose in my life.
But if you are suffering and maybe you feel a little let down, talk to someone. Don’t be afraid to get help and to let someone in. Take some time for yourself. Just because you need a little time away from your baby, don’t mean that you are neglecting them or a bad mom. Your little one needs a happy and healthy mom so do whatever you can to be that mama for them. Identify your stressors and triggers and tackle them head on. Maybe it’s breastfeeding, judgmental people, comparison of the “perfect mom” or maybe you’re just not feeling like yourself. It is okay, you are a good mom, you will get through this and be an even better mom. The first step is to talk to someone so you are not suffering alone.
That is pretty much it for my postpartum journey! I survived and I’m no longer in pain so I don’t have to take pain killers but once in a blue moon. I do have good and bad days but I am managing the pain and definitely feeling more like myself. This seemed like the longest journey ever but I made it.
I just want to say be patient with yourself. It took you 9+ months to grow and have this baby so it will take you just as long to bounce back and be 100%. Enjoy your bundle of joy and know that time is truly the only cure.