Friday, February 7, 2014

Postpartum: The First Week

For those soon-to-be-moms out there, this is for you. This is just an explanation of what you are in for during the first week after having a baby. Keep in mind, it’s not going to be pretty, and you are going to feel like you got hit by a truck, then ran over by a train, and ripped to shreds by a shark. 

Just so you know.

This is going to be a long one…

My advice:
-Be prepared to want to cut your own boobs off from the pain of engorgement! I suggest making ICE DIAPERS! Take two of your baby’s diapers and get them wet, then put them in the freezer for about 30 min. They become the most PERFECT compress because you can actually shape them to the curves of your chest. Ice those bad boys for 20-30 minutes at a time. A side-effect of engorgement is nausea and chills…I literally felt like I had the flu. I was CONSTANTLY cold and shivering. This is because of all the lymph nodes and pathways that cross in our breasts. They get swollen and affected by the milk production, and mimic the flu. Although, if you have a fever as well, call your doctor because that may mean an infection.

-Get some Dermoplast, Nupercainal, and some Lanolin….SERIOUSLY! My hospital sent me home with the first two and they were a life saver. Dermoplast is a pain relieving spray and the nupercainal is actually a hemorrhoid cream but both of them are for the stiches. They make everything feel wonderful. The Lanolin is for the lovely sore nipples that you are about to experience.

-Let yourself fall apart. You are going to go through the most INSANE hormonal ride a few days after your baby is born. I mean, cray-cray…One minute I feel happy as can be and the next I’m curled up in bed sobbing hysterically. But guess what? It’s OK! You have to let yourself feel those emotions or you’re going to be in a bad spot. The best part is: the hormonal surges go away after a few weeks.

-The first time you go to the bathroom after having a baby will make you bawl. It hurts. BAD. So, be sure and take stool softeners. I didn’t actually spend the money on the prescription stool softener, I just mixed Miralax in my smoothies for the first week.

-Put the baby down!!! With my first child, I was always holding him or sitting right next to him…literally always…After a month or two I felt overwhelmed and like all I was good for was holding, feeding, changing a baby. This time around I have to force myself to put him down in his swing or bouncer. I try to take a break from all of my boys and go in the other room for about 20-30 minutes a day. Just so I can feel a bit like myself. Because trust me, constantly doting over that sweet baby will bite you in the butt later.  

Remember: ice diapers, dermosplast, nupercainal, lanolin, and stool softeners…you’ll be fine.

Here’s my story!
Day 1—Labor and Delivery: Happy Birthday to my sweet baby!
Ronin Don Cook was born at 9:10 pm. He was 7 lbs and 19 ¾ inches. He was 2 1/2 weeks early…but I SWEAR the due date was off…I mean…I know when he was conceived and all… So ‘technically’ he was 2 1/2 weeks early, but he wasn’t really. 

I drank 2 tablespoons of Castor Oil in a protein shake the night before and the contractions started a few hours later…and no…I didn’t get sick!! Yay! I was terrified of the idea of explosive diarrhea, but thankfully, that didn’t happen. I met my husband around noon and we went to the hospital. Upon arriving, I was dilated to 3.5 cm and after about 30 minutes of walking I was dilated to 4 cm, so we were admitted. My doctor put us on Pitocin to get the contractions moving a bit stronger, but I stayed at 4 cm for a few hours. So, around 7:45 pm, my doctor came back and broke my water….ok…NASTY feeling! My water broke with my first son, but it was just a trickle…this was a nasty gush of warmth….gah…little did I know what I was in for after that.

By 8:30 my contractions were so intensely painful, and they were coming one right after the other! I had NEVER experienced pain like that before…not even with my first labor. My husband was the ONLY source of comfort I could get. When another contraction started, I just had to hold his hand and look at him to keep myself from literally screaming bloody murder. I called for an epidural and the anesthesiologist arrived at about 8:45…well guess what…just as she was numbing my back to start…I felt a massive amount of pressure. I said “Um….he’s coming…NOW!” Sure enough…it was time. BUT, my doctor was on his way, so I couldn’t push until he got there! LONGEST 10 minutes of my life. Every cell in my body was trying to push that baby out and I just had to hold back. Terrible. Anywho…since my anesthesiologist had a whole 10 minutes to get her job done before I started pushing, she had to get creative. Instead of doing the simple numbing-paralysis-thingy they do, she shot something else straight into the line. By the first push it hadn’t kicked in and I felt the lovely tear. OW!!! My doctor had to put some kind of numbing business down there to try and help with the pain. Thankfully, by the third push the epidural was kicking in just enough to start taking the bite off of the pain. One more push and he was out!

I’m very happy with how it went. I’m so happy that I wasn’t numb and that I could feel the experience of bringing Ronin into the world. And let me just tell ya….there is no greater feeling than when the shoulders pass. Oh…sheer RELIEF!!! But, don’t get me wrong…I NEVER want to do that again!

Day 2—Hospital: The second day was good. I didn’t feel as sore as I thought I would. I got up and walked the halls of the hospital with my mom; I felt pretty weak, but other than that, I was doing a lot better than I had planned. I passed out 3 times, the previous night though…this I think was due to the massive trauma my body had just experienced as well as the super low blood sugar levels in my body since they don’t let you EAT during labor. LAME! But, my hubby snuck me in a snickers bar that I ate about 3 hours in…SSSHHH….Anyway, I had gotten up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and my nurse was there helping me; when I stood up, I was out cold…then again…and then one more time. Lovely.

My only annoyance with this day was the 17,000 staff members who come in and out of the room. By the end of the day I wanted to scream! I had JUST pushed a HUMAN out of my body and you want to talk to me about hearing tests and lactation and pictures?! Go away!

Day 3—Home: We got to go home today!!! Ronin passed all of his tests and was healthy as can be. His hearing was perfect, his blood sugar was great; he had slight jaundice but nothing the doctors were worried about.

This was probably the worst day for me, recovery-wise. My ladyness was definitely feeling the effects of childbirth; and the milk came in today. Let me just tell you, my opinion regarding the most difficult part of having a baby is the dang engorgement. Naturally, I’m a tiny B…on a lucky day…and with the right bra. During pregnancy I was a full C, and by the end of the night I was a straight DD. My husband was thrilled to see such massive ta-tas…but they were not fun!!!

Day 4: Nothing was too different this day…my engorgement was in full effect. I would literally STARE at my baby and beg him to wake up for feeding…waiting for him to eat was so awful! He eats every 2-3 hours, but of course, my boobs were so full they were going to pop even if he just ate!
I passed out again today! Thankfully, I was sitting down so it wasn’t bad. I was nursing my baby and felt the immediate heat wave and called for my husband…then I was out cold. I think my blood sugar was low again from all the milk production that had been going on. I ate like a cow all day because I was STARVING but obviously not enough to keep from passing out.

Day 5—Hormones: Oh hello there crazy! Time for the “Baby Blues” to kick in! One second I was laughing and the next I was weeping. But, since this is our second child, both my husband and I understand that I may need to lock myself in the bathroom and bawl for about 15 min…then I’d be happy as a clam again. Let me just tell you…these hormones are fun!

Day 6—Terrible: Today sucked! I felt SO awful! By today my husband had already given me 2 blessings because of how bad I felt. I was so frustrated with my chest! Everything I had read said that engorgement should only last 24-48 hours…well I am now 4 whole days into this terrible pain with no sign of it getting better.

By about 5 pm, it all hit…and it hit hard! I literally felt sick as a dog! After nursing my baby, I just climbed straight into bed and cried forever because of the frustration. My husband took both of the boys and just let me rest. Instead of nursing the next feeding, I pumped the ‘ish’ out of my boobs. I literally drained those suckers and my husband bottle-fed the baby.

I actually started to feel better afterwards. I had let myself have a good cry, a good rest, and a good 

Day 7—Daylight: There is light at the end of the tunnel! Guess what? The engorgement is going away!!!! Looks like a good pump was all I needed! I can now go the 3 hours in between feedings without my chest throbbing from all the pain. I also haven’t had a crazy meltdown today! Oh, and recovery-wise…I feel so great! There is no pain down there at all. ‘Sigh’ It’s nice to start feeling better. 

Sike! I melted down…and cried and cried…but oh well…because now I feel better again!

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