This post could have been called "The birth of Wyatt: Part 4". But then I'd be dragging out his birth story for a bit too long.
A few times each day, I catch my mind wandering back to the day I went into labor. I am so, so thankful that I went to the doctor a second time that day for the bleeding. If I didn't go, I wasn't scheduled for another appointment for SIX days. In that time, Wyatt could have run out of amniotic fluid and/or gotten an infection.
The point of my rambling is that I am so glad I got checked out instead of ignoring my symptoms. I had a few false alarms throughout pregnancy and had a few more doctor appointments than "normal", but I don't regret playing it safe for a minute. My midwife already told me she's going to keep a much closer eye on me at the end of my next pregnancy (if there is a next one) since my labor signs were far from typical and my actual labor progressed so quickly.
No one knows your body better than you do. I beg you, if you ever have a doubt about something, please get it checked out. Sorry to be preachy, but it breaks my heart whenever I think about what could have happened to my little munchkin.
Recovery from childbirth
…has been much different than I expected! I'd heard recovery is painful, but I didn't expect all the challenges that came with it.
I'm probably going to go into too much detail again, so please stop reading if gory stuff makes you queasy.
Immediately after Wyatt was born, I felt nothing but euphoria. Maybe it was the epidural or the pure bliss of becoming a mommy, but I felt incredible for hours.
Until my nurse made me get up to go to the bathroom. My legs were still a bit shaky from the epidural, but that was the least of my concerns. Wyatt's exit area throbbed and killed. I had a third degree diagonal tear since my little guy came out sucking his thumb. I tore inside and out.
Trying to pee was incredibly challenging for a few days. It was like my bladder muscles were somehow damaged, too. And the bleeding. Oh the bleeding. I'll just call it "heavy". Two+ weeks later, I'm still bleeding, walking funny, only sitting on soft surfaces, and cannot begin to predict when I'll feel up to exercising again.
I've also had a few other side effects that no one warned me about, including:
- Contractions. Contractions don't end once the baby comes out. For the next 48 hours after childbirth, I had painful menstrual-like cramps and back pain (which were my contractions). I also experienced contractions every time Wyatt nursed for about a week. Apparently this is normal and just my uterus returning to its pre-pregnancy size.
- Epidural site pain. If there is one reason I'd hesitate to get an epidural again, it's because of the pain afterwards. It felt like a really bad bruise and made sitting back or laying down incredibly painful for days.
- Chills and shakiness. Once I was started on pitocin, I started shaking and it didn't let up for almost a week. This could have been due to a normal shift in hormones or the pitocin. I hated this symptom. Because of my unsteadiness, I wasn't allowed to hold Wyatt standing up or change his diaper until he was 3 days old. Sniff.
- Night sweats. Every time I've slept since Wyatt was born (which isn't often!), I wake up soaking wet covered in sweat. I'm sure Jeff loves sleeping next to me.
- Loss of appetite. I never did get that Chick-fil-a spicy chicken biscuit I was craving during labor. In fact, I've had to choke down food since having the little guy. I force myself to eat constantly for energy, but nothing except Wheat Thins sounds or tastes that good.
Obviously, each one of these symptoms is 100% worth it. They were just very unexpected. Keep in mind most normal people can take drugs for the pain. But painkillers make me vomit, and I've already cleaned up enough puke this week, sadly. Though that's a different story for another day…