Spin-Off: Recovery Stories thread – only read if you *want* the TMI!

posted 3 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
Member
4413 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Even though my stories are pretty well-known at this point, I’ll still put my cliff notes version in here in case anyone has been in a cave for the past few months and didn’t hear about the vaganus!

My birth got a bit dicey at the end, and as I teetered on the brink of an emergency C-section, my baby decided that it would be much funnier to give me a V-section instead. I had a fourth degree tear, which is when your actual sphincter rips open and your vagina and asshole merge, forming a “vaganus.” I did not actually feel any pain when this happened, despite having a med-free natural birth, thus proving that the human body is INSANE. It took over an hour for the OBs to stitch me back together and essentially reform my butthole.

I expected the next few weeks to be untold misery, as my entire bottom was held together by like a trillion stitches. But I kept taking my Motrin and stool softeners, and using my water spray bottle to bidet myself every time I went to the bathroom, and sitting in epsom salt baths twice a day, and lo and behold my shredded bottom never even got swollen. I was able to walk and sit without issue about a day and a half after giving birth.

It took about five weeks for everything to really feel like it was back to normal and fully healed up. At my six week PP appointment, I was cleared to have sex, and DH and I did the deed at 7 weeks PP. It hurt like losing my virginity, but as with losing virginity, it hurt a little less each time and within a couple of weeks, it was actually pleasurable again.

So somehow, my body recovered from a fourth degree tear (which happens in like 1% of all births so it’s not like it’s definitely gonna happen to you) more easily than I could possibly have expected. I think I was very, VERY lucky!! So even the worst case scenario isn’t necessarily as bad as it sounds. And my daughter is cute as all get-out 🙂

Post # 4
Member
5460 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@KCKnd2:  I’m marking my spot to come back later and post a more detailed story of my recovery.  BabyDane is 9 months old so I might be a little fuzzy on the details, but I’ll do my best to remember.  It was fairly uneventful though, nothing nearly as terrifying as a vaganus or lemon-sized clots!

Post # 5
Member
416 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

So I actually had not a horrible recovery (though I’m not completely done, only 3 weeks out). 

Birth recap:  I had a vaginal delivery, labor was augmented with pitocin (basically electively, because it was slow) and they broke my water and put a clip on baby’s head (because his heart rate kept dipping).  I had an epidural, which started to wear off as he descended, and I didn’t want any more medication because I wanted to be able to feel things for pushing.  I pushed for an hour and 10 minutes (on my own, not coached), freaked out at the end as he was crowning (literally took several minutes to push him out while he was crowning, because I flat-out refused to push, I was in so much pain), and then he was born.  I had some “brush burns” on my labia and near my urethra (where you pee from), but no tears that needed stitching, which was awesome.

Recovery:  They took my catheter out before I delivered, and I felt my bladder filling up, so once my epidural had mostly worn off I was finally allowed to get up and go to the bathroom.  I peed a ton, all mixed with dark red blood, which kept dripping everywhere.  Seriously, I had blood dripping all over the bathroom every time I took my pants off the first couple days, which was really awkward and not something I was used to.  I was peeing a ton because I was so well-hydrated, but once I got home and wasn’t drinking as much, it really started to burn (from the brush burns I think), although that got better once I started hydrating more.

I was lucky not to get hemorrhoids in pregnancy, and while I was certainly sore afterwards, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  Now three weeks out, it no longer burns at all to pee, and it only feels a little sore to poop. 

My biggest recovery issues:

1. Incontinence – I have peed my pants three times, and that’s not including all the times that urine started coming out as I was pulling my pants down in the bathroom.  I had no idea this would happen, and considering that I had a relatively easy delivery, I am still surprised.  I literally had no control over urine flow for the first two weeks postpartum, and only now can I “hold it,” but I still don’t let myself go too long between bathroom visits, just in case.  Thank god for super absorbent maxi pads, because I was one step away from needing diapers.

2. Sore boobs – My nipples hurt a lot the first few days of breastfeeding, but that got better.  I can’t even point to cracked nipples or anything really severe, it’s just this overwhelming feeling of soreness and fatigue.  Like my boobs are tired, they just want to put on PJs and watch TV all day instead of working so hard.  It’s not awful or unbearable, but it’s just unpleasant.

3. Emotional symptoms – I don’t have depression (yet, at least), and I didn’t have postpartum blues too badly.  I’m a crier anyway, so I don’t think it’s absurd to burst into tears here and there, though I probably have a little more than usual.  It’s just this feeling of being enslaved to my baby, planning everything around feeding/pumping, and just having absolutely no independence or free will.  I love my son, and this week I’ve felt more and more attached to him, but I didn’t have an instantaneous rush of love/bonding the first second he was placed in my arms.  My first thought was “this is a cute baby, I can’t believe he’s ours,” which slowly became love/affection, occasionally peppered with “there is something wrong with this child, why won’t he stop crying.”  I guess I should have expected this given that I didn’t feel super attached to my pregnancy right away either, but I still felt like there was something slightly wrong with me.  I’m coping better and better these days, but it’s hard being home alone all day with a baby and a dog, and having my entire existence revolve around being a new mother.  I miss the other facets of my personality/life.

So that’s my recovery story, a work in progress obviously, but for whatever it’s worth.  Now I’m off to feed the baby again!

Post # 7
Member
1830 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Great thread! No stories to share yet becasue I’m not TTC until a few months but I’ll be following the stories of all the brave bees who are willing to share! 

Post # 8
Member
5460 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Alllllright.  Let’s see what I can remember…

 

 

 

Delivery recap:  med-free midwife assisted hospital delivery.  Labor was about 11 hours total, only 2 1/2 hours of hard labor, and pushed only 15 minutes.

 

I had a 2nd degree tear, but it was really very minor.  They only called it ‘2nd degree’ because it was a little bit crooked.  It only took 5 stitches to repair.

 

I was up and walked to the bathroom to pee about an hour after birth.  The first hour after DD was born we had skin to skin, nursed, and bonded as a family.

 

 

 

Ok.  After I was able to urinate, I was cleared to go up to the Mother-Infant unit.  They made me ride in a wheelchair thing, but I asked if I could just walk instead… but hospital policy was that I had to ride :/  The lady bits were a little sore, but I had an ice pack and a gigantic pad and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

 

I took ibuprofen for pain management, and they also gave me a stool softener.  I had virtually NO swelling at all, since I didn’t push for very long.  I didn’t have any hemorrhoids either 😀

 

I actually found the ice pack to be a little bit too much, and once I got settled in our room I removed it.  I did use the witch hazel tucks pad thingys, the foam they gave me, and the squirt bottle to clean myself after going to the bathroom.  

 

The only thing that hurt more than I thought it would was once I when I was laying in bed, I lifted up my bottom to straighten out my hospital gown (so my shoulders and feet were on the bed, but I lifted my bum up in the air) and it kind of felt like all my insides had been stirred up and melted and were about to come out of my butt.  It kinda hurt!  It just surprised me more than anything, and after a few days it didn’t bother me at all.

 

So for the duration of my hospital stay, I nursed constantly… especially at night.  Babies often get their days & nights mixed up since they are used to being in a quiet and dark environment.  The lights and noises of the day are often too much in the very beginning.  It took a good week to get that straightened out!

 

We came home, continued to nurse, and I kept up with the witch hazel & the pads, but I no longer needed the ibuprofen.

 

My nipples hurt by this time, with BabyDane’s cluster feedings, and the fact that she would fall asleep while nursing all the time, so when we finished she wasn’t really full and would go again in 30 minutes.  It became overwhelming, frustrating, and rather painful.

 

I tried using a nipple shield, which did help for a while with the pain, but it didn’t make her nurse more effectively.

 

I had started pumping after about a week since I knew I would need some back-up when I went back to work.  After about 2 weeks, when we realized that she was gaining weight MUCH more slowly than we would have expected, we introduced a bottle of breastmilk from my budding freezer stash.  It went well, she took the bottle with no problem what so ever.  I found (at that point in time anyway) that the pump emptied my breasts more effectively than my baby, so by about 3-4 weeks I transitioned to exclusive pumping.

 

I think at this point, I should have fought harder to keep nursing at least once a day, so that the baby would have at least had the ability to nurse.  I tried relatching after 4 months, and again at 6 months, but it didn’t go well and she has NO clue what to do with a boob!  I think if I had just stuck it out I would have been able to nurse more effectively once she got the hang of it and my supply had been established better.  Oh well, live and learn right?

 

I had my share of baby blues, mostly stemming from the sheer anxiety and frustration of a lazy nurser.  I had such an easy, natural birth that I had assumed breastfeeding would come just as naturally.  Well, I was wrong, and I grossly underestimated how stressed I would be with the sleep depravation.  Nursing became a source of pain, stress, and general anxiety instead of a beautiful bonding experience.  I know she felt it too, and she probably couldn’t relax since I was so tense.  It definitely got to me.  I was tired.  I ended up being chained to the pump- which meant that I had to do all the bottle setting up and cleaning as if we used formula, with the added stress of actually sitting there like a dairy cow and pump ALL.THE.TIME.  I think I kind of lost a little bit of my own identity.  I was so unsure about everything, but I really did the best I could.

 

Looking back, I can see that those were some pretty dark days.  At the time, I just figured it was normal baby blues and normal first time mom frustrations.  Everything really did work out ok, but I didn’t realize how sad I was at times until I was happy and looking back.  Oy.  I was not a happy person that first month.  Gah.  Everything was just so… overwhelming.  

 

The turning point was when we fell into a good routine and she was sleeping better.  I had a pumping shcedule, and I really found my groove with taking care of her, taking care of myself, and getting out of the house regularly.  When she started to smile and interact with the world a little bit, it was so rewarding!  The clouds parted, the sun shined down on us, and unicorns shit glitter as they leapt over rainbows.  

 

Well, something like that anyway 🙂

 

Post # 9
Member
261 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I had an unplanned c-section.  The pain was pretty minimal except that I struggled to get in and out of bed.  That only lasted a few days.  The thing that surprised me was my emotional state.   I don’t think I had post-partum depression, but I didn’t feel the love that people said I would feel.  I looked at my daughter and saw responsibility.  I looked at her and cried because I thought DH and I would never enjoy time alone together again.  Thankfully, I unloaded on my mom, my sister, and a poor lady from church wjo happened to call to see when she could drop off food.  All assured me that what I was feeling was fine – that my desire to do everything right for DD meant that I DID love her and thay I needed to give myself a break.  Just knowing that I was normal helped tremendously.  I also cried around 7 pm every night – convinced that was the night that DD would cry all night (she never did).  DH would just hold DD, tell me that he’d take the next shift, amd tell me to go to sleep till she needed to nurse.  He was amazing.   I think my problem stemmed from having an unplanned c-section and DD winding up in the NICU.  I didn’t get all the endorohines of labor and it was hard to bond when she was 3 floors away.  Now? She is my heart and soul and she squeals with delight whenever she sees.me.  my mom’s arvice was the best.  She told.me to just survive the 1st few weeks.  I didnt need to try to get her on a schedule.  I didn’t need to find something that would work long term. I just needed to get me, DD, and DH through those 1st few weeks of sleep deprivation hades.  

 

As for sex, the benefit was that I didn’t worry at all about pooping or sex.  Also, my bleeding wasn’t nearly as bad as what some describe – becausw they vacuum a bunch our during surgery. 

 

Heads up for 2nd babies – apparently your uterus contracts faster after your second delibry so you may have really painful cramping in the days after.  The nurse kept asking me if I was having cramping and seemed surprised when I didn’t.   My mom reminded her that.DD was my first.  Then the burse said “right! Just remember that next time you’ll have bad cramps. ”  I’m pregnant with no. 2 now, so we’ll see.  

 

After we adjusted, I tild my pregnant cousin (and her husband) that it would be totally ok if she strugggled with her emotions.  Great idea for a thread.

Post # 10
Member
938 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Love this thread . . . 

Delivery recap: Was planning a natural childbirth. Went into labour at 40+1. Arrived at the hospital at 1030 and was 3cm and 80% effaced. By 1300, I was fully dialated. Believe me, I would have given my right arm to have an epidural, but my labour was progressing too fast. Unfortunately, DS was malpositioned and I ended up with an emergency C section. I am currently 10 weeks PP.

My recovery:

1. The recovery from a C section was much easier than I expected.

2. I felt extremely disappointed and upset I had to have a C section.

3. I never knew my nipples could hurt so much or bleed. Luckily after a few weeks, the BF became much better.

4. A bit weirded out that my right boob is now significantly bigger than my left.

5. I spent my entire pregnany worried about stretch marks, weight gain and loose skin and baby weight – my mom had terrible stretch marks and loose skin. Shockingly to me, I didn’t get any stretch marks, my skin is totally back to normal and I was at my pre-pregnancy weight at 5 weeks PP.

6. My husband and I haven’t had sex yet.

7. Not having a vaginal birth, I didn’t expect to bleed for as long as I did – bled then spotted for 7 weeks.

8. I never knew I could be sooooooo tired and still function.

9. I live in my pyjamas.

I guess overall, I would have to say that my recovery has been good and mostly what I expected. 

 

Post # 11
Member
548 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@BabyEtobe:  typing with one hand on my phone so I can’t add my birth story right now, but just wanted to chime in about 2nd baby uterine cramping. I had my first son 10 yrs ago so a lot of the recovery is fuzzy for me but with baby #2 it def caught me off guard to cramp so bad while nursing, as if all the other aches, pains, soreness wasn’t enough your baby baker decides it wants to hurt too :/

 

Post # 12
Member
2429 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

I posted my birth story but I’m 12 days postpartum.  I had a c-section, was given a choice between induction with an unfavorable cervix or a c-section so I chose the latter.  Recovery has been a breeze.  I only took pain meds for a day and then was just taking motrin as needed after that.  Very minimal bleeding and the only care is to keep the incision dry.  I was up and walking the next day and as of today feel almost completely normal, I’m still not driving yet and certain twisting movements may hurt a little.  For the first couple days of breastfeeding my boobs hurt and were cracking/bleeding.  She was dropping a lot of weight so I was having to pump and supplement with breastmilk on top of nursing.  She decided she is no longer interested in the boob and only wants to the bottle, so now Im exclusively pump feeding.  It’s not too bad and allows my husband to help with middle of the night feedings so I’ve been able to get some rest.  The weight loss was a big surprise.  I put on 33 pounds during pregnancy and dropped 25 in the first week.  My body is different though, my boobs are a lot bigger and my stomach has some loose skin but hopefully that’ll tighten up some eventually.

Post # 13
Member
101 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Mama to be here, expecting our first in August, and just wanted to thank all you Bees for sharing – reading all of these stories helps me feel more prepared for what is to come. Thank you!

Post # 14
Member
183 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

A couple things to add now that my DS is 2 months old!

I had to be induced at 40+3 due to low fluids, but things went smoothly.  Dr broke my water and started the lowest dose of Pitocin, then my body kicked in and did its thing with contractions.  i got the epidural, and he was born less than 4 hours after starting the induction. 

The amount of bleeding in the day or 2 after birth surprised me.  As someone mentioned, i was dripping blood on the floor in the hospital bathroom every time i went.  The nurses are angels to come into the bathroom with you and show you whats going on and how to squirt yourself, apply the witchhazel pads, etc. 

i loved the mesh panties and ice pack pads, took home as many as i could, and i was still using them at least 2 weeks PP.  I had lots of swelling and a 2nd degree tear.  i was on 800mg motrin 3x a day for a few weeks, which helped.

Nursing went pretty well for us from the beginning.  On day 3, my milk came in and my boobs were rock hard and so sore, but then things got better.  When he was about 3 weeks old, i got a fever that might have been related to a clogged duct, but i felt like crap for a few days, then back to normal.

Pooping hurt a lot.  I was (and still am) on stool softeners, and those helped some, but i ended up with an anal fissure and bled painfully with each bowel movement. The dr prescribed suppositories for 2 weeks, and those seem to have cleared it up, but i’m still afraid to stop the stool softeners. 

At my 6w PP visit, the dr said things looked good and that we could resume sex.  When we did, I bled quite a bit from the internal part of my tear.  We waited another week or so before trying again, and still bled some.  Hoping this will keep getting better!

Post # 15
Member
1414 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’m commenting to follow. I just gave birth 10 days ago and unfortunately, like @iarebridezilla I have experienced “vaganus”. I had a 4th degree tear and I’m afraid my vajayjay will never be the same again Frown. My doctor did an episiotomy because he said the baby’s head was too big and that’s what lead to the 4th degree tear. My doctor had to call in another Ob/gyn and between the two of them they were over an hour stitching me back up. A nurse got me up during the night so I could go to the bathroom but I was so swollen down there that I couldn’t pee and had to be catherized. I was taking Tylenol 2 for a few days but I’m not taking any pain medication now. If I wasn’t breastfeeding I would be asking for some hardcore drugs. Unfortunately I’m allergic to anti-inflammatories so there’s not a whole lot I can do about swelling.

Post # 16
Member
4413 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@As_You_Wish:  oh no! A vaganus is not something I would wish upon anyone. Are you doing Epsom salt baths? That made a huge difference for me too. I would do them two or three times a day. sitting in the warm saltwater really helped draw out the fluid and reduce swelling! Good luck vaganus buddy 🙁

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