How was your recovery after birth?

posted 2 months ago in Pregnancy
Post # 2
Member
2275 posts
Buzzing bee

Hi! 🙂 

I had an induction at about 39 weeks.  It was super easy and progressed as expected, resulting in a vaginal birth.  I did have an epidural and a 2nd degree tear.  My recovery was pretty standard, I think, and not too bad – I was getting up and walking around later that evening (I had my daughter at 11am) but it wasn’t comfortable or easy.  I was VERY tired and had to move gingerly; I could tell that my body had pushed itself to its very limits. 

Going to the bathroom was pretty scary; most people talk about the first poop but it was the first pee for me.  The feeling of “letting go” down there at all just felt WRONG.  But I tried to relax and let my body ease into it vs. forcing it.  That’s the key to all first potties!  Take all the Colace and Miralax they give you and don’t rush it LOL.

I had my daughter on a Tuesday and we came home on a Friday – we were kept longer due to her health issues, not mine.  That Saturday we went to the pediatrician and it exhausted me just walking across the parking lot.  I had to stop and take frequent breaks.  But a couple of days after that I was able to push the baby a quarter mile in the stroller, and progressed upwards from there.  3 weeks postpartum I did an easy rowing working, just 15 mins of easy, leisurely rowing just to move again.

I did part of Briana Battles’ postpartum recover program to ease my core back into shape because it was SHOT – but because I worked out prior to pregnancy, once I fully recovered I only had a 1.5 finger separation which was good.  I eased slowly back into workouts, avoiding high intensity and heavy weights, honestly focusing a lot of walks at first.  I built from there.  By 6m postpartum I was feeling pretty good and at 10m postpartum I’m really feeling “normal” again.  Of course I just found out I’m pregnant again, so there that goes! LOL.

All in all I feel like I had a pretty good experience given that a) I was induced and b) I was 37 at the time of delivery.  I know it can all go a ton of different ways depending on circumstances but fingers crossed for a similar experience this time!

You’ll do great!!

ETA: I did bleed until about 6 weeks PP and relied heavily on Dermaplast and Tucks pads those first few weeks.  You are literally HEALING your body so I was very careful with showers, going to the bathroom, etc.  I also preferred Depends to the hospital pads provided, I wore Depends until I stopped bleeding.

  • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by krm1984.
Post # 3
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee

I had two uncomplicated vaginal births with epidurals. The first involved a pitocin induction and I tore a little, and that one did take a little longer to recover from than my second, which did not involve pitocin, and no tearing. With both births, I was pretty sore for about a week, felt like a giant bowling ball had come out of my butt.

I remember being 3 or 4 days pp with my second and we had to take our baby to the hospital for some blood work, and I foolishly decided to walk the whole way through the hospital vs using a wheelchair. It was a long ass walk to the other end of the hospital where the lab was and I was HURTING by the time that was done.

After that first week I felt a lot better but still needed to take it easy physically for awhile or I’d start bleeding more heavily. In terms of when did I feel totally 100% normal, it took like 8 weeks after I had my first. I remember THINKING I was feeling pretty damn good by like the one week mark and going on a long walk with my husband….only to be in serious discomfort about 20 min in, heavy bleeding, and needed to call an uber home. Whoops.

I also remember I was still having some stinging sometimes at the 6 week mark, and at my pp checkup, my doctor said the tear wasn’t 100% healed, which surprised me because it had been a small tear. I also bled for a full 8 weeks with that one (light for the last month but still annoying).

Baby 2, I felt totally normal sooner, probably by the 5 week mark, and my postpartum bleeding stopped a lot sooner too. I think it was only about a week or 10 days of red bleeding and then it was just annoying spotting that would come and go for another couple weeks. 

Post # 4
Hostess
4615 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

View original reply
@dianaj17:  I had a medicated vaginal birth (started laboring late 39+5, LO born the morning of 39+6) and it was a breeze! After the epidural of course lol. I’d say I had less than a week of feeling sore (2nd degree tear), but I was fine walking our dog the day we got home from the hospital. By week 2-3 I was itching too start working out again and cleared for light workouts.

Totally normal is hard to answer because I’m still breastfeeding (6 months PP) and that in and of itself makes me feel not normal. As far as physically myself, that first milestone around 3 weeks when I started working out again, I was almost 100%, and then again around 3 months I felt a boost emotionally because my milk supply had regulated and we started sleep training. Getting reliable full overnight sleep every night and not constantly worrying about having enough milk gave me life and some control of my schedule back.

Post # 5
Member
2275 posts
Buzzing bee

Just adding that the epidural was 100% worth it for me not only for the pain of contractions, but for something I wasn’t expecting: the discomfort of enduring stitching for my tear.  Unfortunately because they told me to stop pushing the “good juice button” for a bit during contractions so I could feel everything, a bit had worn off by the time it came to the stitching, and it was so uncomfortable I can’t IMAGINE enduring that completely unmedicated.  OMG.  I know it’s not for everyone and I myself had planned to try for unmedicated but I didn’t think about this part.

  • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by krm1984.
Post # 6
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee

View original reply
@missinthecity:  ugh its so true about breastfeeding. I am also still nursing my baby at 6 months and dont feel totally normal yet because of that. Plus she is still waking twice a night to feed usually, which is so different from my unicorn first baby who was reliably sleeping through the night by this point, sigh. But yeah breastfeeding hormones make your body “looser” which can delay pelvic floor healing and can cause all sorts of weird aches and pains and even gastro issues.

With my first baby I didnt feel totally normal until around the one year mark, even though I nursed her for two years…there was a hormonal shift at 12 months probably due to her diet shifting to primarily solids and my supply dropping a lot. Thats also when I finally dropped the last 10 lbs of baby weight. Looking forward to hitting that milestone! Although also not because I need my baby to remain a baby FOREVER PLZ 

eta: I also got mastitis at 3 weeks pp this time which was a BITCH. I almost had to go to the ER because my fever was not coming down after 36 hrs on the antibiotics, but fortunately it finally started coming down the next morning and I avoided that hellishness. 

Post # 7
Member
878 posts
Busy bee

My first birth was relatively uncomplicated. I was induced at 41 weeks, but didn’t need pitocin, only the cervix softener they insert. My epidural overnight went smoothly and in the morning it was time to push. They thought my baby would come quickly but I pushed for just under 3 hours and she still wasn’t ready. I had an oxygen mask and they had a probe on her head to track her stats. It got to the point where if she didn’t come in the next little bit, they would have had to explore other options. And then, thankfully, she came!

I don’t really have anything to compare it to, but I think my recovery was pretty standard. I was very patient with myself and my body. I didn’t allow myself to get frustrated by my limitations and gave myself a lot of grace, which I think helped.

A unique side effect I had is that my arms were very sore from bearing down on the bed to push, but I don’t think that’s common. It was due to 3 hours of active, intense pushing. This went away in about a week I would say, but made getting in and out of the hospital bed a real challenge. When we got home I was diligent about taking the laxative medication and Tylenol (I think) and I never felt like I was in too much pain. I got in a habit of taking an epsom salt bath every morning and then laying down with a Frida mom ice pad for a nap, and I think that helped a lot.

We went for our first family walk at about two weeks, and that was about right. I don’t think I could have gone much sooner and I didn’t have a lot of stamina. I didn’t even think about exercise or the appearance of my body until after I was cleared at 6 weeks, and even then it wasn’t a priority for me at all.

Breastfeeding was a real struggle and I got serious mastitis (urgent care visit) three times, mild (phoned in script since they knew I was prone to getting it) twice. That was probably the only thing that made my recovery really difficult.

By 6 weeks I felt notably better, though certainly not back to my normal self. By 4 months I was feeling almost there, and by 6 months I was back to normal emotionally and physically (though still carrying a lot of extra weight ) — largely because I stopped breastfeeding then and that constant struggle was behind me. However, I still had a majority of the pregnancy weight to lose…

My second is due in the new year, we’ll see how the two experiences will be similar and different.

Post # 8
Member
4108 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

View original reply
@dianaj17:  I went preeclamptic at 37 weeks (blood pressure prior to that had been pristine). Induced and delivered the following day. Had a kick ass labor and birth experience. I could not believe how awesome delivery was for me. I got an epidural and even though I felt sick towards the end due to a couple of things (Benadryl had to be given, I was exhausted and puking, etc), it was such an awesome experience. Right at the end, I had this moment of peace and calmness. Birthing my daughter was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. 

The following morning, I was up walking around. My pain was a 0. I felt tired AF, but okay. I now realize I was likely still in shock from birth. 

Post-partum has been HELL. 

First of all. FIRST OF ALL. Hemorrhoids. I was ill prepared. Everyone’s worried about the state of your vagina, yet no one adequately prepared me for what could and would happen to my butt. I could barely sit for a week and even now, I can’t fart too boisterously without fearing a repeat of my post-birth ass. 

I was also ill-prepared for just how bone tired I’d be immediately after labor and delivery. I just wanted to go to sleep, but I couldn’t because oh, hey, I just birthed a human into existence and now she needs me. The lack of sleep was rough and grueling for sure. 

Breastfeeding was also a heinous experience for me. At the time, we didn’t know my daughter had torticollis, so she refused one side of me entirely. She was a lazy grazer and would take two sips and pass out. Didn’t matter how much we undressed her, angered her, etc., she’d just sleep. Pumping was tedious and painful for me. I went through every flange size available and nothing seemed to work. My supply was laughable. Overall, breastfeeding was one of the worst experiences of my life. I grieve what a terrible time we had with it. It breaks my heart and I had to work through a lot of the resentment towards my body for failing me. 

All that being said, I felt like “myself” again maybe two months PP? That’s also when I called it on the breastfeeding and pumping. Once I gave that up and bottle fed, both daughter and I were so much happier. 

However, I have struggled so much with my weight since delivering. I’m up 50lb from the day I got my positive test. I gained 30lb during pregnancy and another 20lb since giving birth. I’m ashamed and feel disgusting, but I’m also still so exhausted and my husband is out of the house so much and I have little help, so I just don’t have the energy to go back into my work out routine. 

I’d say my weight is my biggest struggle. I really thought I’d snap right back and hoo boy I did not. 

Post # 9
Hostess
4615 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

View original reply
@emilyofnewmoon:  I so feel you on the wanting to be done breastfeeding (more so the pumping now that I’m back at work  UGH) but also because I know I’ll miss that closeness and I’m not ready for her to be that old yet! 

Post # 10
Member
3930 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I had a c-section with no pushing at all, and sex still hurt for like 7-8 months. Ugh. Breastfeeding hormones. 

I started getting out for mild strolls at 3 weeks pp. It took several months before I had the core stability and lack of pain to do anything more than stroll, and before it didn’t hurt to sit up and lie down. I’m a runner and have never really gotten back to where I was at before, though. I think it’s partly physical but mostly due to lack of time. 

Highly recommend wearing a Velcro belly band for like 5-6 weeks straight after c-section. 

Also, I think your emotional state after birth is even tougher to handle than the physical stuff (which is saying a lot lol). The baby blues are intense!

Post # 11
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee

View original reply
@MrsMeowton:  Everyone’s worried about the state of your vagina, yet no one adequately prepared me for what could and would happen to my butt.

YES. They need to put this on a billboard lol. I had the exact same experience with the pp hemmies, totally awful. Although I am 6 months pp now and mine has been gone for quite awhile thankfully, although I am still terrified to strain at ALL when pooping.

Post # 12
Member
1919 posts
Buzzing bee

WARNING: Going to give you some graphic truth. 

 

First birth I had a lot of internal tearing and actually ended up having nerve damage to my clitoris. I was very sore, swollen, and bruised for the first couple of weeks, but by 6 weeks felt pretty decent. I took the prescribed ibuproved every 4-6 hours for the first solid week, and partially into the second. The nerve damage to my clitoris and internal tearing took a solid 6 months before I’d say I felt back to normal and started really enjoying sex again without a lot of effort/lubrication. Honestly, my son is 3.5 yrs old now, and I still have a spot internally that gets irritated when we have sex.

However! I had ZERO tearing with my second. He literally popped right out and I was like – okay, so we can go home now? Totally different recovery, and I felt back to normal in days. The postpartum contractions though were pretty brutal and rivaled labor contractions. I didn’t ask for any pain medication while in the hospital, and only started taking the prescribed ibuprofen a few days later to help ease the cramping. I did end up with a thrombosed hemorhoid though, which I swear to God was worse than birth itself. I ended up having to have it removed 3 days postpartum. (Thrombosed just means it is filled with blood clots. It makes it hard as a rock and is very painful.) Once that was removed, I was good as new. Which was a huge blessing because my first born was just shy of 3 years old and is ACTIVE. 

Post # 13
Member
1487 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Unmedicated very straightforward birth at 40+4, no tears.

Went home 2 hours after delivery

days 1-3: physically drained but no actual pain

weeks 1-2: back to normal  for day to day stuff but your stomach and muscles just feel weird…like you go to do something and the normal response just doesn’t happen; reflexes are a joke. 

Week 3: started riding my horse again, easily winded, wonky balance, very weak muscles

weeks 5-10: started mommy&me gentle yoga and saw a Pelvic Floor therapist to start rebuilding lost muscle / core strength. For the day to day of that I felt totally normal but physical exercise quickly reminded me I’d recently had a baby

Month 7-8: Was riding my horse and it occured to me “whoa…I feel completely back to pre-pregnancy self!”. It was only in doing physically technical activities that the gap had still been apparent (skiing, horse riding, etc) but it was around 7-8 months where I truly felt I was back completely normal physically.

Now…some things are probably permanently F-ed (e.g. if I’m running and sneeze…I’m going to pee a little) but by a year I was 98% back to pre-baby self and I think that last 2% is just ‘baby tax’ on my body.

Post # 14
Member
9416 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
@dianaj17:  first was a fast, unmedicated vaginally delivery. I physically felt pretty good by week 2, but was bleeding up until week 6. I would say totally “normal” by around 2 months. 

Second was induction, 45 hours of labor (3 pushing) and then a c-section. It was rough. It was a couple months before I could even comfortably do things like load a dishwasher. I’d say maybe 6 months until things felt like they went back to normally. 1.5 years later my scar still itches sometimes. 

Post # 15
Member
167 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

I was induced with my first and I was in labor for 16 hours. I got my epidural and pushed for two hours. I had to get the vacuum to get the baby out which was frustrating but I think I went a little heavy with the epidural so that’s my fault ha ha. One thing I didn’t like was how awful I felt after the epidural. I felt nauseous and couldn’t walk and I felt like putting off feeling the pain made me feel the pain worse when it finally wore off.  
with my second baby things progressed fast and I couldn’t get an epidural. I got the baby out in two pushes because I needed the pain from the contractions to end. I was up and walking around almost instantly and felt like I could have run a marathon. I’m not sure if that’s from having given birth before or from not having an epidural but I felt so much better from not having an epidural. If I had to do it again and I could guarantee my labor would be as quick as it was before I don’t think I’d get an epidural again.

I did tear both times and I felt like I healed a lot faster the second time but I feel like a blood longer the second time. It’s wild how your body can do the same thing different times and have a different result each time.

Leave a comment


Find Amazing Vendors