(Sorry this took so long to post!!)
The next day, I was able to stand, and slowly walk to the bathroom. The catheter is removed, and it becomes a race against the clock: You have 6 hours to pee on your own. Fail? And another catheter goes back in. Ready? Set? Go!
Worst competition ever. But at least I won!
Here’s something I never-ever knew about, ever, no one had ever told me about, and had never read about: The nurses come in and press on your abdomen to help your uterus shrink back.
Warning: THIS.HURTS.A LOT.
Throughout this entire experience, I have never said “ow,” or complained about pain. But when the nurse pressed down, I started screaming. I’ll never forget the look on Mike’s face–he looked terrified and confused.
The pain from the incision sucks. If you’ve ever had any kind of surgery, you know the first day after is the worst. Every time you stand up, sit down, adjust in bed, cough, sneeze, laugh, etc. it feels like someone is ripping you open and burning you. It gets better each day, so you just have to force yourself through it. The pain meds help too… kind of. I’m not comfortable with taking heavy medications. So at the hospital, I took the pain meds, but at home I only took Ibuprofen.
(Mini side story: Night 2 of being at home with the baby, he started coughing in his sleep. I practically sprouted wings and FLEW to the crib to pick him up and make sure he was ok. Moments later, I almost collapsed to the floor from of the rush of pain that hit me. Yikes. Baby Dailey was fine though, it was just a new-mom-overreaction.)
But the pain was nothing compared to how proud I felt of myself. Just looking over at Mike and our sweet baby boy… I couldn’t believe what I just did! I was smiling so much my cheeks hurt.
Then… the bullshit started.
I have “anxiety” listed on my chart, and this raised some kind of red flag to the doctors.
Three OBs decide to pay me a visit… they stood at the foot of my bed, and start warning me about the dangers of postpartum psychosis. Hearing voices. Seeing “things.” They basically bullied me for a good 30 minutes. They weren’t offering education or support… they were spouting warnings, some of them were even mild threats.
…Then a social worker comes in. To her credit, she was a lot nicer. She offered education and phone numbers to call, should I need them.
…Then a psychiatrist comes in. This was the worst experience of all. Here’s the actual conversation I had with her:
Her: “So, I heard that you were keeping track of your naps on your phone. Why?”
Me: What? No… I was keeping track of my CONTRACTIONS. (I showed her the app on my phone as proof.)
Her: “Oh ok. I also heard you asked for Zofran… why?”
Me: Because I didn’t want to throw up.
Her: “Why did you think you were going to throw up?”
Me: Because I was told it was a possibility by the anesthesiologist.
Her: “Ok, and why were you afraid of throwing up?”
Me: …Because I don’t like throwing up. If you do, that’s cool. But that’s not my thing.
Her: “Ok. I also heard that you were afraid of walking outside of your room during labor. Do you want to tell me about that?”
Me: What??? That’s not true. I wasn’t allowed to go walking until the nurse got permission from my midwife first. I wasn’t afraid. What the hell is this all about? This is crazy.
Her: “Well, sometimes things get lost in the mix, written down wrong, or told wrong, so that’s why I ask. I’m just trying to clarify a few things. So it’s all good… I didn’t even have to write anything down!”
I was furious. I’ve never been treated this way before. I wanted to get the fuck out of that hospital as soon as possible and just go home.
PPD (Postpartum Depression) is serious, and is something all women who are going to be giving birth, need to be made aware of. They should be informed of where they can go to get help should they need it; INFORMED, not INTERROGATED. I was not informed. I did not feel supported, or encouraged. I was harassed and cross-examined. And right after having given birth! Um, wow, REALLY bad timing, ladies.
Within minutes, I went from feeling like a super-confident-proud-mama, to crap. They took away all of my confidence and pride, and replaced it with fear.
Luckily I got to go home one day earlier than expected, because I was healing up so well, eating well, and walking around a lot. I was in a lot much pain, but after being put on trial like that, my main goal was to just get out of there.
Ok enough of that, because that part of my story really pisses me off…
What happened to your body immediately after?
-My feet swelled up like god damn balloons full of hate. I never had swollen feet or hands throughout my pregnancy, so this sucked. I couldn’t wear my wedding rings (which made me cry) and I had a hard time wearing shoes. It took about 10 days, and then magically overnight, I woke up with my normal feet again.
-I was lucky enough to get stitches and tape, and not staples. So after a week, my tape came off and my incision was basically healed already. Woohoo! but my lower tummy/pelvic areas are still numb. Even today, 12 weeks postpartum, my lower belly is numb. It’s weird but it doesn’t bother me because it’s not a significant part of my body anyway.
-My boobs became engorged. They looked like I got a bad boob job. They were rock hard and pressing on my chest, I felt like I had an elephant standing on me. I decided not to breastfeed, so I was doing everything to make my supply go away, which included: Cabbage in the bra, ice packs, tight-fitting sports bra, Sudafed, No More Milk Tea… While these things helped the engorgement go away, it didn’t completely take away my supply. I’m still leaking. Right boob, you are an overachiever. But seriously, stop.
-I gained a total of 35lbs during pregnancy. Most of that was baby, fluid, and misc… materials. I had gotten back to pre-pregnancy weight by 3 weeks postpartum, but since then I have gained some back. Womp-womp.
-My blood pressure was high after giving birth. I’ve never had high blood pressure–ever. I was checked out, and reassured that in my case, it will go away in a few weeks (and it did– by week 10 it had gone back to normal).
So… this was not a perfect birth story.
I am a little bummed about having a c-section…
I am upset about the OB having taken over my labor. I was a patient of the midwives, but they let the OBs take over from the beginning. I had no idea that was even a possibility, no one told me that could happen. The midwives became backup support and the OBs ran the show.
I am upset about having pitocin when I didn’t want pitocin. And then the fact that it backfired as much as it did only solidifies my being upset about it.
I am also upset about the other miscommunication that the psychiatrist was given, and that I was being bullied by her. Instead of being able to bask in the glory of being a new mommy, and snuggling with my baby, I had to sit there and defend stupid things, such as why I don’t like throwing up. That’s not right.
But… my son was worth it. He is worth everything.
Cathy, what’s his naaaame???
I’m not comfortable revealing his name on here. I’ve thought about it for a while… I follow lots of mommy blogs where they proudly announce their baby’s name, but something is telling me to hold back, for now at least. I call him Little Bear as a nickname, so that’s how I will refer to him on here.
My little bear is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
And the love I have for my husband has grown more than I ever thought possible. It’s amazing.
So… any more?
Y’know, my pregnancy was a breeeeeze! I LOVED my pregnancy. I looked beautiful and I felt great. But labor was hell.
Even after having read books, watched documentaries, taken classes… those really didn’t help me at all.
I don’t feel like situations similar to mine are fairly represented in any of those. All of the books I read made natural childbirth sound like ANY WOMAN could do it and that most women just chose not to. But in truth, not every woman can have a natural labor. There are a lot of things that can go wrong… and a lot of things DID go wrong for me. For a moment I did feel like a failure for having needed a c-section, but only because those books, and documentaries made me feel that way.
Even after all of that, I’m open to the possibility of having one more baby in a couple of years…
He looks just like his daddy. I’m a lucky woman.