Yeah, just don't read this one if you're not into talk about stuff "down there."
I was pretty lucky with the birth of M in that I didn't have a lot of bad things happen "down there." I had some minor tearing that my OB spent about a half hour stitching up. I didn't feel a thing thanks to the glorious epidural. I don't really remember the order of events here but I'm guessing I was stitched up after I delivered the placenta. I remember my OB asking me if I had one push left in me. That's all it took to get the placenta out. I didn't have any interest in seeing my placenta, so I didn't ask and looked away when he pulled it out. Because of the epidural, I didn't feel that either. I've heard some horror stories about placenta delivery but mine was easy and routine. One of the things my hospital does is set up a pitocin drip once the baby has been delivered. This helps your body continue to contract, which assists with getting the placenta out and shrinking your uterus.
When I had been stitched up and the OB was done with his work, then came the most painful part of recovery. After every birth, the nurses spend some time pushing on your stomach, around the belly button area, to help get the uterus to start contracting and shrinking down. They're also looking for blood loss. That was something I did feel. The blood that just came gushing out when they pushed on my belly. Gross. Apparently, I was losing a lot more blood than was normal, so they started me on another bag of pitocin to keep the contractions coming for a while. I also had the unfortunate experience of getting my first ever suppositories. My OB inserted FIVE of them. I don't know what it was he inserted, but it was something that helps to stop the bleeding. That was not something I expected and not really something I would like to experience again, thank you very much.
When the nurses push on your belly, it is horribly painful. It feels like someone is stabbing you in the belly button from the inside. I was pushed on a lot. I don't know if it was more than normal because of my extra blood loss or not but I really started to dread every time the nurses came into the room, knowing that was coming.
Speaking of blood loss....
PSA: There is a LOT of blood after childbirth. A lot. If I hadn't seen posts on online chat boards or had a friend who recently gave birth tell me, I would have had no idea. Seriously, it's absolutely frightening how much blood you lose after birth. Every woman goes through this no matter what type of birth they have and whether they have extra blood loss issues or not! Thankfully, the nurses at the hospital have seen it all and know how to help you manage it and keep it contained.
One thing I did not know about before I gave birth was the contractions that occur AFTER the baby is born. Yes, after. They suck. Big time. Even better, they get worse when you're feeding the baby. Not only do you have contractions, but you bleed during them, as well. More stuff that you can feel that is just gross. Blech. I was offered pain pills - Vicodin and ibuprofen. I accepted both. I had been off pain pills for 10 months, so I was all over that stuff. Until...I started feeling really weird and spacey after taking a Vicodin. After that, I quit the hard stuff and stuck to Ibuprofen.
One last thing for all moms to be out there: The hospital will offer you colace. Take it. Make sure you have some at home. Keep taking it. Don't stop 2 weeks after birth. T.R.U.S.T. me on this one. Keep taking it for a while longer. Just...don't ask.
I was on a big high after she was born. I didn't feel much pain, other than the contractions, until the day I went home from the hospital. That's when I really started to feel it. Sitting in the wheelchair for the ride out to the car was extremely awkward. I had M in her carseat on my lap and I couldn't sit directly down on the chair. We got her carseat in to the car and I sat next to her on the way home. I sat on a pillow in the car because I just couldn't bear the thought of even 10 minutes on another hard surface. It took me about a week and a half to sit down on a hard surface without being totally uncomfortable. The couch and bed were my friends during that time and my husband was my personal butler. He stayed home for two weeks and essentially did everything for me so I didn't have to get up unless I had to.
Overall, I am pretty happy with how everything went. I had a good delivery and my "complications" after birth really weren't all that bad in the grand scheme of things. Today, our little girl is 3 weeks old (three weeks already!!) and she is so worth all the pain associated with pregnancy, labor and delivery and recovery.
I just can't put up a post without some pictures of the end result. :)