Sometimes we just have to laugh (or cry) at how crazy, frustrating, stinky, infuriating, and humbling postpartum life can be. This is where I'll be posting very short stories that moms send me about one particular postpartum incident that they didn't expect to happen. Nothing is TMI! If you have a postpartum story to share email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stories can be up to 250 words. Pictures are worth another 750 more.
Don't Forget to Pee (By C.M.)
When B was born he was rushed away due to meconium in his lungs. I remember being told to make sure pee. I thought ok, when I need to go, I will. The epidural was so strong I still couldn't feel my legs the next day. I needed help getting dressed because I couldn't lift my legs. I also couldn't feel the urge to pee, so I held it for hours. When I finally stood up pee gushed out of me. You’d think nurses would have reminded me to pee, but no. Apparently it’s important to empty the bladder to allow the uterus to contract properly post labor. 24 hours after B was in NICU (for some respiratory problems) I got called down to nurse him. When I was leaving, I got up and felt a gush again. I assumed it was pee, but halfway back to the room I started to shiver and shake uncontrollably. It wasn't pee. I hemorrhaged. The OB rushed in and told me they'd have to do an internal right there. I freaked. My hoo ha was still in pain and that's the last thing I wanted. I begged for an epidural. Lol. They gave me morphine. I screamed like a baby. My husband was in tears begging them to stop. It was worse than the labour. My second baby…no epidural....easy labour, recovery was amazing, and I made sure to pee once an hour! I wish I had been told HOW important the peeing piece was the first time around. I would have made sure to go even if I didn't feel it!
Saving Those Hospital Mesh Granny Panties (By J.C.)
I was so focused on having a magical and natural birth that I didn't think for more than five minutes about postpartum care for myself or the baby. My daughter was breeched and she was delivered via C-section. I felt like a truck literally hit me. Hours of Bradley classes and doing uncomfortable perineal massage seemed like a waste. Being unable to sit up, stand, and walk was frightening. No one prepared me for how I would feel both physically and emotionally. I thought something was wrong with me. I wasn’t used to this feeling of helplessness. Ideas of what I thought my life would be like as a mother were dashed, starting with my birth. I felt like a total failure. I also had a 6-inch gash across my abdomen, which hurt for 3 months solid when I laughed, so I wore those mesh cotton granny panties the hospital gives out well into my fourth trimester. I bought some granny panties from the store but those hospital mesh ones were so much more comfortable! I just kept washing them like they weren't meant to be disposable! My husband came to my first postpartum appointment and when my doc asked about our birth control plans, we half-jokingly said, “abstinence.” As I was getting dressed and slipping on my mesh hospital granny panties, my husband partly joked, "and those panties will totally help!" It was a bittersweet day when I packed them away...I had to save them for baby #2!!!!
“Painful, Raw Nipples!” (By Kathy C.)
Who knew that breastfeeding is a full-time job around the clock?! It’s something nobody can prepare you for. You’re learning all these different positions and learning how to properly latch your baby onto your nipples. I did get help a few times from a lactation consultant and making sure I was doing it right. It was so overwhelming to say the least. I wasn’t used to always being in demand to feed and grow a tiny little human. With a few weeks into breastfeeding, my nipples became raw! It was so painful, yet I had to continue to feed our little bundle of joy. I cried and cried and would apply nipple cream every time I was done feeding. I cried even from wearing just clothes. Anytime my nipples rubbed against my clothes, I would scream in pain. I ended up wearing these nipple shields to help with the pain from rubbing against any type of clothing. It was like an armour shield for your nipples! Ha! After a few weeks of religiously wearing the shields and applying nipple cream, they eventually healed. Now 9 months later, I’m enjoying every time I breastfeed Kaia. It’s a great bonding experience we share and I try to hold onto every moment as we begin to wean her off my breasts…
(Follow Kathy @islandfeversisters and islandfeversisters.com)
Stand Up Poop (By M.G.)
Poop. You don't know how much you love it until you can't have it. The first couple of days were so filled with baby crying, diapers, pain killers, feeding (or attempt at feeding), etc… that I hadn't thought much about my backed up digestive system. I had been on stool softeners since day 1, but they hadn't done much. On day 4, the poop had yet to come and it was starting to bother me. Each day went by with failed attempts at the elusive bowel movement and I became preoccupied with the discomfort that came along with my constipation. On day six my mom went out to get me dried prunes to help get things moving and they didn't work until day seven. I had decided I could not wait any longer and I was going to make this happen no matter what the cost. I sat at the toilet for a while pushing and pushing and pushing (it was basically like my "failure to progress" labour). I tried a stool under my feet, but that didn't seem to work. I'm not sure why, but I got the urge to stand up. I gave my best poop pushing and grunting while standing over the toilet and there it was, the poop I had been looking for all week. A stand up poop, the only way I could manage to pass my first post C-section baby poop. Who knew!?
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