It’s almost been 4 weeks since I gave birth and although I am feeling considerably better and more like myself with each day that passes, there are some things that still cause me discomfort 4 weeks later…
I’m fortunate to be able to say that my baby weight literally melted off, but I guess I have breastfeeding to thank for that. I’ve lost 35 of the 40 pounds I gained during my pregnancy so far and though I still have somewhat of a pooch, -uterus takes 4-6 weeks to go back to about normal size- I don’t feel like a fat blob anymore! My legs have pretty much gone back to the same size they were pre-pregnancy and the yucky cellulite that had made themselves known on my thighs are mysteriously gone -not that I’m complaining!! I can finally sleep on my stomach again as well!
That’s where the pros end.
Enter the cons.
I only get about 3-4 straight hours of sleep a night and this has caused me to suffer with migraines again. Even worse than before I got pregnant. I also look like a raccoon most of the time due to the bags under my eyes… Breastfeeding is HARD. They tell you it’s not easy, but I didn’t expect it to be so HARD! My nipples felt so sore the initial week I started breastfeeding and they even started to dry up, but my wonderful lactation consultant gave me this miracle cream that apparently her sister-in-law makes and sells and it’s worked wonders for me. Do not ask me the name of said cream because I sincerely don’t know. Honestly. Her sister-in-law only sells it locally. I wasn’t just suffering from sore nipples though. I also was having a problem with leaky boobs. No matter how well Mia was nursing and no matter how well I was staying on track with pumping, it just seemed like my breasts were always full. They literally felt like rocks and it was starting to hurt whenever Mia nursed. I looked (and continue looking) at forums on the internet and even looking up Youtube videos to see what I was possibly doing wrong and then I remembered the La Leche International page that my lactation consultant had suggested I look at. It was a life saver! I was able to read up on a lot of breastfeeding topics and going through the FAQs was great as well because the page answered a lot of the questions I had. I had a breakdown last week after a particularly painful nursing session but after consulting with a consultant over the phone I was able to muster up the courage to keep trying it and I’m so glad I didn’t quit. Sometimes it feels like a hassle because Mia constantly wants to be feeding and she doesn’t just eat 2 ounces or 3; she’s more into 4-6 ounce feedings -nurses said this was ok- but after awhile you start to develop a routine and the annoying little side effects kind of go away. Like the leaky boobs thing. It’s very beneficial to you to wear nursing pads if you don’t want to have an embarrassing moment at your local Wal-Mart and have to walk around with your hands crossed… (NOT that that happened to me… AHEM) but if you are nursing the recommended 2-3 hours, your little one should be emptying your breasts to the point where you won’t need to worry about your breasts leaking. STILL, I’d be prepared for anything…
I had mentioned that I got an episiotomy and let me tell you, they really don’t warn you enough about the aftermath of that. Not that it’s anything major, but it definitely would’ve been nice to know some of this stuff going in… I ended up getting a 2nd degree tear and I’m pretty sure my stitches have dissolved but I remember having so much trouble sitting down on my butt and getting up after sitting in the same position for a long period of time. That squirt bottle they give you at the hospital? It is your FRIEND. I still use it -for different reasons- and it works wonderfully. Witch hazel pads are amazing too and so is that pain spray they give you to spray on your bum. I haven’t had problems with my stitches or anything related to the episiotomy but I did develop a nasty case of postpartum hemorrhoids and those are NOT a good time. It absolutely scares me to go #2 if I have been constipated for a couple of days because the burning sensation in my bum is intense. It feels like labor all over again. Thankfully, I’ve been doing Kegels and drinking lots of water and eating fiber rich foods and am getting a teeny tiny bit better.
Postpartum lochia is no fun either…
On top of that there’s the whole not having time to myself anymore. I went 3 days without showering last week because every time I stepped into the shower I heard Mia start crying and had to sadly get dressed again. It’s like she senses when I’m not by her side and she starts screaming bloody murder until I pick her up. I love holding her and talking to her and feeling like she understands me -her big brown eyes always look into mine while I’m talking to her- but I never thought it’d be like this. They tell you to prepare to spend a lot of time caring for your newborn but I wasn’t prepared for the reality of it and it really slapped me in the face when I finally got first-hand experience with it.
All of this aside, I feel so grateful to have my healthy little girl at home with me. She makes all of my days brighter and I love seeing her smile and hearing her coo and make baby noises. Being a mother is not easy, that much I know, but it is definitely rewarding.
- Tips for successful breastfeeding (utsandiego.com)
- Common Breastfeeding Complications (mommasgotabrandnewbag.com)