My Postpartum Experience

newborn baby holding dads finger

Hospital

Immediately after giving birth and spending and hour or so having skin to skin time with my newborn, the nurses at the birthing center wanted me to go to the restroom before sending us to the recovery room. I was super hungry at this point, since it had been well over 24 hours since I had ate. I wasn’t in the mood to eat while I was in labor. When I tried standing up to go to the restroom I just felt super weak and like I was going to pass out.

I was surprised, because in all of the stories I read about having unmedicated births everyone talks about how it was so easy. They just got up and walked around like nothing after birth. That was not my case or a lot of other women’s. It’s important that for the first few months you take it easy and let your body recover for a multitude of reasons.

Catheter

Next, the nurses brought a bed pan and gave me around 30 minutes (I think) to try to go to the restroom. It was so weird laying back in the hospital bed trying to pee. I couldn’t go no matter how hard I tried. So, they had to give me a catheter. Guys, I was seriously WAY more scared to get this done than to have an unmedicated labor and delivery.

Hours passed and the nurses checked to see if I had used the restroom since then, and I still hadn’t been able to go on my own. I was terrified of them having to insert a more permanent catheter, which is what I was told would need to happen if I was unable to pee again. They checked, and my bladder was full. Thank the Lord, this nurse had me try a different technique to see if it would help.

Sitz Bath

She gave me a sitz bath filled with warm water, and was able to help me up to sit in it on the toilet. Something about the water helped relax my muscles or ease the pain down there. I was ecstatic to be able to finally empty my bladder. For a minute, I was afraid that something was wrong and I’d never be able to go again.

I remember looking down one time when I was in the restroom, and let me just tell you, don’t do that! Everything is so swollen for the first few days. Everyone talks about your first shower after baby being amazing, but I was just worried about being in pain. I wanted to be home already.

Sleep Deprivation

The first day was such a blur, with all of the adrenaline and sleep deprivation. Everything was so new, and I was so preoccupied with trying to attend to my baby’s needs that I forgot to even brush my teeth. Since it was just my husband and I, I lived out of the hospital gown the entire time we were there. I was so grateful for the nurses help with breastfeeding and swaddling our baby as we learned how.

Recovery

One thing that I had never heard of or expected was the long lasting pain. It took me around three months to fully recover. This was due to my vaginal granulation tissue. The obgyn said that sometimes you tear and it doesn’t fully heal.

I knew something wasn’t normal since nothing helped the pain. It hurt to walk, sit, and especially to pee. It burnt so bad every time. This was because the tear was internal.

My doctor gave me some cream to try for a few weeks to see if it would help heal. It still wasn’t healed, so I had to go back three different times over the course of a couple months to get the tissue cauterized. I wanted to share my experience in case anyone else was going through this and was looking for solidarity.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding was so hard for about the first six weeks. For more details on this and what I have learned during my nursing experience check out my ultimate guide to breastfeeding. I share the best resources for all nursing mamas, and talk about how we struggled with lip and tongue ties.

I also discuss how jaundice affected our success in my post on natural pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. In that post you can also find all of my natural mom postpartum essentials. I would love to hear your postpartum experience! Make sure to check out my natural labor and delivery story.

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