Mama – 1 month after birth

18 Oct

On all the baby blogs I read, so much attention is paid to the amazing growth of new babies. Birth stories are treasured in all their details.  But very little attention is paid to mama’s often messy post-partum recovery.  However, I really want to remember not only the birth of my baby and his milestones, but also the milestones of my body. So I’ll try to be discreet, but I apologize now if this is too much information.

I gained about 40 lbs during pregnancy.  I dropped about 10 lbs after giving birth, which pretty much accounts for baby (8lbs), placenta, and amniotic fluid.  I had a healthy appetite during labor, during recovery, and now breastfeeding, so I’m certainly on no diet.  Now, 1 month after giving birth I’m down about 15 lbs.  I wish it were more, but my body is looking physically different (i.e. less pregnant), so I figure it all comes with time. 9months on, 9months off, right?

Yesterday I bought a pair of jeans at Target (on sale! 15 bucks!). I grabbed a size up from my usual size and they fit perfectly except fro the waistband. So I’m back to my early pregnancy trick of tying a hair band around the button and covering it with a belly band.  I still have a visible pooch, but I only look a couple months pregnant. But, yay! for getting out of maternity jeans and into real clothing!!

Stretch marks are another popular pregnancy fear – I had none except for a little ‘love bite’ on my hip.  But in the last weeks as baby dropped I got my tiger stripes. I guess they’re a badge of motherhood. . .but it will be a loooong time before I would ever consider wearing a bikini.

As for recovery “down there” – it has been interesting.  In the hospital they gave me a prescription for extra strong ibuprofin ( 600mg), Tylenol, and a stool softener.  I still take the ibuprofin for nipple pain (that’s 3 regular pills, several times a day), sometimes I need the tylenol, too, to take the edge off feeding.  Breastfeeding and all it’s drama will have it’s own post soon.  Since I had no tears down below needing stitches  (just a couple “skid marks”), healing has been rather easy.  The first 2 weeks or so was heavy bleeding (lochia) which has a funky-sweet smell.  Now it’s just regular bleeding (like a period) and it comes and goes. Busy day=more bleeding.  I can say that I overdid it a bit and after feeling better in the initial recovery days one side swelled up again and got sore.  But I kept everything clean with witch hazel pads and took it a bit easier and now it feels just fine.

After giving birth I was surprised at the swelling in my perenium. It went down really quickly, but it has still been sore.  Once I ran out of stool softener, I didn’t bother to get more.  BIG MISTAKE. Last week I had the most painful experiences on the toilet.  Not problems with constipation, problems with p-a-i-n! All I can say is that stool softener + prune juice + a lot of water = goodness.  Haven’t had problems since.

Oh, and as I mentioned before, my wrist hurts.

My life feels so normal–sleep-deprived and a little crazy, but giving birth seems like years away.  These are physical reminders that my baby is still shiny and new and my body is  still recovering from one of the greatest experiences it’ll ever go through.

My routine has changed a lot. Hubs and I used to happily sleep for hours in our queen-sized bed.  Now, I try to get as much sleep as I can, whenever I can–sometimes on the futon in the living room, sometimes in bed.  Usually we’ll hang out together on the futon watching movies in the evening/early night.  Then sometime between 3 and 5 am I move to the bedroom with baby and sleep there until noon-ish.  Some “nights” it’s more like 6am-3pm.  When I get really cranky I take a nap in the evening, which is amazing. Husband takes the baby and I can usually get a couple hours of worry-free sleep.

Showering is a priority. It de-stresses me. So every couple days I get a long amazing shower.  I have bad skin (which is clearer now that it was pregnant), so I must wear some kind of makeup every day. I’ve noticed, though, that I just don’t have time to put foundation on–so powder and blush it is!  This low-maintenance routine is actually helping my skin, I think.

In a few weeks I will make decisions regarding birth control, and usually at the 6wk appointment you are declared “healed!”  It is nice to have my body back, mostly, and I think I will treasure the physical scars (stretchmarks) as a badge of motherhood.

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One Response to “Mama – 1 month after birth”

  1. RP2011 October 18, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    Definitely understand. I felt the same things during the first month after my son was born. He is now 10 months old and I feel better than ever. He has just self weaned himself, so I finally have my body back, and ALL of it!

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