Someone recommended this book to me last week as we talked about our birth experiences (I didn’t buy it because it’s $32 and that seems crazy!). I’ve been pretty vocal that Liam’s birth didn’t go as I had planned and was a little traumatic for me (us) at the time. However, I’ve since come to realize that it wasn’t as much the birth as it was everything that happened after.
My labor and delivery, while long, and somewhat complicated… was ultimately smooth (as smooth as possible) thanks to our amazing doctors, nurses and doula. They didn’t push unnecessary interventions, they didn’t rush me, they acted quickly when an infection took over and they were always calm.
I have accepted that my birth plan was a wish and not an agenda that had to be followed. Of course, I wanted to follow it but the end goal was always a healthy Mom and baby, and we were prepared to do whatever was necessary to make that happen. The biggest thing I regret not being able to make happen was the placenta encapsulation. I continue to hear stories from other mamas who did this and had easier recoveries. They felt better faster and they didn’t experience as many hormonal changes. Would it have helped me? I don’t know but I wish I had gotten to try.
Immediately after birth, I hemorrhaged. It took them several hours to get this under control. Time in which I was asked to hand off my baby to my husband and I was completely oblivious to how bad that meant it was. We should have been moved to a recovery room 2ish hours after birth (which would have been 5:55 AM) but we didn’t actually move until 9:30 AM.
We found out the hemorrhage was caused because my catheter had been removed about 4 hours before I delivered (because my epidural didn’t work and I was uncomfortable). My bladder was very full and not allowing my uterus to contract and go back down. Once they realized what was happening and drained my bladder things were under control pretty quickly. I was super weak though and fell into the nurse when she tried to have me stand to get over to the wheelchair. So I laid back down for a LONG while and was examined by a million more doctors and nurses before determining I was okay to move.
Due to the blood loss, I was super drained of energy and hardly moved from the bed for the next 2.5 days. I had to cling to walls or the bed rails in order to get up and move around. Thankfully, Landon helped me pick up Liam every time I needed to nurse him and he did all of the diaper changing. I was put on an iron supplement that I took for the next 2.5 months!
I had a handful of other complications that I won’t share since I’d like to hold onto a little bit of my dignity but let’s just say they weren’t fun. At my 6 week check up (while still battling my milk supply issues) I was asked what birth control I wanted and I chose Implanon which goes in your arm and lasts for 3 years. Unfortunately, a week later the specialist I saw told me that particular birth control is known for reducing milk supply so I had to have it removed and go through a second procedure for a different kind. Now I have this lovely scar on my arm as a reminder.
A few days later, I came down with mastitis. Which Landon actually accurately diagnosed and my amazing lactation consultant quickly had an antibiotic called in for me. It wasn’t a fun weekend but thankfully I only had a mild case.
A week after that, not due to my pregnancy, delivery or recovery (though, during my recovery), I ended up with a nasty rash from the gym. Let me say that again… I was trying to get back in shape and ended up with a rash that required steroid cream and still itched like the devil.
A few weeks after that, after starting to get back into running, I was referred to a sports medicine doctor as I had not one, but TWO ingrown toenails from the pedicure I treated myself to right after I had Liam. The doctor said he could see where the nail had been cut too short and rounded. Didn’t even know that you could get ingrown toenails from a pedicure but as my doctor said, Murphy’s Law applies to my delivery and recovery, so of course it happened.
Fortunately, the doctor I saw was incredible and the recovery was easier. My only regret was not having them taken care of before I did!
So it might not sound all that bad (or maybe it does?) but it has been rough. Tomorrow is 6 months (!!!!!) and I’m finally starting to feel normal. I’m on week 7 of a fitness program and seeing some results and FEELING BETTER, though my hips, knees and ankles still hurt. I’m still taking a pharmacy’s worth of medicine and supplements. And am still cautiously nursing a few of my postpartum issues but definitely feeling more like my old self now.
Right now, Landon and I can’t imagine going through this again. While my doctors have assured me that none of it was “normal” – it happened to me and could all happen again. So to the person who asked this week if we’d be trying for a girl… the answer is no. We are just trying to get back to normal, our new normal, with our sweet boy and enjoy life together. ✌🏼