Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Postpartum Update + Things I Did and Didn't Expect

Postpartum Update

Okay, so I have been planning on doing a postpartum update for weeks now and I have gotten around to it slowly. Newborns are so distracting ;) 

I knew mommy-hood would be hard, I just didn't realize how hard it would really be. I know what late nights major in college was a bachelor of science in Biology/Chemistry. I thought to myself,  I know late nights...I mean finals week was hell, how much worse can it be? MUCH WORSE. There is nothing like sleep deprivation from taking care of a newborn. It is mentally and physically exhausting. Nothing can prepare you for the exhaustion you feel. Nothing can prepare you for the pain you feel when your milk comes in. Nothing can prepare you for the pain you feel after a vaginal birth. Nothing can prepare you for the pain you feel when you get a breast infection and breast feed through it. Nothing can prepare you for the frustration and sadness you feel when you think you are doing something wrong. NOTHING.

But...nothing could prepare me for the immense amount of love I would feel for this tiny human. She hasn't even had a conversation with me yet and I feel like I know every part of her. I feel like I am the only one that can really give her what she needs at the end of the day. I am who she looks to in order to survive, and although I may only be her food source right now and her comforter I know she will grow to know me as her momma. I cannot wait for the day when she looks at me and says "momma." 

All of this pain is worth it. I know that once I am past the sleep deprivation, the breast infection, the pain that comes with breast feeding in the beginning and the frustrations with thinking I'm doing it all wrong, I know the struggle will all be worth it in the end.

Here are some things I jotted down throughout my recovery process:

Things I DID expect

I knew I would fall in love with her the moment I met her

I planned to breast feed and expected sometimes that comes with complications

I knew I would have at least some recovering to do after a vaginal delivery

I knew I would want at least SOME help the first few weeks

I knew I would be living in granny panties (hate the word panties) and sweat pants for at least a week

I figured I would have at least SOME sleep deprivation

I have been around infants before, I have younger siblings, I thought I knew exactly what to expect

Things I DID NOT expect

I did not expect the amount of pain I would feel in my vagina after a vaginal delivery...yeah

My tailbone felt like someone took a bat to it for a week straight

Showering during that first week hurts everywhere...

I had night sweats...wake up drenched, night sweats

My hormones are all over the place

I did not expect to ice my vagina even after coming home from the hospital

I did not expect to look down at my vag and see stitches from tearing naturally during birth

I was pleased to put heating pads on my engorged boobs, I did not expect to blister from leaving them on for too long...but I did

I didn't think I would need to take a stool softener for weeks after birth

I wasn't aware of the lack of sleep you actually get, not because baby doesn't sleep, but because I am so concerned by every little sound she makes and I am constantly checking to make sure she is still breathing


When I first began breastfeeding I was so engorged she couldn't latch correctly, my nipples bled for a week straight

I didn't expect to need to use a "nipple shield" during my first week of breast feeding

Breast feeding feels like knives and needles in the beginning and I would bawl through every feeding

I did not think I would get a breast infection

I didn't expect the first round of breast infection antibiotics to not work, only for the infection to get worse...

I did not expect to run a fever for days on and off with my infection...increasing my night sweats

I did not realize the size pads you need to wear for the amount of bleeding after birth

I did not think it would hurt to stand, sit, and sleep

Weight loss did not cross my mind after birth and I thought it would

I didn't anticipate just how much I would need my own mom

There are countless more things I did not expect and there is something new every day. This is a crazy journey and nothing can prepare you for it. No advice can prepare you for what you are going to feel and experience.

She is now my primary concern and my needs come after her needs are met. I sit on the couch some days starving because she is on my boob all day, but her needs have to be met before my own and even though it is frustrating when some days I would really just like to eat my breakfast and shower it comes naturally to care for her first and take care of my needs second. For now, I am just trying to soak up her tiny-ness, appreciate her cuddles and try not to hang myself every time she has a huge poop blow-out in her diaper for the third time that day. I love when she sleeps on my chest and when she smiles in her sleep and when she escapes her swaddle. I just want to try my best every day to bask in the newborn stage because I understand it is fleeting. 

I love you my sweet Elba girl.

Momma will always be here for you.

I am going to be doing more detailed postpartum updates once I am closer to being 6 weeks postpartum and can talk about work outs and diet and my 6 week check up, but I will be doing her monthly updates!

XOXO Sydney