January 8, 2008

Recovery

This post is seriously belated so no doubt I've forgotten some of it now, but since I started it six weeks ago I decided I might as well finish it.

Pregnancy Brain
My theory is that the incredible dumbing-down during pregnancy may be an important evolutionary adaptation, allowing pregnant women to become accustomed to their reduced mental capacity and make necessary adjustments BEFORE they have a tiny infant in their care. Forgetting where I was driving whenever I approached critical intersections and completely blanking on what I was saying (and to whom) in the middle of sentences was gud practices four my currrnt condishen. Afterall, losing my cart in target with my wallet and keys in it was far less distressing than losing it with the baby strapped in would be, and I'm thankful to have learned that lesson before her arrival. But a high degree of skepticism is warranted in evaluating any brilliant new theories of mine these days.

The Fickle Scale
I'm definitely still in maternity clothes and probably will be for a while. They don't look nearly as cute without the nice high bump. The low sagging flab is just not the same. It's basically like being back to the fat or pregnant? stage of early pregnancy, except fatter. I gained 35 pounds during pregnancy and lost 10 pounds at delivery (this is low since she was just under 5 pounds). I dropped another 5 pounds in the first two weeks, but decided not to worry much about losing weight until after the holidays. After those first two weeks I stalled out completely, until the few weeks before Christmas when I actually started to GAIN a few pounds! Sooooo not fair, I thought the pounds were supposed to disappear when breast feeding!

The Crimson Tide
In further unfairness, that wretched bitch who serves virtually no purpose in my life but whom I've nonetheless had to tolerate on a near-monthly basis for over twenty years now is paying me a visit. I thought I'd at least get a couple months reprieve while breast feeding, but this visit is actually her SECOND appearance since delivery, two months ago. She showed up like clockwork 4 and a half weeks after delivery. Apparently she is not up on her new-baby etiquette, and really, I shouldn't have expected any better based on our past history.

The Other Crimson Tide
The first few days were very weird. In the fog of the epidural, lack of sleep, sheer exhaustion after delivery, and tiny new person consuming my attention, I really wasn't aware of much physical pain. No doubt it helps that I delivered such a tiny baby. Another thing that made it easier for me is probably that I was prepared. I knew from my sister's experience to expect the bloodbath my first trip to the bathroom. It wasn't painful but it did look like a sizable battle had been fought there. The worst moment was when I found myself on my hands and knees, with baby in one arm, trying to clean blood and pee (I didn't realize the floodgates had opened before I was ready) off the bathroom floor at 3am. Not that clock time means anything in a hospital. If you find yourself in this situation RING FOR YOUR NURSE to take care of it. Marie-Baguette perfectly described the alarming post-delivery blood clots with one word: steaks (that link by the way takes you to a fantastic account of what induction is like, no gory detail spared). For me the bleeding continued for about two and a half weeks. I have a friend who dealt with it for eight.

Weirdness "Down There"
That bizarre pregnancy symptom I'll always think of as Watson's hanging beef jerky did in fact return to it's normal spot in the deli drawer within a week or two.

While we're in the processed meats department (and while I'm busily mooching off Watson instead of coming up with original thoughts), you might remember her discussion of the bologna nipples. I didn't exactly have that symptom, but that weird darkening did fade in the first week or so also.

For a good six or weeks or more after delivery, it sortta felt like I could feel the catheter again at times. Pee still seems to gush out at a higher volume than it used to, but maybe I'm imagining that? I didn't have much trouble with leaks, but there have been a few sneeze-related incidents, pretty much the same as during late pregnancy.

I had only a tiny tear and required just a few stitches. It never really hurt and seemed to heal quickly, but when I wipe it seems like that skin is a little thicker, like scar tissue. The whole area is just.....different.

Speaking of tears, I had a huge problem with this unfortunate symptom. It seems to finally have resolved itself, but it was extremely uncomfortable for at least seven weeks to the point that I would cry out in pain and be unable to sit after, you know, going. It was by far the most difficult painful thing I dealt with (during labor, as well as in the aftermath).

11 comments:

My Reality said...

It sucks that you got your cycle back right away. I am glad things are healing nicely and tucked back where they should be!

Lindsey said...

Glad to see you back. Sorry about the Crimson. What a crock!

And way to go Piper for adding all the padding for her 2 month check up! Way to go Sarah for providing the goods. :)

Bumble said...

Glad to hear from you and as always, thankful for your heads-ups! Sorry the witch is back, how rude... x

TeamWinks said...

Remind me again why I want this so badly? ;-)

Kate said...

I am SO glad to hear that I am not the only one who actually started putting ON weight after giving birth--and still wearing maternity pants 10 weeks post partum. Of course, I did totally let myself go over the holidays, so I am not surprised. Ugh. Letting myself eat anything and everything is not an easy habit to give up.

"The Other Crimson Tide" was much less of a problem for me this time around--unlike last time. I stocked up on heavy-duty pads big time, but ended up using very few of them after the first week.

So sorry to hear the bitch is back. How unfair!

Thalia said...

Glad to hear things are going well, perseverance has clearly paid off with the breastfeeding! I hear you on the weight loss, I'm still looking for that massive loss that breastfeeding is supposed to give you.

Angie said...

It sounds like breastfeeding is going very well! Congrats on Piper's weight gain! I'm sure it is a huge relief. I'm with you, I thought breastfeeding was supposed to help the weight come off, but it hasn't worked for me. :-( Glad to see you back!

Rachel said...

I am sorry you already got your period again.

Thanks for posting and I am glad Piper is growing well.

Furrow said...

It sounds like your brain is in pretty high gear again. I was lucky to have quick weight loss (despite stopping bfing at 4 weeks), but my brain gain has been slow. Maybe that's the trade-off. I think I've gained back maybe 4 or 5 of the 40 IQ points I seem to have lost with pregnancy and a newborn. I now use 3 syllable words on a regular basis, but they're rarely the ones I had intended to use.

Congrats on your nice, round Piper.

Queila said...

Oh dear... I love this post. I can totally relate. Things have not been the same for me either.

If my tiny little girl could cause this, I can't help but be sorry for those who deliver huge babies.

Q

Marie-Baguette said...

Breastfeeding helping with weight loss is so UNTRUE!!! The only thing that made me lose weight was worrying myself silly when I had to hire a nanny and go back to work. Thank you for sharing the details of your experience. Women need to be informed about what giving birth entails. As to your pain when you urinate it might be what my OB described as the vagina going on menopause because of the breastfeeding. Not nice. At all.