Thursday, June 18, 2015

Post-Partum Care & Follow Up. Everything you actually need to know.

I remember having my first baby and thinking that post-partum care wasn't going to be a big deal. I just assumed that you push the baby out and bam, you're done. Sure- you'll get your period and it's probably going to be messy, but that was it.

As it turns out, that's a super fun chapter that should be crucial in the What to Expect When You're Expecting books and they really gloss over it. To say I was grossly unprepared is an absolute understatement. Add that to the fact that I was a level four tear, and I was a hot, waddling mess.

(Disclaimer: If you don't know what a level four tear is, I highly advise that you do not look for a Google image, instead let me just tell you it means you tear from front to back. What once was two very separate holes essentially becomes a uni-hole and you just hope your doctor is really great at stitches.)

The doctor who delivered Olivia had been delivering babies for over 30 years and had only seen that happen one other time. I can't even say Olivia was a large baby, she was only 7 pounds, 10 ounces. Just an average, normal sized peanut. Yet, that girl made me a uni-hole. That right there should have been a sign of all to come.

But I left the hospital with a list of items I would need to care for all of the stitches that gave me two holes versus uni-hole and a peri bottle.

What's a peri bottle? Oh lambs.
This is a peri bottle. If you have stitches especially, you can say good bye to toilet paper for awhile. Oh yes. You don't get to use toilet paper for at least a couple of weeks, ideally. Every time you go to the bathroom, pee or poop, you have to rely on this bottle to clean yourself. That's it. A squirt bottle of water. They'll tell you "room temperature" and I'll tell you warmer than that. Cold water on your bits is not a good feeling. Nor is scalding hot water, so make sure your partner understands the difference between scalding hot and just right. You may need to insist you squirt the too hot water on their parts for them to fully understand what is and is not acceptable. Matt has a firm grasp on what is acceptable now.

You'll also need witch hazel pads. Even if you don't have hemorrhoids.
I swear to you, these give you 15 seconds of glory. A whole 15 seconds of soothing relief of your vagina hole. It's so great. I went through an entire container of these plus the ones I stole from the bathroom of the hospital. 

You also need pads. Kiss tampons goodbye, not like they would do you any good anyways. I don't care what anyone says, you need the overnight, extra absorbent pads. 
Anything less than this is like bringing a knife to a gun fight. The amount of fluid and uterine lining chunks that come out is just.... it's gross. It's gross and every trip to the bathroom is like gearing for battle. Will you be able to get your mesh underwear off to sit down, while preparing your squirt bottle, without getting anything around the toilet? I hope so because it's not easy to squat or bend over to clean the toilet or floor. 

Wait, mesh underwear you say? 
Yeah, look at these babies. If you play your cards right, you might get to take a couple extra pairs home with you. The bonus is that this is not a turn on for any guy, so you won't have to worry about your partner bugging you about sex anytime soon. These are worse than granny panties. But Sara, that looks a bit overkill- surely you don't need a pad like that. 

Yes, you do. Just get used to the disgusting amount of fluid coming out of your body. Everything that nurtured your baby has to come out. Your baby has moved out, and it's furniture needs to come out too. Just like when you evict a squatter- it all has to go. Your regular period pad is not equipped to handle it. 

Oh, and don't forget your stool softener. 
Oh yes. Nobody really tells you that the first poop after having a baby is what I have always referred to as "birthing the phantom twin" because it truly is quite the experience. All on your own. It's the only other time where you will implement your labor breathing techniques long after the baby has been evicted. There are grab bars in the hospital bathrooms for a reason, ladies. They will give you these almost immediately after you have your baby and if you can at all control it, having two doses before trying to poop is ideal. But even then... breathe and grip the bar for dear life. 

But even after you come home, pooping is not always fun. The only down side is that moment when you realize you've been taking these for a week and you have that morning where it's like your body has saved the best for last and you have diarrhea, while holding a one week old baby during a feeding and trying desperately to fill your squirt bottle and wondering how clean your bathroom floor is because there's no way you can deal with the pad situation one handed and you might have to lay your baby down on the floor. That very much is a two hand job. 

Honestly, these are the only things I needed when I came home. Not including the pain killers because, surprise!!!, holding a baby and getting up/down, sitting, and laying can all cause your vagina to hurt so you will most definitely need them for at least a little while. 

Now I am seven weeks since having Penelope and I just had my follow up appointment today. She basically does a breast exam, feels your tummy area to make sure your uterus is back to normal, and does a quick vaginal exam. All of my stitches are gone, so that's good. I remember when I had Olivia they didn't all go away until closer to 12 weeks but also because I had a lot of them to fix my tear. This time I was only a level 2 tear, normal and not bad at all, so they are all healed up nicely. Thank goodness! Not that I'm trying to have sex right away. God no. Ugh. 

1 comment:

The Flynnigans said...

My lord! LOL
Hey, at least you don't candy-coat any of the deets.