Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The First Few Weeks :: Mama Edition

Hi friends.
I want to apologize for being the world's worst blogger these past few weeks. Turns out having a baby eats up way more time than I had ever anticipated, having a baby is also way more difficult than I imagined.

I've got to be honest, these first few weeks have been really hard. Kenley is perfect. She is healthy, happy and a GREAT baby. Taking care of her has been great and I love her with my whole heart, BUT the recovery period and the transition has turned me in to quite the hot mess.

There's this little thing called "The Baby Blues" which is the super cute name someone gave the insane hormonal crash women go through after giving birth. I think a more appropriate name would be "Mama Got Hit By a Train." I know everyone's experience is so different, and I want to truthfully share mine so that you ladies who aren't super moms right out the gate don't beat yourself up like I have been.

Here's the key points...

*A slightly inverted uterus will result in your OB's hands up your hoo-ha for an hour trying to deliver the placenta. And as your epidural wears off...it doesn't feel the best.

*Having an episiotomy and tearing (also known as stitches in three different places) makes using the restroom and sitting really, really not fun. NOTE: Tucks Medicated Pads are THEE best invention since electricity.

*If you are a huge wimp like I am, there is a chance you will pass out on the toilet the first time you have to pee. YUP. Woke up...on the toilet...with a cold washcloth on my head...with the nurse saying "can you hear me?" Straight up blacked out on the John.

*If your baby is part piranha (like mine is) your nipples will crack and bleed causing you to cry every time it's time to feed your baby.

*The cracking and bleeding will then lead to neuritis of the nipples, which essentially means breastfeeding will continue to hurt for weeks or possibly months until it heals itself. Sweet.

*Giving birth makes every muscle in your body sore.

*When your anesthesiologist has to give you three different local anesthetics and TWO (yes two...the first one didn't go in right) epidurals your back will get insanely bruised and feel like you'd been beaten by a baseball bat.

*Hormones make you cry....a lot.

*A not-so-common side effect from childbirth, that I have been so lucky to experience, is Bells Palsy. So, hooray, for the past three weeks I haven't been able to use the right side of my face. Which, to me, has been devastating.

*When you have Bells Palsy, you have to get an MRI with a contrast dye. When you are scared of anything medical...this news is terrifying. This news becomes heartbreaking when you find out you can't breastfeed for 24 hours and have to supplement formula and pump and dump for a full day possibly ruining everything you've worked so hard to accomplish with breastfeeding.

*The post-preggo belly, while much smaller, is very strange. It's a whole different beast than the I-shouldn't-have-eaten-that-entire-pizza belly. No, it's more of a loose, saggy, play-dough belly.

*Lochia, also known as the world's longest period, is a real joy. You start out wearing giant hospital diapers and then graduate to pads which you get to wear for WEEKS...yes, weeks. Not cool.

*Taking a newborn anywhere is the world's biggest production, so it becomes much easier to just NEVER-LEAVE-THE-HOUSE making you feel like a shut-in and go completely stir crazy.

As things gets better all the not-so-fun and disgusting things you go through become more and more funny and less and less devastating. But in all seriousness, I wish women would talk about the post-childbirth experience more. Everyone wants to know about the baby and all new moms want to talk about is their baby, but I think it's important that ladies know how hard it is in the beginning. It's been almost a month since my angel was born and I am JUST NOW starting to feel like myself, granted I had some extra, irregular set backs but it's really hard feeling like an alien in your own body while taking care of this new little alien now living in your house.


P!nky said...

OH sweet sweet friend, I'm sending you a hug and good vibes RIGHT NOW [:)] <-- hug!

WOW, that's a lot going on, plus a new baby! I hope everything has calmed down and health is back on track.

Your daughter is beautiful and you are a great great great mom!!!


Erin said...

You poor sweet mama. I so appreciate you being open and honest and just know I'm sending lots of love and hugs your way!!! I'm so glad baby is healthy and doing great, and I hope you continue to feel better and more like yourself every day! xo

the girl in the red shoes said...

Awww I'm so sorry friend! The beginning is HARD! I didn't have all of the symptoms you have, but I remember feeling like I hand been beaten up for sure. And it took me 3 weeks to be able to stand up straight and not hold my c-section incision whenever I walked. It will get better, I promise. And your boobs will heal and soon enough breastfeeding won't hurt one bit! As for the belly...it gets better too, but still not completely normal. Thinking of you friend!

Kara Frank said...

Way to go girl!!! I'm so happy you shared this. I might take this inspiration and do it myself on my blog. You're doing GREAT!!! This is hard!!!

Candace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Candace said...

You poor thing! It has been a rough start for you.

I'm four months out and everything is getting better...boobs, belly, baby, you name it!

I had some pretty bad experiences too right out the get go but I didn't blog about them. I'm so glad you shared your feelings. This is the stuff women need to read. The real stuff!

Hang in there beautiful momma!

Kari said...

Can I say that I LOVE and very much appreciate your honesty! As someone who is hoping for children in the future- it's actually nice to hear the reality of post-birth and the first few weeks of life with baby! I may have to sit down with you and hear more and get advice when it comes time! I'm sure Jason and your family are taking good care of you! We can't wait to meet Kenley! xoxo

Cassie said...

and this is the part NO ONE tells you about. the part that people just "leave out" but it gets better!!
those pads aren't cute. lol. but it's just part of the process. i wish i could tell you the crying stops but i have an almost three year old and a almost 1.5 year old and i still cry at just about everything. it's just because you are a momma now. and you love things in a whole new light!!
hang in there. this too shall pass and it only gets better!!

Ruthie Hart said...

girl...I am so sorry!!!! Sounds like Miss Kenley took all of your energy!!! I know for a FACT things will get better. Big hugs to ya!

Sarah said...

Love your honesty! Sounds similar to my experience. Same thing with the placenta happened to me! I remember my back hurting SO bad from the epidural, and also being beyond soar for weeks from pushing. A weird thing I had happen to me was I was SUPER itchy "down there." Like to the point where I would take TEN showers in the middle of the night b/c it was the only thing that would help. This went on for about 2 weeks, then when that went away the bottom of me feet got extremely itchy and swollen and red. This was all caused from an allergic reaction to my own hormones. It was a nightmare, and I remember telling my husband I was NOT having more kids. Fast forward 7 months, and I do want more lol :) You do somehow manage to forget about all that pain. Just know it WILL get better, and take it one day at a time. I remember my goals being to just make it through the night, haha. Anyways, I hope you're feeling better!! Thanks for your honesty :)

MIL said...

Hi sweetheart! An excellent post and good for you to help inform other women, to be moms or not to be, or even if the unplanned happens. I think why it isn't discussed too much is because no one wants to go through all that and we all do. BUT with the outcome it is miraculous and beautiful and we end up with amazing children like you, J AND Kenley! LOVE YOU!

Amanda Leigh said...

I changed my mind.
I don't want a baby.

Just kidding, but really, omg. I hope things get better for you!! Keep us future mommas up to date, so we know it gets better!

Carolyn said...

Love you Beeb!!

Celeste said...

Oh my goodness you poor girl!! It sounds like everything that could go wrong went wrong for you...I'm so sorry! However, you got an absolutely beautiful little one out of all the craziness, which I'm sure makes it a little easier.

Yikes, though. At least maybe I'll be somewhat mentally prepared if I have to deal with any of this stuff when baby boy arrives :)

Lia Joy said...

I'm not a momma yet, but thanks for being honest! I know things aren't all rainbows and roses right after a birth, but it's nice to hear the TRUTH!

Praying for you friend! You're doing a great job! Kenley is perfect! :)

Sarah said...

So many of those same things happened to me. Be patient- You will heal up and you will start feeling more like your old self again. I promise!

Jess Beer said...

Sending you hugs! (Even if you are now making me want this baby to stay in forever now...) I'm so glad you wrote about this, and so glad you're starting to feel better! Have you tried the nipple shields to see if they help? I've read a lot of people have success using them and they allow you to heal a little easier while still breastfeeding - just a thought since I haven't been there yet.

Thinking of you, and hoping each day gets a little easier!

Anonymous said...

Awwww girl I am so sorry if there is anything I can do. I love u and u are doing an Amzing job on everything!
Love u and see u soon.

Our family, two feet at a time said...

You are not alone! I had the baby blues - but i wasn't sure if it was our circumstances that caused them or *just* the hormones. Our little babe was in the NICU for 2 weeks, and it was the most emotionally difficult two weeks of my life. Then coming home was equally trying. My poor hubby - i've never been so all over the place. Luckily it's finally starting to get back to normal. Our relationship has definately evolved, and honestly it was ugly at times. Finally at 3 months post-partum we are back to our old selves - with an adorable babe! I hope that you continue to feel more like yourself everyday. I promise it only gets better and better!

Tickled Pink Mandy said...

Girl you are doing great. You have more on your plate (healthwise) than most new moms! Things can and will only get better for you!! Hugs to you and your sweet baby girl!

Corinne said...

THANK YOU for being honest. It's not all rainbows and unicorns after the baby comes. Thank you for sharing your experience! I know I'll appreciate it when the time arrives for me.

jess said...

Wow, I am so sorry you're going through that! I had no idea all of that goes on after childbirth. Everyone always talks about the rainbows and sprinkles - but never the after. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope it gets better for you soon, mamma!

Bre said...

Kristin, thank you SO much for sharing the good and bad of being a new mom. For those of us who may someday experience motherhood, it's nice to get both sides of the story.

Kristen said...

Hang in there. I too had a host my own medical issues after giving birth that made the first few weeks at home CRAZY. Good news is you will forget how nuts and painful this time is and all you remember is how sweet your baby girl is :-)

Katie said...

so great of you to share both sides and I bet THIS side will get viewed (or should) more than the other side! It's good to know what you're getting into..ya know? I'm praying for you friend!

Young and Fabulous said...

AHHH i want to hug u and never let go!! things get worse before they get better tho, aint that how the saying goes!!??

love your honesty in this because YES i want to know what the belly looks like after! as well as if you bleed for days...which i knew from a baby making movie i saw in highschool---yeeeek. But girrrl you make it look easy! with your sweet as pie insta/facebook pics!!

love you and love baby K!!!! :D


Bridget said...

I know I will appreciate this in June...but for right now...it freaks me out thinking whats going to happen after I give birth! Thanks for the honesty though...it is better to know and not feel alone. Things will get better...just need to stay postive and know that if it didn't get better, nobody would ever have kids again :)

Jessica said...

Oh no! I'm sorry you have Bells Palsy. How long until it will go away. :( Hope you get to feeling better soon.

Angie said...

Bless your heart doll. Hang in there, it does get better. Sounds like you got ALL postpartum issues that could have happened. With my 2nd I struggled physically after I had him. I didn't have an epidural with him and childbirth was terribly painful. With my 3rd I had 2 epidurals (yep, it happened to me too) and my back still hurts from it to this day. I also had quite a hard emotional recovery. Frankly she is 5 months and I'm still on meds for postpartum and still NOT doing great. I have a 2 year old and the new baby so leaving the house for me is very rare. It's quite lonely most days. I know as they continue to get older though, it will get better. I'm sure it will for you as well. I think it's awesome your sharing your experience. Too many people make childbirth look glamorous and I think most of us "keeping it real" can agree it is anything but. I will keep you in my thoughts dear friend!! Hope you continue feeling better each and every day.

Nicole-Lynn said...

Oh wow! THIS is what I feared and had a feeling could happen after child birth but I have not heard many moms talk about their experience! Thank you for your honesty. I'm so sorry you're not feeling 100% and the Cerebal Palsy.. my oh my... my sister had that right after she found out she was pregnant on one side of her face as well and it went away after a month. Hang in there! You seem to be doing a wonderful job as a new mommy! xo

Schnelle said...

I cannot thank you enough for your honesty both throughout your pregnancy and now. I knew there would be challenges but hearing them first hand from a real-life momma (as opposed to one in a book or magazine) is so much more helpful! ~wishing you the best of luck~

ajs {of MN} said...

your honesty is outstanding! i too experienced the baby blues (aka "WTF is happening to me, this is THE... THEEEE happiest time of my life, WHY CANT I STOP CRYING!? no one talk to me, everyone leave me and my baby alone!"

i am 100% sure you are doing GREAT, life st just HECTIC... pure chaos that surrounds brand new families; fears, joys, laughter, tears, EVERYTHING... all rolled into a giant slap in the face!

i was told to expect to feel normal around the 3 month mark... that was about right.

but for real, when becoming a mom, we leave behind the old "us" and work everyday on the "new" who am i now... a mom!? yes... yes... a mom who is getting to know this little tiny creature that cries just as much as we do.

you met as strangers and soon she will be your BFF that you will know like the back of your hand, you will know like NO ONE else will, you will understand and predict her every move.

KIDS teach us SO much, they are an ABSOLUTE wonder! enjoy it momma, you rock!

Kristin said...

Thank you!! I have heard its not an easy road!

BunBun said...

Oh Kristin! I meant to post this sooner, but got distracted with my own little one--go figure =)

You are not a wimp for passing out!! Think about the huge organ shift that occurs when you stand for the first time after your baby has been delivered. Combine that with all the exertion of labor and delivery and blackouts happen.

I actually tanked out on my nurse from the toilet. Woke up in bed with eight people standing around me asking if I could hear them! It happens.

Thank you for sharing your personal hardships with your fellow women.

Miss Chelsea said...

Thank you for the reminder to continue taking my birth control pills religiously.

Haha but seriously? Yikes. I know she is so worth it, but def intimidating for those of us who don't see skiddos in the immediate future ha

Mateya said...

You are definitely not alone! I remember finally feeling somewhat back to normal around that 4 week mark and then it got better and better every day! It's a good thing she's cute huh? ;)

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