Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Postpartum: Top 5 Things I Wish I'd Known about Postpartum Recovery: 18 daysPostpartum

There are dozens of things that no one tells about postpartum recovery.  Or maybe they did tell me, and I just didn't understand the reality of what to expect.  Pregnancy comes with its own set of weird quirks and symptoms, but postpartum is it's own adventure.

Anyone who says the pregnancy hormones are bad has clearly blacked out the postpartum hormones in their brain.  Maybe it is because pregnancy is 9 months long versus a 6 week recovery... who knows.  I can tell you, though, I have been way more erratic in these last 18 days than I was the whole pregnancy.

1. Night Sweats
Before delivery, I had heard that I would lose the water weight I had gained.  I had even heard that I would be sweating much of it out... What I didn't understand was when I would be sweating it out.  I am exclusively breastfeeding which means every 2 or 3 hours I am up to feed my little prince.  I think it was maybe the second night home that I woke up drenched.  Not like, oh I'm a little sweaty, but more like I can wring my hair out because sweat is literally dripping off of me sweaty.  It's absurd.  I have to keep a towel and an extra set of pjs by the bed.  This week I have tried covering myself in baby powder to help keep me somewhat dry.  It work better than nothing, but it definitely doesn't completely stop the sheet soaking sweat.  All I can say is, maybe I'm at least loosing a little bit of weight this way, lol!

2. Increased Bleeding
It is common knowledge that after a baby you will have bleeding.  It's even pretty commonly known that this bleeding is heavy.  What I didn't know was that it could taper off and then two weeks postpartum... it could suddenly increase with a vengeance.  Apparently this is more than normal, it is something that happens to many women.  I am not sure why no one goes over these things with first timers, but it is pretty freaky.  You think things are winding down and that everything is finishing up, and then wowza!

3. Unquenchable Thirst 
I have never been so thirsty in my life.  I think this is primarily because of the breastfeeding (or maybe the sweating), but seriously I could guzzle water all day long.  I still don't feel hydrated.  The big thing that has changed for me is the temperature of the water.  I have always liked room temperature water, but now, I love some ICE cold water. 

4. Waterworks 
You hear all sorts of things about the baby blues or even postpartum depression, but what I didn't expect was that you could have neither one of those things AND still be a teary-crying-mess!  The first week was crazy.  I would stare down at my little man's tiny face and out of no where tears would be streaming down my face.  If you read about our first week home, you've already heard my story of crying when my husband shaved off his goatee.  I have been an emotional freakshow lately.  I guess I just figured with all the pregnancy hormone hype that postpartum wouldn't be too bad, but whatever to that!!! It's total chaos, so just know that ahead of time.

5. Last Minute Stretch Marks 
If you've been reading along with my journey, you know I've had a hard time with the amount of weight I gained.  But you also may remember that up until week 37 or 38, I was belly stretch mark free... Maybe you even hated me a little but have no fear, I am totally human and have a million stretch marks!! I didn't know that you could get stretch marks in the last minute.  I don't know when they actually appeared, but I have them across my thighs, booty, and several on my tummy.  They aren't horribly dark, but they are there.  What the heck!?

Here are my stats from the end of my pregnancy thru my current postpartum journey:
39 Weeks Pregnant:
Total Weight Gain: 55 pounds
Wedding Rings: Off
Belly Button: Flat as a Pancake

Day Arriving Home from Hospital: 
Total Weight Loss: 12 pounds
Wedding Rings: Off
Belly Button: A deep, deep pool

14 days postpartum:
Total Weight Loss: 25 pounds
Wedding Rings: ON
Belly Button: Innie

Everyone keeps telling me, "It took 9 months to put it on.  It will take time to take it off."  But let me tell you, I hate to hear that.  I know that this is a time for recovery, but it is still such a challenge to feel good about yourself.  Especially when you can barely find the time to shower, much less put on make-up or fix your hair.  I still have about 30 pounds that I would like to get rid of, and I guess I technically have another 3.5 weeks to recover... Maybe more weight will just fall off, haha! Maybe I will get to be one of those women people hate, and I will be back in my clothes at the end of 6 weeks.  A girl can still dream.  It's really hard to think you've lost a lot of weight, but still not to fit into your clothes right.  It's all an exhausting mental process.

I have been out walking each afternoon with Sam, the dogs, and the baby, but I am so very ready to get out and do more!  I am itching to exercise, but I know that my body is still recovering.  I guess I have to give it time, BOOOOOOO....  I am trying to focus on resting and bonding with my handsome boy.

I can't believe I am going to share this with the world, but here's where I am at with my recovery. 

Postpartum Day 1, Day 8, Day 18
Thank you all for the love and support as I continue on this difficult journey.  Much Love!  

Other Postpartum Posts: 


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