Postpartum: My Physical Experience

Warning: This post is going to be a bit gross and personal as I discuss things like postpartum bleeding. If you aren’t up for that, stop reading now.

My obstetrician lied to me. She was very confident that I would only bleed for two weeks, maximum. I told her about last time with Eva (my 7-year-old daughter); I bled for a full six weeks. She looked at me with one raised eyebrow and then moved on. Well, like I said, she lied.

I bled for a bit over four weeks.

Then I started a period.

Lord, help me.

What happened to my PCOS and all of my really random, spaced out periods? What is this? Does this mean things are working a bit better than before?

Cue unexplained weight gain of 10 pounds in four days.

Whaa? Huh? Color me clueless.

I started pregnancy at 217 lbs. The day before I delivered, I weighed 223.6 lbs. Two weeks postpartum, I was at 208 lbs. So, in fairness to all the women trying to shed baby weight I guess the universe decided I needed those 10 lbs back. 218 lbs now.

Cue a small meltdown. I know, I’m ridiculous.

But the point I was getting to is this:

Could this sudden weight gain be a sign that my PCOS is indeed back in high gear already? Did that period somehow trigger it?

At my six week appointment, my obstetrician didn’t know what to say about the 10 lbs, but she was confident it wasn’t a result of PCOS coming back with a vengeance. At least she has faith things will be better on the PCOS front for a bit. I’m certainly not in the least bit confident. She was also confident that I am probably ovulating all on my own these days for at least the next couple of months (she said 6 months but I hate to be that optimistic).

So what do I do about birth control? Do I even want birth control? I am game for another baby.

Yes, I should probably see a psychiatrist to get my head examined.

I haven’t managed to bring myself to terms with taking any form of birth control that will screw with my hormones. They have been screwed with enough. I also don’t want any sort of device either.

I asked my husband if he would like to get a vasectomy. His response: “Only if they will knock me out completely to do it.”

I explained to him that, sadly, they do not “knock you out” and most of the time they do it in the doctor’s office with some lidocaine. Needless to say, he wasn’t interested in this scenario. He was suddenly completely fine with having another child.

After having to work so hard to conceive this baby, it is so weird talking about ways to PREVENT pregnancy. I just haven’t been able to commit to anything yet. I even have a filled prescription for birth control pills sitting at the pharmacy waiting for pick up. The pills are even free, for crying out loud. I just can’t yet.

Getting back to the point of this post (supposed to be talking about the physical, not the mental), I have had the best c-section recovery ever. I have had very little pain (AH-mazing). I was walking around Costco (giant store), baby strapped into his baby carrier seven days after his birth. And I was fine!

There is no way I could have done that that soon after my c-section with Eva. I think the hard labor we went through made a big difference in recovery for me. I wonder if it doesn’t have something to do with all the extra hormones that were released naturally by my body this time. Last time, I was induced and I never dilated past a four.

I did need frequent naps the first couple of weeks. The more we did, the longer the nap.

As for my recovery from the epidural, things have been much better this time around as well. I haven’t had any severe back pain. No weird numbness or tingling either. I have felt some weakness in my legs on a couple of occasions, but nothing serious.

The bleeding I did for four weeks wasn’t too extreme, either. No large clots, thankfully. I also noticed a direct correlation between bleeding and activity. The more active I was, the more I bled.

For the two weeks my husband was home, I didn’t do anything except take care of the baby and myself. He cooked, cleaned, did the laundry, refilled my ice water a million times and kept Eva entertained and on time for school every morning. I didn’t bleed that heavily at all until he went back to work. Then I wised up and decided the dishes, trash, laundry and dinner could wait on days that things were flowing more intensely.

Now, my main complaint is tired, tense muscles from carrying my now 10 pound baby around day and night.

The gestational diabetes behaved exactly as advertised. It was POOF! gone immediately following delivery. There haven’t been any lasting effects.

As far as recoveries go, I’m doing great! Except for breastfeeding, but that’s a post soon to be written.

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10 Replies to “Postpartum: My Physical Experience”

  1. My postpartum appt is next week, and I’m struggling with what to do on the birth control front too (I have PCOS as well). I feel like BC would just screw with my hormones more.

    1. Well, research IUDs and progesterone-only birth control pills (unless you aren’t going to breastfeed then you can have normal pills with estrogen). That’s what my obstetrician suggested.

  2. I must be a weirdo because I really like reading about the “TMI” stuff….because it’s real. I want to know what other people go through, not because I think it’s what my experience will be like, but because it’s what COULD happen. It gives me a point of reference…..or something to measure against? (Read: not the same as compare…….). I’m not expecting yet, but I do have PCOS and because of my advanced maternal age it’s almost a guarantee I will have to have a c-section. And especially if we end up expecting twins!

    Love your posts, keep up the good work! Xx

    1. I am the same way! I’m glad you enjoyed reading!

      I’m a huge proponent of self-determination. I had gestational diabetes and a previous c-section. I was also past the 40 week mark. So, by most doctors standards, I would have been a scheduled induction/c-section at 39 weeks. I did my research and stood my ground, though I still ended up with a c-section. Being able to labor naturally for so long made a huge impact on me physically and emotionally I believe. I’m so glad I found a doctor willing to treat me as a person and not a statistic or risk factor.

      I will have to stop by your blog to check out your story. How long have you been ttc? I hope I’m not being rude!

      1. Hi Mundy , not rude at all! We’ve been trying for 12years now. 😔 heading to Czech Republic in August todo donor egg IVF. It’s literally the last role of the dice got us. 🙏

  3. I think the weight gain sounds odd. I wish you knew the reason for it. I’m glad things have been easier for you than after you had Eva. Thank you for sharing all of this. I kind of wondered what it might be like – especially the bleeding. I’m not allowed to take any birth control or have any birth control devices or anything that has hormones whatsoever, so I’m not sure what the plan will be on that front. Thinking of you and yours!

    1. It does, doesn’t it? I’m trying not to worry about it, but it is so frustrating. I’m wondering if part is fluid and another part milk and added breast tissue. My supply exploded over the weekend.

      Doesn’t it seem so weird to be thinking of birth control after all the efforts to conceive? Hard for me to just up hope on possibly being more fertile in the next few months than I have been in years.

  4. I bled for 10 weeks last time before I finally headed to the ob to get some pills to stop it only to start my period a week later. *face palm* I was afraid that would happen again this time but at almost 8 weeks now I’m mostly done thank God.

    We haven’t made any plans regarding birth control. On the one hand, DH thinks he might be done. I would gladly have another. On the other hand, it seems pretty silly to prevent pregnancy when we suffered through years of IF including ivf to have Truett and the chance of natural pregnancy is so incredibly slim although we know from experience now, it can happen! If God wants it to that is. Which makes me think that even if we tried to prevent, if God wanted to make it happen again, it would ….. I just don’t know at this point. Like I said, I want another. Call me crazy! 😉

    1. 10 weeks?! 6 weeks sounds so much better in comparison. Wow. So glad it’s better this time for you.

      I’m right there with ya! If we had a bigger house, I wouldn’t hesitate to just go for it. But we don’t, and it has been a very rough year financially. Every added dependent on our health insurance plan is another $131 a month we have to pay, too. We quite literally can’t afford one more person. God has done some amazing things to provide for our needs this year, but man it’s been scary at times. I’m sure He is in control though and if we will have another if that’s what’s supposed to happen.

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