Postpartum Gear {Mommy Edition}

I always said that I didn’t fear so much giving birth to my baby girl, but more so the moments and days that would follow.  I was right.  I went into this experience with the understanding that I would somehow be pushing a child out of my body with the help of my husband and some experienced doctors.  Dominic and I went to a birthing class together and so we knew, to some extent, the order of events to come leading us into official parenthood.  I knew that for a set amount of hours, I would have to endure a certain amount of pain until the time came to push like I’ve never pushed before.  And then…sweet release.  It would be over.

Wrong.  That’s just an interlude, a small break following the long 9 months of pregnancy leading me into weeks of more pain…a new pain.  I’ve heard people say that the joy and happiness of finally holding and having your baby makes you forget about all the pain.  I’m sorry, but how many pain pills were ya on to be saying something like that?  Ok, the pain did disappear once I popped Mia out, but I had a lovely Epidural drip flowing through my body.  Once that wore off…OUCH.  Next up…Vicodin, please!  My nurse was my new best friend.  She was the one with the pills.  I got a prescription for them, too, and was taking them for the whole first week at home.  TIP:  While taking Vicodin at home, be careful not to overexert yourself.  Just because the pills numb the pain (temporarily), it doesn’t mean you won’t be feeling pain big time once it wears off!  Even if you’re feeling good…take it easy!

Ok, so not only did I get to take home some very much needed pain pills, I also brought home all of this…

1.  The mother of all “granny panties”!  These mesh underpants were  given to me, courtesy of the hospital.  They need to be this giant to fit the…

2.  GIANT feminine pad!  This bad boy wraps from practically your bellybutton to the top of your bum crack!  This pad needs to be giant to hold the…

3.  Not 1, but TWO large pads.  Yes, they sat side-by-side on top of pad #2, there.  It would have been so much easier to wear an actual diaper!  Why must you wear GIANT panties that hold a GIANT pad, which holds 2 more large pads?  There’s heavy bleeding after giving birth.  For me, it was the heaviest in the hospital for 2 days.  In fact, the nurse will occasionally press down on your stomach to squeeze more blood out of ya.  That doesn’t feel good, btw.

4.  THICK store-bought pads.  I wore these every day and night for 2 1/2 weeks.  I can now wear a much thinner one.  I’m not really sure how long the bleeding will last, but make sure you come home from the hospital to a nice sized stash of these.

1.  “Hemorrhoidal Hygiene Pads“.  These are the same as Tuck’s Pads.  Did you know that your rear end might explode during all the intense baby pushing!?  I knew.  And mine did.  I don’t know if it will ever be the same again.  3 weeks later, I’m still having issues and pain there.  These pads are to help soothe and relieve any pain and burning.  I was terrified of my first poop after birth.  It happened a day or 2 after I got home from the hospital.  When I felt nature calling, my heart sank and the tears came pouring down.  I cried the whole way to the bathroom, and for the whole 20 minutes I sat on the toilet, and for about 20 minutes afterwards while I laid on my bed with a wet, hot towel in between my legs.  OUCH!!!  That traumatic experience hurt more than pushing out my child.  TIP:  Take stool softeners religiously….days before birth and continue them after birth.  Not only does it hurt to push, but things can get…stuck.  This was so stressful…you don’t know whether or not to keep at it or to put it into reverse! I had to reverse and try it again the next day. It’s been 3 weeks since birth and I still fear the dreaded #2.

2. Cleansing Bottle.  When you have to pee, you can’t wipe down there for a few days or so.  The area is very sensitive and the stitches (which I have from the doc needing to cut me to fit my kid’s big head out) are still fresh.  I had to fill this bottle with warm/hot water and squirt it all over from front to back, to cleanse the area. Then, you can use toilet paper to lightly dab the area and pat it dry.

3.  Breast pads.  These pads go into your nursing bra and protect your clothes from being leaked on by your milk-dripping, rock hard (when engorged), big boobs!  I thought it would be cool to have bigger boobs, but it’s not cool at all.  When the milk starts coming in, your boobs get really heavy and you can’t lay on them or press on them because they’re sore and you might squeeze some milk out while doing so.  Oh, and if you don’t pump and/or feed equally between both boobs, they’ll be lop-sided.

4.  Medela Tender Care Lanolin.  If you’re breastfeeding, this ointment greatly helps to soothe sore nipples!  I’ve been trying to breastfeed and pump and this little gem has saved my nipples from bleeding or cracking.  I like this particular product/brand because it’s not as thick and sticky as others I’ve tried.

5.    Dermoplast: Pain Relieving Spray.  Shake the can and spray it “down there” a few times to help ease some of the swollen lady parts and stitches pain.  This is used after the area has been patted dry after potty time and the last thing you do before pulling up your giant mesh granny panties.

Now…doesn’t all of that sound like so much fun?!  Not only is mommy in pain for a few weeks after birth, but there’s so much of this kind of “maintenance” and care that has to be done in between all of the baby feedings, bottle cleaning, burping, rocking, screaming, and the rest of your day to day activities….all while being sleep deprived and facing certain degrees of postpartum depression due to the crazy hormones that can take over your body and mind!  I cried everyday for about  2 weeks and felt pretty miserable at times.  This new reality is completely overwhelming, especially in the beginning.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help…you’re gonna need it.  My husband has been there to hold me when I cry and listen to my complaints and to help make my life as easy as he possibly can.  His support has been HUGE in helping me get through such a tough time.  My mother has also been over at my house practically every other day, helping me with cleaning, making dinners and lunches for me, and watching the baby while I shower, eat or use the bathroom.  She also brings me supplies and things I need and/or want.  Her support has been HUGE in helping me get through such a tough time.  I’m lucky to have so much help, I don’t know what shape I’d be in without them.

Mothers endure a great deal of physical and mental suffering, and many endure this by choice!  Why would any woman in their right mind choose to go through all of this?  I now know why.  My reason is right here…

Mia, 10 days old

The joy and happiness that fills my heart when I hold this little miracle definitely doesn’t make me forget about the pain or numb it in any way.  Oh, I still feel it.  I’d say, she just makes it all worth it.

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Comments

  1. I almost just cried reading this! I’m due in 4 weeks and I just hope my hubby is ready to handle me lol

    • Oh, Heather…I’m sorry to be the one to break this to ya. At the same time, I’m not because I know I would have wanted to have been very well informed of what was (or could have been) yet to come. The truth will set you free :) Good luck and yes, get your hubby prepared now. He will (should) be your biggest support system…your rock! Thanks for the comment. Congrats on your new, up and coming baby :)

  2. Hi there, found you through ohdeardrea.com! I'm due in three weeks. This post has sufficiently prepared/scared me! Hope its going better now :)

  3. It's been 16 months since my daughter was born and I will never forget the pain of that first numero dos. It was seriously as bad as the birthing of my child. The pads and equipment, oh yes, all so needed. I had RX lidocain but the mean doctor wouldn't give me an RX for pain pills. I needed those with all the ripping and tearing I had!

    I hope you're feeling better!

    • I think I pushed Mia out quicker than my first "numero dos"…true story. They still hurt, a month later. And I wouldn't have left the hospital without an RX for pain pills! That's just cruel.

  4. Anonymous says

    Oh Misty… sounds like you had it much worse than I did. 600 mg of motrin every 6 hours for like 3 weeks and I was good to go… and my hospital supplied "accessories" weren't near as big as yours either. I was just tired as hell for a few days after. Hopefully you're feeling better now.

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