What To Expect When No One Tells You

The one question that I always thought about with my first pregnancy and even with my second was the delivery and healing process after baby. Sure I can tell you all the things you have already either heard or read about in maternity and pregnancy books but what REALLY happens afterwards? Like what does your body feel that and go through besides bringing a miracle into this world….well this post is going to answer that. It feels EVERYTHING and there are really no words and or statements that I can put together that is an easy way to simplify and or explain it…but I am going to try.

With my first daughter I was induced due to being high risk with preclampsia. Now that in itself is scary but we made it to 38 weeks and induction happened. I arrived at the hospital at 12:30 am and received my first set of medications of induction about 1:45 am (easy breezy just an IV). At about 6:30 am that morning I was not dilated much so they put a balloon foley in and after everything is said and done; I would rather have another epidural than that foley in. The foley for me was uncomfortable; it made me nauseous and it constantly made me think about what was happening because I could feel it making changes to my body. The good news is that after you are 3cm dilated it comes out. It was my prayers being answered when it came out. Now later in the afternoon I decided to opt for the epidural and it was so simple. No pain, I felt nothing, and afterwards my contractions were easier to manage and by 5:54 pm that day my miss Mary was born.

With my second daughter it was completely different. Now I did not have preclampsia but I had gestational diabetes and that is just a post for a whole different day! But I was also induced this time at 39 weeks and did not need a foley. I was already 4 cm dialated when I got to the hospital for my induction. I got to the hospital at 5:30 am that day; they started my pitocin at 7:00 am; I received my epidural and it was the worst pain of my life. They had to do it 3 times and left me a permanent bruise on my back. Well with finally getting the epidural in and starting to throw up due to nauseousness at 10:17 am my second daughter Paisleigh was born.

Regardless of which birth I am talking about healing process was the same; it was long and a lot for a newborn mother to handle but I am going to try to help explain it the best way possible. Now there are some essential items that I ALWAYS recommend on getting for the post birth and I will make sure to post those on my page as well but this post I just want to focus on what you will feel and can or may expect. First there will be a lot of blood; there is no sugar coating that. You just carried a human being for 9 months your body went through a lot and it is going to take some time to get it back to the way it was. Your whole body will hurt and be sore along with that; make sure you take it easy. (Easier said then done right?! You now have a newborn you do not get rest.) Well at least try to. When the baby sleeps you sleep it is that simple. Leave the dishes in the sink; order out, let that laundry pile up, forget about the stack of mail piling high on your table, who cares if you did not brush your hair this morning; WHEN THE BABY SLEEPS YOU SLEEP. It is such a simple statement and plan to action but it does go a long way.

You will be worried with every little sound that comes out of your baby’s mouth and or nose; this is normal. You now have bionic hearing and every little thing wakes or startles you with your new baby; it gets better if you plan on having more children I promise you. You might also forget to eat and or drink…PLEASE DON’T. If you have to set a reminder in your phone please do it. You will be so consumed with your precious little one that you might forget the most important thing; that little nugget of love needs you and you have to stay nourished and hydrated at all times.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and take it when it is offered. You are going to go through a whole world of emotions and feelings after the birth of your baby that it is OK to take a moment to yourself. Have your mom, dad, aunt, uncle, sister, brother, friend, co-worker, come over and sit with your baby for a little bit that way you can shower. You can have some “me time” without feeling guilty about it. I remember always wanting to do everything no matter what time of day or night it was. I actually got so upset when people would ask me to help because I thought if you help me how am I ever going to learn what to do when it happens again and they aren’t there…then what? It is OK your mother/father instincts kick in and you get through it and finally realize you got this and you can do it.

If you do not get anything out of this post; please take this next few short statements I am about to type and read them. Postpartum depression happens and it is OK. With both of my daughters I blamed myself for every little cry and sickness. I constantly thought I was not doing enough or I was not enough for them. I even had the terryifying thought of not even wanting to be around anymore because everything was just too much. The diapers, the cries, the rashes, the feeding, the reflux, the sleepless nights, the spit up, the lack of self care, the laundry, the responsibilities were all just TOO MUCH. As I sat in our cold garage on the concrete step rocking back and forth praying that everything would be alright I heard my oldest daughter crying and knocking on the door behind me wanting to make sure I was alright. That is when I knew I needed those two little girls and my husband more than then would ever need me. They were my lifeline. They were my reason for everything. That same night this happened to me I got online and I researched help and talked to my husband about it. We then made sure going forward we always talked about how we are feeling and made sure we took the right steps to feel better and or get the help we needed.

Now with that being said I know everyone is different but I want you to know if you feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to please reach out and know that I am here for you.

Antepartum….too much too soon….

I never thought too much of postpartum depression until I became pregnant with my first daughter and I was in the waiting room of my doctor’s office and they asked me one question….it took one question for me to just completely break:

“How are you really feeling?”

I broke down. I broke down and completely lost it while my husband sat in the chair next to me with worry in his eyes and just a huge weight on his shoulders. He wanted me to be OK but was not sure what was going on. I cried. I cried and stated I hated everything. I hated going to work, I hated waking up, I hated throwing up, I hated having to think about what to eat because I knew I would just throw it up a couple minutes/hours later. I even hated the sun! It was summertime and I was 8-12 weeks pregnant and I hated the sun. I waited so long to become pregnant this is what my future husband and I wanted (we were to get married in 3 months at the time) and now I was just miserable. I didn’t know what was going on but that one question opened a whole new chapter in my life. Antepartum depression happened. My doctor reassured me that what I was feeling was completely normal and that there were a lot of hormones and changes happening throughout my body and it is going to be OK.

Even though everything turned out to be OK I cannot stress enough on how embarrassed I felt because of this depression. I felt like I did something wrong when in reality it is something that is very common just not a lot of people talk about it. With the help of my amazing team of doctors and the support from my husband I was able to get the help I needed during my pregnancy.

One thing that was never told to me that I wish was beforehand was that if not treated correctly it the depression can come back ten fold in the future if you were to get pregnant again. Well welcome to my life and getting pregnant with baby #2. Before getting pregnant with my second daughter; I had stopped taking my medication after my first daughter turned one. I thought to myself I feel great and I must be alright to just ween myself off my medication. This is NOT RECOMMENDED and before you even think about this please consult your physician. I wish I did. I am the type of person that thinks that I know my body better than anyone else…well because it is MY body and I should know the best about it right?….WRONG. Postpartum depression hit me ten times harder with the conception of my second daughter.

I talk to a therapist and have been on medication that is safe to take while I was pregnant and post pregnancy. I will say it was extremely hard to convince me to do any of it because of course I was that person that didn’t want anything to affect my baby even if it cost me my sanity. I am so glad that I did what was recommended for me because I don’t know if I would be where I am at now without it. I will say if you are in a similar situation do not be afraid to talk about it. Reach out to your doctor’s and you support team (family/friends) they are your biggest advocates and want the best for you and will do anything they can to make sure of it. I am also here to say I HEAR YOU. I know how you feel and there are answers for you. It is only temporary and treatable.