Thursday, June 21, 2018

Getting REAL about Post-Partum Recovery: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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I really had no expectations when it came to being pregnant and the aftermath. I kind of just had a "whatever happens, happens" attitude because I really didn't know what ACTUALLY happens. I didn't want to scare myself and I just wanted to prepare myself for whatever was going to occur. No two birth stories are the same so anything my friends told me was totally different from my experience. People are so vague with details about the recovery after giving birth. I get it, it's not pretty. But, Why don't people discuss the postpartum recovery?! This is what I wish I knew.. before I knew.

So here I am, getting REAL with you on Post-partum Recovery. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. 

The Good

Of course there is good. You get a wonderful, beautiful baby at the end of the day. Another bonus, is you are no longer pregnant! (Although, some days I do miss this) Especially if you are like me and had morning sickness. This is something I will not miss. I was miserable the first trimester. I had a pretty good pregnancy otherwise, but towards the end things just get... uncomfortable. Well, unfortunately that pretty much sums it up for the good. (A baby! Whoo hoo!) Just being honest here, people. 

My sweet baby girl. 1 day old.

The Bad

Are you ready for this? It's a doozy. just grew a little human inside of you for 9ish months and then in a matter of hours (or in my case, 14 minutes) that human is outside of you. Your body is going through some crazy stuff--total and complete shock! Your insides stretch, your hormones are whack and your body is trying to figure out what the heck just happened. Not only do you give birth to a child, but you also need to deliver the placenta. Gross, I know, but it needs to happen. So once that baby is out, don't think you are done. Not quite sure why the Drs were tugging so hard but apparently my placenta wanted to stay a little while longer. Luckily, I didn't feel much other than pressure and tugging because I had a wonderful epidural. (Which may or may not work for everyone) Now, your body is trying to start the recovery process which means your hormones are partying all over the place. You'll be happy, sad, angry, maybe even depressed and then happy again.

It's weird, people. Really weird.

I heard all this talk about the baby blues and honestly never in my wildest dreams thought I would get it, but months after birth, I did. My hormones were still so crazy, and of course I loved my baby, but I just felt some sort of disconnect. Others may feel it differently. Some may even have postpartum depression. I really was not prepared for the roller coaster of emotions. It's pretty a crazy roller coaster. Plus, your sleep schedule is all over the place and your really just trying to figure everything out day by day.

So.. the next part is something I didn't even consider. Tearing.
Those dreadful words of your nether regions tearing, just sounds frightening. I was lucky that I only tore a stage 1 out of 3. (At least that's how the nurse explained it.- Stage 1 means very little, and stage 3 is extreme.) My recovery time was much quicker than if I were a 3. Most women will experience horrendous pain. Luckily, I did not. Yet, I still took the pain killers they gave me, because how am I supposed to know if I was going to be in pain or not. I mean, a baby just came out of my hoo-haa. It does feel all sorts of weird. Like, almost numb. Sitting down was uncomfortable, and laying down a certain way was uncomfortable. The nurse actually had me switch positions because she said I would put too much pressure on my nether regions.

Now, the contraption they make you is almost comical. I mean, the super grande large mesh underwear, the amount padding and all the steps to put it together. They have you squirt your lady parts with water and lightly dab yourself, then you have to spray down there with dermoplast spray and then add the witch hazel pads or tucks. I mean it took an army of nurses to help me step into this contraption and THEN add all the other goods. I remember thinking, "If all these nurses are helping me put this damn thing on, how the hell am I going to do this myself?" (This is why I recommend purchasing Depends which does not take an army to put on.) I literally tell all my soon to be mom friends to get Depends. Lifesaver.

So the one thing I couldn't wait for when I was pregnant was to be able to sleep on my stomach again. Well, I couldn't do this for a good month. It was just uncomfortable, my stomach still felt weird and it just didn't feel right. I had to move super slow getting in and out of bed. Walking also felt weird, but I am also crazy and went out to dinner the next day. Don't follow in my footsteps. I am highly motivated by food, so ... that's why that happened.

The Ugly

Alright, so you think I have been real enough with you and you can't handle anymore? Then do not read any further. I always heard about bleeding like a period post-baby but I really didn't think much of it because I did have heavy periods to begin with.


The amount of blood that was coming out. I thought, "Am I going to bleed to death?!" 

No. You won't. But it sure ain't pretty. Also another reason why Depends are lifesaving. They won't leak. Unfortunately the mesh underwear they give you in the hospital will leak and the pads are just so awkward and they move around and it just isn't pretty. So, I didn't know how long the bleeding would last. For me, it was a few months. Yes, MONTHS. Not to mention the swelling. Oh man, the swelling. I didn't even have it that bad. It was just so weird and I thought my lady bits would never be the same again. (Don't worry, I am good as new now! And you will be too!)
So.. it doesn't end here ladies.

The first pee and bowel movement is probably the scariest thing ever. I am just being real. But don't worry, this phase will soon pass. Just make sure to keep taking the stool softeners they give you, because those are going to save you and make the "shitty" situation better. Sorry for the pun, but I had to.

So, your body is still going through some crazy changes in the weeks following. The hormones are here to stay for a while. I remember being more sweatier than usual and just feeling gross. This will soon pass. And ladies, do not worry about your little baby pouch, this will too slim down in the months to follow. Especially if you are eating right and taking care of yourself. Just don't go too crazy. (Also, If you are breastfeeding, this will help speed up the process). I remember wondering, "Where will my stomach go after the baby pops out?" Well, ladies.. It doesn't just GO away. I mean it shrinks down some, but doesn't just disappear. That would be great though, wouldn't it?

So, the fun doesn't stop here. Next step in the upcoming months (usually around 3-4 months) is post-partum hair loss. Now, I have always lost a lot of hair so I thought maybe I would get lucky and this phase wouldn't happen. But boy was I wrong. I mean chunks of hair would come out. It was disturbing. My husband was worried about me (and also getting annoyed that my hair was everywhere-- more so than usual). But this part really isn't so bad. It's temporary. So basically, during pregnancy the increased levels of estrogen in your body freezes your hair in the growing phase. Then after you give birth your estrogen levels decline, which is when all the hair that "froze" during pregnancy falls out.

Some of my Mom Wife Design Life tips for recovery:

*Get Depends for post-partum recovery
*Make some padsicles. (I made these, and it was something I actually looked forward to using)
*Take ALL the goodies from the hospital. (The mesh undies, extra pads, witch hazel, dermoplast, squirt bottle)
*Epsom salt (or sitz bath) - to soak and heal your nether regions

*Enjoy your new little one, and don't worry about your post-partum belly

Hopefully, this post will help you be more prepared than I was. Everyone's stories are different, but I wish I had known a few things before actually going through them.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the post-partum recovery! Leave me a comment below.


  1. You did a great job of breaking down the not-so-glamorous post-delivery realities. The worst part for me was being more physically exhausted than I've ever felt in my life...but never being able to get decent sleep because my tiny human wasn't so into continuous sleep!
    Gina || On the Daily Express

    1. Thank you! It was definitely out of my comfort zone to really break down the details, but felt it would help other soon-to-be mamas out! Yes! Physical exhaustion is a definite, especially that first month when trying to figure everything out! So glad you stopped by to read <3

  2. I really appreciate the honesty and details here! As I'm barreling towards this new reality for myself, I'm eager to prepare myself as much as possible and stock up on all of these items that will make things slightly easier.

    1. Yes! I wish I would have known MORE about the not so pretty. I thought I knew, but then there were so many other things I wish I would have been more prepared for!

  3. Seriously, dermoplast was my bff after birth. Everyone thinks pregnancy is hard? I think those 6-8 weeks after were the worst for me. Thank you for sharing your honest experience. Sierra Beautifully Candid

    1. Girl, Dermoplast was for me too! Definitely post-partum was harder for me than pregnancy was. Thank you so much for reading and leaving some love <3 XO

  4. Great real post! No one tells you the UGLY! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing! I'm 25 weeks right now and this is helpful to know what to expect after baby. Then maybe I won't freak out when they happen to me :)