10 Postpartum things they don't tell you
Updated: May 15, 2020
Unlike the seemingly VAST majority of moms out there, I most certainly did not bounce back after giving birth to my first, Eloise, and DEFINITELY not after my second, Jude. There are a number of bizarre issues I deal with on a daily basis that a 20-something should not be dealing with. This post is either completely selfish, or maybe some moms out there feel the same pains as I do. Either way, I LOVE my children with every fiber of my being, and if I'm left battered and torn, that's okay. My babies are perfect, and SO worth it.
This list is based upon my personal experience after childbirth.
1. Plantar Faciitus
At the VERY end of my pregnancies, I had not suffered from swollen feet. Aside from becoming super tired after walking or physical activity, I felt fine... Well, as fine as I could feel while being enormously pregnant and overdue.
The first six weeks with baby I noticed how difficult it was to walk around again. I mean, a huge weight had been taken off me of course, but I found myself waddling around instead of taking normal steps.
My legs are stiff, I feel pain and numbness from the soles of my feet to my hips. This stems from the stress of carrying extra weight around...combined with terrible shoes...oh yeah, and that dang epidural.
2. Dry, Cracked & Calloused Feet
There’s no explaining this one, but for some inexplicable reason, my feet are the worst they’ve ever been. Ever. I could groom them regularly (social distancing, amirite?), but they still callous over in the blink of an eye. What gives?!
3. Gallbladder Complications
Sweet baby Jesus, this had to have been the worst thing to happen after Eloise. She was only a few weeks old, but I was still up multiple times each night to feed and tend to her. I slept in the recliner with her in my arms. Long story. I have severe anxiety. That’s another blog post. OH, and did I mention I was working too? Holy moly.
Anywho, during a feeding one night, I was hammered with this intense abdominal pain that felt something like a never-ending contraction. I tossed and turned, moaned and screamed because the pain was so intense and so persistent that I could not function. I could barely stand. I suffered into the night and early morning, finally dozing off with my bare bottom in the air, holding a heating pad as if my life depended on it.
After this episode, I continued to have smaller shocks to my system, but they were nothing that a dose of ibuprofen couldn’t take care of.
Finally, one last episode sent me into a completely overwhelming attack.
A hot bath, meds, lots of screaming, a frantic trip to the ER and one morphine drip later, the doctors told me I had sludge in my gallbladder.
So now my body cannot process fat.
4. Tooth Pain & Cavities
I know this one is not unheard of, but I just have to get this one out there again. I had to lose all FOUR of my wisdom teeth two weeks after Eloise was born (btw, the gallbladder nonsense was happening at the same time as this). Every two hours I fed Eloise, and with each let-down, I was met with intense oral pain that drove me to tears and left me with multiple headaches throughout the day.
It. Was. Misery.
5. Sharp, Stabbing Nipple Pains
In between feedings, aside from the usual let-down pains and uterine clamps that came with them, I was having other pains.
My nipples felt like they were being attacked by a million tiny swords. Why did this happen? Who freaking knows. Each time I would ask an experienced mother, they would have no idea what I was talking about. Every google search left me without answers. I still don’t know why they happened. I guess I’m special. Yeesh.
6. Decrease in Libedo
Bleh. I know this is a common one too, but I’m laying it out there for you mamas. WE DON'T TALK ABOUT THIS ENOUGH. You’re not the only one that feels like your body is just a tool for everyone and everything around you. You’re not the only one that feels like you don’t belong to yourself anymore. It’s okay.
It's OKAY to ask your husband not to touch you. Explain to him how you're feeling, help him understand.
7. Excess Gas
I could blame this on the uterus shrinking down and all that jazz, but I honestly have no clue. To be totally and completely transparent, I belch like a truck driver and find myself constantly holding in gas wherever I go. It never used to be this way. I have no earthly idea why, but this is my life now. Sigh.
8. "Brain Farts"
I swear sometimes the things that come out of my mouth wouldn’t make sense to the most educated person on earth. A few days ago I was talking to my husband when I said the phrase “I don’t think you actually really think you don’t know.“ Facepalm. I couldn’t even tell you what I was trying to convey with those words. Could. Not. Tell. You.
I think this goes along with hormone imbalance, sleep deprivation, and severe anxiety. This is the recipe for a jacked-up brain with jacked-up thoughts. Every time I fell asleep, I was instantly jolted awake with nightmares of my baby falling through an infinite abyss. This was a recurring one. Other times I would jump out of bed screaming, yelling, and running to whoever Eloise was. I did this as I called her name, and sometimes I would cry out, “ Where’s my baby? No! Eloise, where are you?” As if she were in distress anytime we weren’t together.
Don't worry, mamas. This was my first. Now with baby #2, I still have fears for his well-being, but nothing like I had with Eloise. It will get better. You are not alone.
10. Sagging, Droopy "Lady Bits"
So this "six weeks" is up and you've finally gotten the nerve to look "down there". You're hesitant, but it's been a while and you have to know how things are healing.
*Whips out mirror*
WHAT THE ACTUAL HECK
EVERYTHING is just hanging there. It's WIDE open. You can almost see up into your dang uterus.
Don't freak out, Don't freak out. This is totally normal. ESPECIALLY if your vaginal delivery needed intervention, such as forceps. *Raises hand* Like me. Sweet, title Jude just could not be bothered to come out. Instead, he had to be forcibly ripped from my body. Fun stuff.
ALSO, if you're having trouble holding your pee, like A LOT of trouble, PLEASE be persistent with your doctor. Most OB's will advise kegel exercises regularly, but what if you can't flex those muscles? Seek physical therapy! Advocate for yourself and YOUR BODY.