4 Days Postpartum, Reflecting

🐨🌾 𝒜𝓂𝒷𝑒𝓇 🌾🐨 • My Twitter is HansenandaHalf ❤️

I had a pretty simple pregnancy, I started at 160lbs, and lost 8lbs in the first trimester, and then slowly gained it back and ended my pregnancy around 162lbs- but my baby was nearly 9lbs 😭 which is the biggest to date in my whole family.

(4 weeks vs 40 weeks vs 4 days PP- I was all baby and she was a little extra!)

My due date was 2/19 and I wasn’t expecting to have her any time soon, but sure enough I went into early labor around 3pm that day, and throughout the afternoon/evening my contractions got longer and closer together. I went to the hospital at around 11pm when they were 3-4 minutes apart and over a minute long, but was only dilated to 1cm, so they sent me home around 2:30 after no progression. But not even an hour after that I woke up in extreme pain from them and my husband decided we should go back and I was so scared that I wouldn’t be progressed at all and would have to go back home again- the nurse seemed skeptical when we returned as well. But after another check I was actually at 4cm! So they took me in, I opted for IV pain medications because the anesthesiologist was booked for about an hour before he could do my epidural. After the epidural around 5am things continued to get closer and stronger but I was too anxious to get much rest.

I continued to dilate pretty quickly, and by Noon I was at 7-8cm. By around 2pm I started to feel the contractions much stronger and had pain in my lower back/pelvis with each one, and getting all the way to 10cm felt like a lifetime, but at 3pm we began pushing. At that point my epidural decided to go out on my left side, so I was pretty miserable and at one point got a little hysteric and wanted to just give up. My nurse offered to let me take a break, but my only relief at that point was pushing through contractions, so I hunkered down and pushed on, my husband rooting for me and getting a work out in for himself holding my leg and coaching through pushes when the nurse had to step out a few times. At about 4pm my nurse brought in a different doctor than mine just to give me some pointers to try and make it easier on me and helped us find a better position.

My mom was on the phone just listening the whole time and every time I heard her voice I’d cry, because of covid I couldn’t have her there just my husband. But her voice was also helpful in getting me to the end. My doctor told me to look at my baby once her head was out and I guess at that point I came out of my labor trance! It’s funny now but I exclaimed “OH MY GOD” and not in a cute/soft/loving way but genuinely shocked 😂 I didn’t feel pain when she came out, but I did feel the stitching process after (2nd degree tear) and the fundal massage was absolutely excruciating. The placenta delivery felt like a whole mess, and my husband was in the splash zone for that one 😂

My baby was born at 5:39pm, 8lbs 13oz and 21” long! She had passed her first stool while still inside, and had taken a breath in the birth canal, so a respiratory team was already in my room waiting for her and went straight to work after she started crying on my chest. Everyone was extremely informative about what was happening when it was happening, and she was absolutely perfect! Her blood sugar was a bit low as well but after a quick glucose treatment she’s been normal since.

The last few days at home have been wonderful as well as awful, she has her days and nights confused currently and it’s going to be a hurdle for us. Another hurdle has been breast feeding. I have inverted nipples but baby was latching great at the hospital, but at home sometimes was struggling. Because of the ligaments being torn into place to evert, I was in a lot of pain when nursing as well, to the point of bleeding and bruising and dreading every feed. There was absolutely nothing I was enjoying about it and I felt so ashamed/guilty for not. I felt guilty because so actually began to procrastinate a feed because I dreaded the pain of it so much. It was turning into a vicious cycle that stressed me and the baby out, and I wasn’t producing enough for her so she’d get very fussy about 10 minutes after feeding. My husband had to hold 2 crying girls at 4am, and we decided then we’d at least try to supplement with formula so baby could get what she needed and we could get some peace. But since then we’ve decided to go exclusively to formula, both for my mental health and for baby’s happiness and health. I felt guilt and shame for that decision, because I had planned to breast feed and I know how much she should benefit from me being able to give her that, but my doctor and her pediatrician are thankfully on board that we made the right decision for our family.

Now we’re on day 4, and I learn so much more about her every day. She’s absolutely wonderful, and my body is healing and strong. Birth is absolutely traumatic, I’ve never worked so hard or been in so much pain, but my experience was overall really positive! I knew I was in great hands and I feel so empowered.