So I’m technically still in the postpartum stage, or fourth trimester as some lovingly call it. Does it ever actually end? But I wanted to recap some major postpartum differences for me this time around. I shared a lot about postpartum when I first started this website, but this time around has been way different for me. I want to share again to highlight how different pregnancies are, even within one person. I don’t think there is such a thing as a “normal” pregnancy or postpartum time because they are all so different. Recovering from having Genevieve who was 7 lbs 9 oz was WAY different from recovering from Oliver who was 9 lbs 7 oz. I don’t know if all the differences come from the different sizes, or the fact that it was a second delivery but I do know that it was much easier.
Fair warning for this post, along with all my pregnancy/birth posts: I do my best to not be too graphic, but I’m sharing about recovery after literally pushing a human out of my body so it’s going to be a little graphic.
I’ll go ahead and start with my time in the hospital. This time around I stood up after about 2 hours, which may have been too soon. But I had to pee SO BAD. Again, I think they really pumped up the IV right before I had Genevieve so it wasn’t long before I needed to get up. I called in my nurses and told them I needed to get up and they helped me scoot my way to the edge of the bed. I felt like I had decent feeling in my legs and was able to move them pretty well. I was feeling confident. Until I put weight on them. They have signs up in the room warning you to call for help standing up and boy are they right. I suppose it’s mostly for if you’ve had an epidural, but trust me when I say you DO NOT want to try and stand up alone for the first time. My legs suddenly felt like jelly when I put weight on them and I was so glad I had a nurse on either side of me to help me wobble in to the bathroom. But again, I had to pee bad. So, I made my way as fast as I could hobble over to the toilet and stood there on my own for a second. Then came the part I’ve debated sharing because it’s honestly embarrassing. You guys, I fell. I fell trying to sit down to pee. After I stood for a second on my own, I went to sit down and my hips just turned to complete mush and I fell right on the floor. It wasn’t a hard fall and it didn’t hurt anything but my pride. It is very humbling having to have people pick you up off the ground because you literally can’t get your legs back under you. And to make matters worse I still had to pee so bad! I guess I’m just lucky that I didn’t pee all over when I fell because looking back I think that was a very real possibility. After that lovely event my nurses didn’t let me even try to go anywhere on my own, or step more than a foot away from me. And honestly that was necessary and I was grateful to have them there. I wobbled my way back to bed and stayed there for the night. I didn’t try to get up until the next morning and I had Mauricio support me and I had way more control of my joints and everything went just fine. No more falls.
The rest of the hospital stay was pretty uneventful, thankfully. We were able to go home in the evening the day after Genevieve was born. So we spent the day mostly napping and waiting for the 24 hour mark where they do some tests to make sure baby is doing well. Once we did those tests we were able to go home!
We decided to have Oliver stay an extra night with my parents, by the time we would all be home it would be bedtime and I didn’t want to rush Oliver meeting his sister for the first time. I’ll do a whole post about that so I’m not going to get into the details of them meeting too much here, but I will say when he did come home the next day it went very well!
So I want to touch on this just real quick because I know its something that moms to be wonder a lot about. I’m going to bleed for how long?! After having Oliver I bled for about 2 months, so that’s what I was prepared for with this baby. Once again, this time was very different. While I was in the hospital the nurses and my doctor both commented on how little I was bleeding. My doctor told me that my iron levels actually increased after giving birth which is super weird. Anyways, then I only bled for about 3 weeks after delivering. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that Genevieve was much smaller than Oliver and I didn’t tear at all. There just wasn’t as much damage to heal. It made the recovery much easier for sure.
Growing, carrying and then delivering a human takes a toll on your body, there’s no denying that. We see so much media where women look like themselves about 3 seconds after giving birth. It’s just not the case. I think it’s becoming more normalized to embrace your postpartum body, but to be real, it’s hard. Real hard. I gained about 60 lbs this time around. I’m about 2 months out now and I’ve lost a solid 30 lbs of that. I ate A LOT of sweets in the final trimester so I can’t say that I didn’t expect to have some weight gain. But now I’m in the super fun part of pushing to lose that extra 30 lbs. I’ve shared before that I’m not so much about a number on a scale, but more about being happy with the way you look and feel. I’m not going to lie here, it’s hard looking at my body right now. It just doesn’t feel like it’s mine. But I’m motivated to get it to a place where I am happy with it. After I got the all clear to workout at 6 weeks I got started doing some home workouts at least 3 times a week. It’s hard starting all over with a lot of the moves that I used to be able to do, but I know that I’ll get back to myself with time and persistence.
What I didn’t experience
Another thing I want to share that has been different this time is sweating. I was not prepared at all for how much I sweat after I had Oliver. It was crazy! This time I expected it and it didn’t happen. I actually didn’t have anything unexpected after having Genevieve. I had a little bit of lingering back pain, but I have that sometimes anyways due to having scoliosis. Overall she was just a really easy delivery and recovery. Again, that’s not going to be the case for everyone. But I guess I consider myself lucky that I had an easy recovery on the second baby.
I also didn’t have to deal with the difficulty of leaving Genevieve to go back to work. That was something that took a toll on me with Oliver, even though he was right down the street while I was working. Now I am a full time stay at home mom and I haven’t had to deal with leaving her for a full day yet.
Overall the postpartum journey this time around has been pretty easy. I’m definitely not going to say that’s going to be the case for all second pregnancies but I’m sure glad it was the case for me. It truly amazes me how different my pregnancies, deliveries and recoveries were and I just can’t wait to see how different Oliver and Genevieve turn out to be.