Daily Archives: February 23, 2011

Birth: The Aftermath (aka How My Vagina Healed After Pushing Out an 8 Lb Baby)

Wow – it has been awhile since I blogged, huh?  Sorry to leave you hanging.  As I am typing this, I am hiding in my basement from my mom who is upstairs playing with the baby.  I love my mother, I really do, but oy… becoming a parent has increased her criticisms of me tenfold.  Seriously.  She had the audacity to tell me I was breastfeeding incorrectly when SHE NEVER EVEN BREASTFED ME.

Anywho.  Now to the stuff you wanted to read.  The aftermath.  During my pregnancy, I was a little frightened of labor and delivery but the thing that REALLY scared me was the aftermath.  The post-vagina care.  The pooping after being stitched down south. 

Well clearly I survived or I wouldn’t even be blogging about it but it wasn’t fun and it wasn’t pretty.

Prior to baby, Jeremy wouldn’t even be in the bathroom with me if I had to pee.  It wasn’t that I’m a big exhibitionist or anything, but come on – it was just pee!  This is just a line he never wanted to cross with me.  Well – he had to get over things very quickly.

After they pulled baby girl out (and she was still nameless…), the OB/GYN stitched me up.  And let’s just say that the epidural was either wearing off or perhaps didn’t completely numb things down south because I started to feel it and it wasn’t fun.  Thankfully it didn’t last long.  Another thing that wasn’t fun was the nurses constantly pressing down on my abdomen to check on how my uterus was contracting (and shrinking).  Every time they pushed down, a gush a blood came out.  I felt like a squeeze bottle of ketchup.

They noticed in the delivery room, however, that my bladder was incredibly full and pushing my uterus to the side.  So – they wanted me to go urinate before they moved me to the postpartum room.  And hello?  Trying to urinate after some serious trauma is no easy task.  And I couldn’t do it.  When I sat on the toilet, I could feel my stitches tugging and I just could NOT relax.  After about an HOUR (seriously – AN HOUR), they put in a catheter and proceeded to empty out over a LITER of urine.  Who knew my bladder could hold so much?

They wheeled me to postpartum.  As they wheeled me down the hall, all of the nurses that helped me and the OB lined along the hall and wished me congrats.  I really loved the staff at GBMC. 

We lucked out with the postpartum room we got because it was an end unit and it was HUGE.  The nurse that was on duty when we were admitted walked me through all of the post-delivery vaginal care I would need to do.  And this included:

  1. spraying down my vagina with a little bottle of warm water
  2. wearing a SUPER SIZED ice pack (I had to ice my vagina for the first 24 hours… and that ice was MAGIC)
  3. lining the ice pack with several Tucks pads
  4. squirting some hemorrhoids cream onto one of the pads (yes, I got ‘roids).
  5. wearing all this in some lovely mesh underwear

I was supposed to change all of the stuff ever 2-3 hours.  I was also balancing a catheter tube and pee bag while doing this AND I wasn’t exactly feeling light on my feet.  There were a lot of times where I would stand and blood would just stream down my leg.  I couldn’t exactly bend over and clean everything up… so this meant that I needed Jeremy to escort me to the bathroom and set up my ice pack/tucks pads/hemorroid cream underpants and clean up any blood that may have splattered down my leg and onto the floor.

Jeremy has gotten over the whole blood / pee thing, btw.

Aside from getting up every few hours to change my ice pack/tucks pads/hemorroid cream – I was pretty much bed-ridden for most of the time.  But I have to say that hospital beds are awesome.  I loved being able to adjust to any position I wanted.

While you’re in post-partum, a lot of staff come in and out of the room.  I had a nurse that was in charge of taking care of ME (so she was in every few hours to check my vitals and bring me meds), there was a nurse in charge of checking on the baby and then there was the other hospital staff like the food services people and maintenance that were in every so often as well.  And because so many people would come in and out of the room – a good chunk of the hospital staff saw my boobs.  I felt like it was inevitable that when I would start nursing the baby, someone would come into the room.

The next day, the staff removed the catheter and I was told that I HAD to pee on my own into some container so they could see how much I peed.  I was also told that I was to switch from the ice packs to a warm sitz bath.  They said I could continue to ice if I liked it but that after 24 hours, it wasn’t doing anything to actually help me heal.  They said warmth would help the healing process.

Well – I still couldn’t pee.  I tried.  For HOURS.  A nurse helped as much as she could by:

  1. Turning on the water faucet in the bathroom
  2. Turning on the heat lamp in the bathroom
  3. Using wintergreen oil to help me relax (the scent was supposed to help me)
  4. Suggesting I take a shower to help me go (she said measuring the pee wasn’t as important as me actually peeing)

Still, I couldn’t pee.  I just couldn’t relax and it was incredibly stressful.  So – I had to get ANOTHER catheter.  This time – it wasn’t incredibly comfortable (since I had now had 3 catheters inserted) and I was growing more and more anxious.  I thought that I somehow permanently traumatized some stuff down south and that I’d never pee again on my own. 

The staff had determined that my problem may had been that I let my bladder get “too full” so that it distended and made it difficult for me to pee.  I was ordered to pee within 2 hours of the removal of the new catheter.

So now my mom has decided to join me in the basement so this is where I’ll end this blog post for now.  Another cliffhanger!  Did I pee on my own?  Did I have to go home with a catheter?  I’m sure you’re dying to know!

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