My Pregnancy: Week 1 Postpartum

Week Postpartum 1

Another beautiful baby graced the world with its presence this week—my sweet baby. We spent half of this week in the hospital and the other half at home. Three pregnancies in and I felt more confident than before. A few little things I’ve learned along the way brought me comfort in the hospital this time around:

  • I shifted my expectations somewhat, no longer really hoping to sleep much in the way that I hoped with our other children in those newborn days. Accepting that my child is going to spit up on me, causing me to go through three shirts some nights, makes the actual experience less frustrating.
  • I learned with the last pregnancy that changing into my own clothes helped me feel at home. This time as soon as they removed the catheter, I transitioned to my clothes that were nursing friendly.
  • I limited visits. The day is surprisingly full with nurses and doctors visiting, nursing, getting used to baby, sifting through paperwork, trying to take in your newborn, ordering and eating food to coincide with medication times (if on pain relievers), updating family and friends, and recovery. Those first 48 hours I got only 4 hours of sleep yet I didn’t have a spare moment.
  • I took my time getting baby onto social media. We share on a private page with family and a few close friends that live scattered around the country. We don’t have smart phones, so photos went on that private page when it was first convenient for us. I didn’t rush and found confidence in knowing that prior to social media, just ten years ago, people used to wait days or weeks to see a photo or update about baby. People can wait.
  • I bathed as soon as able to stand for a few minutes safely. With my first baby I put off bathing, partly in fear of the healing and partly because I didn’t want my husband to have to help and see me in all my postpartum mess and glory. This time I utilized the nurses who were more than willing to help get me undressed and cleaned up. I still use the restroom with privacy from hubby and this didn’t change in the hospital; he did help me dress and get to the bathroom as needed. Negotiate your own comfort zone as you go, but be open and willing to ask for help without shame. Nurses are there to help in all aspects of your recovery.
  • I didn’t try to cover up. I remember my mother-in-law holding up a towel while I tried to nurse my first baby. He wouldn’t latch and all I recall from that moment was my anxiety mounting while visitors chatted in the background. This time I either more strongly advocated for visitors to leave when needed or I didn’t try to cover up so much, particularly with nurses (they’ve seen it all). Your hospital room is a sacred space, the initial place where you and your baby learn to thrive in this world. Let it all hang out.
  • Utilize the services they offer, especially lactation consulting. This was my third time around nursing. I’ve nursed two children successfully for over a year each. Still I welcomed the consultant when she first stopped by unasked. I then sought her out the moment I noticed difficulty with nursing (soreness).
  • Let the nurses assist you (significant other and family too). With each child there was a night that proved especially difficult. I was tired, in pain, and at emotion’s end. Hubby slept at home each night due to back pain and sub-par sleeping options at the hospital. With my second child my mattress started to slide down. I remember finally using the call button as my C-sectioned-self tried unsuccessfully to push it back where it belonged as my child screamed, ready to nurse. This time the nurses rounded just as I FINALLY got my very sleepless baby to sleep, waking her. Let people help you. Picking up on how frazzled I seemed, my nurse offered to take the baby just for an hour or two to let me rest. I’m so glad I allowed it; she rocked her to sleep that once, offering me a major reprieve at a crucial moment.

Given the uncomfortable end to my (any?) pregnancy I was a little surprised to find myself missing being pregnant by the week’s end. While I’m still sure we’re done having children I find myself nostalgic already in a way that is uncharacteristic of me. Maybe it’s the hormones. Ultimately, it’s the end of the baby-making era for us and I feel it. In a way I enjoy the late, long nights. It may be that this isn’t my first rodeo so I’m just used to them. Add in there the nostalgia factor and I know all too well these are the last nights that I’ll have a newborn to enjoy.  With that said, another week of life, new life, is in the books.

Annie is a mom of two boys, ages two and four, and now a newborn gal. She is taking in every moment of every day because, let’s be honest, she’s not getting much sleep. 

Tags: birth, C-section, fourth trimester, multiple children, new baby, postpartum, pregnancy, recovery, third trimester

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