My Postpartum Hell


I posted this super cute picture to soften the blow…and because I don’t have any pictures of the following (you’re welcome).

Since I already posted our birth story and shared some of the glorious postpartum details with you, I’ll be sure to elaborate here. First of all, my postpartum experience with Caleb was cake. I only bled for a week and only had heavy bleeding for a few short days. I felt really good and had a ton of energy. I was able to rest though, so that may be the main difference in the two.

I swear to you if I would have known how horrible postpartum would be this time I would have thought about moving into a nursing home for a while. Or maybe just lived in a doctor’s office for a while? Either way, I feel like these past two and half weeks have been rife with calls to our midwife, calls to the doctor and actual office visits. It’s about to get real ugly so you might want to stop here…

Here’s what went/is going down:

First thing: I got a wicked hemorrhoid. Never had one, scoffed at people who had one and complained. And then I got one. Hey-o. That thing hurt. In fact, it hurt more than my minor tear and my sore perineum. I wasn’t even thinking about my sore vagina because my butt hurt ten times worse. It was uncomfortable and I could only feel better about it by jokingly calling it a “grape”. Seriously, it was like a small grape was stuck to my butt. Aren’t you happy I shared that visual with you? This is what you get for pushing a 10.5 lb baby out of your vagina. Or maybe she did come out of my butt, who knows? I was using witch hazel like a mad woman and I am really really happy to announce that all is well now. Thank jebus. I hope to never experience that “pleasure” again in my life. Seriously, so glad this thing is gone!

Second thing: About 3 days postpartum I started to feel like I had a Urinary Tract Infection. I wasn’t really concerned because I thought it could just be an irritated urethra from birth. Nope, I was wrong. I got a full on UTI. To the doctor I went. They prescribed me an antibiotic that I basically stared at for a day and a half because I was way to nervous to take it while breastfeeding. Thankfully, a call to Caleb’s doc confirmed my intuition–they didn’t want me to take it unless nothing else would work because it would get into my breast milk (and there was no way in hell I was going to supplement with formula or pump and dump and risk ruining breast feeding). So I called the doctor and they called in another prescription for me. This one was much better for breastfeeding and the only issue Isla had is a bit of loose stools (but we pumped her up with probiotics so that helped). All is well in this department too. Oh, so thankful!

Third thing: I’ve bled a lot more this time. The really heavy bleeding stopped after 3 days and then there was barely anything. Then Ty went back to work and I spent the days wrangling a maniac nearly 3 year old and feeding/changing/holding a newborn. I started bleeding a lot more at night and passing more blood clots. Awesome. How was I supposed to rest? I knew I needed to but it just seemed like sitting on the couch all day watching TV wasn’t helping and it is godawful boring. My bleeding has since stopped almost completely. So I guess I can’t complain too much since I know some women bleed a lot longer but add this to my already jacked up body issues and you can imagine how I was feeling.

Finally: Oh hey, who’s ever heard of or had shingles? You cant see but I am waving my arms in the air. Again, I sort of scoffed at these because I had never had them. My mind is blown. These hurt like a mothafracka. At first I thought I had a weird mosquito bite on my abdomen (right side) then I started to notice it was blistering and spreading. Oh, and the best part? My skin was on fire. It felt like the worse sunburn I have ever had (and I’ve had nasty blistery sunburns). It hurt all of the time. I was such a grumpy bitch about it. I winced every time I moved and I am hyper nervous about Isla even coming near it because she could get Chicken Pox from it. The next person who tells me they have had shingles is going to get a hug from me. This shit hurt guys. Like bad. Really bad. It was all I could think about and now I understand why people want the chicken pox vaccine and am glad Caleb got his because this is a beast. The burning has since almost completely gone away but the rash is still on my side. I had to take anti-viral medicine (the same meds for herpes!) so Isla was receiving some of these drugs in my milk which caused me a lot of stress. Even better huh? I’m one of those crazy no meds people too, especially while pregnant/nursing! It’s been about 8 days. I saw Isla’s doctor and they called Children’s hospital to see if they should do anything and they said I am doing everything they recommend: covering the rash with a bandage (and I layer clothes over it), washing my hands all the time, and breastfeeding like crazy to give Isla antibodies to Chicken Pox. Keep your fingers crossed she doesn’t get Chicken Pox. There is a 7-12 day incubation period so we have a week or two left to make sure she is in the clear.

So, that’s my postpartum hell. Ty and I joked that Isla ruined me on her way out. I kind of agree. It’s like she slammed the door shut on her way out. If I ever thought about wanting another kid not only has the labor with her scared me but the postpartum nightmare has sealed the deal. I feel like my body delivered a sack of potatoes and then just shut down. I should also add that there was nothing compromised about my immune system during and after pregnancy. No diabetes, no high blood pressure, no auto immune disorders, nothing. My body just clocked out. I do make light of the situation but truthfully, I was having breakdowns every day for a while there. I felt like a failure and I was so mad I needed to take medicine and that Isla was going to be exposed to them (it was less than 1% in milk but still…) and I couldn’t snuggle Caleb because when he leaned on me it hurt. I was tired and cranky and in pain and it really felt like hell. My mom told me it could be worse. It really could. I am thankful I am on the mend and Isla is here and healthy. I am finally feeling somewhat normal again and really hopeful my body never has this sort of panic attack again.

I warned you…

7 thoughts on “My Postpartum Hell

  1. Holy crap, so everything hits the fan at once and you wonder what the happened to your reliably healthy body, eh? That’s definitely worth a few mental breakdown moments. I’m sorry you’ve had such a rough time, but am glad you’re feeling better and really hoping Isla doesn’t get the chicken pox!

    There’s a shingles vaccine, but I wouldn’t have even thought of getting it until I’m closer to “old.” Hmmm…

    1. I know! I thought only old people got it too but apparently it can happen to anyone who has had the Pox and either is stressed out, sick or has a weak immune system. You wouldn’t know anything about your healthy body suddenly fighting you and causing you grief, right?! 🙂 It sucks and I feel like I am on the tail end of it but it still burns/itches. My body just sort of went through some kind of trauma.

      I need to ask my doc about the vaccine but I have read that people have still gotten shingles with the vax.

      1. Yeah, stress just opens the door to the flood – when I was freaked out about my health issues a couple of years ago, I also got this horrendous all-over rashy thing. I thought I was going to go nuts. My doc took one look and told me what it was and said it’d go away in 6-8 weeks. Nobody really knows what causes it, but potentially if you’re body’s already up a creek, more stuff can just pile in. Crap.

        Do you still need the vaccine if you’ve had shingles? Can you actually get it again?

  2. You sure played it cool though. I knew you were going through hell, but you still entertained our repeated company, never got bitchy (that I’ve seen), and I truly don’t think Caleb has felt left out by you. I would have been a monster to people and boarded my door shut.

    You should have added an additional warning for women without kids; this might have shut the kid door completely…

  3. Are you freaking kidding me?? You call that post partum Hell?!?! I would KILL for those things to have been my experience! You should refer to yours as “PostPartum, oh wait, that was nothing.” Give me a break.

    1. Yep, not kidding. It was totally MY postpartum hell. But that’s the thing, how you define hell is subjective. Your postpartum hell is unknown to me so I’m sure if I knew how bad yours was, I’d probably not define mine as hell. As it stands, it was total hell for me.

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