There is so much you can read about pregnancy and becoming a parent. But there isn’t much about what to expect right after you deliver your baby. I was not prepared for the three weeks after I delivered because no one told me what to expect. I started to feel normal after three weeks. I was eating like normal again and I had a lot of the after delivery things figured out.
You are going to bleed, for weeks.
You can read about my post-delivery experience here. Because of my experience, I already knew that I was going to bleed for several weeks after I went home. But after three weeks of bleeding, I was expecting for the bleeding to stop. Nope. It can take up to 6 weeks for the bleeding to stop. And it’s not light bleeding. It is heavy period bleeding. Awesome. You end up wearing mesh underwear and heavy pads for weeks on end because it is the only way to survive. If you are pregnant, make sure you stock up on these and these, they will make your life just a little more comfortable.
If you have stitches, they will start to itch as they heal.
There is nothing like that itch. I had a grade 2 tear, which means both skin and muscle needed to be stitched. It took a lot longer to recover from the tear than I was expecting. Just when I thought I had my pain or the itching under control, it would flare back up again. I did find that this spray provided a huge amount of relief.
You can get hives.
I am already prone to getting hives when I am stressed. But all of the crazy hormones that come with having a baby, you are even more prone to getting hives. So you are bleeding, have itchy stitches and you are covered in hives. If this is you, contact your doctor. Luckily I already have supplies to get my hives in check. It would have been nice to have a heads up about it though!
Just because you are home from the hospital, doesn’t mean you are ready to do anything.
Because of all of the blood loss, I was not up to doing much the first week I was home. But I felt like I should be doing the dishes, laundry and a million other things. Luckily I have a lot of family around so I didn’t need to do anything. Easter was 2 weeks after we brought Jackie home from the hospital. I thought I would be able to do the Easter Egg hunt, help with dinner, take pictures and clean up. After less than an hour, I needed to sit a rest. We were at Paris’s house so I didn’t have to do anything and there were lots of people to hold Jackie. And that is ok. I needed to listen to my body. Giving birth is traumatic. If you bounce back from delivery really fast, great for you! If you don’t, listen to your body and rest!
You will be emotional and there is no reasoning behind it.
You may experience postpartum depression. Luckily we live in a time where there is a lot of information of PPD and most people are becoming more open about it. But you may also experience random moments of intense emotion that you can’t explain. The first week after we brought Jackie home, I would be looking at her and I would just start crying. Usually out of pure joy. I didn’t know I could love someone so much. I still love Jackie more than I can explain, but I don’t cry every time I look at her!