11 October 2010

Postpartum Fail

Three good guesses why I'm awake and, no, the baby isn't one of them. Calico and my husband are both peacefully sleeping in the bedroom and I'm up blogging. Why aren't I sleeping? Because I am in PAIN! *jazz hands* and also because I need a break for a little bit.

I'm going to be completely honest: new motherhood kind of sucks and I can't decide if I feel like a jerk for saying that or not. I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I feel like I'm already failing at it. I don't know what I'd do if Steven hadn't been home for the last two weeks and was home this week. Honestly, he's been my hero and I couldn't ask for a better partner in this.

I think I'd be able to feel like I could swing this better if it weren't for the PAIN! and that my insomnia has kicked back in full force. How cruel is it to not be able to sleep when the baby is at night? We're co-sleeping at the moment because I find I can grab little cat naps if she's in bed with me, at least. I haven't really napped with her at all; Steven has done most of that.

Back to the PAIN!, though. It looks like I will be calling my OB tomorrow about it because this is miserable. I'm still getting the occasional back spasm (not terribly bad), but what's killing me is pelvic girdle pain. Though Calico was a relatively easy birth, the laxity of my joints and her pushing through seems to have caused some fairly serious dysfunction. It hurts to sit, to stand, to cross my legs, to get up from a seated position, to walk any kind of distance, to sleep on my side at night, and so on. And I mean hurts like contractions, not just a little ache. The only bonus now is that I can take Aleve, which works marginally better than Tylenol.

I was reading about this pelvic dysfunction and it looks like it will be minimally 10 weeks before it settles, with an average time for complete recovery being 6.25 years. Not months, years. I am grumpy that we can cure flaccid penises, but apparently, you just suck it up if you're a woman and in pain. The only good thing is that since I had this issue prior to giving birth, I was able to get right back to seeing my physical therapist and hopefully that will facilitate a quicker recovery because, really, 6.25 years? I don't think so.

While I am also whinging like a baby, my next thing is breast-feeding. I likewise kind of hate it. Actually, no. I don't kind of hate it, I have a love/hate relationship with it, but there's been a lot of frustration and tears involved with my boobs.

The good part is that Calico is getting 100% breast milk, which was something important to me. While I want to breast-feed for the health benefits, the main reason behind this is that we really can't afford to do formula. Calico had a hard time latching... still is on the right side, in fact. I was exclusively pumping for a while and we had to rent a pump since the motor in the one we have isn't as good as it needs to be. We saw a lactation consultant last week and she was immensely helpful and got her latched with a nipple shield on the right side. She occasionally can latch on that side without it and she's pretty much good on the left, but it's not been easy.

I'm sure some of what's making it worse is that I really hate having to deal with the Stunt Nipple, I hate guessing how much she's eating, and I generally hate how helpless I feel when I'm feeding her because of the set-up of our living room. Steven is going to try and rearrange it tomorrow so that I can at least have a decent chair to sit in, where I can reach a drink and see the television or get to the computer. Sitting and just watching her eat makes me want to crawl out of my skin, especially when I'm thirsty or hungry. As long as I have something to do, it's not that bad.

Hell, we even managed to nurse in public today, so it's getting better. Hopefully my dislike for it will lessen as it gets easier.

I don't know. On the whole, I just feel like I'm not doing a great job right now. Calico loves Steven, he's definitely her favourite person, which is great, but it also makes me feel like I'm just the dairy barn. I'm afraid it's going to be awful when he goes back to work in a week. I don't know if I can handle it. I'm honestly also terrified of developing postpartum depression, even though I know that plenty of people are watching out for me. I can't tell if this is still baby blues or if it's more serious. I worry a lot lately.

So now that this whole post has been emo, I'm going to try and end on a positive note with things that I am happy about.

Calico is very healthy and obviously, the breast milk is doing something because she'd gained almost half a pound and is over her birth weight now. I need to weigh her tomorrow because I think she's closer to 8lbs now. She really only cries when she's wet or hungry; she's a great baby.

I'm 6lbs below my pre-pregnancy weight and while that doesn't exactly mean pre-pregnancy pants, my belly is almost gone and I was able to buy real! pants! with a non-elastic waistband and a zipper! They're a size above what I was pre-pregnancy, but that's not even bad for two weeks out. And yes, I realize it's a little foolish to buy pants now, but I was back down to two pairs of maternity jeans, one of which is now way too big and the other of which Calico peed on. The maternity pants I bought, expecting to wear them postpartum are not comfortable since they had the giant belly panels.

My husband is amazing and I fall in love more watching him with Calico. He has been amazing while he's been home and I am so blessed that he could take this time off.

I finally got some tonight and it was great. Ssh, don't tell my OB (though she had mentioned a while ago that as long as my lochia had stopped, there wasn't any harm in it). I felt a million times better afterwards.

My lochia has stopped and, aside from the pelvic issues, I've had a great recovery from Calico's birth. While my non-labour did not go as planned, her birth and the period after has been better than I'd hoped. I hope it keeps going well and maybe that will make me feel more like myself again.

1 comment:

  1. I hated breastfeeding for probably the first two or three months. It was my sheer stubborness and desire to have Raegan exclusively breastfed that kept me at it. Until we got her on the reflux medicine, every nursing ended with her vomitting all over me. So instead of wanting to nurse every two or three hours like a typical newborn, she wanted to nurse basically 20 minutes after the time she stopped eating/threw up on me. I cannot even describe to you how much it sucked. I started dreading feeding her because of what a mess it was. Thank God that the problem was as simple as acid reflux and medicine got it mostly under control. Now I love breastfeeding, and am starting to get a little sad about weaning Raegan.

    Do NOT feel like a jerk for saying that new motherhood sucks. It does. I never slept. I never talked to anyone until I went back to work. And until we got the reflux under control, all I did was nurse and eat or pee or sleep for a few minutes in between. How I even made it through grad school I have no flippin' idea.

    And I started off nursing Raegan in the rocking chair in her room so her and I could have privacy and it wouldn't bother Zane, blah blah blah. Forget that. After a couple weeks I pulled out a big blanket and started nursing her in the living room so that I could at least watch television or talk to Luke if it was in the evening. I felt awful because I read all these books about making eye contact and bonding and talking to her, but OMG I was nursing her all the flippin' time and I needed something for myself, even if it was just a crappy rerun of Wife Swap. lol

    Hang in there. It gets better, and it is so worth all the crappiness you go through right now.