Post Partum Pointers

Today is Day 5 post partum

Baby Edie Mae is 4 days old

These first 5 days

With baby number 5

Have been a mixed bag

Of emotions and feelings

For all the family

There have been beautiful highs

And terrifying lows

And a sample of everything to be found in between

Here are some pointers

That I hope might help others

From our first five days at home

Some things to know when baby is born

BIRTH HURTS
Birth hurts

Even the fastest

Most straightforward of births hurts

Pain is experienced differently

By everyone

People have different thresholds for pain

People are happy to try different levels of pain relief

Medical or otherwise

The pain is instantly forgotten

The second you hold your brand new baby in your arms

But do not be alarmed

When the pain comes back!

AFTER PAINS
With Edie Mae

Our fifth baby

The after pains started

Very quickly after birth

Within the first hour

And lasted for a full three days

They were incredibly painful

As my uterus contracted

It felt more painful than labour at times

For 24 hours I alternated paracetamol and ibuprofen

Then continued with paracetamol for another 24 hours

At times the pain was excruciating

Especially when feeding Edie

It took my breath away

Made me wince

And at time properly cry

After pains get stronger with each baby

Which is why this time

This fifth time

Mine hurt SO much

GRAZES AND TEARS

It is natural during birth

To experience some grazes and tears

Some people have to be cut

I have suffered a third degree tear and grazes with Tilda

Grazing with Bea

And a first degree tear and grazing with Edie

The third degree tear had to be stitched

And the discomfort post birth was immense

I was certain my stitches were infected

But it was just the natural process of healing that hurt

This time I did not notice the pain of the grazes and tear

Until the uterine contractions

The after pains

Lessened

Then I became aware of the pain

Coming from my grazes and tear

Oh the pain!

I have been using the amazing

Spritz for Bits

From My Expert Midwife

To ease my discomfort

And aid my healing

It is marvellous stuff!my-expert-midwife

RANDOM ACHES AND PAINS

As well as the pains I was expecting

I also have other weird post birth aches and pains

A sore hip

Very achey tired legs

I think because I gave birth kneeling up

My legs took a lot of strain

These hurts are not so painful

They just took me a little unawares at first

TIREDNESS
Giving birth is exhausting

All through labour you will want to sleep

Between contractions you might find yourself trying to doze

You long to have your baby in your arms

To snuggle up with your newborn and snooze

But then the moment they are in your arms

You are wide awake

You just want to stare at them

You cannot believe they are here

The first night with Bea

On the ward

She fed all night

With Edie

We only stayed 7 hours

Including breakfast and showers

Before heading home

The tiredness you feel

Is all consuming

Mental

Physical

Emotional

Yet for me it is always a few days

Before I manage a good sleep

I usually find I have unsettled nights

And then my biggest chunk of sleep in the early morning

From about 4am til 8am

And often that together with the pieces of sleep

From the night

Are enough

THE SWEATS
One thing I was never told about

That I have experienced after all my pregnancies

But most dramatically with the twins

Was night sweating after the birth

Your body has lots of extra fluid throughout pregnancy

Particularly if you have suffered with oedema

You obviously lose amniotic fluid

During the birth

But other fluids

You sweat out

Mostly at night

After your baby is born

And you wee it out too

So may find that you still need to urinate a lot

Though not as much as at the end of pregnancy

I try to keep my room cool at night

Sleeping with the windows open

Cotton bedding

And I change the bedding as often as I can

Also it is important to drink

A LOT

Especially if you are breastfeeding

SORE NIPPLES
Breastfeeding brings more discomfort of it’s own

Sore nipples being at the top of that list

Little Edie has struggled a bit with her latch

She is very small and sleepy

I have ended up with incredibly sore nipples

And one crack

I have been soothing my nipples

And protecting them

With No Harm Nipple Balm

From My Expert Midwife

A soothing balm

That is safe enough for baby to eat

So no need to try and remove

When baby wants to feed

Read my review here

Sore nipples are usually temporary

Easily soothed and healed

But incredibly painful in the meantime

And can make you wince with every feed

Do seek help and support

And try to continue feeding

If that is what you want to do

MILK COMING IN

Around day 3

Your milk will come in

Your breasts will balloon in size

They will feel solid and heavy

As they fill to bursting with milk

Feeding will feel tender

You may feel emotionally fragile

Postpartum hormones facilitate wonderful things

They also cause emotional chaos and confusion

I wrote about the realities

Of postpartum day 3 on Instagram

The reality of #postpartum #day3 You are shattered. As the severity of after pains begin to subside you realise how sore you are down below. You realise how bruised and swollen you feel. You are giving everything you have to nurturing a new life you have grown and delivered. The guilt you feel for not being a fully functioning wife or mother to your other children builds and builds til there is no holding back the river of tears. As your eyes leak your breasts leak and you are sodden with milk and salty tears. Your husband does not understand why you are suddenly in so much pain, why you are wincing as you feed. No one understands why you are just not capable of doing all the things a mummy should do. Why you would like to hide away from the world just for a little while. Your children do not understand why such a tiny sleepy baby needs so much of their mummy’s energy and time. You are desperate for your children to know that you love them and cannot wait to be able to have fun with them again. On top of your tears are the tears of your 6 year old daughter who is caught up in all the emotion but not really understanding what or why. As the milk rushes, the hormones frenzy, the tears fall and everything is crazed and confused. I just want to hold all my children close and tell them that this is normal, the chaos will settle and life will be more wonderful than ever before. Pregnancy, birth, parenting are all so hard on an ordinary day. Today is so much more than that. It is #postnatal #day3 a day to get out in front of and put behind us just as soon as we can.

HORMONE LEVELS
Your hormones are all over the place

After giving birth

Your emotional rollercoaster

Will drive you from the heights of euphoria

To the depths of despair

You will journey there and back again

Over and over

And whatever it is that you are feeling

It is okay

It is okay to laugh

It is okay to cry

It is okay to feel happy and sad

You may feel more irritable than usual

People may tell you that you have a touch of the ‘baby blues’

It is normal to feel emotional

To swing from high to low

These feelings are linked to the

Chemical and hormonal changes happening to your body

There is more information from the NCT here

Including when your feelings might not be okay

And who to talk to

If you feel worried about what you are feeling

If you think it might be more than

A touch of the ‘baby blues’

IRON LEVELS

It is normal to feel tired in the days and weeks after birth

Pregnancy and birth are physically challenging

And you need time to recover and recharge

I am boosting my iron reserves

To combat tiredness

I am doing this with Spatone

I take two sachets every day

To gently boost my hb levels

To give me a little more energy while recovering from birth

And getting to grips with breastfeeding Edie Mae

BROKEN SLEEP
I have to admit that I am sleeping fairly well so far

I think that might be about to change

As Edie Mae becomes more awake and more hungry for her feeds

As a mother of five children I cannot sleep when the baby sleeps during the day

But at night I have Edie in with me

Just as I did with Bea

Cosleeping safely

Aids breastfeeding

And means I find myself more able

To function as a family member during the day

Edie will eventually sleep at night in her Snuzpod

And downstairs during the day in her Shnuggle Dreami

Which she has already tested out a couple of times

dreami

Mostly at the moment she sleeps on me

But she is not yet a whole week old

A post shared by Jennie Edspire (@edspire) on

GUILT
I feel guilty about everything

Guilty that we were away so long having Edie

Guilty that David has to do so much at home

Guilty that David is not able to work

Guilty that life has to change for our older children

Guilty about the effects of a new baby

Especially on Bea

I worry about everyone and everything

I have with every baby after the twins

Change is hard

Even when it is most wanted

People get use to routine

And finding a new way is not always easy

And everyone has different needs to be met

Being a mummy is hard hard work

And you cannot please all people all of the time

And to please anyone in anyway at all

You have to look after you

That is a lesson with baby number 5

That I am still to learn

But perhaps is more important now than ever

To make some time

Some how

To take care of me

BODY IMAGE

There is so much pressure on women to look good

There is an expectation that our post baby bodies

Should just pop back to the way they once were

I have not been as I was pre IVF

For over 9 years

Fertility treatment and pregnancies have taken their toll

But I would not have it any other way

I am proud of my body

And what it has done

I am proud of all that I have been through

Proud to have survived

And perhaps in spite of all the odds

Birthed five beautiful babies

Through my blog and social media

I am sharing the journey of my postpartum body

Just as I proudly shared my bump selfies

I am going to share my post baby body too

It takes 9 months to grow a baby to term

And I know that it will take at least that for me

To get my body back to how it was pre Bea

I am not sure I will ever have the body I had when I first met David

But I am not really sure that I would want it

As I am not that person anymore

I am 10 years older for a start!

These pictures show me with and without baby in my @welovefrugi feeding tip. I look much slimmer in the top now. But today in my underwear, bottom right photo, I still very much have my bump. It is squishy because it is empty of baby but it is still very much a bump. It is not so obvious when I am dressed in carefully chosen clothes. But I am only 5 days post partum. I am not worried about my bump. I am proud of the work my body has done and cherish the precious cargo my body has carried. 5 beautiful babies. My mum tum is a wondrous thing and I will not be ashamed or embarrassed of my shape or my size. Look what love has done! Just look what love has done! #postbabybody #postpartumbody #newmum #babybump #babynumber5 #mumtum #bodyimage #motherhood

A post shared by Jennie Edspire (@edspire) on

FEAR AND DOUBT
I doubt myself every day

Am I going to be able to cope as a mummy of 4 living children?

Can I be all that David needs me to be?

Can I remember what to do with a baby?

Will I be able to get out and about with everyone on my own?

Fear and doubt are always there

Part of being a mummy

But I know that I can

I know I am capable

It is just making myself believe that

Getting up and out and on

And doing it

Not being consumed by fear

By doubt

fear and doubt

BROODINESS
Throughout the newborn haze

The baby daze

We all have good days and bad

Watch out for the really really good moments

You will find yourself feeling broody

You will find yourself wondering

If maybe, just maybe

You could and would go through all of this again

Today is Day 5 post partum

Baby Edie Mae is 4 days old

These first 5 days

With baby number 5

Have been a mixed bag

Of emotions and feelings

For all the family

There have been beautiful highs

And terrifying lows

And a sample of everything to be found in between

Here are some pointers

That I hope might help others

From our first five days at home

Some things to know when baby is born

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2 thoughts on “Post Partum Pointers

  1. This is such a brilliant post. I had to be cut to get Oscar out and the pain was immense. I couldn’t sit down or walk and I didn’t leave the house for 9 days, and when I did it was only to go to my eldest sons birthday party! I had no idea about those after pains (I had a csection with Zach so the drugs prob killed those off), or the night sweats which made me think I had an infection! Such an informative post that I wish I could have read months ago!

  2. Great postman I had no idea about the night sweats I just thought our room was loads warmer than normal as have the ceiling fan off with Zachary in our room. It’s been so up and down here…Zachary hadn’t fed well off me the past 2 days which has stressed me out so much canto wait until the midwife comes tomorroe so I can talk through it all with her. Looks like you are coping pretty well and Edie looks lovely :)
    Danielle Spencer recently posted..Our 3rd birth storyMy Profile

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