I really won't be graphic. But let's be real.
I had both kinds of delivery, as you know. So that may make my recovery a little unique but I think my advice could be useful.
I never had pain with the episiotomy really. I know lots of my friends have told me about the soreness and pain "down there" but I think I was in so much pain with the C-section incision that I hardly noticed what was going on in the nether regions.
Although I didn't feel pain, I religiously used the spray they gave me in the hospital. It was a spray for cuts and burns. I used it mainly because they told me to but I didn't want to know what that pain felt like. I also used Tucks pads. I HIGHLY recommend a stool softener and Miralax. I had bad hemorrhoids before delivery and they were only going to get worse if I didn't take control of the digestive area.
Thanks to some Dulcolax in the hospital from my favorite nurse Katie...I had my first movement in the hospital. I didn't suffer like many other women do. When you are pregnant (because you WILL be, I know it!), ask for a suppository in the hospital. It made my life SO much better.
I just love the "sexy" underwear they gave me in the hospital. So comfy! I wore those fancies for a couple of weeks because I
I unfortunately had postpartum bleeding for 5 weeks! I thought for sure it would have been shorter since I also had C-section but nope! I was able to gradually get off of those diaper sized pads though.
I think the Dulcolax made my life amazing in the hospital because of the gas relief. I had no idea that the worst pains of delivery could be the intense gas pains from the C-section. I mean we are talking pain that brings moans out and tears to my eyes. All from gas! In fact, my first night in the hospital, I swore babies were still in my stomach. I was feeling movement and pain just like before they were born. Luckily, just some trapped air...ha!
I didn't have staples or visible sutures from surgery. Everything was on the inside and dissoluble. I hear this is preferred for a quick recovery! I had my bandage taken off the evening after delivery. It seemed way too early but they wanted my incision to breathe. Why don't they make surgical tape that doesn't feel like skin is being ripped off?! Seriously.
I was forced to get out of bed right a way too. My catheter was taken out that next morning and I was made to get out of bed. Not nice! It hurt so bad to even move. They walked me into the bathroom and got me dressed in my new sexy undies and diaper pads. The gas pain that I referred to was awful and supposedly walking helps this. How could I walk when it feels like my guts could come spilling out any moment? But they were right. Walking helped. By the time we left three nights later, I was walking quite a few laps of the maternity ward each day.
My incision now is nearly numb to touch. It is like I have lost feeling. The doctor assures me that I will regain feeling. Numbness is way better than the pain though! For a few weeks, it was difficult to sit down, get up, roll over, pick up babies, etc. Now, it is just hard to wear clothing that hits at the incision spot. Maternity pants are great and comfy for this issue. I can luckily fit into my regular jeans but they are still scratchy against the scar.
Stretch marks are still there. I hate to look at my saggy, marked skin in the mirror. But they are my badge of honor. I wouldn't wish them away for anything. However, I will use Mederma Stretch Mark Therapy every day, twice a day. I am honored to have them but would like them to fade as much as possible too!
Now...here is what I never knew...
You lose control of your bladder!!!!
I didn't realize this fact until we were on a family outing to Sam's Club. I knew I had to pee...but not enough to make a run to the restroom. Stupid!
We were in the checkout line. My hubby is funny and cracks me up. Sleep deprivation make him even funnier! Well, one of his wisecracks had me bending over the stroller laughing uncontrollably. When all of a sudden I realized I was going to pee my pants and I couldn't stop it. I stopped laughing and looked at Jeremy in panic. I am not sure if I shouted this without realizing I was in public or discreetly whispered to him, "I just peed my pants, you jerk!"
I looked at him in a desperate, what-the-heck-do-I-do look. I quickly whipped around and put the twins stroller behind my pee-soaked butt and marched out of the store in shame. Wouldn't you know that I was stopped 3-4 times leaving the store. (Twins are quite the spectacle, you know.) I bet those people were wondering why I had a distraught look on my face and why the heck I was pulling the beautiful babies behind my large, wet hiney.
WORST DAY EVER!! Oh wait...there's more!
Jeremy had me laughing on a neighborhood stroll with the babes. The end result is peeing myself in the driveway of a neighbor's house. Yep! That happened and thanks to a thoughtful husband...we have proof.
So best piece of advice: Kegels! I didn't believe them in the magazines or in child birth class. They are no joke. Do them and do them often. You do not want this to happen to you. Ha!
I am sure I am leaving out postpartum drama and issues and if you ever have questions about my experiences, I am glad to share them with you...even the gross stuff!