Our precious boys...

Our precious boys...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

AFTER DELIVERY SYMPTOMS!

I never had time (imagine that!) to journal about much of what happened as far as my symptoms following after delivery. I recently just started jotting things down. Although I know I’ve forgotten a bunch already – which is probably okay! The following are such random thoughts. And I just decided to blog them that way…

- As far as “after effects” from the surgery, I did throw up a number of times during the first evening. And my whole body was jerking and shaking off and on for hours after. Apparently this is the body’s reaction after a traumatic event. I was on a morphine drip and would push a button to give myself more meds.

- I remember the nurses making me get up out of bed to try walking the next day. It was so painful. I never realized it would be like that. I honestly thought recovery immediately following the surgery would have been much easier! A few days later I could finally make it walking one lap around the birthing center while pushing the babies in their bassinets!

- It hurt my stomach and incision when I would laugh, sneeze, cough, etc. for weeks afterward. (They tell you to hold a pillow over your stomach/incision when doing these things.) I was afraid I was going to bust open the stitches! My sister, Jesse, seemed to always make me laugh and I threatened I wouldn’t let her come back to visit me anymore! Why does everything seem more funny when you’re not supposed to laugh!?

- Speaking of my stomach hurting, the nurses would come in and push down on my uterus. They do this to help the uterus contract which helps it get back down to it's normal size. Sounds easy enough but it's extremely painful. They'd come and do it in the middle of the night too. Not the nicest way to be woken up!

- You think you’re in heaven because you don’t have your period during your entire pregnancy. But people forget to mention that you will bleed for 11 weeks straight after delivery! And it's not normal "period" bleeding, it's big slimy blood clot bleeding. Not fun! One day toward the end I even had a golf ball sized clot. (Apparently 6 weeks is “normal” but for some lovely reason I bled for 11 weeks straight! I would imagine it has to do with having multiples.)

- For about the next 14 days after delivery, after sleeping, I would wake up with my whole body drenched in sweat. And I mean drenched. This was the excess water weight coming off. What an easy way to loose weight!

- Even though I am no longer breastfeeding or pumping, my breasts are still leaking a little. I am hoping that stops soon.

- The coolest thing for me was the movement of my stomach – aka GAS!! It was crazy weird…but really fascinating! (FYI – don’t keep reading if you don’t like talking about farts!!) About 24 hours after surgery, I was lying down and looking at my stomach because I could feel and see movement all over. (What the heck was there a THIRD baby in there they forgot to take out? HA!) You could see my stomach literally moving…a lot! It was as if something was inside and rolling a ball around up at my skin. It almost looked like water waves underneath. The skin on my entire stomach would move/roll around. This was due to the gas buildup. I couldn’t pass gas because my stomach muscles weren’t working (from being moved around during surgery). Therefore, how can you push a fart out? You can’t. The gas pains were uncomfortable. I remember wanting to fart so badly. (Sorry for the details!!) I was lying on my left side (which is supposed to help), and finally I felt a big one pass. It was a quiet and slow release. I swear it lasted at least 30 seconds! I can’t even describe how good that felt!! Jesse and Nick were there when it happened, it was pretty funny!

- The whole week in the hospital I had high blood pressure, so they kept a close watch on that. I guesstimate that they checked it at least every 3 hours all 6 days in the hospital. It still wasn’t that great when I was released, but it had improved. At my two week post partum check-up, it was back to normal. Thank goodness!

- They put you on stool softeners and gas tablets. I didn’t have a bowel movement in the hospital but did about 8 days after delivery. That’s all I’ll say about that!!

- For weeks my stomach was very sensitive and I couldn’t lie on my side. When I finally could, I had to prop a small pillow underneath my stomach to “hold up” the “swishiness” of it. The best way for me to describe it was that it felt like a waterbed stomach. If I was on my side, I had to prop it up, otherwise it seemed to swish down and was uncomfortable. I know you’re thinking, “ewww, that’s weird.” Trust me, I know…it was!! And now 11 weeks later, it’s still swishy, but it’s gone down a lot.

- My back (even now 11 weeks after delivery) still feels very sore at certain times. If I stand in one place too long or bend over, such as during a diaper change or bath, my back feels very sore. For the first month or so, at times I found myself breathing really deeply because it felt like I couldn’t breathe properly because of my back. I would imagine this is due to the fact of my body readjusting itself to not having all that weight on the front.

- I’d say at about the 6 week point after surgery was when I started feeling healthy again. I could walk for longer distances, which was AWESOME! I remember at the end of my pregnancy telling Nick, “Don’t ever let me complain about walking again. I miss it so much!” And then the first weeks after surgery I couldn’t walk far without being winded. So, now I’m hoping to never take such a wonderful and basic thing as walking for granted!

- While I still had the catheter in, I remember suddenly getting a huge urge to have to urinate. Which obviously shouldn’t happen when you have a catheter in. I beeped a nurse in and turns out the tube was pinched so my pee wasn’t going through to the bag! As soon as she straightened it out, it was fine. Later that night, after they took the catheter out, I had a really difficult time urinating for the first time. I had to go horribly bad. I had sudden sharp pains that felt like they were shooting up my vagina. The doctor said this is because of the uterus contracting and pushing on the bladder. The pain was unbearable. After having a catheter in, you need to teach yourself how to pee again. Somehow you have to get your brain to connect and make your body do it’s job! It is really the strangest thing. I sat on the toilet trying to urinate, but nothing would come out. They sprayed water on me and turned on the sink water to make the running water noises to try to help. Nick stayed in the bathroom with me and starting chanting some song about peeing. That didn’t last long before I was about to punch him in the face!! HA! (Two of my friends, Sara & Melissa, were here visiting me during all of this. I’m sure they thought I was crazy!) I tried to relax and just let it come out, but nothing was working. The nurses talked about putting the catheter back in. But I was determined and finally I was able to go! Talk about some awesome relief.

- After delivery, I had PUPPS (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy). It is more common when you carry multiples and so 70% of people who experience PUPPS deliver boys. Interesting!The rash started on my stomach. In the following days coming home from the hospital, it spread to my legs all the way down to my feet. The rash was red and raised and was extremely itchy. I tried not to itch it, but that proved to be very difficult. My ankles were the worst. I did scratch those a lot. And I still have a little scar because of it. My OB said it was from the hormones. At my two week post partum check-up, he told me that I had so many hormones going through my body that if I took a pregnancy test right now, it would still be positive!! He said once the hormones slowed down, the rash would go away. And it did! Here’s a photo I took of my legs! (I have one of my stomach too, but I’ll spare you from the horror of that photo!)



- Without having the use of my stomach muscles, that proved to make it very difficult to get around the house and take care of two babies. I couldn’t get down on the floor and going up/down stairs took a while. The hardest part was getting out of bed. I would scoot up toward the headboard while lying down and then grab the headboard and use my arms to help push myself up.

- My stomach is still numb and sore. It hurts if it’s pushed against or if clothing is too tight. My OB said this can last up to 6 months or longer.

- One other thing I’d like to add is that while pregnant, when I would comb my hair, NO hair would come out. Seriously - I don't think I shed but a few hairs!(Before the pregnancy, a little bit of hair would come out.) But now when I brush my hair, tons and tons of stands come out in my hand and on the brush. I feel like I'm shedding way more than anyone should. (And I have a right to be scared, I had Alopecia when I was 18 years old and began losing my hair. Thankfully it all grew back. But that's whole other story.) Anyway - after some research, I found that thanks to hormonal changes during pregnancy, you hair becomes thicker and you shed less of it. And after delivery, hormone levels begin to return to normal, resulting in hair loss. In fact, people shed a lot of hair right after delivery because you held on to all that hair during pregnancy, so you may lose up to 500 hairs a day instead of the usual 100 or so. Well, that would explain the gobs of hair that look like a small rodent in my bathroom wastebasket! Ahh! Although it can seem dramatic because your hair is making up for lost time, it's okay because your normal growth cycle will resume in about three to six months. Thank goodness!

That's all I can think of for now. I'm sure I'll remember more later and add it as the thoughts present themselves!

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