I almost started writing my breastfeeding post. I realized that not only is it a little too soon for that, since I am still trying to figure out that shit show, but I still haven’t told you guys about my postpartum recovery. Those hormones that make you forget all the awful stuff about childbirth to trick you into having sex with your husband again? They should bottle that shit and sell it to people who walk in on their parents going at it or accidentally watch an episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. It works. This post almost didn’t see the light of day because I straight up forgot all this crap happened.
Part of my post-birth amnesia is attributed to how much of a head case I was during my c-section, begging my anesthesiologist to knock me out. Ask and ask and cry and ask and you shall receive. He put me out after August was born for the last 15 minutes that I needed to be stitched up. I woke up in the recovery room after an hour, and that is all a blur. I wasn’t allowed to hold my son because I was loopy as hell and couldn’t really move. Eventually, the nurse laid him on my chest, under my gown while I was still laying down. I really regret not having much memory of this, or of the next few hours. I have a tiny snapshot of a memory of the first time I nursed August, and I am not sure when my memory really kicks in after that. Believe me when I say that not having much of any memories of the first few hours of my baby’s life guts me. And if I need a c-section next time, (Look at me, next time. The No No Juice works!) I am gonna nut up and be present.
So, mentally, that was the hardest part of my recovery when I look back on it. Now, the physical.
All the sons of all the shits.
All of them.
I was insanely swollen. So swollen that my big chunksquish legs that I grew during pregnancy were even big chunk-er, but the squish was gone. My skin was maxed out and my legs felt solid as a rock if you poked them. My ankles, my feet, everything. I didn’t fit in my socks. I was so swollen that the hideous, enormous, gauze underwear they give you while you recover from surgery dug into me and left abrasions on my legs.
That was not the worst thing to come from being swollen. When you’re recovering from having your belly sliced open and then sewn back together, you’re really not trying to walk around a whole lot. Just sneezing or laughing hurts. So I was spending a lot of time parked on my enormous swollen behind.
There’s more, but just a warning: Here come the fluids.
Post-baby, you get the most ridic period of your life. It’s your body’s way of getting back at you after nine months without it, to let you know who is in charge. My period was most certainly in charge. So the hospital gave me a big tote bag full of stuff to use while I was there, including a pack of the most enormous, wide pads I had ever seen. But there weren’t enough to last me the four days I was there. I asked for more, and the nurse told me that those are only available in the recovery bag, so they had regular pads for me. Way to be weird about your pad stash, hospital. Whatever.
So the new pads they gave me were just normal huge pads. Narrow and bulky and nothing special. And here is where the swollen and sitting part comes in. I was on my butt for always, being swollen and not cute and also usually embarrassed that Adam was seeing me in the hideous surgical gauze underwear, and I discovered a new level of embarrassment and what-the-unholy-shit-brick-ness. I was getting really uncomfortable and when I got up to use the bathroom, I was in a lot of pain. And I thought I had somehow managed to cut my butt. What gave me that idea? All the pain on my butt. From sores. I was not stoked to go to my husband in all my grossness and add “Help! I have butt-sores!” to that gross. But that’s what I did. He called the nurse and the nurse informed me that I had diaper rash.
You go be 26 and have to use Desitin on yourself and see how great you feel about being alive in that moment. Sidenote: This goes in the box of things that if I know you in my actual life, you better not bring up to me unless you are a lady recovering from giving birth and wanting to commiserate with me about our shared diaper rash experience. All others will be on the receiving end of a lot of baby puke.
I would have felt worse if Adam were not the amazing husband that he is, giving me a huge bowl of sympathy for all the rudeness my body was pouring all over my life. Sympathy is attention and attention has magic healing powers for me. He was really great throughout the whole stay, and continues to be. I am going to take some credit because I am really great at choosing, and I chose him. You’re welcome, self.
But seriously, he listened to all my whining and bitching, slept on some crazy little vinyl couch deal every night, made sure I was eating and drinking enough, and reminded nurses when I needed meds. He came into the shower and washed my lower legs and feet because I couldn’t bend to reach them, helped me put on my clothes because that was also imfreakingpossible, and brought me tater tots from the cafeteria because whatever other food place in the hospital brought me my food didn’t have tater tots and what the hell.
Above all that, he has been such an amazing dad. While we were in the hospital, Adam did pretty much all the diaper changes while I was busy giving myself diaper rash. If that doesn’t sound like much of a big deal, think about the fact that babies spend all their time in utero making poop, and that poop that is nine months old is coming out of them for the first few days after they are born. Now clap for Adam. Now clap for August. That kid is great and deserves claps.
A very quick trip to the present. Life is nice. August is two months old now. He smiles like crazy. If he isn’t smiling, he is eating or sleeping or yelling at us or pooping. So the smiles are probably my favorite out of all that. He’s actually taking a nap right now, which is rare. So naps are probably my second favorite. They should be your first favorite, because I wouldn’t have finished this post without this one.
Officially coming up next is my breastfeeding post. Since I am an expert now, let me know if there is anything specific you would like to know. Otherwise, it will be about the 30469303 things we have tried to make it work. Tiny preview: I eat four cookies a day. Doctors orders. Sort of.