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Postnatal Me

At the time that I'm sitting here and writing this, it has been just over two weeks since I gave birth to my second child, Logan. Before having him, I would have told you that I would have expected that at this many days postpartum, I'd be just starting to properly recover, perhaps at this point I may have been able to start showering by myself and walking a bit more normally. But the reality is that this time around, all that happened within hours of giving birth. 


When I gave birth to Ethan (my first), I had no idea what to expect. I hadn't given how I'd feel after giving birth any thought, but I certainly didn't expect to feel as unwell as I did. I couldn't stand up at all without feeling like I was going to faint, I felt weak, exhausted and constantly dizzy. Being that I'm not the type of person who has ever taken to laying about and resting very well and because I was feeling so claustrophobic on the ward, I requested to be discharged from hospital despite not feeling ready. At home a few days later I attempted to shower by myself without my Husbands help but I ended up passing out out in the shower, awaking to find myself shaking uncontrollably in the bottom of the bath. I ended up back in hospital with a suspected blood clot after they discovered my oxygen levels would drop substantially every-time I stood up, but thankfully further tests revealed that I was clear of any clot. 

I'm sure that it was a combination of things that made me feel so unwell after having Ethan, I've always put it down to having a general low blood pressure made worse by having the epidural (which is known to lower blood pressure). The epidural made me feel quite strange in general (as helpful as it was for taking the pain of the contractions away). I also lost a substantial amount of blood after giving birth to Ethan and I suspect that my iron levels may also have been a little low. It took me a good few weeks to feel myself again after having Ethan, it was physically and emotionally difficult, especially when watching other new Mums on the ward seemingly bounce out of bed the same or next day after they'd given birth.

I'd mentally prepared myself this time around, I was ready to accept that I'd probably have to spend a few days at the very least recovering in bed after having Logan. But much to my utter delight this time around, things have been very different.. I was up and on my feet and even discharged from hospital the very same day that I had Logan. I was given a better injection to help deliver my placenta, different to the injection that I'd been giving when I had Ethan. It meant that I didn't lose as much blood as I did before. I also didn't have the epidural until ten minutes before Logan was born as there weren't any anaesthetists available, I'd felt particularly frustrated at the time as my labour with Logan had been out-of-this-world painful, but then because I couldn't move to get up and have the epidural done properly because I was in so much constant pain, the epidural attempt failed completely. So although I didn't get any pain relief, it did mean that I wasn't left feeling numb, which then meant that I could get up and walk about within an hour after giving birth, which after what I'd mentally prepared myself for, felt pretty amazing! 

Postnatally, I've felt so well this time around. I managed to shower at the hospital by myself hours after having Logan and I was even up and cooking a home-made dinner at home the next day. Despite the fact that Logans birth was much harder than Ethans was, my post-birth experience this time around has been a thousand times better! Mentally, I've been feeling great too. In the past two and a half weeks I've had only two 'oh-my-god I'm shattered, drained and don't know what day, month or year it is' days (though both of these days went hand in hand with Logan suffering with severe trapped wind and symptoms of colic).

The first few weeks with a new baby are definitely not easy, especially when you throw an active toddler in to the mix and top that with two home businesses that neither Adam or I are on maternity or paternity leave from. I'm starting to learn to just go with it though and doing my best to relax about things a great deal more.. Though if I'm honest, I think that I'll always just be the type of person that seems to like going at one hundred and ten miles per hour... ;)


 



13 comments

  1. Oh Alex, you looks so well. I'm glad your recovery has been a lot better this time around. I was fortunate enough to recover quickly from giving birth to my daughter and I can't imagine how hard it must have been to not be able to do much for several weeks. I'm like you, I like to keep busy so it's very frustrating when you have no choice but to rest up.

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

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  2. So glad to hear that it's been easier for you this time around! You're looking really well!

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  3. Ahh that sounds really wonderful, so glad for you that's it's been much better this time round. It also gives me a bit of hope. Zs birth was full on crash section which took me months to recover from. I'm having a planned one this time and I'm hoping mentally preparing for it means it'll be both mentally and physically better this time round and all a bit less traumatic.

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  4. So good to hear! :) You're looking fab too! xx

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  5. Wow you're incredible! I was a mess after Lily, a lot like you were with Ethan, my blood pressure was constantly low and I was dizzy and exhausted the whole time and it took me ages to feel myself again. I'm wondering if that was something to do with the epidural now as I've heard lots of people say recovery without an epidural is so much better. You're looking amazing! xx

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  6. You are looking amazing Alex, and this is really encouraging. We are trying for another baby and what worries me is the recovery time as it took a while with my first. I am so pleased you are all doing well. :) x

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  7. You are looking so well Alex, and it's good to hear that you are feeling so great too!
    It sounds similar in so many ways to my experiences, although I wasn't as poorly as you first time around. I definitely bounced back to feeling great much faster second time around, and despite the fact that my first labour was long, I actually found the second one far more intense and scary. The only thing I found harder postpartum the second time around was that the after pains were so much more painful... allegedly they get worse with each baby, so thats something for me to look forward to!!! x

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  8. So glad that you're doing so well and really getting to enjoy this special time with Logan, it must be so lovely for you all!

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  9. I was very similar to you after my first and after my second. My first, I had the epidural...well I actually had the epidural and 2 top ups and it made me feel so strange and out of it, I don't think I actually realised I'd given birth. It was horrid and I was determined not to have it again. With my second, the labour was much quicker so everything got painful fast. There was no build up. I asked for the epidural but there wasn't anyone available for at least an hour so they gave me pethidine. It didn't even kick in until after I had Miss C. But because I wasn't feeling spaced out like the first time, I was up for a shower, walking about and was out of hospital after a day. I wanted to stay in to have some bonding time with her. I think you are more confident second time around because you know what to expect. You are looking fantastic!

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  10. I'm so glad your labour this time was a better experience for you, you look incredible! Your experience with Ethan sounds so so similar to my labour with Indiana. This has given me some hope that it will be different this time and that I can do, xx

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  11. You are looking so well Alex and it sounds like you are in a fantastic place both mentally any physically. x

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  12. I'm so glad you've recovered much more quickly this time round, especially after the rough start you had the first time. You're looking great Alex! xx

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  13. Gosh, you are looking so good. Well done.

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