I can’t believe how Cait’s first week has passed but at the same time it feels like she has been part of our family forever! I will write a bit more on our first week as a family our four later on, but I wanted to concentrate for this post on post partum healing / recovery.
Whilst the first week of your baby’s life is an amazing time and I adore those first few days with a newborn, last time around I found the first week post partum really hard going (no one warned me you feel like you’ve been hit by a hormone-laden bus!) and I was dreading going through that first week again if I am honest.
However, I think its been easier this time around as I knew what to expect more. I like to know roughly when things are going to happen because I find it helps me cope better, last time I had no idea that the crazy hormones would pass after a week or so and I was horrendously worried that I’d feel teary, anxious and drained forever!
So the purpose of this post is answer the question of ‘what can I expect in the first week post partum’, I hope it reassures someone as it really is only just a week of feeling crappy before you start to feel yourself again.
Day 1 – The magical day we met our baby girl. I had her at 1.20pm and was home by 9pm that evening (full birth story here). Feeding going really well from straight after birth. Afterpains started late afternoon and by night time were horrific, I was crying to hubby that I was going to die. They were so bad my whole body was shaking and convulsing. I thought I might have to go back to hospital but managed to dose up on painkillers (that didn’t do much really) and manage get through the night. Bled A LOT – our bed looked like a murder scene on the morning of day 2!
Day 2 – Woke up feeling good, well rested even. Baby fed well through night with no major boob soreness. Afterpains still very very painful but not as bad as previous night. Painkillers don’t seem to be helping. Very little strength and struggling to walk around. Struggled with entertaining visitors and dealing with afterpains. Stitches very tender.
Day 3 – Afterpains starting to ease up. Milk starting to come in by midday and full on engorgement by evening. Sore nipples and pain for first 30 seconds or so of a feed but gets better as she feeds. Hormonal and crying at various points today – feelings of anxiety washing over me randomly. Bruising coming out down below and stitches very sore.
Day 4 – Milk definitely has come in! Boobs are freaking huge and painful at times. Baby clusterfed 8pm until 11ish which left me really sore and tired. Afterpains are just a light period pain now and definitely no need for painkillers any more. Not too emotional today. Stitches feel much better today. Very strong stabbing pain when milk lets down but remember this from last time as normal and passing as the weeks go on. Had midwife and Cait has not lost any of her birth weight so v. happy my milk seems to be satisfying her!
Day 5 – Apparently on day 5 hormonal ‘baby blues’ peak – I was very tearful (happy tears though a lot of time at how lucky I feel). Stitches barely hurting now, a little itchy which I believe is a sign they are healing. Feeding much more comfortable now and aside from really strong letdown pain, nipple soreness is mostly gone.
Day 6 – Had midwife today and baby girl is doing great – put on 3oz so now 7lb 13oz. A brilliant gain in just 6 days! Also had her heel prick test. I am feeling much less emotional and more back to normal today. Stitches barely tender at all now and feel as if all returning to normal down there.
Day 7 – Nipple soreness getting much better – feel like we are much more ‘in the swing of things’ with feeding now. Let down pain is still absolutely toe curling at times. Boobs are leaking like crazy and soaking through towels and towels at most feeds but I had this last time too and it gets better fairly quickly as your supply adjusts. Feeling almost back to my normal self today – hormones seem to have mostly passed and I’m not feeling physically sore any more. Actually feel like I am sleeping better than I did in last few weeks of pregnancy so not feeling particularly sleep deprived either! Really enjoying having a comfy squidgy belly rather than a rock hard bump!
My belly is pretty squidgy still but it has gone down more than I thought, and I managed to get into a forgiving pair of my pre-pregnancy jeans today (even though the buttons may be digging in pretty badly right now)!