When I was pregnant with ET, I felt overwhelmed like a lot of new moms, what to pack for the hospital, what's the birth plan, another c-section or VBAC, how was the birth going to go, recovery? Tons of questions and some wouldn't be answered until the baby was delivered. There was a lot of reading and a lot of talking to others. I don't think it helped my anxiety reading about other peoples horror stories about birth and recovery, I even had my very own Horror Story. And every single person's experience is different, it was hard to get an idea of what I should expect. Therefore, I didn't know what to expect when I did give birth.
I knew that I wanted to try for a VBAC, I did NOT want another c-section. That was too difficult for me to recover from, granted, a normal (non-critical emergency) c-section may be an easier recovery than I had, as well as taking time to heal (I went back to work one week after having KK!). I knew the only reason for a c-section for baby #2 was if there was no other choice (for the baby's safety, my safety, etc).
I knew that I wanted to try a natural birth. I didn't know if I would be able to last very long but I wanted to see how far I could go before asking for an epidural, because in my birth plan, I didn't want anyone to suggest drugs to me. I wanted to ask for them when it became unbearable. I was afraid that if someone suggested something that I would cave in and I didn't want to cave, until I just couldn't take it anymore.
I also knew that I wanted to have a birth coach with me, to help me focus my energy and to remind me to relax and breath. This was Mr H.'s first birth experience and he had no idea what he was getting himself into. I wanted to have someone forcing me to stay on task and she was able to. I also needed someone who was going to be my advocate and she was able to do that too.
Once I had ET, I felt great. I didn't know a person could feel that good after having a baby. I seriously wanted to do it again! That's crazy talk, but I really wanted to give birth again! I must have had special hormones running through me, but I told Mr H. that I couldn't wait to get pregnant and have another baby! I NEVER felt like that after KK. It was such a high! And because of the epidural, I didn't quite feel the pain. And even once the epidural faded, the pain was tolerable as long as I took my medication, although, a couple times I had to ask for vicodin because the motrin wasn't strong enough.
Going to the bathroom (#1) was alright for the most part as long as I had that warm water spray bottle to spray on myself. Showers helped too. I never used the sitz bath or the tucks pads but brought both of them home. Showers were great, being able to get clean made me feel like another woman and the warm water helped with the pain. Most of the pain came from ripping, I was so swollen...but that's what happens! The whole time, I kept thinking, that this recovery was WAY better than a c-section! After having a VBAC, I could never chose a c-section.
While at home, recovery continued and was tolerable as long as I took my medication. Even when ET ate, I couldn't feel my uterus contracting. I still continued to use the warm water spray when using the bathroom. And finally when I went #2, it was scary but wasn't as bad as I was expecting.
This recovery has been better than I could have hoped for. I've been able to move around, get up and down, walk KK to the school bus, do a bit of housework, bend over, etc. I feel like I can do anything...although, Mr H. won't let me. He makes me sit down and rest, he knows that I will push myself too much. He's been taking great care of me. I'm lucky to have him.
Today, at 16 days post delivery, I feel probably about 90% recovered. I haven't taken any medication in 3 days, the swelling is down, the bathroom trips aren't scary anymore, I'm able to carry the carseat without difficulties, and I'm getting out and about a lot. I've also lost 21 pounds so far! I am grateful for this speedy recovery. I know that my experience with recovery is NOT what all woman go through but I'm hoping that this is typical for me, for the sake of the next child and the next.