Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Healing after a VBAC

As of writing this, I am 3 weeks post-partum.  I am feeling really good.  2 weeks ago, I was still super sore.  Everywhere.  Childbirth is the craziest workout I have had since I took my black belt test when I was 16.  My arms, neck, legs, everything was sore.  And of course my vagina.  During pushing, I developed a hematoma on my labia and tore pretty bad, but my perineum is 100% intact!  While being stitched up, my midwife said it would never look the same.  (she was right)  There goes my playboy career.

1 week PP with my first on the left, 1 week PP with #2 on right
We came home about 30 hours after Hattie was born.  We were given the option to come home earlier, but was also reminded that if I did come home, I would have a toddler all over me that didn't understand why mom couldn't hold her.  And I was still using ice packs on my crotch every 4 hours.  I was nearly as slow to get up and down as I was right after my cesarean.  Going pee was a challenge as well.  (Took 3 tries before I was actually able to go)  Going poop was way more of a challenge.  (Took 4 attempts, and felt like I re-injured some muscles in the process)  I am also using numbing spray a few times a day, and ibuprofen every 8 hours to keep swelling down.  So I can't say that the physical healing after my VBAC has been easy.  I am already back to my pre-pregnancy weight though.  A HUGE difference from my first pregnancy.  Yet another benefit of not gaining a ton of weight!

Emotionally, it has been MUCH better.  I keep thinking to myself "so this is what its like to take care of a newborn without being terribly depressed."  The first few days I felt a little numb.  Not it a bad way, just like everything that happened was so surreal.  Our wedding day took a few days to sink in too.  I keep waiting for it to hit me!  Even at 3 weeks post-partum, it still hasn't hit me.  I relive her birth several times a day, and am obsessed with looking at the birth photos.  The NSFW ones.  I am very proud of myself, but also haven't given myself all the credit I deserve.  I think once the birth seems real, that part will come with it too.  Nursing is going great.  Its amazing how much confidence you have in breastfeeding the second time around.

I feel so much more confident in my body in general.  I have been at such peace with birth even before I went into labor.  Our bodies are amazing.  I cannot tell you how exciting it was to have my body go into labor, without any form of induction.  To labor and birth without any interventions.  This entire experience just reaffirmed the trust I have in my body.

Little Miss Hattie
Can I say it was a completely healing experience?  No.  The depression caused by my cesarean forced me to find a way to heal.  The support from my family and friends made it possible for me to heal.  Making the right decisions for me and my family helped me heal.  Birthing from within classes gave me the tools I needed to work through the birth of my first daughter.  For me, it was all about feeling empowered with my decisions, no matter what the outcome. 

2 comments:

  1. It's great to see that you are finding a balance and are so happy with yourself, and you have a right to be....Most people don't take the time to get in touch with their inner body during pregnancy (me being one). I just took it as a norm and what happens, happens. You have two gorgeous daughters each special in their own way with your help as a birthing mother. It's great to see you so happy.

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  2. while I didn't have the physical trauma in my VBAC, i will say 100% I agree with you on the emotional difference. thanks for sharing.

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