You all have inspired me to write a post about giving birth three different times and recovery i.e. the fourth trimester!
I’ve received SO many messages in the last week with different recovery stories and it’s just so inspiring and amazing what the female body goes through.
As many of you know I am now a momma of three (it is still so surreal) baby Hank is 10 days old and we are cruising right through the recovery process.
But let me rewind a bit to my first birth and second birth and recap the birth and recovery phase with those two!
Duke my first born is now four years old. We had a birth plan and a doula and took 3 months of hypnobirthing classes, and we thought we had it all figured out. I felt confident that I was athletic and stayed in shape and have naturally wide hips and I just knew I would be able to handle the pain and squeeze him out no problem.. needless to say, I did not have that experience.
Let’s just say I fired my doula while I was in labor haha, I was induced almost 2 weeks late and after needing more and more pitocin to help my labor progress it eventually hit me hard... after 2 days and 2 hours of pushing it was pretty clear that Duke was swollen or stuck and (we didn’t know he was sunny side up) we needed to move into an emergency c-section.
Kyle and I still had some beautiful moments during the progression of that labor and I look back on it and wouldn’t change much. But at the time I felt like a total failure!
The c-section didn’t seem horrible, but after arriving home from the hospital the swelling in my legs and the incision pain and exhaustion was overwhelming. I remember a week or so into recovery and only being able to walk to the end of the block and back. I remember feeling helpless and overwhelmed with new motherhood and a little isolated.
I had a low milk supply and although the baby had been latching well I just wasn’t keeping up with him, I tried every natural supplement, I tried pumping after each feeding with a medical grade pump, I tried praying but he couldn’t gain his birth weight back and we had to start supplementing with formula. I remember the first time I mixed powder in a bottle and fed him I cried afterwords. And then he slept 3 hours for the first time ever and I realized that’s what he needed to sleep and thrive.
No one tells you how emotional all of these things can make you! I compared myself to those moms where everything went effortlessly smooth and they had a quick delivery and made tons of milk and their babies slept through the night... but that was not my experience!
I had all of these feelings even with an amazingly supportive husband who refilled my water 20 times a day and told me I was doing great and my mom (also a pediatrician) who came over every day for the first two weeks to let me nap and also reassured me that I was doing everything right!
I wouldn’t go so far as to say I had postpartum but I definitely had a bit of baby blues when the sleep deprivation kicked in, I remember not recognizing my squishy body and feeling like I would never get back into my old clothes and feeling isolated from my typical daily life as a stylist on set. Of course I felt ashamed to admit any of that was getting me down to loved ones.
Don’t get me wrong I was totally in love with my little babe and the snuggles but I want anyone reading to know the realities that often go through a knew mother’s head!!
Baby number two was our sweet girl Ruby who came along 2.5 years later.. so this time we schedule a c-section at 39 weeks and let me just say it was AMAZING!
We walked into the hospital calmly at 6am and cracked jokes with our OB and by 8am we had a baby!
The recovery was 1 million times easier!
I was prepared for a low milk supply and although I had secretly hoped the milk gods would bless me after about 3 weeks I needed to supplement a bit with her as well! This time around I did hire an amazing Lactation consultant that came to the house and weighed the baby before and after feeding and showed me techniques for better feeding and production! She also mentioned that it seemed like I was missing milk ducts in my breast tissue, which after all the struggling to feed my babies this information was somehow comforting! Knowing it was out of my control made me more relaxed and I could enjoy the journey!
And for the third baby Hank (10 days ago) we did the same as ruby.. a scheduled c-section at 40 weeks and it has been pretty much a breeze so far! I’m also able to enjoy the things that are hard about new mom life even more knowing that it is fleeting and everything else will someone return to normal. I still can’t wait to get my physical strength and body back, I still can’t wait to get back to work and see all my favorite clients but in the meantime I am able to 100 percent enjoy this snuggly baby and this time with his siblings!
Obviously everyone is different and you should ALWAYS take your doctors advice, these are just a few tips as an experienced mama!
C Section / birth Recovery tips:
Get up and walk as soon as they’ll let you! Do laps around the hospital a couple times a day if your up for it!
Massage your uterus and above the incision area to combat scar tissue
Buy the Bellefit corset (use code LIZZIE) or similar binder.. this has been soo amazing for belly and back support in these first few weeks
Don’t feel bad about taking the pain meds the first couple days
Eat healthy fueling meals to combat your exhaustion
Take a stool softener ;)
Try not to lift anything or stretch to reach anything for the first couple weeks
Rest rest rest
Ask your partner or family for help when you need it!
Tools and supplements I’m using on baby 3 that I didn’t for the first two: (again this is just my experience you should do your own research or consult your doctor)
Placenta encapsulation. (Research who you are using and make sure they use techniques that are safe!) I used “The Feel Good Company” and she is amazing!
I am diligently taking my prenatals from New Chapter
B12 spray and Omega gummies from Mary Ruth Organics
Lactation supplement called “liquid gold” from Legendary Milk
A probiotic from Dr Tobias
Various different plant based protein powders and drinking tons of water!
Hopefully reading this wasn’t too boring and you are able to take something away from it!
I remember my first birth experience like it was yesterday and honestly nothing could have prepared me for it, but I wish more people then would have been more open and honest about their true feelings and struggles postpartum!
And for anyone thinking about having more children or pregnant with their second or third just know that the process gets easier and your mind and body seems to know what to do!!