My one request during my labor was to not have an episiotomy. If I tore, I wanted to tear naturally. I'd read many bloggers experiences with this and many thought tearing naturally offered a better recovery. Lucky for me, my doctor doesn't like doing episiotomies anyways because she feels that often times they're unnecessary. In the end I tore in two places. To be honest, I don't know what degree the tears were but I do know that one was pretty bad because it took the doctor a while to sew it up and she made a comment to us about it.
Despite having torn in two places, I didn't have any pain down there. While at the hospital, I took an 600-mg Motrin pill once every six hours which I know helped with that. I did however use the dermoplast and peri bottle while at the hospital and just patted dry. However, after coming home, I pretty much just did everything like I did before giving birth. However, when Harper was about a week old, I ripped one set of my stitches. I'm not gonna lie, that hurt pretty bad. Moving around the house, they didn't bother me but it was super hard to get in and out of my suv; as well as in and out of the bed. Despite the pain, I didn't want to go back to the doctor so I just would soak in a hot bath once a day and started taking three ibuprofen every six hours for two days. Apparently it did the trick because I didn't have any more issues with it after that.
While we're on the topic of pain, I have to say that one thing I did not expect to have was severe back pain caused by my epidural. Apparently, in some cases, some of the medicine can linger causing pain after the fact. No one warned me about that. After coming home from the hospital, I started having severe back pains on the right side of my lower back. Like with my tearing, I didn't have as much problem with it if I moved around. But trying to get out of the bed, off the couch, or in and out of the car made the pains pretty intense. But thankfully Ibuprofin relieved lots of the pain for me and it disappeared after a week or two. But even with the pain the epidural caused, I'd definitely have an epidural all over again!!
My postpartum bleeding wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. It was pretty much just a heavy period the first two days but from then on I pretty much just spotted. By day 10, it was gone completely. I was pretty lucky with this considering it lasts up to six weeks for some people. However, I will say, I think the fact that the nurses came in every few hours to push on my uterus helped with my bleeding considerably. And speaking of that, having them push on your uterus is not very fun but at least it only hurts for a minute and the result makes it worth it ladies!
Just like during my pregnancy, I have only had one emotional meltdown. It was all over the fact that I looked fat and I didn't think I'd ever look the same and I thought Kevin would never be attracted to me again. Thankfully my husband is amazing and assured me otherwise. But since then, I've been my normal self. No crying fests from the thought of my baby growing up or my fear of not knowing what I'm doing.
When people say you sweat after giving birth, they aren't kidding. I've always been pretty cold-natured but after having Harper, I could freeze even my hot-natured husband to death. Before Harper arrived we'd keep our house set on about 70 and I'd have to sleep in sweats to keep from freezing. Now, with the house set on 70, I can barely stand running shorts and a tank. Even then, sweat pours down my face. I can't imagine what life will be like in 20 years when I have to face "the change".
If you're reading this and still concerned about some of the after effects, feel free to ask me any questions, I'll be happy to share my experience with you!