If I had wrote this post 5 weeks ago, it would of been horrendously negative and I wouldn’t of seen any light at the end of the tunnel.. BUT there is, I am living proof that your vagina WILL stop aching and those gigantum maxi pads will not be needed for the rest of your days!
Week 1: Recovering from an episiotomy and forceps delivery with a newborn is hard, add in a toddler and you it even harder. I remember grimacing the walk from the ward to the car and quite literally throwing myself up and into the back seat next to Jack and sobbing as Mitch went over any bump or hole in the road because I couldn’t sit on the chair properly because it hurt so much. The midwife, as they do the day after you are discharged, turned up at the most horrendous time, I was inconsolably crying in my sofa position because Frankie had asked me to do a puzzle with him and I couldn’t, I was in a fuck load of pain and I felt like the recovery would be never-ending.
For the first five days I literally sat in the corner of the sofa crying (as you can see on Frankie’s camera), on a cushion, being passed Jack to breastfeed him, given my meals and only moving to wee standing up or sit in a hot bath of water with Lavender Oil. Jack was born on the Friday, the following Wednesday was his heel prick test and we had to venture out. I could still barely walk from the bruising and pain & I was bleeding so heavily and losing huge clots, I was walking (hobbling) to the childrens centre from the car watching passerbys through my glasses thinking my body is quite literally falling apart under this tracksuit and you have no idea the pain I am in! It was utterly horrible but Jack had only lost half an ounce, I cried with joy, after Frankie having jaundice I was over the moon that I had fed him so well!
Putting Frankie to bed which, I’d slither through gritted teeth with tears in my eyes next to him and read him a story, as I’ve done every night since he was 1 and though it hurt bad I was fiercely adamant on doing and not ‘throwing his routine’ so much so that I dragged us all out on day 6 to his Sounds Right Phonics class to a very shocked Lauren and friends who couldn’t believe I was there so soon after having him, in hindsight I shouldn’t of gone as the pain all day afterwards was pure hell but I hadn’t missed a class and was highly emotional about not going and Frankie missing out that Mitch half heartedly gave in!
The first week was hands down one of the hardest things mentally I have ever gone through, reeling from a traumatic labour, not being able to do things for myself, couldn’t give Frankie the attention he is used to from Mummy and even turning in bed to reach Jack for the night feed was horrendously painful. I felt like things would never get easier.
Week 2: Mitch went back to work and Mum came round every morning to help, take Frankie to nursery and make me breakfast. She ironed, changed mine and Frankie’s beds, cleaned & got me straight again, love you Mama! I felt totally on Stacey Solomon’s post-baby feels, especially with the healing and bleeding going on down below I just couldn’t face visitors that first week and so many people were dying to meet Jack so I packed visitors in that second week and it was lovely seeing everyone and getting the birth off my chest and having my friends around me, especially when they brought cake! We also met the health visitor who weighed Jack at a whopping 7lb 14oz and was discharged by midwife Alan who was satisfied I was healing as I should and wasn’t crying quite so much as I was initially when he saw me the week previous! I managed to get out of the house to walk with Frankie and Jack to F’s nursery to take his nursery photos.
Fast forward to the Friday, two weeks postpartum, I decided it was time to get out the house on my own with both boys & as it was Fathers Day and Mitch’s Birthday the following week I decided to go into Chelmsford shopping and get Frankies hair cut, it was so much easier than I could of ever anticipated, Frankie was well behaved and if you are scared of breast feeding in public, throw yourself in the deep end, I fed in the barbers full of men & a packed Starbucks, no one batted an eyelid! We celebrated Fathers Day out, I had my first post-baby drink drink, half a Guinness of all things I could of craved for but it was lovely and well deserved! Cheers to my fanny feeling less achey and more normal!
Week 3: I started expressing milk, which is advised against until week 6 but, the last weekend of June was approaching and as Maid of Honour for one of my close friends, I’d arranged and planned her Hen Do to Brighton and was very aware that we’d need to start introducing a bottle. I pumped every morning, alternating boobs, for ten minutes, producing between 3-5 ounces each day, I was gifted the Mam 2 in 1 Single Breast Pump by Emma’s Diary, link to buy here. I endured some awful Mum trolls on Facebook after writing on ‘Breastfeeding Advice’ pages for ADVICE with leaving Jack at 4 weeks and my supply, ‘how can you consider leaving him so young’, ‘you shouldn’t even be going’ etc. After feeling so low for the first two weeks postpartum it knocked me for six reading unwelcome comments. Every Mum is different, I was of course beside myself with leaving Jack but, he wasn’t left in a barn on the side of the M25, he was left with his Dad, in his home, in his clothes, with Mummys milk on demand. Safe to say I have left all ‘advice’ pages and found wonderful advice through my twentyishmum IG account.
I finally got Jack weighed too at a healthy 9lb 6oz, which was unreal knowing I had fed him up! I also had a bath WITH actual bubble bath, oh it was glorious, even if Frankie did jump in half way through! Down there felt more itchy and less achey, the stitches were finally dissolving, they said that itching would be normal but it is so frustrating! I planned and celebrated Mitch’s birthday at a local pub with Jack there too, he fed from me 80% of the two hours we stayed there which was hardgoing, especially on a bench in a beer garden but we did it and left Daddy to his night.
This was definently a major turning point week, I was managing to get myself in and out of the bath, to the park with Frankie and Jack in tow and cook dinners for us all again.
Week 4: To put it bluntly, my fanny no longer ached, my stomach jiggles in all the wrong places & my post-natal body transition feels complete. I finally stopped wearing gigantic maxi pads swapping to panty liners and thinner knickers (finally), and in good time too for my hen do the weekend!
I was lucky enough to get ZERO stretchmarks with Frankie but despite moisturizing every day and taking care of my skin, Jack’s pregnancy has left me with them on my thighs and either side of my belly button and I’m all for supporting the postpartum body, loving ourselves and embracing ‘tiger stripes’, but I still didn’t want them, I guess no one does! I love my body for producing and growing a little human of mine but why does that mean my body has to suffer, the men do 50% of the conception, why am I left with squiggles?! So I’ve been using ME AND ME Bust Firming Balm for Stretch Marks and I can definently feel my skin tightening, combined with the sunshine I am hopeful that they will fade.
We ventured WITH Jack to see Toy Story 4 in the cinema, we all wanted to see it just as much as Frankie so it was non-negotiable, he only woke towards the end which wasn’t an issue as I just fed him until the credits rolled. It wasn’t a baby screening, it was a normal screening & though we got some looks carrying his car seat up the stalls, he was good as gold!
Come the weekend & I left Jack for the first time for 24 hours in Brighton and I had a great time seeing all my hen do planning come to life! I drunk, I went to the toilet by myself and my boobs were my own! It was great fun but I faded around 12am, the pressure of milk in my overly engorged boobs was just too much so I admitted defeat, grabbed a BK and went home to pump before I was reunited with my baby the next day!
Weeks 5&6: A week of venturing out to the farm, where I was spotted by a lovely Dad who follows me on Instagram which was honestly the best and funniest thing that has happened to me ever! We also went to the 3foot Festival which was so much fun and we had so much fun, despite there being a lot of restrictions on bringing prams into the tents, Frankie had a great day of fun!
Life with two feels like it is getting easier every day, Frankie has been in awe of Jack since he arrived, getting out of the house is definently a lot easier than sitting indoors getting myself into a total stress attack that Jack won’t be put down or Frankie wants to build a marble run to take over the whole place! Even if we just venture to the park for an hour it makes all the difference, especially as we currently live in a flat so we don’t have a garden.
Jack has slotted into our lives as though we have never been without him, it’s so odd how a baby can do that. Each day he is getting bigger and cuter and I cannot wait to live every day with my two little men. He’s now weighing in at 10lb 12oz, I definently have another chunk on my hands! Mummy’s milk has power!
I have my six week check at the doctors tomorrow to make sure everything is a’okay and discuss contraception too, but lets be real, after an episiotomy I can’t think of anything I’d rather do less than that at this point.. Soz hun!
My MUST HAVES for postpartum recovery: