Monday, February 4, 2013

Post Partum Issues

Throughout infertility, pregnancy, and now mom-hood, I haven't researched ahead of where I have been.  I remember a post on wedddingbee titled "What your mom never told you about childbirth."  I never ever clicked on it.  I didn't want to know.  So when I went into labor really early, I had absolutely no solid knowledge of what to expect, especially afterwards.  But I think some of you would like to know.

This post might be a teensy bit gross, so if you are a male or are squeamish, you might want to skip it - but it's a little bit of what you can expect.

And it's all the truth as I experienced it.

The best way to examine my post partum "issues" is through my Google searches:

Number 1
  • "extreme night sweats post partum"
    • For about a week I woke up completely drenched in sweat.  It was nuts!  I now know it's very common and is the body's way to get rid of excess fluid from pregnancy, but I was not prepared!  The night sweats only lasted about a week for me, but last much longer for others.  I also know get full-blown menopause-style hot flashes.  Like I must take off clothing this minute or I will die.
  • "large clot post partum"
    • This was the worst (and grossest) search.  A few days post partum, I passed a golf ball-sized clot while going to the bathroom.  I was terrified!  I googled first - at like 2:00 - then called L&D.  They weren't interested unless it was a bunch of clots or if it was larger than the size of a lime.  A LIME!
  • "b.lack n.ipples breast feeding" (I search breast feeding since it's much more common than pumping, but I'm really talking about pumping.)
    • How many of you get this?  My sister does.  I'm not sure if it's more common with pumping or breastfeeding, but it's weird.  The pressure of the pump causes blood to accumulate in the nipple.  It's not painful and if you press on it, it briefly turns white, then goes back to normal color.  But it's literally black.  Hot.
  • "purple underside of breast post partum"
    • The underside of one of my breasts was a purplish color for probably a month.  I didn't really know what it should look like all crazy engorged, so I didn't do anything about it for quite a long time.  Stupid.  The doc diagnosed me with mastitis, but it was not the terrible flue-like version that most people get.  I had no real symptoms besides the discoloration and a bit of a deep-burning that was occasional.  Let's just say if your breast itself turns a different color, get it checked out asap.
  • "milk blister"
    • I used too high of suction during the first couple of days and got tiny little fluid-filled blisters on my nipples.  It was not very comfortable!  Use the least suction that you can to empty your breast.  No matter what, pumping will hurt for the first two weeks (at least in my experience - although everything online says it shouldn't hurt).  Now it's just mildly uncomfortable.
  • "stiffness in back, epidural"
    • I never considered not getting an epidural.  I knew a bit about the potential effects on the baby, but knew nothing about longer-lasting effects.  I could barely bend my back for a long time and I had a deep bruise-like pain at the epidural site.  The stiffness was very disconcerting and I felt like it would never go away.  it could definitely have been exacerbated by my bed-rest.  Who knows?  My back is still a bit stiff 4 months later, but it's slowly loosening up.
I've probably searched a million other things too, but the above are a few that I had no idea about beforehand.  I hope they help you out a bit!


  1. I definitely did not know about the night sweats, so annoying! I also had the nipple blisters while pumping. I wasn't prepared either but maybe it's better that way!

  2. I've had mastitis, and a bleb, or milk blister. Ouch! And the night sweats are terribly gross! It's crazy what your body goes through!

  3. I think you've hit most of the weird stuff nobody tells you about there! I was glad that I only had 3 nights of sweating because it was awful. Bodies are amazing though.

  4. Milk blister, check. Black nipples from pumping, check. Other things I was completely unprepared for: horrible pain immediately post c section, culminating in slave driver nurses trying to get you to stand 8 hours later. I've never actually screamed in pain before. Boobs getting even BIGGER. Stretch marks on my lady parts. Very dark linea negra PP, when there wasnt one before. Painful letdown, like boobs in vices. And, oh yeah, contractions.

  5. geez, i can't wait for all this to start happening, hahaha!!!! thanks for the head's up:)

  6. When I was reading my discharge papers they talked about blood clots and I had to read it a couple times the size of a LIME! Are you kidding me?? The nurse was like yes and we have seen some bigger, ugh that just sounds so painful!

  7. Thank you for this! I appreciate brutal honesty.

  8. I hear you on the Mastitis. I came down with it quickly on Saturday and it's awful. Night sweats are bad too. Mine got real bad recently.