Sometimes I really wish – no, lots of times I really wish – I hadn’t been the first of my friends to have a baby. In some ways it was fun to lead the pack, but I had no one to tell me in all the ways my recovery from baby #1 was so wrong! I had my mom to talk to, but A) she didn’t breastfeed, B) she claimed to not really remember how things were supposed to go (which I totally get now, but irritated me at the time), and C) I certainly wasn’t going to talk to her about what was going on “downtown.”
In retrospect, I can fairly confidently say that I had a mild case of postpartum depression. Having no clue what recovery was supposed to be like, or what having a baby was like, or what being a stay-at-home mom was like, I just didn’t know that what I was feeling wasn’t normal. But looking back on it, leaving my room pretty much only for meals was probably a big clue!
Another major issue was my physical recovery from the birth itself. There was a bit of an issue with tearing in that I tore in the “wrong direction,” if you will. Anyway, there was a bit of a problem in getting the bleeding under control, so much so that the doctor wanted to make sure the nurses had my blood type on hand! Again, I was clueless at the time. I think the doctor did whatever he could to stop the bleeding. (And I am not convinced things were put back together correctly down there).
Just peeing was painful enough! The thought of sex made me want to cry. But my naive self thought this must be normal. So, that magical six week mark arrived and my husband was more than ready! And I was scared. At least I was open with him and told him I was in a lot of pain – that was pretty good for me! So we did it, and I must say, that was the only time I ever cried during sex – and not in a good way.
Yes, we used a variety of different lubricants and such, and they helped some. But seriously, this was one of the worse times of our marriage! I was depressed, in pain any time we had sex, so I never wanted to have it, which hurt my husband’s feelings, and then I just got more depressed. Oh, and then we had a newborn baby we were trying to figure out. Things were going smashingly! Why in the world do people have babies??
Overall, it took about NINE months before the pain during sex subsided. By then, we were having sex so infrequently, I think it was a shock when I realized it was tolerable! It was over a year before things became close to enjoyable again. And still, my naive self wondered how anyone could possibly have children born a year apart. I couldn’t imagine going through this stuff again.
And then, a few months later, I found out I was pregnant. We were shocked. I almost cried and not in a good way. We wanted more kids, but I wasn’t ready! My husband was disappointed because we didn’t get to go through “the fun part of trying to get pregnant.”
After delivering my second child, my eyes were finally opened, and I realized it isn’t supposed to take over a year to recover. If only I hadn’t been so uneducated before. My recovery this time was a piece of cake! Peeing? No problem! Sex at six weeks? Bring it on! And on and on!