Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Post Labor & Recovery

Two Nights in the Hospital

All the nurses at the hospital were fantastic in providing assistance with swaddling, diaper changes, breastfeeding, and general infant care. They were also very generous in providing additional supplies to take home such as diapers, pads, wipes, post-partum underwear, etc. The hospital gowns were actually quite comfy and convenient for breastfeeding - while they weren't fashionable, it's not like I was going anywhere (although I did end up wearing it for a few pictures in the first day photoshoot...luckily the photog used good lighting and the baby to cover up how unfashionable it was..hehe). I only left the room once to see Lucas get weighed. I almost wished I had one to take home! None of my pajamas or nightgowns are as convenient or comfy for breastfeeding. The food was also pretty good. There was a huge selection of Indian foods to choose from. I always chose the congee option, since I wanted something warm and comforting.

The only thing about our hospital stay that I would complain about is that everything was so poorly and haphazardly scheduled that we never got any kind of rest. Within the two night stay, there were multiple pediatrician, OB, and nurse visits, a circumcision, a lactation consultant visit, jaundice test, hearing test, first day photography shoot, baby bath, scheduled skin-to-skin...I'm sure there are more things I'm forgetting! Because none of these were scheduled, they would just barge in whenever, so we never ended up getting any sleep. I wish there was a way to schedule these things so that we could get blocks of uninterrupted rest. It definitely left me feeling very frazzled and exhausted when we arrived home!

I also wished that I could have stayed in the hospital long enough for my milk to come in. The day we came home from the hospital, Lucas didn't have enough pee diapers so we ended up having to supplement with formula to ensure that he was hydrated. Unfortunately, the nurses didn't warn us that this could happen and what we should do if it does - I heard they actually do have extra formula they provide for situations like this, but because they are so keen on having moms exclusively breastfeed, they won't give it to you unless you ask for it. I had no idea to ask for it and they never brought it up. In fact, I had never met our pediatrician at that point so I wasn't even sure who to contact after hours that night. Luckily I was able to get connected with an after hours nurse hotline that gave us instructions on what to do. Since then, my milk has come in and Lucas has been gaining weight well with just breastfeeding!

Recovery from Labor

The epidural took awhile to wear off so I didn't start feeling pain until the day after delivery. But I knew it must be pretty serious since nurses and doctors kept checking in on my bleeding and putting ice packs down there to minimize swelling. The nurses were especially diligent about my first two trips to the bathroom - I had two nurses help me to the bathroom just to make sure I was steady and to make sure I was peeing enough. It helped that everyone was female, as the recovery ward is no place to be modest! They never gave me anything stronger than an ibuprofen, which was mostly sufficient for the pain. The only times I really felt pain down there was when I had to sneeze or cough. I thought about buying a Sitz bath beforehand but I never got around to it. Now I'm glad I didn't end up buying it! There's so much random crap to buy post-pregnancy, I'm dealing with enough Amazon deliveries and returns as it is. Plus, what new mom has time to sit around in a Sitz bath after every bathroom trip? I did feel a little bit of pain in my abdomen area starting the second day - the doctor said that was a good thing, because it meant my uterus was contracting back to its normal size thanks to all the breastfeeding Lucas was demanding for those two days in the hospital. It definitely didn't feel like my uterus was contracting at the time, since I still looked and felt 5 months pregnant.

I didn't weigh myself at the hospital, which is probably for the better because I might have been disappointed with the lack of weight loss. After 2 weeks, my uterus definitely shrank down a lot more, so I only looked like I was 3 months pregnant. I'd probably attribute this weight loss to my Chinese post-partum diet, as low salt is a key factor to the diet to ensure new moms don't retain excess water. I've also been eating a lot of traditionally "hot" foods, which are probably making me sweat out excess fluids. I'm still not sure how much I weigh though - I don't see my doctor until 6 weeks after delivery for a checkup. Here's hoping everything will be okay by then! Not that I'm looking to do any intense workouts but it's very impractical for me not to lift anything heavier than Lucas. When I go out with him, I still need to carry the car seat and stroller too!


  1. Kaiser is HUGE into breastfeeding too and I didn't realize they wouldn't offer formula, that you had to request it and the doctor had to approve it. But my milk didn't come in until Day 6 or 7, so definitely well after we left the hospital. I suppose we did it "right" in that we tried our best with breastfeeding but ze was still so hungry that I told them it was more important that ze get some nutrition and we'd worry about the how later.

    I'm glad for you that your epi lasted as long as it did. Mine wore off 3 minutes before I actually gave birth. As in, one minute before my episiotomy. Really an experience I could have lived without knowing! :P

    1. Omg that's terrible that your epidural wore off at the worst possible time! You are a super woman and super mom for being able to survive that.