dude readers - i know there are a few of you. you might want to skip this one...
first and foremost - buy diapers. i don't just mean for your sweet little teeny tiny newborn. i mean for you. yes, you read that right. buy adult diapers. the "other" kind of "granny panties". i lived in these suckers the first three days. then buy granny panties. seriously. annie took me to target a few days before i went into labor and we bought the big hanes undies. you will not be wearing your cute hankie pankies for quite some time my friend. why, you ask? because you are going to have your period for about two months straight after you pop that kid out. fo' real. (even with a c-section... i learned this one from lindsay loo. even when you don't have a baby through your hoo-hoo, your placenta still separates from your uterus, causing there to be a decent sized owwwie. as it heals up, you still bleed. get it? got it? good.)
similar to the first recommendation, buy pads. i had a lovely assortment for myself. my favorite brands were the kotex brand. they've really livened up their packaging and i'm a serious sucker for marketing tactics. really though, these seemed to be the best all around. i did wear these giant mattresses the day my water broke because it was like my crotch was an enormous zip lock with a leak. can't remember the brand. just think "thick, long, extra absorbent" and you'll be good to go. these were also awesome in the freezer soaked in witch hazel
buy witch hazel. and tuks pads. these things will save your freaking life. your vag is going to be swollen, puffy and simply unrecognizable. not that i really know first hand. many of my sweet friends told me NOT to look down there for many many weeks. and i didn't. and i'm glad. you shouldn't either. all you have to do is feel around down there to know it's not worth it.
for the first, i don't know, couple of weeks you are going to want one of these guys... a squirt bottle that you can fill with warm water. this will be your bathroom buddy. every time you pee, squirt water around "down there" and it will make it sting less. it actually feels like heaven. warm, cozy water makes every thing better (coming from the girl that delivered her baby in the bathtub). in all honesty, i used thing much longer than i needed to. (you will probably get one of these from your midwife/doctor, but just in case... and actually, it's not a bad idea to have one in every bathroom so having an extra or five is worth it.)
this is going to sound as crazy as a squirrel with a yogurt cup stuck on his head (true story), but you need to have doggie piss pads on hand. lay these down on your bed when you get home -- aka have your bestie or baby daddy do it. it's just extra protection just in case. the last thing you or your partner in crime want to be doing that first few days is change the sheets. these were a blessing. thank you ann.
since it's going to feel like you shit out your baby during child birth (no lie), you are going to be terrified to poop for the first time after having your little nug (pun intended). stool softeners like colace are a must. a couple of beers won't hurt either. (hello - anything to relax!) this brings me to another must.
corona cures. beer totally helps your milk come in. ty and i drank a beer in bed night two -- well, it was about 4:30am actually. anyway, by nooner, my milk was in and baby was full. for once in two and a half days. but who's counting.
nursing sucks at first. it hurts worse than pushing the head out if you ask me to be honest. there were several times that first couple of days i told ty i'd actually prefer to push him out of my vagina again before trying to latch. it's shocking really. a teeny toothless mouth shouldn't cause that much damn pain. if it feels like you are suffering from tourettes syndrome the week you welcome your baby into your home, you aren't alone. i remember tensing up so bad rattling off more swear words then i knew i had in my vocabulary as i "patiently" waited for the pain to subside. here's the god's honest truth. you have to be able to relax so your milk actually "comes down". how the f are you supposed to do that when you are cinching your butt cheeks so tightly together in an effort to not throw your baby across the room? deep breaths. even insincere, loud, fake it till you feel it deep breaths. i remember taking a deep breath thinking there's no way in hell this will actually work, and sure enough, my baby would be eating and after about 20 seconds the pain would subside. good luck my friend. you can do it. you just had a kid. you can get through cracked, bloody nips for a few weeks. trust me.
you might have a break down. and by might, i mean there's a 99.99999999% chance you will. say, around day 6? and maybe again around week 3. i had a full on, ugly cry, "i know i'm going crazy" freak out the saturday after wyatt was born. i couldn't get him to latch and i was so enormously engorged i couldn't see straight. really. i couldn't see past my giant ta-tas. i felt like my body wasn't my own. it was sore, sticky, and nothing fit. but it was mostly about me feeling like a totally inadequate mother because i couldn't get him to latch. it was the morning from hell. i couldn't relax enough to let down so he couldn't eat. he was frustrated. i was frustrated. and that does not make for a good feeding. at all. and it was like a downward spiral. and then if i remember correctly, by the time i did get him to latch, he wanted about 6.5 drops when i needed him to drink a gallon so i could feel even an ounce of relief. i'll tell you this. it's going to be ok. warn your husbands now. and if you can, have your bestie on call and close because you'll need her more than you ever have before.
not to keep bringing up the whole bleeding thing, but you have to know. you really bleed. like borderline murder scene. don't be alarmed. shit, who am i kidding. you will be alarmed no matter what. you've probably never bled like this before. just know, it's normal. and your nurse/doula/midwife will most likely teach you how to massage your uterus on your own so it stops. make sure and ask about this awesome trick. you need to do this, if i remember correctly, at least a couple times a day. it helps to contract your uterus and get it back to "normal". it also helps with the bleeding. and the other dousy i've been holding out on. one of the grossest, yet coolest (i am realizing how weird i am when i write this!!!) thing that happened post partum. i think it was around day 4. i got up out of bed to change wyatt's diaper while ty took a nap. about 20 seconds after i got up, i felt this gloppity glop glob thing move through me... and out of me. it felt kind of like i had wyatt's mini twin... it didn't hurt at all, it just felt so weird. it scared the shit out of me at first. but thank GOD i was wearing my diaper! i woke him up, and we went to the bathroom, and sure enough. there it was. a tennis ball sized clot. delish.
and on this lovely day, i will leave you with this. best year of my life. hands down. today marks my little guy's first big birthday and i couldn't be more proud of what we've accomplished together this year. ty and i are closer than ever. we've lived for each moment with our monkey. i put together a little slide show and can't believe how fast a year goes by.
happy birthday little guy, love of our life.