Our baby boy is one! 2017 has been both the slowest and fastest year of my life. I loved being pregnant with him and I was never afraid to give birth. We took every baby and birth class the hospital had to offer. I had my birth plan ready to go, I would walk laps around the hospital and my son would magically appear in my arms and have a wonderful birth story to tell. How hard could birth really be?
The Big Day
I slept peacefully, one last time while my water started to slowly trickle. I woke up that morning and I knew he was on his way. My husband rushed home from work and we drove to the hospital. At the hospital I immediately lost all control over my body. The nurse immediately put me on a Pitocin IV. My water had broke over night and I was at risk of having an infection. My cervix was only 3 cm dilated, which would present further complications. Our son immediately had negative reactions to the Pitocin, his heart rate would drop every time the nurse would insert the IV in me.
The pain of my labor was excruciating. I had an Epidural when I was about 5 cm dilated and was confined to my bed. My birth plan was gone. I felt angry that my plan changed but accepted that I would no longer be in pain. My nurse put the bed on an incline and we used gravity to help my son slowly come down.
Seven hours passed and he was ready to meet us, I pushed for about 30 minutes. During his birth, my doctor noticed I had internal bleeding. He did not know exactly where the blood was coming from. I had two big tears, one which was high above my cervix. The pain was unbearable, even through the Epidural I could feel him stitching me like a piece of fabric. I felt the doctor stitch me about 30 times. I was in pain and taking pain medicine our entire hospital stay.
The Big Recovery
After we left the hospital I thought I would heal quickly since my tears were internal. I did not receive any guidance while in the hospital on how to prevent my wounds from infecting. The day we left the hospital I had more pain. I developed an infection and had to be placed on antibiotics. It was painful to sit, stand and walk. I felt guilty that my husband had to take care of me and my newborn. My parents and sister stayed with us for a week. They helped clean, buy us food and took care of our dog.
Moreover, my pain made it hard to breast feed. As a result, we made the best decision to hire a lactation consultant who taught me how to breast feed while lying down. My husband went back to work, I moved in with my parents for about a month in South Florida. They took care of me and my newborn son. I felt physically and mentally exhausted.
The tears slowly healed but internally my pelvic floor and muscles were weak. My doctor cleared me for ALL physical and sexual activity at six weeks. This was bizarre to me since I still remained in pain. It hurt to exercise and I questioned his judgement. I did my research and found I was at risk of vaginal prolapse, if I kept exercising with no restrictions. I immediately stopped and found pelvic floor physical therapy to help me regain strength. After about four months of therapy, I concluded my treatment and was slowly able to start exercising but still remained in pain.
Finally, my pain subsided around 10 months postpartum. It has been a year and I am finally close to my healthy, strong and pain free pre-baby self. Everything I went through was not a typical or average birth. I had no clue, and no doctor provided me with the care or insight I needed after my traumatic birth. I found myself searching the internet for answers and found help in other women who had traumatic births too. To conclude, it has been a rough recovery to say the least but I would not trade my journey. We have the most amazing son and his birth date is the best day of my life.