Recovering from Birth

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I wrote about Adam’s birth story, but there is still a lot that happened after that I would like to share. It has been a long road to recovery, but I think I am finally getting there slowly!

The day after Adam was born, I think I was still on adrenaline. I wanted to be up and in my own clothes and I wanted to shower! Jon helped me with everything since I could barely walk. Everyone thought I was crazy because I was wearing my own clothes: Jeans and a nice shirt! I knew that I was going to get visitors that day, and I did not want them seeing me in that ugly hospital gown!

The first visitors we had were the pastors from my church. It was really nice of them to come and I let all of them hold Adam before they left. My mom and Jon’s parents came and spent the day with us as well. They brought me lots of food and snacks, and let me tell you it was so nice to be able to eat real food again, and not have to worry about heartburn! I got several other visitors throughout the day, but in the afternoon my doctor came to visit to tell me about my recovery.

She told me that I had fourth degree taring and I was shocked. When they had stitched me up the night before, I had no idea how bad it had been. My doctor spent the next 45 minutes explaining to me how bad my taring was and how long my recovery would take. My taring went through all the muscles and was a pretty large tare. As far as recovery, she told me I was not allowed to do anything. No walking up and down the stairs except for once a day, no lifting anything other then the baby, and I would be on stool softeners for 4 months. She said that if I did not follow what she said as far as recovery, that I would tare my stitches and very possibly end up in diapers for the rest of my life, because if they tore, then I would not be able to stop myself from going to the bathroom on myself. Recovery alone she told me would take 3-4 months and she doubted I could ever have a vaginal birth again. She told me as long as I followed everything she said I should be fine, but she wanted to scare me a little so I would listen and not tare my stitches. She said she would be in the next day, to check my stitches and depending on how I was doing she might make me stay an extra day in the hospital.

After hearing everything she had to say, I was pretty shocked and scared. My mom and mother-in-law had been in the room with me and had heard everything as well. Jon had been out with his dad picking up something at the store, and so he had no idea. When he got back his mom told him everything. I am not sure what she said because they talked privately, but for the rest of the night he was so quiet. I think he was pretty worried about me.

The next day my doctor came to check on me and she thought everything looked ok, so I was able to go home. She told me I needed to come and see her to check my stitches in two weeks. I was really happy to go home, and very happy I would have family there to help with everything. My mom stayed for a week and Jon’s dad did as well. His mom and sister stayed for 3 weeks, and were a huge help!

At home, I was only allowed to go up the stairs to bed at night and come down in the morning. Jon bought me a step stool, per the doctor’s suggestion, because our bed was too high for me to get in and out of on my own. I was not allowed to lift anything other than the baby, and the only walking I did was to get up to go to the bathroom. I also had so many medications to take. I was on two stool softeners, 800mg of Motrin, and some very good pain killers.

At the hospital, the nurse had made me some special ice packs made out of baby diapers. She put chunks of ice into the lining of the diaper and wraped it up so the ice didn’t fall out, and they worked so good and lasted a long time! At home, Jon had to buy so much ice, and they made me diaper ice packs around the clock.

During the day Jon or someone in my family would bring me the baby to feed or play with him, at night Jon and our moms took turns taking care of and feeding Adam, since Adam had had trouble feeding he was still on bottles. I couldn’t get in and out of bed very easily and had to be helped even to go to the bathroom and to get in the shower. It was so frustrating not to be able to do anything for myself, and not to be able to take care of my baby more like I wanted to. Jon has been so amazing. He has been patient and has helped me with so many things, and is an amazing dad. He took such good care of Adam when I couldn’t and I don’t know what I would have done without him!

The day after I got out of the hospital I started noticing I was getting a rash. I figured it just had to be from an allergic reaction to one of the medications I was on, so I called my OB doctor and asked her to switch me to some other pain meds. I also went on base to see my regular doctor because I had a different kind of rash on my stomach, and the itching was terrible! We found out that the rash on my stomach was something called PUPP, it usually goes away as soon as you give birth, but in rare cases it can last a few days afterwards. I was put on meds for that and it soon went away.

The week went on, and the other rash I had had was spreading and getting worse. I realized it had not been from an allergic reaction to my pain meds, and so I figured it must be from something else. Jon bought me several kinds of benydryl cream, and also benydryl pills to take. Nothing helped. The itching got worse and worse and I could not sleep at all because it was so bad. I took the benydryl pills at night because that was the only thing that helped me get a little sleep.

I finally could not stand it anymore, and after spending almost every morning crying over how bad the itching was and how bad my rash was spreading, I called the base to see about getting another appointment. They were full so I had to go to the med stop. There, the doctor gave me a steriod shot to help stop the itching and to help give me some relief. It did nothing. A few days later I called the base again to try and get an appointment, they were still full, so I went to the med stop again and saw a different doctor. He looked at it and had no clue what it could be from. He gave me a cream and some pills, and off I went. By then, I was so frustrated after seeing three different doctors and having no relief. The rash was all over my legs, my feet, and my arms, and was so bad in some places I could not even see my skin where it covered. I finally called the base again and asked (for the second time) for a referral to a dermatologist. If the other doctors had no idea what it was from surely a dermatologist would know!

I had to wait over the fourth of July weekend for my referral and while I waited I realized my rash was finally slowly going away! After three weeks of constant itching, I was finally sleeping a little more and able to concentrate on other things. Even now I still have some of the rash but it is very small, and I am hoping it will eventually disappear and I won’t have to see the dermatologist. It was so scary to not know what it was and to have it go on for so long!

On one of my visits to see my OB to get my stitches checked, she found that I had these sores/boils down around that area. They were very painful and she had no idea what they were, she took a culture to check and see if it could possibly be MRSA, and that scared me so bad. I was put on more meds and an antibiotic, and they started to go away, but have now come back. I went back to the doctors, and she said it is not staph infection or MRSA which is good news, but the bad news is sh has no clue what it could be. All she knows is that its some kind of bacterial infection. So now I am no another antibiotic and a steriod, and if it’s not gone soon, they are going to send me to a doctor that deals with infectious diseases.

I am still seeing my OB doctor every two weeks to check my stitches and see how I am healing. She has had good news that I healed very well so far, and each time I go she tells me I can do more things. I am allowed to drive, and also take short walks out with the baby if I want. I am still not allowed to lift anything heavier than the baby and no exercising yet. She also told me for sure that I would not be able to have a vaginal birth again, but I am ok with that because I don’t want to tare that bad again or have it be even worse the next time.

In all honesty, I am not sure about having more babies. This has been such a bad experience between the taring, the rash, and the sores, that I am scared to go through it all again. I know I have plenty of time to think about it and I am sure I will eventually change my mind, but it has been a long month and long road to recovery. I still have several more months that I have to take it easy and be careful not to tare my stitches, before I can get back to all normal things like exercising and such. Going through all this has really made me depend on God, and I know that even though I don’t see it, He must have a purpose in all of this.

I of course would do it all over again and go through all of it again just to have my little boy. I love him dearly and would not trade him for anything in the world! He is truly a blessing!

I also wanted to write a little about how glad I was to get an epidural. I know some people get really put down for wanting to have one, and I don’t see why. Having an epidural allowed me to get some much needed rest, allowed me to have almost no pain until the very end, and was totally safe for Adam. Adam was fine and it did not affect him at all. I don’t see why people would willingly want to go through pain, but I do admire those who birth naturally. It was just not something I could do. After 24 hours of labor and a fourth degree laceration, I am just so glad for that epidural and those pain meds. Again, not saying that laboring naturally is bad, I think that is wonderful if you can do it, but if you are afraid to get an epidural because of what people will say or think of you, please do not be, it is worth it to have one and not painful at all!

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  1. I am so sorry for all you have been through. I will keep you in my prayers. Sounds like you are healing well though. Adam is such a cutie 🙂

    I had both boys naturally and thinking about the epidural this time. Just don't think I can go through naturally again. It is a lot of pain 🙁 I am glad I did it before but this time I just don't feel like I can do it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it. Helps me make a decision when I hear different peoples stories 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. I am a little under three months away from my due date and even though your recovery process has been rough, it is still good to hear.
    I plan to try to avoid an epidural or other pain meds but not because of others opinions. Actually, most people look at me like I'm an idiot when I tell them I want to try to do it naturally. I have my own reasons for feeling the way I do and believe that it has to be every woman's personal decision. The epidural worked great for you and that is awesome. Every woman deserves a birth they feel comfortable with.

  3. Oh my God ! You've suffered a lot ! But I'm glad you're getting OK and Adam is a healthy boy.
    Vaginal birth brings these kinds of complications and that's why we (Brazilian women) prefer cesarean one. Mine was perfect and I really recommend it.

    Well, wishing you all the best wishes for your recovering and let's focus in one year from now when Adam will be walking all around, jumping and playing and all your pains will have disappeared 🙂

    Love and prayers, dear friend and never forget we're mothers and you belong to our club now. We always support each other in the good moments and not so good ones 😉

    Blessings, blessings and blessings,


  4. oh sweety…bless your heart…so very sorry for all that you have been through. Will be praying for you as you continue to recover and that no more complications arise.

  5. OH I am so sorry you are having to deal with all this and I am really hoping for a fast recovery and no more complications.

  6. I am so sorry you have gone through this. Fort Campbell offered frozen pads. They did not with the first two but with the third they did and it was wonderful. now i try to remember to tell all my friends to keep pads in the freezer

  7. Oh wow! That's a lot to deal with! I pray that you will have a speedy recovery from all the stuff that has been bothering you. I'm with you on the epidural stuff by the way. I don't want to feel any pain that I don't have to endure! 🙂

  8. First: Congrats, congrats, congrats!! There's nothing quite like bringing home your baby and taking care of a tiny newborn. I miss those days!

    I am so sorry you've had such a traumatic experience!! I have to tell you, I remember thinking "I don't know if I want more kids" during labor, and the first few weeks after. It was so overwhelming! But five months later, I can say that I DO want more and am excited for future babies 🙂

    I had a sorta bad experience with the epidural going in, I don't think they threaded it down the right spot and it hurt A LOT. The medication didn't last long, but even though I went through all that for it I didn't feel ANY pain while pushing. I think that's a pretty fair trade off!!!

    Enjoy your little bundle, and I hope you have a quick recovery and get this rash figured out!

  9. Oh my gosh! That's an awful lot to deal with. I cannot imagine going through all that AND having a new baby. I'm sure he's such a blessing to you, and it's good to know you'd do it all again. I would so being going crazy not being able to do much or lift anything. God is definitely helping you through all of it! I pray that the rest of your recovery goes well. I think you deserve a break. =)

  10. yikes! I have heard of 4th degree tares but never "knew" anyone that had that happen. I will be praying for you and I hope the recovery keeps going okay.. you have had a rough time!

  11. You have been through so much and Im so very sorry. Lifting you up in prayers as you recover~

  12. Wow! I don't think I have even known moms with C-sections having so many problems with the recovery! You will be in my prayers!
    Isn't refreshing though to know God will never allow trials beyond what we can handle? For my own, I like to think He knows I am that strong, and thats why He has allowed it to happen to me, and then I feel glad about it! And its so wonderful to have a supportive husband through it all as well, mine was the same way after my babies, much more concerned about me and my recovery then any lack of sleep on his part (and mine is a 'Jon' too)!
    I know what you mean about the epidurals too, I feel like I am alone among my friends who didn't go natural, but I am such a wimp I highly doubted I could without! It was bad enough I could feel them putting the stitches in with my daughter because it had worn off, I couldn't stand to feel it all!
    Well congrats on your new little guy!

  13. can i just say that i held on to my chair while i read this post gosh i am so sorry this birth was so bad. I know for a fact that not all birth are the same and like you said you will probably change your mind but i would be scared too. baby adam is too cute for words congrats to you and your hubby on a beautiful baby boy! may your recovery continue to be a speedy healthy one hugs!

  14. Oh man! Kathryn you will definitely be in my prayers! That is so much to deal with. I had a c-section but only after I pushed for two hours, so I had to recover from both, it was pretty bad and isn't one of those stories I normally tell to an expectant mom. But girl, your recovery sounds MUCH worse! I can't imagine all that you've been through. Adam is adorable and you are doing a great job despite such a rough road. I will be praying for you!

  15. wow kathryn! you have had a very hard time of it since giving birth. i'm so sorry to hear that it's been such a struggle. you are a strong woman and this is only a temporary thing!


  16. WOW! That is quite an event. I'd read your Facebook statuses and such, but never knew the whole story… That's just so crazy. I'll be praying for you, for a continual smooth recovery.

    p.s. I think the epidural was absolutely wonderful as well. There is definitely no shame it wanting or getting one!

  17. I honestly do not know how you survived that 4th degree taring. I had 2nd degree & holy cow, it hurt. Bad. Or so I thought. I could barely walk (but I could walk at least) for a week or two, and had to take enemas (I know-gross) because of the pain meds (lortabs). I feel for you sister.

    I am sure if you ever wanted another baby, a c-section would be easy peasy after going thru that! I am so glad Adam came through ok.

    Your family is flippin' awesome! Wow-you are one lucky girl & Adam is one lucky (& very loved) baby.

    🙂 Also, I'm lovin' your attitude 🙂

    I also had an epidural after being in the hospital for 14 hours & it was AMAZING. I was going to try to not have one…yeah right…never again will I attempt that!
    God Bless!

  18. Oh my heavens girl I had no idea! Your attitude is incredible though and I am so glad you've had so much help and support!

  19. Hi! I found your blog today and love reading birth stories! I had a hard time after my first as well. Luckily, I've gone on to have two more without the same issues I had with the first. I just had #3 3 months ago. I love your newborn pics too!

    I wanted to tell you that Pampers new diapers have been linked to extremely BAD rashes on the children wearing them. My newborn was using the swaddlers (she's 3 months old now) and was getting rashes when I came across a bunch of articles about these rashes. I switched to Huggies and have no problems. So, if your diaper ice packs were pampers, that might be the problem. The hospital should have had ice packs designed for this specifically – I used them and they were amazing!

    I hope you are feeling better! Email me if you would like the links to the news about the diaper rashes…

  20. Hi Kathryn!
    I've been thinking about you ever sinceI read this post of yours! I am so sorry for what you are going through. I had a third degree tear, and that was bad enough, but I see now how fortunate I was compared to your situation! I'll be praying for you. There is enough to get used to with a newborn in the house without all the concerns about your own health.

    I had epidurals with both my babies too, and you are right, there's nothing wrong with that. I was quite happy I could have that option! My kids didn't suffer from it at all either.

    Please do take care of yourself.

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