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Postpartum Recovery Part 1: Postpartum Hemorrhage

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Postpartum

Postpartum Recovery Part 1: Postpartum Hemorrhage

If you missed it, I suggest you start first with Beau Philip’s birth story. This will help set the precedent of the following story. It’s important to see just how relaxing, peaceful and empowering his birth went to understand the trauma of my postpartum recovery and hemorrhage.

That being said, this part of my birth story is a little darker and fuzzier in some spots. I want to do the best I can to relay the struggles I went through in my immediate postpartum recovery and hemorrhage to help other moms that may have gone through something similar. It’s also very cathartic to write everything out knowing where I’m sitting now feeling better with my precious newborn in my arms.

Beau’s Birth Story Part 2: Immediate Postpartum

Labor and Delivery

1:00pm

I left off Beau’s birth story with our very first breastfeeding session. This little boy came out starving and was ready to eat. At this point so was this momma who hadn’t eaten much all day. (I ate a cup full of Vanilla Chex cereal on the way to the hospital around 7:00am.)

He nursed like a champ and I had my first post birth meal which was delicious!

3:00pm

It was officially time to move to the postpartum floor! My nurse brought me a wheelchair where I had to sit very gingerly thanks to my hideous hemorrhoids. Beau was in my arms and we were on our way!

Move to Postpartum

Once I got to postpartum everything started out very smoothly. My nurse Jennifer is someone I had met before through my mom! (I’m not sure if I mentioned it before, but my mom works in the hospital where I delivered as a lactation consultant. That being said, I’ve met many of the L&D and postpartum nurses over the years through her World Breastfeeding Week event that I help with!) We had actually both been pregnant at the same time when I had Chloe and Brody.

I got settled into my bed and then things start to get a little bit blurry. Unlike with my labor, we had tons of pictures to document and figure out the exact timeline of things. Not to mention, I remember all of it. The next part of my story was scary, painful and no fun at all. We definitely weren’t taking pictures.

Postpartum Hemorrhage

3:30pm

About an half an hour after I settled into postpartum is when things got crazy. Unfortunately, my bleeding picked up quite a bit more than they would like, so we had to pick up the amount on my Pitocin drip. You know what’s no fun? Getting Pitocin after labor and pretty much going through labor all over again! That’s right, I was literally having contractions. Back contractions to make it worse. They were so painful, and I couldn’t do anything to make the pain go away.

4:30pm

About an hour later, my bleeding was still not under control, so they gave me a shot of Methylergonovine in the bum to see if that would help.

6:00pm

The pain from the Pitocin was excruciating. I couldn’t stop crying and felt like I had no control over my body. It’s one thing to deal with contractions during labor, but it’s a whole different situation when they are continuing into your postpartum after you’ve pushed a baby out of your vagina.

I felt like I had to explain myself to all the nurses because I had so many coming in! I had an epidural free delivery and this was so much more painful than that. Unfortunately no one could figure out why I was in pain aside from the Pitocin and afterbirth pains.

To top it all off, I was having trouble using the restroom. No matter how badly I felt like I had to pee, I could only get a dribble out. This may seem like a minor detail now, but it’s going to be a big deal later.

7:00pm

Just before shift change, I had several nurses advocating for me to get some IV pain meds because I was so exhausted at this point, I had been up for 17 hours having either contractions or afterbirth pains. I couldn’t handle it anymore. Luckily, my doctor approved and I was able to get a dose of Stadol.

The next couple hours were a blur. I was in a loopy Stadol fog! This medicine is injected into your IV and it essentially makes you feel high and quite tired. I was in and out of sleep, and at some points I was giggling hysterically. My loving husband did get a few videos, but will be keeping them to himself that’s for sure! At one point I called my sister and was talking gibberish to her, which at least brought some light to the very dark situation.

Overnight

During my Stadol fog, I got a new nurse for the night. Once I was no longer loopy, she helped me try to use the restroom again, and I still could barely get anything out. I was drinking quite a bit of water and juice to get things going, so I knew there had to be something in there!

Around 4 or 5:00am, my nurse said that she was going to get the bladder scanner to see if just how full it was and if we were going to possible need a catheter. Unfortunately, she never came back with the scanner and I still wasn’t able to pee.

One more thing to note is that they continued to keep me on Pitocin all night long. They were able to lower the amount I was receiving per hour, but I was still passing small blood clots. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep.

8:00am – Thursday morning

My new nurses came to check on me once I was awake. I tried to use the restroom and no luck again, so I told my nurses that my night nurse had mentioned the bladder scanner, but never did it. They immediately went and got it realizing there was likely something very wrong.

My bladder ended up being completely full and had 1.4 LITERS of urine. Let’s just say that it was full to the brim and my bladder should have never been that full. Especially since I was complaining about it overnight. Plus a full bladder prohibits your body’s ability to stop postpartum bleeding.

After three different people tried, the nurses were able to get a catheter in me and drain my bladder. (No fault of the nurses at all! I was just very swollen.) Once they drained it, I started feeling better almost immediately.

Beau Philip Gougler in Postpartum recovery

At this point, my baby had been alive for a whole day and I still hadn’t gotten a chance to take pictures with him besides the ones we took immediately after delivery. It seems silly, but it stinks that my first hours with my baby were spent in pain.

I made up for lost time and got my little man all dressed up for a photoshoot since I was finally feeling better!

Meet Beau

In case you’re wondering, here’s a link to my robe and Beau’s newborn gown. They’re from Caden Lane and these are included in my hospital bag checklist that all moms to be need to check out! Oh and of course here’s my “Baby You’re Worth It” socks.

Breastfeeding in postpartum recovery post hemorrhage
Beau Philip Gougler - Postpartum recovery and hemorrhage

Recovering

Thursday afternoon

At this point, we’re about 24 hours after Beau’s birth around lunchtime on Thursday, November 19th. I was starting to feel better since they turned down my Pitocin, but something wasn’t quite right. After a good lunch, (I finally had my appetite back!) I took a shower to see if I just needed to feel a little more human again. Unfortunately, I started to realize that while I had peed fairly well the last few times, it became clear that I was having difficulties again.

I didn’t alert the nurses because my doctor actually came by to check on me! She thought it was so wild how rough a time I had postpartum after such an easy labor and delivery. I filled her in on the details and how my body crumbled with all the Pitocin being pumped into my body. Her biggest concern at that point was that my hemoglobin was at a 7.4 and they usually do blood transfusions at 7.0. I was borderline and if I lost much more blood then a transfusion would be necessary. My doctor let me know that if I continued improving the rest of the day, I would be able to head home around lunch the following day.

More Issues

Thursday evening/night

By the time Thursday evening rolled around, things took a turn for the worse. We had to do another bladder scan because I realized that I was no longer able to pee yet again! This time I had 800mL of urine in my bladder. Luckily only half of what I had last time, but still a lot to have in my bladder without the ability to release it. This time my night nurse (Robin, who was absolutely amazing!) decided to insert a foley catheter overnight. She had the resident cath expert come insert it so I didn’t have to endure being stuck multiple times. My bladder clearly needed a break, along with the rest of my body. This was going to allow me to not worry about getting up and just rest in between feedings.

Along with the bladder issues, this is about the time my hemorrhoid pain started rearing its ugly head. I’m not sure if the pain of the Pitocin and contractions masked the pain or if I had gotten off on my pain med schedule, but they had me in tears. Robin carefully and gently tended to them helping me immensely. She showed me the best way to help make them better and to stick to my routine. Speaking of routine, she was determined to keep me on a strict pain med schedule so nothing got out of hand again!

I’m telling y’all, Robin was exactly what I needed that second night!

On the Mend…again

Friday morning

The next morning I woke up feeling better. I had actually gotten some sleep, kept up with my pain meds and didn’t have to get up to use the restroom overnight, so my body had some time to heal. Now the goal was to be able to pee on my own, keep up with my pain meds and get back home to my other two babies!

They took my foley catheter out in the morning and shortly after I was already able to pee. It felt like normal again and I was so excited! It’s amazing what little things bring you joy after enduring such chaos!

My mom meeting Beau for the first time

I mentioned earlier that my mom is a lactation consultant at the hospital where I gave birth. Well lucky me, she worked on Friday! Needless to say, as soon as she got to work (which she arrived early and excited), she came to see me and her grandson! My mom was in the delivery room with me for Chloe and Brody’s births, so it was hard for her not to meet her grandson until almost 2 days later!

Friday afternoon

My doctor came back by to check on me around lunchtime. I had met her goals for me to be sent home, so she went ahead and put in my discharge orders while I put in my lunch order! Quick brag, I really like the food at my hospital. It’s actually delicious and I love that they let me order two desserts. Priorities y’all.

Postpartum meal

My doctor did send me home with a warning that my hemoglobin was still very low and I needed to be careful. If I had any clots the size of a golf ball or larger or if I had heavy bleeding, I needed to call right away.

Even though my doctor put in my discharge orders shortly after lunch, we didn’t end up getting out of the hospital until 6:00pm with all the waiting and paperwork. I know it was good for me to rest and it was nice that my mom was there that day checking in on us in between seeing patients.

Bringing Baby Home

Bringing baby home after postpartum recovery and hemorrhage

I was thrilled to be going home despite feeling pretty crappy, but little did I know that those warnings my doctor gave me would come into play not even two days later. I thought that my postpartum recovery and hemorrhage was rough, but what came next I could have never expected.

That would become a wild ride. Stay tuned for the next part in my postpartum series that has the most shocking details of all!

After an easy, pain med free labor and birth, I struggled with postpartum complications. I hemorrhaged, but not until a few hours later and nurses struggled to get my bleeding under control. This is my story and I hope it helps other mamas! #postpartumhemorrhage #postpartumrecovery #postpartumstruggle #postpartum #4thtrimester

Moms, did you hemorrhage postpartum? How did your immediate postpartum recovery go?

Like I said before, my first two were easy, breezy with no issues, but my third baby threw me for a loop!

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