First things first: I’m REALLY sorry for that title. Really.
A little backstory: I was released from the hospital 5 days after FSR was born (more back story: the baby’s nickname is Flopsy Space Rocket aka FSR). I had a very difficult recovery in part because of the loooong labor before the cesarean. After returning home, I had complications with my incision. It appeared to be healing beautifully from the outside, but there was a large, painful lump on the right side. A couple of days after we got home, the reason for that large, painful lump made itself known when my incision opened and started draining blood and pus. We went back to Labor & Delivery where they opened the incision back up to allow the abscess underneath to drain. Lump and pain, gone! Unfortunately it wasn’t as simple as that though – that was the beginning of irrigating and packing my wound with gauze tape two times a day, and returning to the hospital one to three times a week. The hospital visits continued until 2 weeks ago and I am still irrigating and packing two times a day.
I had my postpartum check-up yesterday at just over 7 weeks postpartum. Those of you familiar with the postpartum checkup know that it’s supposed to be done at 6 weeks. When you’re returning to the hospital anywhere from one to three times a week, they’re not really sticklers for you doing that checkup on time. Ha.
I was looking forward to this visit. This is the Big One. It’s when you get released for normal people stuff like sex, exercise, and lifting more than ten pounds. It’s when they say, “Ok! Go back to work! Go live life! Be normal!” Since I seem to excel at doing everything the hard way, I have four more weeks of disability and only lifting ten pounds. Four. More. Weeks. I’m only cleared for sex and “normal daily activity” but not work. The sex part is out though, as I still have a hole in my abdomen leaking blood and other fluids. Yeah, no. No sex.
I was also diagnosed with Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, or SPD. SPD is fancy-talk that means my pelvis and hips are all loose and janky and moving about in bad ways resulting in instability and misalignment of my pubic bone, hips, lower back, and SI joints. Sometimes it feels like things are floating around and getting ready to pop out of place. Sometimes my pubic bone feels like it’s grinding together at the pubic symphysis. On a normal day, my back hurts so much that it spasms. On an active day, I get so sore that it takes me days to recover. The first day that I pushed myself, I had to waddle/limp out of Target. Getting up hurts. Sitting down hurts. Walking upstairs hurts. When I lay on my side, it feels like my bones are moving. Basically, life kind of sucks now when it requires movement…and my very particular baby really likes when I move. End result: my back is always tight and sometimes spasming, my pelvis feels like it’s being pried apart by a crowbar, and my sacrum and coccyx feel permanently and deeply bruised.
Instead of making room for the treadmill and re-inflating my reflex bag, I’m shopping for a brace to relieve my pelvic girdle pain. The SPD pain has been going on for awhile. It seems to be getting worse as I get more active, so I’m trying to slow down again. Friends, this is a large part of why I’ve been turning down invitations lately or why I’ve been wishy-washy about doing things. I want to do things. I feel bad saying no, because I don’t want to say no and because I feel like my friends are starting to get frustrated and impatient with me. I want to feel like a normal person again and take time away from my family to be with my friends. I want to take my baby to the park for walks and picnics and fresh air. I can’t though, because it hurts really bad and it sets me back too much.
I’m also still anemic, though not nearly as anemic as I was. I have elevated something or other, too – something dealing with liver function – so now I have to follow up with my primary care doctor for a physical and more labs.
My vagina, on the other hand, seems to be made of rainbows and magic. It tore while I was pushing but the doctor said that it healed so well that you’d never know the baby almost came out of there. So, hooray to my vagina I guess? If only the rest of me healed that well!
So, yeah. That’s where things are right now. Here’s to hoping things get better, quickly. Except my vagina. ’cause it’s already the best.