The Baby Bean Blog

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Postpartum

A lot has happened in the last six weeks, not just with Ella, but with me too. I had a couple of scares where I was afraid that my incision was infected. Luckily, it never was--or at least not to the point where it needed to re-opened. I've had a urinary tract infection. And both Ella and I have fought a little battle with thrush. Did you know that a woman can get a yeast infection in her nipples? Neither did I. FYI: I don't recommend it. I've had a couple of yeast infections you-know-where, and nothing came of it except some itchiness. However, this nipple thing HURT LIKE HELL. Oh, and Ella's was (and continues to be) in her mouth. Apparently, it doesn't bother the babies, and she has certainly never seemed bothered by that white crap living on her tongue. So back to me: INTENSE NIPPLE PAIN. But even that (seems to be) resolved now.

So today I had my official 6 week postpartum check-up with the surgeon who did my c-section. Like I said, I've been there three times already in the past 6 weeks when I thought that the incision might be infected. Each time I've not had to take off my pants--just pull them down so that the nurse or doctor could see the incision site. Which is what I expected to happen today. But no. I was in for an internal exam too.

Okay, I don't know how you handle the preparation for internal exams, but I like to go into these occassions feeling clean. I'm not talking about a douche or anything (which I know you're not supposed to do because it messes up the balance of whatever is in one's coochie). But you know, I take a shower beforehand, do a little surface cleaning, that sort of thing. It gives me the confidence to spread my legs and have the spotlight on my "special place."

But I didn't think that would be happening, so I didn't take a shower this morning. In fact, I haven't had a shower in over 24 hours. Don't judge me. I've got other stuff going on. So you can imagine the joy I felt when I was presented with The Paper Sheet and told to undress from the waist down. My big fear is that there will be some little bits of toilet paper clinging to my pubic hairs. Which is why I shower, clean, and then make every effort NOT to use the bathroom between the time I step out of the shower and the time I spread my legs on the examing table. But I don't know what was going on down there today, and I suppose that's good: ignorance is bliss.

One thing I feel I should mention is that I experienced some red bleeding on Sunday. Not a lot, but enough that it looked like my period. But then there was nothing on Monday, so I thought, maybe it wasn't my period arriving. On Tuesday, I had some more bleeding. Then nothing yesterday. But I'm getting the feeling this is my period gearing up. NO FAIR. In case you didn't know, women who exclusively breastfeed generally DO NOT GET THEIR PERIODS. Why? Nature's way of spacing out pregnancies. I was SO LOOKING FOWARD to not having my period for the next six months or so. And I deserve it. Haven't I been through enough?

I asked the doctor about it today, and she told me that I could be having my period. (FYI: women who bottle feed tend to get their period about six weeks after giving birth, and yes, I'm six weeks out from the birth.) The doctor and I chit-chatted a bit, and then she asked me to spread my legs and she shone the light on. Then she says, "Your vagina looks a little atrophied." Excuse me?

Apparently, breastfeeding suppressed estrogen, which leads women to have menopausal like symptoms, which somehow include atrophied vaginas? What? This apparently means that my vagina is a little shrunk (I refuse to use the word "shriveled") and it's pale due to lack of blood flow.

Okay, boys and girls, if I have to have an atrophied vagina, it does not seem fair that I have to get my period! [Oz shakes fist at the sky.] Curse you, fertility gods!

The drama is now over. The whole atrophied vagina thing, well, it sounds worse than it is. I mean, it doesn't really mean anything to me one way or the other. It's not like I can feel a dry, shriveled clump of skin between my legs or anything. But just the fact that my vagina is "a little atrophied" must be commented on.

Anyway, the fact that my period is here means that I could already be ovulating. This is funny because the doctor told me that I should use birth control. I guess the expression on my face must have read something like, "Yeah, right," because she looked at me and asked, "What? Have you already without using protection?" I said, "Well, I'm gay." Then she said, "Oh, then go right ahead."

This also reminds me of how on my discharge papers from the hospital, it has this section where they tell you how long you have to wait to do things: 6 weeks for exercising, 4 weeks for swimming, 2 weeks for driving. Then there's a space for how long until you can have "sexual intercourse" and the nurse got to that section and then without missing a beat (to her credit) she said, "6 weeks until you can insert anything into your vagina." Which I've used on my partner every time she's gotten a little fresh with me. "Honey, just you wait, in two more weeks, something can be inserted into my vagina." Nothing sparks the mood like that sexy line, let me tell you.

So now I'm done with the surgeon, unless I want to continue to use that practice for my normal gynecological care. I meet with the midwife next week, and then I'm basically free and clear. Unless something comes up. And it probably will.

4 Comments:

  • Hey, I was searching blogs, and came onto yours, and I like it. I kinda landed here on accident while searching for something esle, but nice blog.. I got you bookmarked.

    If you got time , go visit my site, it´s about diabetes management. It pretty much covers diabetes management and other similar topics available.

    By Blogger Enlargement, at 11:58 PM, October 01, 2005  

  • Things sound like they're going well for you and your family. That is good to hear. I look forward to hearing more about motherhood.

    By Blogger Diva, at 4:50 PM, October 02, 2005  

  • Well, this is interesting. I did a blog search for caffeine pill and found your site. When I get some time I'll come back and find out where caffeine pill appears and how it relates - if it even does. Take care - nice work.

    By Blogger Kevin Jackson, at 2:23 PM, October 03, 2005  

  • enlargement: Thanks for taking the time to read this blog. I did check out your blog, and I must agree with your (current) top post: bring on the cold weather! I've NEVER liked cold weather, but ever since I got pregnant, I've been really, really hot. It's in the 60's here this week, and I'm in heaven. I think the 50's will be even nicer. Colder than that, I'm not so sure how I'll feel about, but right now, bring it on!

    Diva, As I'm sure you've noticed, I haven't posted yet about actual motherhood, and I'm not sure why not exactly. I know it will come, though. I've got plenty to say, but for whatever reason, I haven't felt like blogging about it.

    Joe, I'm not sure how you got my blog from "caffeine pill" either. I mean, I know that I've certainly blogged about caffeine here (it was the only thing that got rid of my headaches in my first trimester) and pills (clomid, prenatals, other supplements, come to mind right away), but how this blog got a high hit off of "caffeine pill" is a mystery. But thanks for browsing!

    By Blogger Oz, at 11:31 AM, October 10, 2005  

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