Physical Recovery

I have been completely moved by the huge swell of kindness from total strangers. Thank you all so much.

If you have arrived here from LFCA or anywhere else and haven’t been following for long, I would like to clarify something. I do have a second blog out there, so if you happen to have discovered both, there is no need to write me in alarm because someone is ripping off my story. This was my first blog, started in anonymity under a pseudonym, during my struggles to conceive. I started the other blog after we found out about the triplets, and wrote there mainly for family and friends. I kept this going separately as a forum to express both more ‘descriptive’ aspects and also darker moments that I didn’t necessarily want to share with family members. I still would prefer for the readers of the other blog to not know about this one as much as possible, so I appreciate it if the link to the other blog is not distributed to anywhere like the LFCA, or posted on any blogrolls, etc. Thanks.

Physically I’m feeling astonishingly good. I’ve had very little pain – no worse than menstrual cramps. I was told to expect bleeding for probably two weeks, then potential ongoing spotting for two weeks after that. Already it has tapered significantly. I despise relying exclusively on pads, so I’m annoyed by that. I ordered a post-delivery size Diva Cup, but I’m not supposed to use it until my next period, whenever that happens. Strict orders, nothing inside at all for 6 weeks. Any weakness and shortness of breath is better now than it was while pregnant. I’m getting close to feeling normal (though I am not speaking yet about my emotional state).

Still – my body is like a science experiment right now. For some, I’m sure that the overnight body changes following a pregnancy disaster are emotionally agonizing, but I’m finding that mostly things are just interesting for me, and there is a disconnect between the physical and the psychological. I didn’t know what to expect with regards to weight/belly loss. I lost about half of the 18 lb gain by the time I got home from the hospital, and have lost another half pound per day since then. I have no idea how long that will continue without any effort on my part. My belly is definitely fleshy, but I have never ever had anything resembling defined abs and it’s hard to say how far off it looks from “normal.” I think my husband is having a harder time with the shrunken tummy than I am. He said he misses the belly when we hug. The one bodily thing that’s made me feel wistful, weird as it is, is staring at my belly button – which has gone back to it’s regular depth instead of stretched out until almost flat. I am guilty of having the thought: “At least I hadn’t gotten any stretch marks yet”; I caught myself thinking that and my psyche felt I should be punished for such things, telling me that I ought to have permanent external scars from this whole ordeal and that it’s terrible and tragic that I won’t. Grief is a bizarre and irrational thing.

Anyway, about this crazy hormone factory that is my body. My breasts started dripping today in an Old Navy fitting room. The nurses at the hospital told me that there was a good probability of my milk coming in, and gave me some advice for handling that in case it does happen. The first day or two, I was definitely experiencing a sensation that they wanted touching, but it was pretty easy to ignore them and resist stimulation. I have been wearing sports bras non-stop and hadn’t had any real issues. Today after my shower I did notice that they were absolutely HUMONGOUS, and about as firm as ripe mangoes. So a couple of hours later I took the sports bra off to try on a swim suit* and there it was, with that little bit of manipulation: the slow steady leak of breast milk. (Good thing I was already planning to buy that particular suit…) During the last few hours, they have developed a bit of an ache and have become even firmer. I am typing with ice packs on both, strapped on by my Bella Band. That thing was one of the best maternity clothes purchases.

*Yes, I was shopping for swim wear. We will be indulging in some sunshine therapy next week with a last-minute getaway to warm, sandy beaches in hopes of totally removing ourselves from everything. And I didn’t own a swim suit that didn’t make the word “bulging” the only possible thought upon seeing myself in the mirror.


5 thoughts on “Physical Recovery

  1. Your writing is so eloquent. Written in a way that I can completely relate to, but the words always seem to escape me.

    Re: “telling me that I ought to have permanent external scars from this whole ordeal and that it’s terrible and tragic that I won’t”

    I walk around my office thinking I don’t look any different to my office mates. Most didn’t even know I was pregnant because I’d hardly started to show. I want to scream “I’m a different woman. Can’t you see?”

    I hope you find some serenity in the warm place you’ll be visiting next week. Good for you. Enjoy!

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost a son at 23 weeks. I found that taking Sudafed helped dry up my milk when it came in – also taking sage. Cold cabbage leaves in a bra can help too.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so heartbroken for you. There are no words…
    Sending you lots of virtual hugs and wishing you some peace during this difficult time…

  4. i continue to wish i had something to offer, something to say that didn’t sound trite. but i don’t. all i can say is that i’m so sorry for you, for the way all of this happened, for your loss. i’m thinking of you constantly.

    sun therapy sounds like an absolutely perfect idea.

  5. I’m so sorry to hear of your sweet dear children. I am so sad for you. I’m sure they were beautiful.

    I lost my son at 37 weeks…the cabbage leaves were REALLY helpful.

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