All Your Pregnancy/Postpartum Questions Answered
Updated: Apr 29, 2020
Hello everyone! I hope you are all staying safe and healthy during this uncertain and crazy time. With the extra time on my hand I thought I would finally sit down and answer your pregnancy and postpartum questions. I asked you guys on Instagram what questions you wanted answers and will be posting them all here.
Did you have any complications during pregnancy/during labor?
I'm so lucky because my pregnancy was super easy. I complained a lot because I disliked my body changing and I was uncomfortable. Other than that there were no complications during pregnancy and everything was pretty by the book. At 38 weeks I went in for my weekly appointment and that morning and the day before I had been miserable. I thought I was having Braxton hicks contractions and I was in a lot of pain. Literally on my hands and knees in pain, but I refused to go to the doctor because I was like "no, I'm going to wait until my appointment on Tuesday, I don't want to be dramatic." My mother in law was home with me since Nick was at Spring Training and was begging me to go in but I refused. Finally Tuesday at 11am my 38 week appointment rolled around. The pain went away right before my appointment, so I didn't even mention it. My doctor (WHO IS AMAZING) felt on my stomach and said "have you lost any fluid?" I told her no and she said we needed to pull up an ultrasound. Her face looked pretty worried and I knew something wasn't right. She told me the baby didn't have enough fluid in the womb and that we needed to get him out. I called Nick and he was on his way. From there labor was, well annoying. 36 hours in active labor, an hour of my epidural not working due to my sciatic nerve, some pushing, and then finally being told I was having a c section. It broke my heart to hear I was going to have a c-section. I was scared. I hadn't done any research on them because in my mind it just wasn't an option. My pregnancy had been text book, so why would my labor be any different? I cried when they told me, but I didn't have much time to be sad because it was go time. The c section was not fun. It took a little longer than usual because Reese was stuck from when I pushed. I threw up three times during the surgery and my body was convulsing with painful shakes during it and for hours after. It took about 30 minutes to stitch me up and recovery was honestly a breeze once the shaking stopped. I was walking as soon as my epidural wore off and didn't really need pain meds. I've had a couple surgeries though and I've always gotten off pain pills as soon as possible. Sometimes I've only taken them the day of surgery and then never again. I really dislike medicine and putting it into my body.
Did you get an epidural, were you induced, did you plan on being induced?
So a lot of this was answered in the first questions, but yes I got an epidural before I was told I would have a c section. I always planned on this. There's no metal for feeling pain and honestly why feel pain if you don't have to? I got the epidural as soon as I could! Trust me after feeling full on contractions for an hour at 8cm dilated, I'm glad I got it. Props to girls that have babies naturally with no pain meds. You guys are rockstars. There's just no way I could do it. I was induced at 38 weeks due to Reese not having enough fluid, but even before that I was scheduled to have an elective induction at 39 weeks. This was always the plan since Nick was away at Spring Training. There was no was I was going to risk going into labor without warning and Nick not being able to fly here in time.
Do you recommend any books to read during pregnancy?
No. I didn't read anything while I was pregnant. That's just who I am. The extent of my reading was the few paragraphs each week to tell me what was happening with baby and my body week by week in the What To Expect app. I'm just not the type of person that is going to read parenting books. I'm more of a "ask my mom or friend" kind of person. Or I just google questions I have in the moment. To each their own though!
Did you get any stretch marks?
I was terrified of getting stretch marks. I know they are scars of honor and I know women have them, but it's okay to fear getting them. Don't let anyone make you think you're vain for wanting to go back to being you after having a baby. I love being a mom but in no way does it define who I am. I am me first and a mom second and I personally think this mindset is important for myself and Reese. So, I was lucky and I didn't get any stretch marks during pregnancy. I finally got some on my breasts because of breastfeeding but they're not bad at all. My stomach is completely stretch mark free. I was nervous about getting stretch marks because they say they are genetic, and my mom got them, so I was worried. But my mom also had me at 22, where I am 30. I have read that the younger you are the more prone your skin is to stretch marks because your skin is firmer, but who knows if that's true.
What skin care products did you use during pregnancy?
I missed botox so much during pregnancy and couldn't wait to get it after having Reese, but here we are in quarantine. To combat wrinkles in a safe way during pregnancy, I used a retinol alternative by Herbivore. For stretch marks, I used Mama Mio. I used the body wash, body oil, and tummy rub. I used the body wash twice a week and I used the oil and lotion twice a day EVERYDAY. I went through NINE tubs of the tummy rub because I loved it so much. I'm currently still using it too. The plan is to use it until at least 4 months postpartum. I also am still taking my prenatal vitamins as well. I heard it can help with PP hair loss, so we shall see. I just ordered a hair serum by The Ordinary as well that I'm hoping combats hair falling out. As far as skin care products for my face, I stuck to my same routine. Just take out an retinol products you're using while pregnant or nursing.
Did you workout while you were pregnant?
I hate working out. I always have hated it. I did competitive cheerleading my whole life and that was more my style. Tumbling, stunts, dancing. Running and lifting weights is not for me. So in short, no I didn't work out during my pregnancy. I wish I would have, but I wasn't working out before I was pregnant, so I didn't think it was a good idea to jump into it while my body was going through such a drastic change.
Did you gain a lot of weight? Also, how tall are you?
I always tell people I gained 50 pounds while I was pregnant, but in reality I gained 40 pounds. I had gained 10 pounds right before I got pregnant because I was traveling so much for baseball, always eating out, and drinking wine at games. So the goal is to lose 50 pounds to get back to my actual weight. I've lost 35 pounds so far. So I'm almost to my pre-baby weight, but I'm trying to get back to my pre pre weight! So 15 more pounds to go. I actually lost 20 pounds the first week, so don't stress. Your body will go back eventually! Also, I'm 5'1!
Are you breastfeeding/Pumping?
I've been avoiding answering this question, because I think moms can be super judgemental on this subject. I've literally seen people get death treats online for formula feeding. I tried really hard to breastfeed and pump. My body just wasn't producing enough and Reese wasn't gaining weight. I went to a lactation specialist (My Pure Delivery) and they gave me my confidence back. They were amazing and I left really feeling like my body would do what it was supposed to do and get back on track, but it didn't. There were a lot of tears when I finally had to stop completely. No one really warns you how hard breastfeeding can be if you're not producing enough. I mean I was lucky to get half an ounce first thing in the morning; I was producing that little. It was a really traumatic experience and I had no idea I would take switching to formula so hard because I was a formula fed baby. I never saw a problem with formula and I still don't, but I didn't know I would be sad about not breastfeeding. So be kind to woman who are using formula. You don't know their struggle or what they're going through. I promise I already beat myself up way more than anyone else ever could on the subject. It was an extremely difficult decision and really hurt my mental health for a little while. I'm fine now, because I'm mentally pretty strong, but I did struggle. We have been using Similac Pro Sensitive and it works great for Reese. We haven't had any problems so far and he's up to 11.2 pounds now! The most important thing to me is that Reese is healthy and gaining weight like he should be. If you're going through this struggle, I feel for you and it's hard, but you're not alone. Do what's best for you and your baby. Judgmental moms can suck it.
Pumping - I absolutely hated pumping. I found it incredibly hard to sit still for that long. I preferred just breastfeeding. Definitely get a pumping bra so you can be hands free. This is different than a nursing bra, but you'll need nursing bras as well. I'll link the two I used below.
What are you doing to get back to your pre-baby weight?
I'm really not doing much. I try to walk about 2 miles everyday if the weather allows it. I waited to start walking until I was cleared at 6 weeks though to do so. I don't eat out because of all this covid-19 stuff, so I guess I'm eating a little better than normal. I do not snack whatsoever. I also don't drink much. Maybe a glass or two of wine a week. The first week though when I lost the 20 pounds, I literally did nothing. I think a ton of it is water weight.
How is your c-section scar? Any problems with recovery?
My c-section scar looks great! At first I was really worried about what it would look like, but it's insanely low (no bathing suit would show it) and it's a clean straight line. I put vitamin e on it twice a day to help reduce the appearance. At first I had a ton of scar tissue build up, but I ordered silicon cups for cupping on amazon and used those to press into the scar and break up the scar tissue. That did wonders! It seriously got rid of swelling and the hard spots so quick, that even my OB was impressed. You can purchase the silicon cups here. Problems with recovery: my right leg, which took to the epidural way more than my left, is still having problems. I have nerve damage in my right leg because of the c section. Basically my leg doesn't feel like mine when I touch the skin. It's on my right thigh close to where my leg connects to my pubic area. It's hard to explain. Time will heal it though, but for now it's dealing with a leg that doesn't feel like mine and random shooting pain in the area. It also hurts if my leg pulls away from my body too much on the right side if that makes sense. It's all just from the nerves being cut. My scar is also pretty numb, but they say after awhile it goes back to normal.
What was Reese's newborn sleep schedule?
Personally, I wasn't worried bout Reese being on a schedule because with baseball, there are no schedules. Your life is up in the air every single day during baseball season. The first week Reese slept really good and woke up like every 2 hours to nurse, then by week 2 and 3 he was waking up every 45 minutes to cluster feed. I was literally dying. Remember, for 25 days I was a single mom, because Nick was at Spring Training, so I was running on E. By the 3rd week I had a breakdown and ordered The Snow bassinet at 3am. This bassinet was a lifesaver. By week 4 Reese was sleeping 5.5 hours straight, by week 5 he was sleeping 7 hours straight, and at 8 weeks he started sleeping 8 hours straight. It's been so nice and I'm loving being able to catch up on sleep. I highly recommend renting The Snoo and try to get in all those baby calories during the day. We always wake Reese up to feed during the day. Currently he has his last feeding around 10/10:30pm then he wakes up at 6/6:30am. We do a feeding at that time and then he goes back to sleep until 9/9:30am. Every baby is different though. If this isn't happening yet for your baby, you aren't doing anything wrong. There's just no such thing as a textbook baby. No two babies will do the exact same thing. So if you're dealing with sleep troubles, hang in there momma, there is a light at the end of the tunnel!
What apps are you using for Reese?
Baby Tracker - I use this to track feedings. It can also track nursing and pumping.
The Wonder Weeks - tracks mental leaps and I highly recommend it. It's spot on with Reese's leaps. Just go by your due date NOT your delivery date.
What to Expect - I used this during pregnancy and still do
That's all the questions for now, but I am happy to answer anymore, these are just the ones I received on Instagram yesterday. Feel free to comment on this post or email me and I'll be sure to add to this post!
Also, I want to say, I am by no means an expert and I definitely don't know it all. I'm taking this new mom thing day by day. For my expecting mothers, it feels so overwhelming because you're thrown information from people that are farther along than you or already have babies, but you will be fine. All this information comes with time and experience, so take a deep breath and enjoy your pregnancy. If you're worried about labor, mine wasn't the norm, so don't be worried. Although my labor and delivery was tough, the first thing I said after was "Okay we can have another kid. I would do all of this again tomorrow." It is THAT worth it. So you got this momma, I PROMISE!