48 Weeks: Slowly but surely.
September 07, 2009

Guess what?  I finally stopped bleeding.  Finally.  SIX.  WEEKS.  LATER.  Finally stopped bleeding.  Finally.  Stopped.  Bleeding.  Finally stopped bleeding finally stopped finally stopped finally stopped.  FINALLY STOPPED BLEEDING!

Did I mention the part about SIX WEEKS LATER?  Because I’ll tell you this: when I got knocked up, I had no idea that I would bleed over a month after I gave birth.  That little gem of information totally passed me by.

In fact, I have counted it out and found that all of my postpartum bleeding is pretty much equal to the number of days I did not spend on my period this past year.  Yeah.  So that whole “how COOL, no period!” thing about being pregnant?

Bullshit.  I wound up with all the hassle after the baby’s born anyway, only it hurt more.

As luck would have it, there isn’t much overall that feels different between three weeks postpartum and six or seven weeks postpartum.  (Besides, of course, elation at having FINALLY STOPPED BLEEDING).  The healing process seems to have really slowed down in the past few weeks.  The most notable difference is that when I put a mirror between my legs and gather the nerve to peel open one eye and look at the damage, I am not nearly as traumatized.

At one week postpartum, despite everybody’s warnings, I did the mirror trick.  I still think it is pretty amazing that seeing my vagina so beat-up and bloodied didn’t cause a heart attack on the spot.  But now?  Now I am no longer swollen to the size of a hot air balloon and there are no longer jagged white stitches holding things together.  I think the technical term for that is PRETTY FUCKING COOL.

At seven weeks postpartum, I am also starting to realize that just because I am near my pre-pregnancy weight does not mean that I am near my pre-pregnancy body.  Some objects seem to have shifted during take off and landing.

The best example is probably my belly button.  Before I got pregnant, my belly button was a cute, taut little blip of an innie.  It is now about three hundred inches depressed into my belly.  You could probably stick an entire apple pie and maybe a small elephant in there and I would never be the wiser.

OH WAIT!  I have a better example: my hips.  I am pretty sure that my birthin’ hips are even larger than they once were.  Here I am, within spitting distance of my pre-pregnancy weight, and my hips SCOFF at my pre-pregnancy jeans.  I should probably just purge my closet of those jeans right now because a lovefest with size 4 is NEVER HAPPENING AGAIN.  So either all five pounds left are congregating on my hips, or allowing someone to nudge their head against my pelvis has taken its toll.

All I have to say is that it’s a damned good thing Charlie’s so cute.

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  1. By Christina on September 07, 2009

    Deep breaths! You are only 6 weeks. I remember feeling the exact same way. Bemoaning my size 4s and assuming my hips would never return… but I am now 6 months postpartum and happily fit back into the size 4s—and am actually in better shape than I was before pregnancy… the hips do shift though. They do. Also shoe size. Don’t be surprised the first time you pull on your fave pair of heels to discover that they no longer fit.. at least in my case the sad truth was that my feet grew with each of my two pregnancies…

    But the 6 week mark is BIG. You can start DOING THINGS now which for me was a saving grace… Like I said, deep breaths! And do not toss the jeans. :)

  2. By Buckeroomama on September 07, 2009

    I was totally clueless about postpartum bleeding, too and thought that really sucked to have to deal with that on top of the lack of sleep.

    As to the mirror trick, girl, you’re brave.  That’s all I can say.

  3. By on September 07, 2009

    These are the things our mothers don’t tell us in fear that if they do, we’ll never give the grandchildren.

  4. By on September 07, 2009

    i dont want to be a debby downer here…but with both of my first babies, i also bled for the full six weeks after…THEN i got my REAL period another 2 weeks after that-so be careful…and be on the lookout long before you think your period is due…i say panty liners a week from now-to ensure not ruining pretty new undergarments…

    and i second NOT tossing your jeans just yet, i found it took months if not a full year to fully feel like myself again…

  5. By on September 07, 2009

    ok putting all the mirrors away RIGHT NOW
    and tossing the basement key where my pre-pregnancy jeans are patiently waiting…

  6. By Allison on September 07, 2009

    Dude, yeah. No one warns you about that, do they? I was shocked at how heavy and how LONG it lasted. But I guess after going so long your body needs to, well, get rid of all that extra stuff? It’s gross.

    (Also, I see (image) a few times in this post but no pictures.)

  7. By Kim on September 07, 2009

    I bleed for 6 weeks also, kills me every time.

    As for your body shifting and whatnot…give it time, those size 4’s just may fit you again in another few months or so.

    You look great, be patient and gentle with yourself Mama :)

  8. By Jinxy @ Jinxyisms on September 07, 2009

    Wow, I can’t believe you were brave enough to do the mirror trick.  That’s hard core!

  9. By MyHormonesMadeMeDoIt on September 07, 2009

    Six weeks?  Seriously?  Nobody ever told me that one, one more thing to look forward to, yippee.

  10. By Elizabeth on September 07, 2009

    I KNOW!!  I told you to avoid the mirror thing, as it nearly sent me into PPD, but hey, you’re a brave gal.
    I know, also, and think it’s hilarious that this is the stuff nobody tells you.  Birth Control right there, I think… except… wait… I’m on baby #3, so maybe not ;)  The kid’s worth it, a million times over.

  11. By Elizabeth Mackey on September 07, 2009

    OK, you are one hell of a brave girl for even wanting to take a mirror and look down there!!! I didn’t even want to see the birth when they asked me to take a look. Never in a million years, would I take a mirror and see the damage!
    Glad to hear you stopped bleeding, that must be a great feeling for sure :) I only had two weeks or so of bleeding with both of mine, I’m wondering if it is a genetic thing?

  12. By erin on September 07, 2009

    I cannot even imagine what the mirror revealed.  I don’t want to.  I was afraid to look at my c-section scar and did not look in the mirror at my body 2 weeks postpartum.  It is still red and tight and ugly.  You are brave!

    As for the bleeding… yeah.  No one told me that either!  What is it with people?  I bled for five weeks straight but thankfully have not had my period yet.  Even without the bleeding, I think I may not have gotten pregnant if I had any clue what I was in for.  Then again, TK is a pretty damn nice reward.

  13. By on September 07, 2009

    I’m always so amazed at how we think everything about our bodies should be the same after giving birth. Why would we think that? We’re WOMEN now, not little girls.

  14. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on September 07, 2009

    Okay, sorry everyone.  The photos should be working now!!

  15. By natballs on September 07, 2009

    THIS IS EXACTLY HOW I FELL. You have put my thoughts into words. Tomorrow is 4 wks from having Jonah; I’m STILL bleeding, my vajayjay STILL hurts, I’m 3 pds heavier than my pre-preggo weight and my pre-preggo jeans are no where NEAR fitting, my wedding ring still won’t slide back onto my blimp of a finger, my stomach has a horrible dark line down it, AND my belly button is a gaping hole.

  16. By Stephanie on September 07, 2009

    and I get to look foreward to all this in a tiny bit over 2 months.. EEK! Good thing there’s a gorgeous little one there to look at to remind us that it’s all worth it. :)

  17. By Jennifer W. on September 07, 2009

    Oh Lord I had forgotten about the depth of the belly button!  I have no words of wisdom.  Six weeks after giving birth I still felt like my uterus was going to fall out of my vagina if I hiccuped or took a deep breath.  Also that whole PPD thing will really peel off the pounds and make you really skinny, before you get help and start eating again and gain back 10.  Oh well.  My brain and my hormones have made their peace and now those pesky extra 5 pounds are here to stay because I have no intentions of putting actual work into making them disappear.  I’d much rather sit on the couch and eat brownie ice cream and lament about my pants having shrunk in the dryer.  And - YOU LOOK GREAT.

  18. By Heidi on September 07, 2009

    You call her Charlie?!?! How cute is that?! OMG, she is looking even more beautiful as she gets older! Congrats again, Sarah!

    Oh, and you look GREAT.

  19. By Laura on September 07, 2009

    I bled for freakin’ ever too. It was so annoying. I was beginning to think I’d always bleed. I will never be able to fit into some of my jeans either. So sad. :(

    But like you said, it’s a good thing they are so cute. :)

  20. By Veronica on September 07, 2009

    Yeah, I never got back into my pre-pregnancy jeans either, despite being below pre-pregnant weight. I think it’s the whole baby coming out through your pelvis thing. It changes the shape of everything.

    Which = annoying.

  21. By gretchen from lifenut on September 08, 2009

    The bleeding can vary from pregnancy to pregnancy. I’ve bled anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks, but 6 seems to be about the norm. Congrats on kicking it to the curb.

    And yes, your hips and your feet will be permanently wider. You need you hips. It’s a handy notch. I can’t imagine lugging around big babies and small toddlers without my big hips jutting out there into the universe.

  22. By Tabitha (From Single to Married) on September 08, 2009

    I still think you look fantastic, 5 lbs. or not!

  23. By Megan R. on September 08, 2009

    It is too funny…I just got done updating my blog (which is not that often these days)...and I decided to try and catch up on some of my favorite other blogs out there, yours included.

    And, I read this post.  And, I laughed when realizing that I had ended my post today almost identically to yours here.  Guess we all feel that way about our kiddos, for varying reasons!

    Post-partum bleeding…just over 5 weeks for me, and I think I am finally “done”.

    I am four pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight…and I have only found one pair of pre-pregnancy jeans that I can fit into.  And?  I used to be able to pull them off without unbuttoning them in my previous life.  closet purging seems necessary here, too.

    You do look great, though…and Charlie is BEAUTIFUL!!!!

  24. By tracy on September 09, 2009

    I stopped bleeding at the 6 week mark as well. Literally, 2 days before my 6 week check up.

    And HELL NO I did not look down there to see what was up after having pushed a human from my vagina. I think the thought briefly, oh so briefly, occurred to me, but I decided against it. You’re brave!!

  25. By Melissa Schlothan on September 10, 2009

    Have I ever told you how much I love your writing?

    Sadness that I didn’t get to see your beautiful little girl before I left for TX in August…till Thanksgiving, if I’m home; otherwise, Christmas Eve.

    Glad you and Donald are doing well.  Miss you guys.





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