This might be another sort of odd post, but I was reminded somewhat of my own childbirth "recovery" a few times. So I'll give an update of how things are going and such.
I was partially reminded of the healing and recovering stuff because the bruises on my arms have mostly faded! I had quite a colorful series of bruises from IVs and blood draws (see picture), and it seemed like they sort of lingered there for a while, then finally started to heal (which went by more quickly!). I can still see the spots where scabs were, but I think those are going to fade over time too and not scar up or anything (or if they do, they'll be small anyway!).
My belly is doing a pretty good job of returning to pre-pregnancy size, for the most part. It's kind of hard to remember what extra baggage I had there to begin with, but I'm pretty confident that I'd fit into some of my "regular" clothing. I still wear my favorite pair of maternity shorts, just because they're so darn comfortable. I haven't weighed myself, and I think I'll wait until my 6-week post-partum visit to get the word on that. Last pregnancy, I had lost all of my pregnancy weight by then, but it wasn't terribly hard when I was breastfeeding and I hadn't gained that much weight to begin with.
Post-partum bleeding is something that has always sort of plagued me. It was the worst with Daniel (bleeding for over 8 weeks straight!), with periods of heavy bleeding and so on that medication and a D&C helped slow temporarily, only to have it return and eventually have to resolve on it's own. After Jared, it was heavy as well, but not as bad as with Daniel, and it finished around 7 weeks. With this one, even in the hospital it wasn't so bad...yeah, it was there, but not nearly the quantity, and it looked like it was starting to diminish a little bit. At 2 1/2 weeks post-partum, I still have bright red bleeding, but it is pretty light.
Pain. For the most part, the "baby exit" did pretty well with this delivery. It might be due to Kaitlyn's much smaller size (and smaller head size even!). Her delivery was pretty quick as well, so there wasn't as much swelling (vs. the two hours of pushing with Daniel!). In any case, it is more of some lingering joint and muscle pain that slowed me down at first, but now I can move more quickly and get out of bed faster too. I still sleep with a pillow between my knees just because it's more comfortable. The one thing that has been the worst (and I've heard it gets worse with each delivery) is the afterbirth uterine pains. I can feel it while nursing, and I have the occasional cramps and things, but I figure it's just part of the shrinking back down process. The other pain that has gotten worse since the hospital is in my right calf, just below my knee joint. That might be a remnant of muscles not getting worked while on bedrest. It isn't enough of a pain to be really worrisome, but it's just "there" all the time.
In terms of sleep, I was definitely getting more of that before the baby was born (ha!). However, my brain does have kind of a hard time shutting down sometimes, so even though I'm really tired at night (and even during the day when I might have an opportunity to catch a nap), I don't fall asleep. I've done pretty well, emotionally/mentally, with recovery, even though I still have moments that tip me off...I'm usually able to catch myself and recover from a potential crying outburst. I know it's still "early" in the sense that sometimes the worst of post-partum depression doesn't hit until later, but I'm hoping that doesn't happen!
In the end, I know the post-partum period lasts a year, but sometimes it feels like my own expectation is to bounce back as fast as I can...when I really do need to just recover at my own pace!