After I had Leila, I was amazed at how swift my recovery was. I didn’t need any stitches, and didn’t even bother bringing home most of the supplies that most moms snag from the hospital (ice packs, peri bottle, etc.). Despite the bleeding that continued for weeks after delivery, I was up and about very quickly and felt mostly fine (minus of course being exhausted caring for a newborn and two maniac boys).
The midwife told me that it was normal to bleed anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks post delivery, so when my bleeding didn’t relent despite feeling great, I wasn’t too worried. By the time I was nearing my postpartum check up though, which I scheduled seven weeks post delivery, I was so over it. The bleeding had trickled to mostly just light spotting but hadn’t stopped. My midwife echoed my concerns as she examined me. My uterus seemed to have shrunk, so she sent me for a transvaginal ultrasound to discover that I still had a bit of what was likely placenta, called “retained matter” in the medical world, in my uterus.
The plan was to call some meds over to our local pharmacy that would induce contractions in the hopes of my body expelling the remaining… stuff, and then if necessary, I’d have a D&C. But my pharmacy didn’t have the medication in stock and upon searching the databases of every Walgreens in a 50-mile radius, no one did. It was going to take several days to order, and in that time, it got me thinking. Was I just delaying the inevitable? Best case, I’d take these meds, be incredibly uncomfortable and crampy, bleed a ton and be finished. Worst case, I’d go through all of that discomfort and still need a D&C. I called my midwife, a hot and hormonal mess, and asked to just do the D&C. My husband was supposed to be out of town the whole next week, so doing a D&C the next week would be a childcare and recovery nightmare.
I’ve had a D&C in the past (though not for this reason – for a miscarriage between my two boys), and this time was not much different. The main exception is that I had to be away from a nursing baby for an entire day, which was a bit of a pain. I dragged my pump bag with me, and I pumped before and after the surgery (and thankfully Leila is doing well with taking a bottle, as we are already supplementing a bit – more about that in a separate post). We lined up babysitters so that Mr. Confetti would be available before and after surgery to tend to me without three kids in tow at the hospital, and that evening, I felt well enough to hang with them through bedtime, even though I wasn’t as hands on as I typically am. Thankfully Leila was only about 10 pounds at that point, because I was on lifting restriction for anything beyond that for three days.
Overall, this was an extremely frustrating experience (especially since it happened in early January, so we got to hit our deductible not even a month into the new year), but I’m glad it was caught and taken care of before it turned into anything worse.