Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Physical recovery after birth

There are lots of things I want to write about giving birth, but I think if I try to do it all at once it will be a bit much! So here's one thing I wanted to say - I was surprised by how physically exhausted I was afterwards.

Of course I expected to be really tired, but for days afterwards the most I could manage without feeling like I had to sit down was a few minutes on my feet. The day we left hospital I pottered around the room packing up for maybe half an hour, and that was the most activity I'd had the whole time I was there (4 days). Any time I did anything on my feet I would feel very shaky very quickly.

It was sort of like how you feel when you've done more exercise than normal and you can't be bothered getting up off the lounge afterwards - you don't have the energy to move. I felt like that for quite a few days straight. I was tottering around, and for the first little while needed help to move much at all - I had no strength in my back or stomach muscles so manouvering myself around was a challenge.

I think the exhaustion was partly a result of the hormonal changes that happen after birth, and the huge physical adjustment to not being pregnant anymore - coupled with the lack of sleep!

Labour is a fundamentally, brutally physical thing. It's one of the most extreme things our bodies are capable of - in hindsight it's no wonder I was so wiped out! I'm glad to have had the experience, it was the most full on thing I think I've ever done. Our bodies are pretty amazing.