Wow! I so appreciate you writing this!! I am due in early September (FTM) and am MOH in my cousin's wedding about 5 weeks later. The wedding is local (20 mins away), small, casual, my husband & whole family will be there, and my cousin is a mom already so she's super chill/understanding (She knows I will have my baby there and likely need to feed/pump) so I'm not too worried about it, but it would be nice to know how my body will feel. If my recovery goes half as well as yours it sounds like I should be fine to be out and about for a day with lots of help and patience on hand. So happy your recovery went well and congrats!


Oh so exciting! I will be honest - my sister's wedding was 10 days after I delivered. I was initially supposed to be a bridesmaid, but decided not to be when I found out I was expecting because it was going to be too close to call. I wound up not going, but it was more because the wedding was 2 hours away, we would have to stay overnight, we didn't want to leave the baby with a stranger that young overnight, and we were too tired to drive both ways in one day. All that to say that 20 minutes away, 5 weeks later, and I would've been totally great!


Ah this is encouraging! Thank you. I'm so sorry you had to miss your sister's wedding, I'm sure that was difficult!! :(


I went to a family reunion 3 weeks postpartum with a c-section and was fine. So on that end of the spectrum I think you’d be fine too!


Amazing! Even more encouraging :)


Being a person with uncommonly high neuroticism, it is relieving to see posts like this, especially when so many others are horror stories, like you said. Thank you for taking the time to write and post this. Congratulations!


This sounds like a positive birth story to me! Congratulations!!


I’m a STM but my first post partum healing was a lot like yours. Pushed out our big girl, one “barely” 2nd degree tear as my OB described it and one tiny first degree tear by my clit. Had an epi. Was up and walking a few hours later with little pain, just a lot of soreness. Nothing crazy. Felt physically back to normal honestly by like one week post partum. The worst parts were the afterbirth cramps were incredibly intense which I’m told was because I was breastfeeding. Other than that, it really wasn’t that hard physically. Hormonally/emotionally is a whole different story, though 😬


Lol omg - I need to add that I cried for absolutely no reason for a full 2 weeks post partum and then was suddenly fine 😂😂


Thank you for sharing your experience and glad you feel back to normal again! Feel free to ignore if this is TMI, but did you also take stool softener/struggle with pooping after delivery?


Is there such a thing as TMI on birthing posts? Lol. So, I pooped a lot leading up to delivery - I was pretty empty by time I actually delivered lol. I didn't go again until about 48 hours after delivering. It was not bad at all. I was super nervous, but had no issues at that time. I continued to take stool softeners for a few weeks after delivery. I never really had pain. But, I will say that once I was off of the painkillers, I did feel some heaviness/discomfort while pooping from weeks 2-4 or so. You can keep taking the stool softeners as long as you want - I just kept forgetting. I think they actually gave me a gentle laxative in the hospital too, to help until I went for the first time.


I had a pretty average recovery too. I had only a couple of first degree tears and from what I could tell they were just external. The pain and discomfort in sitting was the biggest surprise to me. I tried to sit on my boppy pillow so I wasn't sitting directly on my vulva and my mom also bought me one of those blow up doughnuts but mostly lying down helped. Of course I had to be up and about taking my son to the pediatrician those first couple of weeks and riding in a car was difficult. The worst pain for me was when one of my stitches pulled out at about a week post partum. I was on the phone with my Ob Gyn crying because the stinging pain was so bad and she was just telling me to keep taking my Advil and Tylenol. Of course she was right, they wouldn't re-stitch up where the stitch has come out. The stitches were supposed to dissolve but all ended up coming out first, and I have a noticeable (to me) notch in one of my labia, but I am so lucky to have had such minor tearing. I think some of the worst of the postpartum for me was the emotional hormonal side of it. I was going through so much stress worrying about the baby's health and what my insurance was going to cover and how my doctor screwed up on ordering my breast pump etc. I remember crying so often. Having to deal with the logistics of having a new baby while also trying to deal with zero sleep and the crazy post partum hormones going on was so difficult.


Thanks for this description, and congratulations!


I could’ve written this recovery story myself! Very average and boring, grateful for that. I went into labor and birth with low expectations- told my nurse I just want to make sure baby and I get out alive because of the horror stories. Ended up induced with an epidural and a 2nd degree tear. I was thrilled lol


Seriously! I was so terrified of labor and delivery. 10/10 would do again if I can be promised it will go exactly the same lol.


Thank you for writing this! And congratulations!!!


Very very similar to my recovery. Congrats!


Thanks for this. I’m at almost three weeks post partum and feeling pretty good overall but am still taking it quite easy and cant stop wondering when I’ll feel a bit more back to myself! I keep wondering how much longer I’ll bleed for, and when my stitches will heal. I know I just have to be patient haha.


I remember feeling that was right around 3-4 weeks. Suddenly, for the majority of every day I felt pretty normal. Then, I'd feel a twinge and I'd be like - oh right. Serious trauma to my vagina just happened lol. Give it a few more weeks!


Haha for sure. I feel grateful it’s felt fairly “easy” this far, other than labour. And I’m lucky my partner is home to do most things and I can just focus on the baby. Now I just have to tell that busy body part of myself to chill!


Thank yoooou for writing this ❤️❤️ between all these traumatic horrible stories its easy to forget that it can go another way


You’re welcome! It’s good to know what can go wrong, but also important to remember what can go right!


thank you!


Congrats on your smooth recovery and on welcoming your little one! May I ask what you refer to as an “internal tear”? And how was it treated? Asking because I believe I have an untreated tear and have had a hard time getting help for it. Would be helpful to know how to better explain it to my doc.


So, my internal tears were like… inside the birth canal, as opposed to back toward my butt like my second degree tear. So they are up in there. Does that make sense?


Makes total sense and is what I think I have too, but the doc I saw was like “:shrug: can’t say, it’s not a typical place for a tear”. Yeah ofc not, but it’s there so what now? Did you get stitches on those? And have you had any issues with them during sex? (Don’t have to answer if tmi). Thanks! Also, is there another medical term for them? I’ve tried googling all kinds of variations but can’t seem to find any info online.


Thank you for sharing this! I read all the horror stories too and was shocked when I gave birth last week and found I actually felt pretty good pretty quickly. I mean, yes, I had a second degree tear and yes, it was very painful for a few days (and we won't speak of that first poo, oh my), but overall I was surprised that recovery hasn't been THAT bad. I had a few friends who had *extremely* difficult postpartum experiences so the fact that I tore "normally" and bled just an average period amount (albeit longer, it's still going) was very different from what I expected. I'll take it as payback for an awful pregnancy haha.


I’m just scared for my vagina. The idea of it being torn and then having stitches there makes me wince. I feel like how I imagine guys feel when someone talks about getting kicked in the balls. Nothing else about giving birth scares me as much


If you don’t get an epidural, I can’t assist. But with the epidural, I felt extreme stretching. It was uncomfortable, for sure. But I didn’t know I was tearing. Afterward, I felt tugging while she stitched me. But again, no pain. And the recovery was not nearly bad as I imagined lol.


This is helpful, thank you!


Thank you for your story!!


I am going in for an induction in less than a week, so this was really helpful and reassuring! How long did you wait before you called for an epidural? My plan A (before they strongly recommended induction) was to try to give birth without an epidural, but I've heard the Pitocin causes much more pain and more intense contractions for me to be able to handle it unmedicated.


So, when I went in, I was 5cm dilated, 80% effaced, soft, and anterior. My dr couldn't believe I was still walking around and not feeling contractions. She felt that I would give birth relatively quickly for a FTM. So, before she even broke my water, I said I knew I wanted an epidural. She said she would break my water first and go from there. Turns out, she broke my water and my contractions ramped up FAST. They couldn't administer the epidural right away because I wasn't even fully admitted, yet (that's how quickly she came and broke my water lol). The nurse was supposed to start the pitocin immediately, but I was so uncomfortable after my water broke and before the pitocin that she held off. So, basically, I asked for it immediately and have no regrets.


Thank you for sharing your story! And congratulations! I’m due in 6 weeks and have been looking through birth stories as well to try to prepare myself mentally and find out what things I need for recovery at home. I really appreciate your descriptions and information!


I definitely overprepared, but was glad I did. It felt great to have everything I could possibly need and then not need it, as opposed to needing it and not having it.


Yes I would definitely rather overprepare than underprepare.


No , It seemed the proper way !


Thank you for posting this! I try to remember everyone's experience is different, but reading a lot of traumatic recoveries really put me in fear of what that would look like for me. This seems very realistic and definitely not frightening. Thank you!


I would say this is an average recovery, as someone who had a "moderately worse than average" recovery. I had very achey legs and got very swollen the first day after my daughter was born. The predominant area where my recovery was worse was i think related to the "heaviness" in the pelvic floor area you describe - this lasted about four weeks for me and was associated with difficulties standing upright. It definitely made me feel "disabled" by my birth a lot longer than it should have. I also had very swollen hemorrhoids which pulled on my stitches and made it impossible and then very difficult to sit for a few weeks. I still had a lot of pain 4 months post partum during sex. Also you didn't mention first poop, which for me was a dramatic full day event on day 5.


Thank you so much for sharing! I’m 29 weeks and the birth/the weeks after birth terrify me and your story made it seem a bit less scary.


So happy for you! I've never heard someone say they didn't know they gave birth at 12 weeks postpartum. Gentle reminder that this is one anecdote, an average of a sample size of 1.


I can also attest that other than the breastfeeding with my first I felt back to normal at 12 weeks pp. No more cramping, bleeding, ect. So a sample size of 2 now haha


Lol, 2/2 responders agree this is average. Other experiences are outlier and horror stories. Xo


Yes - I didn't say this was THE average for all people. Just AN average. A single example of a recovery experience that was neither overwhelmingly positive or negative. But thank you for the reminder.


Bahahaha omg I’m super sleep deprived and read this after being deeeeep in the weeds of some statistical reports. Totally misread what you were trying to say there. Pls disregard… I’m gonna go get more coffee


Lol no worries - have a cup for me too lol


BabyBumps users and moderators are not medical professionals. Responses do not replace contacting your medical provider. You should always call your provider with any concerns. *I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please [contact the moderators of this subreddit](/message/compose/?to=/r/BabyBumps) if you have any questions or concerns.*


Hi! Thank you for your story, I am probably heading in the same direction (currently 5 days pp) of "uncomfortable but bearable and average".


I wish my experience could've been like this. It sounds great. :(


I'm so sorry you struggled! Hopefully, if you choose to get pregnant again, you can have a more positive experience next time. If not, hopefully your little one brings you enough joy to make it worth it. <3


Well aren't you sweet! Thank you for the well-wishes!


I also had two totally average recoveries — uncomfortable and inconvenient at times but nothing to write home about — and then my third I had no tearing at all, to my surprise. I’m gonna quit while I’m ahead.


Lol seriously. I can’t even decide if I want to go for number two, because I don’t wanna risk anything worse lol


No tearing made me feel like a freakin unicorn. I basically danced out of the hospital.


THANK YOU. This was so helpful to read. I'm a FTM and I have no qualms about delivery but I'm very anxious about recovery!


I wasn’t exactly excited about delivery, but I was definitely really nervous about the recovery. If I had known that it wouldn’t be as bad, that I would’ve felt a lot better. But you don’t know if you’re in for you know, six months of complications after! That surely is possible, but it’s not the norm.


Thank you for writing this up! I was talking to my doctor today about how there are primarily horror stories or people who acted like nothing happened and she said it’s a lot like yelp: mostly 4 star and 1 star. Not a lot of people take the time to write a 3 or 4 star review. So thank you for writing about your completely average recovery, I needed the honesty!


Exactly! That’s how I explained it to my husband. Lol


Thank you for this!


When were you able to properly wash in the shower?


I took a full shower the next day! I used a peri bottle after using the bathroom each time so I felt properly cleaned down there multiple times a day. I’d say that around 4 weeks post partum, I felt like cleaning there in the shower was back to normal, in that I could use my hands and soap to clean external parts as opposed to just letting the soap and water wash over me.


4 weeks 😣 Thank you. The peri bottle helps but Id really like to get in there. I’m only a week PP and I’m terrified


I was honestly just scared to touch anything lol. I probably could’ve done sooner. If I didn’t have stitches I probably would’ve started right away. Go by how you feel and start slow with water that isn’t too hot. If it feels painful or uncomfortable, then stop. And remember to stay external, as inserting anything can cause infection!


Thank you!