I am fortunate that I seem to recover fairly quickly after labor. I felt great shortly after I had Will and I was feeling close to normal within a few days after Blake. There was one major difference though. After Blake was born, I started experiencing severe cramping and back pain about every 3 hours. It was bad enough to wake me up during the nights. I would quickly call the nurse, and practically beg for some medicine. It also occurred almost immediately every time I fed Blake. While it is good because it means my uterus was contracting and shrinking back down, it was terribly painful. I found myself wishing for another epidural! And I was told it gets worse with each kid. Thinking more and more that two kids sounds like the perfect amount ;) The cramping lasted a few days, but once they stopped, I felt great.
As with Will, I have had some troubles breastfeeding. It's like I'm just not meant to do it. The first night/day actually went great. Blake latched on like she's supposed to and I remember thinking, "This isn't that hard. I'm going to be able to do it this time."
Oh how quickly things can change. The second day we were in the hospital (Tuesday), they started worrying about Blake's blood sugar levels. They were dropping dangerously low and we needed to get them up to a safe level. Apparently if they get too low for too long, there could possibly be brain damage.
I was told that she needed to be fed a bottle until her blood sugar went back up. Before every feeding, I had to call the nurse and they took Blake to get her levels checked. It got to the point that they said if she was low one more time that she would have to go to the NICU for an IV. Fortunately, she took a bottle like a champ and soon her levels were double what they were. But from then on out was a struggle getting her to breastfeed again. And it's understandable, right? The bottle is so much easier, why would she want to have to work for her food.
I wont go into all the details of all that happened to make me simply give up. But Blake is happy with the bottle. I'm happy with the bottle. Let's just leave it at that. Out of necessity, I am currently pumping, though hopefully it wont last much longer. With Will I was able to pump exclusively for about 4 months. But it is extremely time consuming and even more difficult with a toddler around. Plus we had to borrow a pump from the hospital and it's getting pretty expensive.
I think my doctor could tell I was slightly frustrated about the whole breastfeeding thing. He really stressed to me that you just have to do what is best for you. If breastfeeding becomes too stressful, then it can end up doing more bad than good. It really made me feel better and not so worried about it. I feel like so many people put a strong emphasis on breastfeeding and almost make you feel guilty if you choose not to do it. Everyone automatically assumes that you are breastfeeding and when they see you pull out a bottle you can hear "Oh, she decided not to breastfeed....".
So beware, when you see me with my baby, I'll likely be sporting the bottle also. I doubt she will be severely damaged by that decision so y'all are just going to have to deal with it. You do what you gotta do and it turns out this is the best thing for us.