This week’s episode is going to focus on what happens after baby. What’s normal, what to watch for and I even have a guest on who JUST had a baby and is one of the best moms I know (but also struggling to keep her head above the water with baby #3). I can’t wait to share it with you!
This week’s guest is Katie Clark from Clarks Condensed. If you remember, I actually Katie on a few weeks ago on episode 005 right before she had her new baby to talk about getting ready for baby, and I wanted to have her own for this next episode about life after baby. You know Katie from Clarks Condensed, you can also find her on Instagram at The.Breastfeeding.Mamma.
This post was inspired by a couple of my postpartum posts (that I think you’ll love)
- Postpartum Recovery (gives you 5 things to watch for to stay safe)
- Postpartum Comforts (this talks more about managing any pain or symptoms you have)
This post is sponsored by the Online Prenatal Class for Couples. When I took a class, it basically stopped after baby was born — but I go through step by step what to expect after birth and as you go home!
Mentioned in the post:
- My previous podcast on how to know if you’re in labor
- We talk a TON on how to know when to go in in my Prenatal Class
- Informed consent is important when people are having medical procedures.
- Depends for after baby (a lot of people love these too)
- A Great Baby Carrier — she also has a post on babywearing.
- Can you hold a newborn too much?
- Positive Maternal Self Care Episode 028
- Katie’s Breastfeeding group (we also have a Pregnancy group & Motherhood group together)
Other things that might interest you:
Katie has a great post on Postpartum Body Changes
How to know if you’re going into labor << is my post on knowing if you ARE in labor!
Ode to the New Mom — managing coming home with a new baby!
Second Baby Checklist — what you need to your second (or more) baby — including how to manage siblings.
Transferring to the postpartum unit and what that is like.
Wearing a postpartum belt can help any pressure you’re feeling!
Producer: Drew Erickson
Check out my other pregnancy podcasts:
Hilary Erickson 0:00
Hey guys, welcome back to Episode 18 of the pulling curls podcast. Today we’re talking about postpartum life. I’m having a friend on who just had a baby. We’re going to talk all about her birth story. We’re going to talk about the best and the worst parts about being in the hospital and we’re going to talk about some tips for coping especially if you’re a pass baby number one although these coping skills are great for any new mom, let’s untangle it.
Welcome to the pulling curls podcast where we untangle everything from pregnancy parenting Home routines, even some family travel because heavens knows our lives are tangled I’m your host Hilary Erickson.
Okay guys, today’s guest is the blogger behind Clarks condensed she has the popular Instagram handle bumps and baby she’s one of my best friends and she just had a baby just about three weeks ago. Let me introduce Katie Clark.
This episode of The pulling girls podcast is sponsored by the online prenatal class for couples. It simplifies understanding labor so you can have a more relaxed pregnancy and birth taught by a highly experienced labor and delivery nurse and can be done wherever you are whenever you want. No more arranging busy schedules to fit in a prenatal class. Save 15% with the coupon code untangled, you can find out more at pulling curls calm and the menu under courses or in this episode show notes.
Hilary Erickson 1:15
Hey, Katie, welcome back to the podcast.
Thank you. I’m excited to be back.
Hilary Erickson 1:20
Yeah. And now you are without a child inside your body, right?
Katie Clark 1:25
Thankfully, he is here.
Hilary Erickson 1:27
Yes. Alright, so give us a quick synopsis of the birth.
Katie Clark 1:31
I’ve tried to think how can we sum this up in two to three minutes but basically I went into my 37 week appointment and they told me I wasn’t going to have the baby anytime soon. They actually kind of scolded me a little bit because I had said oh, I would like to have a baby now. And they went on and on about how that was not a good idea and how to be super classy if I had him then, but then I started having contractions about well, six or seven hours later one in the morning and I was pretty much in denial most the day that I was having contractions because I was I’m 37 weeks. He’s not supposed to come yet. They told me he’s not going to come even though they’ve told me that in the past, they always come pretty much 24 hours later. So I was in labor for I was just having contractions they were about anywhere from five to eight minutes apart all day. And then around about 10 o’clock, I finally decided to go in and that was partially due to your advice. I felt like I needed your blessing a little bit that I wasn’t crazy, but the contractions got to be about two to three minutes apart at that point. So I was like, well, I probably should go in and I did and I checked in and I told the nurse, I was like, I just really don’t want to be sent home and she said, Well, you’re four to five with a bulging sac. So you’re not going home and I told her she was my favorite person. And then I got the epidural pretty quickly because I didn’t want to be any more pain and that took pretty easily and so it just went pretty smoothly from that point on. I was trying to sleep but I couldn’t sleep and that was about midnight that I got the epidural. And that just progressed through the night. At one point they had me use the peanut ball, just because I was at an eight and wasn’t progressing at the point that they wanted me to. So I had the peanut ball and then I got to a 10. And they brought the brought the doctor in and I pushed for about 15 minutes, and he was born. And so it went pretty smoothly. The labor delivery was great. I wasn’t in very much pain, the pushing part, you know, there’s pressure and whatnot. But my nurse was great. The doctor was great. And yeah, he was born and without any issues. So it went pretty well. The first you know, 24 hours of not knowing if I was actually in labor was a little stressful. But once I finally went in, it was good.
Hilary Erickson 3:41
Yeah. Do you think what do you think was the most confusing part of labor itself just deciding when to go in?
Katie Clark 3:46
Yeah, just deciding when to go in. Because when I’ve had my babies in the past, I went in, you know, when they’re like, Oh, we should go in when it’s three minutes apart or whatever. And that’s how my labor started with my other boys. And so I went in and then they sent me home because they said I wasn’t progressing. So I was really Just like I don’t want that to happen and I’m so I was just confused if I was actually in labor because I was I was having contractions and sometimes they were close together and sometimes they weren’t. And I was like, well, it’s painful, but I’m only 37 weeks so I shouldn’t be going into labor yet. So just knowing when to go in and knowing that I actually was having contractions was confusing to me, even though it was painful. And I think I knew that I was having contractions. It was just, it was just a confusing day.
Hilary Erickson 4:29
Yeah, it reminded me how confusing it can be because I even know with mine, I would call my labor and delivery nurse friends and we would they would diagnose me over the phone and say you’re not good enough yet, but it can be super confusing. So I just did a podcast about how to know when you’re in labor. So if you guys have any questions, you can listen to it then. Yeah, alright, so what was the most confusing part about like the first hospital stay like being in postpartum? I know a lot of people it’s hard going from labor and delivery to postpartum.
Katie Clark 4:56
Yeah. So I love labor and delivery. They are wonderful and it was confusing. There’s a lot of people that went into labor that night, the hospital was just like overflowing with moms. They said that it was just crazy how many moms were there? So they were kind of like, we’re not sure where we’re going to put you. So there was kind of some back and forth. And eventually they put me in a surgical unit somewhere. That was kind of confusing that like just being like, I don’t know where we’re going and Like, who do I call when I get there. But the worst part was, I like I mentioned the last part because I had gestational diabetes, so they had to test his blood sugar after the baby was born. And there was just a lot of confusion with that process. And it was super stressful. I was just like, so overwhelmed and just in tears pretty much the first 24 hours because it was just a really stressful situation. But then I also didn’t know like when I could tell them like to stop. Like what types of things were my were in my control. And if I told them I wasn’t comfortable with something if they were gonna be like, well, we’re going to take your baby away. So I was just not knowing what like I don’t know what the word is just knowing what my rights as a mom was like to know what why they were doing certain things the way they were instead because they were kind of They’re pretty much Well, you just have to do this because this is what we have to do. And so it was kind of a stressful 24 hours.
Hilary Erickson 6:06
Yeah, it can be really hard because we clearly have policies and procedures that are in place for every single baby, but it’s still your baby, you still get to make the choice. And usually, if it’s something that’s really important, we are like, we’ll sit down and we’ll have like a nice long talk with you about why it’s important and stuff like that. I’m actually thinking about doing a podcast about how to properly refuse something in the hospital or how to know when it’s okay or maybe not okay, because I think that can be really confusing as well. Yeah, because it’s still your baby. It’s not my baby, thank goodness
Katie Clark 6:35
For sure. Like with me, it’s like, I’m not going to refuse most things because I want them to take care of my baby. But it came to a point where I felt like they were kind of being a little overboard with some of the thing, especially with the blood sugar thing since it was because like, I mean, you already know but just for these people like it kept coming back low and then they would test it lab and it would come back normal. And so I was like, Well, can we stop testing and then they’re like, no, we’re not going to stop testing. And so it was really just a stressful tuition.
Hilary Erickson 7:00
Yeah. And you know, Katie and I were texting back and forth during this and I had never, like had the blood sugar machine be that off and we do blood sugar’s all the time in the hospital. So it was just interesting. every hospital is different and we’re just trying to do our best I know that so
Katie Clark 7:14
that’s what I kept telling myself I’m like, I know they have to do this. And I know that, you know, whatever, they’re, they’re doing the best they can but just being a newly postpartum mom and feeling like you didn’t know what was happening was like was very stressful. And I was like, This has never happened to me before like these types of things in the hospital like most of my birth, there’s nothing no issues and so it was just a it was an emotional 24 hours, which it usually is, even if you’re
Hilary Erickson 7:37
when you’re so tired. I always recommend people not even make decisions during that point. But then if they’re doing stuff to your baby, then you kind of have to
Katie Clark 7:43
Yeah, I was. Yeah, I had been up for 30 hours. I was so tired and just like was not sleeping at all. So that probably made it a little bit worse.
Hilary Erickson 7:54
Yeah, for sure. So what was the best part of going home
Katie Clark 7:57
I’m just not being woken up every like, you know hour or two hours just kind of being able to get back into my own routine, my own space in the past, I actually really enjoyed being in the hospital because I was like, Oh, it’s a nice time to bond with my baby. And the last part of my day was a little bit more like that. But, um, I don’t know, it was just nice to be back home and to start to be able to be back in my own routine and being my own bed. I think it’s just not being bugged by anybody. Yeah. besides my kids. No,
Hilary Erickson 8:25
they’re not they’re easier to tell him to leave you alone than a nurse though.
Katie Clark 8:28
Yeah. And they’re not you know, poking my feet, my hands and my babies. It’s true. My temperature.
Hilary Erickson 8:34
What was the worst part about coming home?
Katie Clark 8:36
I’m trying to think probably just managing like my kids have been my kids were really have been really good. But there’s just there’s been times where it’s like, they’re all just like, the boys are fighting and I just get super overwhelmed. And I’m like, I can’t have three kids. This is too hard. But that’s, I mean, that’s only happened a couple times. So I think just knowing when they’re all needing something Knowing how to manage that without you know hurting one of their feelings or because that’s my three year old he’s he’s been really good four now I guess he’s been really good and he just loves the baby but he has had some couple times where he’s been upset because I wouldn’t get on the floor like right when I came home to play with him and things like that but I can’t think of anything that’s been super super hard coming home that I haven’t enjoyed
Hilary Erickson 9:23
Yeah, I always found the chaos of my kids to be extra overwhelming at that point in time maybe because you’re out of it for two days and then you come back and you have no sleep but that was always my hardest to
Katie Clark 9:33
that was definitely it and it’s gotten better like there I’m feeling less overwhelmed and luckily forrest is here so he can kind of take them when when I’m feeling that way but it’s been good so far. Yeah,
Hilary Erickson 9:46
anything different with your third baby as compared to the number one or two?
Katie Clark 9:49
I feel like I just don’t worry quite as much like with my first it was like, I felt like I was trying to follow all the rules that they told me like no, you need to feed him every three hours, which I I was telling my husband The other day I was like, maybe if I said him more frequently, he wouldn’t have cried as much because with this baby, I just feed him when he starts to cry. I’m like, I’m just gonna feed you. Or when he acts like it even if it was like an hour and a half before I feel like I just kind of go with the flow a little bit more and just I just feel like I’m not as stressed out about you know how and taking care of him or if I’m taking care of him well enough, I guess. I feel like I’m just kind of already into I already kind of know a little bit you know, you learn every he learned something new every time but this time around. I feel like I am a little bit less worried about knowing how to take care of him.
Hilary Erickson 10:34
Yeah, I mean, you’ve got a good batting average so far two are still alive. Yeah, that’s a good sign.
Katie Clark 10:38
Yeah, they’re healthy. They’re alive and didn’t do anything too much damage to them. So yeah, so I think that that’s just been different is just feeling a little bit more pure and knowing like what to do with him like, I mean, there’s still times where I’m like, I don’t know why you’re crying. But it’s just it’s been a lot. I told my mom I was like, I I think that if he was my first baby Wouldn’t it would have been so much easier than you know what my actual first baby was so hard. And she’s like, well, you probably wouldn’t have felt that way. If he actually was your first baby.
Hilary Erickson 11:08
Yeah, it’s true. You’re just a different person. What about your recovery, like your body anything different?
Katie Clark 11:13
I, when I was in the hospital, I felt like I was like, I feel like great, you know, I’m not feeling like any pain. I’m like, not bleeding all that much. But I think a lot of that was because they were on top of the pain medication. So coming home, I have not been as good at being on top of pain medication. And I feel like the pain has been a little bit. It’s not been as bad as it is with my last ones, but I feel like it’s lasted a little bit longer. And like the beatings lasted longer. Like with my last ones, it ended pretty much by this point, but now it’s still it’s still going on. So that’s a I think it’s just because I can’t just like lay down and rest all day long. Because, you know, my other kids, their life still goes on, I still have to do things. So I think that the recovery just I don’t know, it’s just hard because it’s not like terrible, but I feel like it’s been a little bit more prolonged. I’m only three weeks postpartum. So that’s it’s still within the realm of normal, but I feel like it’s just been a little bit longer lasting than some of my last two births.
Hilary Erickson 12:08
Yeah, it is normal for every pregnancy, you’re bleeding to last longer every time. So when you’re on your ninth child, you can plan on a lot of bleeding.
Katie Clark 12:17
I don’t know if we’ll get to that point, but maybe for maybe another one. It will be asked, cramping and stuff gets worse with every baby. So that’s, that’s one of the things but besides that, we’re doing good.
Hilary Erickson 12:29
Yeah. And that’s something I think a lot of especially third time moms, I think, because you have those two other kids, you just don’t rest as much and I get a lot who email me or message me and say I’m — I’m still bleeding or my bleeding kicked up, and I’m really not doing anything but really not doing anything. It’s like laying in your bed all day. And they’re like, well, I went to Costco and I’m like, that is not that is doing something Costco was doing something. So — something to keep in mind,
Katie Clark 12:53
I feel like I’m not doing like, like, I’d say, I’m not doing that much more like well, I got up and I you know, make dinner and then I’ve went on a walk, like I have to get out of the house or else I get really stir crazy and overwhelmed. So like, I’m like, I walked around the block, but I’m like, like I said still more than more than I necessarily need to be doing.
Hilary Erickson 13:10
Yeah. So if you’re bleeding increases, and it’s, you know, that’s your body telling you to do less any products you’ve loved postpartum.
Katie Clark 13:19
Um, I like for me or for the baby.
Hilary Erickson 13:23
Either way, I know we talked about those baby products before, but was there anything for you that you’ve loved? Or
Katie Clark 13:28
Not really, I haven’t done I did. This is kind of a weird one. But some people recommended using like, depends or whatever, like at home afterwards. And I do did that for a little while. And I actually liked way more than just so you know, like big giant pads or whatever. So that was, that’s been kind of that was kind of a useful hit tip that I saw people say just because it’s a little bit easier. I feel like so that’s kind of a funny one. But besides that, I night gowns I’ve just been loving my gowns like once I like nurse in and then for the baby I’ve mentioned Last one but my baby carrier I, I don’t know how people do it without a baby carrier, especially when you have other kids because I just put him in my little my wrap and he likes to be held and I’m fine with holding him but I need my hands. So the baby carrier has been super helpful this time around especially
Hilary Erickson 14:16
Yeah, and I would say like I you use the rap kind with all the different straps and that I could never like get into. But I would recommend like trying what you can on in the store and seeing what you think kind of works for you. Because there are a lot of different brands out there. And they’ll there’s a lot of different ways to make it work for you. So
Katie Clark 14:32
There’s so many great ones. I know a lot of people like green slings for their newborns especially. So just finding what I think that whenever I talk to new moms that are just feeling so overwhelmed, like I can’t ever do anything. He just wants me to hold them all the time. The first thing I always recommend is to get a baby carrier and find one that works because it just it’s free. It makes you feel a little more free. In my opinion, just in my experience. It’s been. It’s wonderful to have it especially with extra kids. That’s true.
Hilary Erickson 14:58
I totally agree with baby Wearing especially on let me with all of them. I think it’s a great thing. But I don’t know that you need it as much on your first because you just don’t have as much stuff to do
Katie Clark 15:08
lay there in bed and hold them if you want.
Hilary Erickson 15:10
Yeah, although my daughter was in the baby carrier up to like two like we would walk into school and I would have her in the Ergo just made it easier in a stroller. So
Katie Clark 15:19
I think, like I said, I don’t like, like when we go to the store, I put him in my carrier. And I feel like it makes it so people don’t touch them as much because some people don’t even realize I have a baby in there. So it’s kind of like, I can go on and public and they don’t touch him.
Hilary Erickson 15:33
Right. I think it is a good way especially when you have to go to like school events or something like that in order to make your other child feel valued to be able to keep them kind of in a bubble of hygenic-ness versus a stroller where people can like get hands in there and stuff. So Sure. All right. Well, awesome. Katie, exciting little baby Andrew.
Katie Clark 15:51
Yes, he’s been a boy. He’s been so far. Thankfully.
Hilary Erickson 15:55
Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I think it’s important to remember that things can be rough when you get home. But it just gets better little by little and to enjoy the little things as you go along the way.
Katie Clark 16:04
Yeah, no, I totally agree. That’s kind of how it felt when like, in the beginning, it was a little more overwhelmed. But every day has gotten better and easier. And then you know, there’s always going to be times that are going to be hard. But I think that I think the one thing I’ve learned from this being my third baby, is that you just kind of have to go with the flow. You can’t and all babies are different. All kids are different. And you just kind of have to figure out what works and ignore the rest.
Hilary Erickson 16:27
Yeah. And make it work for you. Because you were saying that a lot of people are like, I can’t stop holding this baby. If that’s driving you insane. You can always put the baby down in the crib or a safe spot and take a shower. That’s okay, too.
Katie Clark 16:38
Yeah, I put him in a little rock and put Well, I guess you’re not supposed to use rock and plays but we do have when he was awake. So I put him in one for just a little bit while I took a shower. And he was fine. Everyone was fine. And I think taking care of yourself is so important because I think a lot of moms forget about themselves and think I just have to take care of this baby, which you do. But I think you have to realize that you just went through a lot lot too, so making sure you’re okay is important.
Hilary Erickson 17:02
Yeah, we have an episode on that to that. I’ll link down below. All right, Katie. Good luck with that baby. Maybe we’ll talk when he’s 18
Katie Clark 17:09
Hilary Erickson 17:10
Alright, thanks, K guys. I hope you enjoyed that episode with Katie, I think it’s so important to remember that postpartum times can be a little bit rough, and that every day is going to get a little bit better. It just takes time to get used to it. It is a big life change.
If you’d like to know more about the postpartum recovery period. I have a bunch of posts that I’m going to link to in the show notes. You can find them at Pulling Curls.com backslash podcasts, and today’s episode is Oh, one eight. So check them out. Their Big thanks to our sponsor, the online prenatal class for couples. In fact, it has two chapters about postpartum life. Actually, when I went to teach birthing classes for my hospital, they didn’t talk much about what would happen after you went home with the baby. And I thought it was so important. I added my own section about it. And so I did that at my own class. And I think it is so important when I took my prenatal classes with my first baby. They just acted like you take the baby home and you would just chug along like sunshine but that’s not always true. So I want to be make sure that my moms who take my class are prepared. So check it out. You can google it the online prenatal class for couples
Big thanks to Katie Clark for being a part of today’s discussion. I love her blog. She has tons of great breastfeeding advice. She even has a breastfeeding group so be sure and check her out. I will link some of her most popular posts in my show notes.
If you like today’s episode, we’d love it if you would share, subscribe and review. It means so much to us and it really helps our podcast be seen by more people. I hope to have you with us next time we drop an episode every Monday and until then I hope you have a tangle free day.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai