I was nursing Caleb tonight and then got up and changed his diaper, went downstairs, did a few things, and then about 15 minutes after the nursing was over I was doubled over in pain. It was an intense cramp, similar in intensity to a mid-labor contraction, but without any ebb or flow. DH immediately grabbed me 800mg of ibuprofen. (I was prescribed that but cut down and then quit taking it altogether 2-3 days ago because my perineum peels GREAT). It got so intense that I got in the shower and rocked around with the hot water.
My blood flow is normal, for the last week it is kind of like the middle of a period, medium flow, no clots. No stretching or gentle pushing or stomach massage helped the pain at all.
After about 30 minutes the IB kicked in. I'm not sure if the pain is still present or not.
I called my doula, since she is also a personal friend, and she went through a list of "do you have a fever? Are you having heavy bleeding?" and told me her non-medical opinion was to just keep an eye on it. That sounds right to me.
So, I'm asking all of you because you all seem to have a lot o collective wisdom....is this birth afterpains? I have never had one like this before. I didn't expect it to be so intense and so long. Usually when I nurse I can feel my uterus contracting and honestly it feels more like a gentle orgasm than anything else--this is new. Maybe I just didn't feel it with DS because I was so heavily medicated from the tearing? (I was on 800mg for about 2 weeks)
Just for good measure I'm drinking extra fluids. I nursed Caleb a little more because I'm still engorged and I don't feel anything painful, but then again now I'm medicated.
DD found that the afterpains increased with each birth. That's not what you want to hear though! I think they bothered her for almost a week. Maybe she'll post later in the week and expand on this.
Ivy (4) visits Nana
After the birth of my first child I had something similar happen - I had had practically no afterbirth pains & was feeling really good when one evening I got this very very intense pain in my uterus, like you it felt like a full on contraction. I also got into the tub & took some meds & it went away after about 30 minutes. I never got afterbirth pains much after my twins (2nd pregnancy), or after my 4th son (3rd pregnancy) but I got them pretty good after my 5th and 6th babies.
Hmm, I think it must be afterpains. I'm still drugged but the area is a little tender to the touch, like a sore muscle after a workout. DH agrees that my belly actually feels and looks a little firmer and trimmer than it was this morning, and this is after eating, too. The pain sucked but I would do that one more time or two if it would make me look like I did before my first pregnancy.
This sounds exactly like what I had for DD. After DS, I had very little pain, but I remember terrible pains that stayed for long periods after DD was born. I just wanted to curl up in the foetal position, cry, and hide under the blankets. Ugh. They lasted for about a week too – a couple times a day.
What I found worked best was a rice pad – heated in the microwave. It was better than the hot water bottle because it was round and the size of a dinner plate. The weight and warmth were wonderful, and I’d just hug it to my belly and try to imagine I was on a hot rock in the beautiful afternoon sun, by a beautiful lake.
I survived, and so will you, but it was DEFINITELY much worse than labour by a long shot – partly because I never new when they would hit, or how long they would last. My midwife suggested as much uterine massage as possible to help, but what helped most was the idea that this was my body’s way of cleaning out my uterus, and that the more intense and frequent the pain, the less long it would last, and the faster I would heal.
They did get less intense after a few days. I hope yours don’t last long!
Skyler Dylan 22 April 1999
Reed Aslan 17 June 2007 ~ 8 September 2008
Ivy Rayne 3 May 2009
Leo Spencer 2 Sept 2010
Forrest Reed 15 Aug 2012
I had some serious after pains like that this time as well. My first birth i didn't notice anything really but after DS2 they were pretty intense. They hurt worse than my labor contractions did. I was in tears several times from them.
DS1-7/18/08, DS2-2/23/10, DS3 1/18/12
TTC in fall/winter of 2014
Thanks for the advice, everyone. I haven't had another yet but I can definitely tell the fundus has retreated much closer to it's original position. I wonder if that's the only one I will have or if there were more. I agree that it was much worse than labor, because there was no ebb and flow...and when it hit I wasn't sure that I wasn't injured or something so I was afraid. At least if there is a next time, I will be prepared.