I've had lots of people ask me how the postpartum period is going, with this being a different situation than a typical pregnancy so here it goes!
Physically, my recovery has been going very well. I was fortunate enough to not have any tearing in the perineal area (yes, despite birthing a 10+lb baby) so that has been a breeze. I've had some swelling and headaches the first few days but other then that, things have been great!
Emotionally, it is typical of women to have a bit of a hormone crash after childbirth, this is actually caused by the birth of the placenta which carries all the hormones that supported the pregnancy. When the placenta exits the body, so do the hormones, at a very rapid pace! This is one of the reasons that I decided to have Crystal at Injoyable Birth encapsulate the placenta for me. Placenta encapsulation is something I have never done before but I had read about all the benefits, listed here and knew that it was something that could be very beneficial for this pregnancy.
So day 2 and 3 after the birth, my hormones were going crazy...I was overly emotional, crying over literally NOTHING, quick to get upset about things that otherwise wouldn't bother me (as much)...think PMS to the extreme! This had absolutely nothing to do with "missing the baby" or anything of the sort - baby Adam is right where he belongs and I'm so, so happy about that - it was simply my body reacting to the situation. I felt like I was a beast to live with (though my husband insists I was not, that's how I felt!) and then on day 3, Crystal brought my placenta pills over and I noticed a difference immediately! They are called "happy pills" for a reason and though I didn't experience that kind of emotional swing after my own pregnancies (or maybe I did but was too busy taking care of a baby to notice it??), I definitely think placenta encapsulation would be a huge benefit to any woman postpartum - so if you are pregnant, consider it, the placenta is a powerful thing!
The other thing I have been busy with is PUMPING! Around the clock actually, I'm pretty much a slave to the breastpump. I've been pumping every 2 hours during the day and 3 hours at night, at 2am, 5am, 7am, 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm, 9pm, and 11pm WHEW! Each pumping session is 20 minutes long but by the time I prep everything before hand and clean pump parts afterward, it takes 40 minutes for each session. So, if you do the math, I am devoting over SEVEN HOURS per day to pumping. It's a lot of work (I've breastfed my own children, from the tap, and trust me it's a thousand times easier than exclusively pumping) but, from what I have read, it's important to put in the work in the beginning to get a good supply established and then around 12 weeks postpartum (when supply and demand takes over production instead of hormones, which control breastmilk production up until that point) I can back away from the breastpump a bit. My plan is to gift breastmilk to baby Adam for the time that I am off work, I dropped 100+oz off with M & C today!
When I go back to work I will be donating to a milk bank that compensates for breastmilk donations to help offset the time commitment that pumping takes. I knew, going into surrogacy, that I would definitely be pumping after the birth - there are many benefits of breastfeeding/pumping for myself as well - and I couldn't imagine giving birth and then letting my milk dry up and have such a great opportunity go to waste! So if you see me around and I look tired despite not having a baby - now you know why!