Aka. The things they don't tell you in pre-natal! This post comes with a warning, I am not holding back, it is going to be warts and all. We will return to pretty varnishes soon.
Do I really bleed a lot afterwards?
Yes, and more. It took myself a good four weeks to stop and then I had my period soon after. The first week is the heaviest, those maternity pads I said buy stacks of? You will need them now. Monitor how many you are going through as if you exceed a pad in one hour and is bright red like fresh blood, you will need to go back to hospital. Your Health Visitor (HV for short) will ask about this.
Stitches - they are rather uncomfortable
I had 20 stitches which brought tears if I sat down or moved too quickly. They hurt because they are swollen and the body is healing. Take the pain killers they give you, clean the area regularly as you can, air the area as much as you can (when I caught up with naps, I did so bottomless). I went to my 6 week check up and was told, "if you hadn't had of told me I would of suspected." I told this was because I did my pelvics, yes even no matter how sore I took my painkillers and did them.
Poo - Yours for a change of topic
Post labour you body seems to fall apart, I was weeing fine after the catheter but poo was no where to be seen. It took 5 days and 18 weeks later I am still having ongoing problems. Drink lots of fluids (I still carry a bottle of water around me to make sure) and lots of fibre.
You only have one back
The hormone levels are still making the ligaments relaxed until 6 months after labour (hence the post labour wobbles). I picked up Beth one Sunday and screamed in pain, I had twisted the muscles in my lower back and was in pain for at least two days. The worst bit was I couldn't look after Beth and hsd rely on Hubby to not only help me but look after her. Remember: Lift with your knees NOT your back.
You are not Wonder Woman
This is the important one, I was so stressed out trying to be everything all at once. The first 6 weeks are the hardest and just focus on your little girl/boy and you. Rest when they rest, eat small eat often, get lots of fluid and NEVER turn down help with housework/free meal. Your body will let you know when you have done too much too soon. You will soon forget about this time.