Ten things they DON’T tell you about life after childbirth…

28 Apr

Just a warning: If you’re a dude, you do NOT. I repeat..YOU DO NOT want to read this. Your view of women will change forever.

There is so much misleading info about what “after having the baby” looks like. In movies, the women are perfectly sitting there with make-up on, hair gorgeously styled, and a perfectly clean baby sitting in their arms. Yeah. Right. That isn’t real life.

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When Justin and I were in our Bradley childbirth class, we definitely went over a “postpartum” chapter and our Bradley instructor did a great job. But there are just some things that you can’t be prepared for until it happens to you. I discovered in my postpartum days that there were several things I wish I had prepared for more. So I thought I would post this to try and help whoever might need it out there….it’s a bit graphic, so I apologize.

1. You will bleed for a while. A LOT. I’m not talking “heavy cycle” either. I’m talking “Where on this green earth is all this blood coming from?!”. Granted, if you have a c-section its a bit lighter, and it will get lighter every day as long as you are resting enough. But I swear in the hospital (those first 48 -72 hours), my bathroom looked like a scene from a horror movie. No joke.

2. You’ll be in maternity clothes for a while. Unless you’re one of those freaks who looks like they were never pregnant when they have a three- day- old baby in their arms (they exist, really.), be prepared to hang out in sweats and maternity clothes for a few weeks. I think I finally fit into my pre-maternity clothes after 2 months. bleh. And don’t waste your time investing in a belly-bandit or compression wrap. Mine was useless. Your body will do what it wants do.

3. You won’t be able to sit properly for a few days/weeks. Recovering from a vaginal delivery is a rough recovery… more so if you tear. Since I tore extensively, I may be a bit biased. But I was sitting on pillows for about 6 weeks. I even had one in the car.

4. Your lady parts will be messed up. Seriously. Just don’t look down there for about 8 weeks.That’s all you need to know.

5. You’ll be afraid to go #2. In the weeks following childbirth, poop is no laughing matter. Take LOTS of colace, water, and fiber…but the first few times will still be scary and you’ll be checking the toilet afterwards to make sure your uterus isn’t in there. Too far? Sorry 😦

6. At some point, you will want to give up on breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is hard. Even though it is natural and every woman is capable of doing it, it takes a few weeks to get the hang of it. DON’T GIVE UP!! It is the best thing on this earth that you can give your baby. See a lactation consultant as many times as it takes to get the hang of it. And don’t believe that crap that “some women weren’t made for breastfeeding” or “my boobs are too small/big” or “the baby just likes the bottle better”. lies, lies, lies. You can do it. And if you don’t want to breastfeed because you think it is awkward, hard, inconvenient, or because you don’t want your breasts to sag….then you’re selfish. I’m sorry, I’ll get off of my soap box now.

7. You might have some bitterness towards your baby. I truly believe that every mom goes through some level of postpartum depression. I remember sitting in the dark, rocking my newborn baby, crying, and thinking ‘this little baby has ruined my life!’. Irrational thought? You betcha. But it is normal to have a tough time adjusting to a new life with a baby. Its just really hard sometimes. Whats important is that you recognize your feelings and communicate them to your partner to get support.

8. You will be jealous of yor husband. Not just because he didn’t have to push the baby out, but because he gets to sleep while you’re up breastfeeding at 4am. He doesn’t have to go through crazy hormonal changes…..and bottom line: he just doesn’t have it as rough as you do. There are times when I’m sitting at home with Abbie (usually on a fussy/ rough day) and I find myself green with envy that Justin gets to work out with friends in the morning, go to work all day, come home for dinner, and then sleep through the night. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE my daughter and I love being a stay-at-home mom. It is definitely where I’m called to be. But there are days where I fantasize about just leaving town for a couple of days, shopping my tail off at my favorite stores, and staying in a beach condo. Not that I’ve given that idea much thought or anything…

9. If you choose to get an epidural, you might not be able to feel parts of your body. I’m not a fan of drugs during childbirth (or any time for that matter) at all….but I understand that sometimes they are necessary. I’ll share Abbie’s birth story later this week but, long story short, I ended up in a hospital with an epidural 30ish hours into my labor. A week or so after the birth, I noticed that a certain spot on my upper thigh had no feeling! Talk about freaky. Four months later its still numb. I researched it online and there are hundreds of thousands of women with the same issue. All due to stupid drugs and stupid anesthesiologists hitting a nerve wrong in my spine. grrrr. So, yeah. Don’t get an epidural unless its medically necessary. It’s bad for your baby anyways.

10. Your diet may need to drastically change. Baby eczema, cradle cap, baby acne, spit up, gas….these are all things that society things are normal for a baby to experience. But in reality, they are a sign of imbalance and “gut issues” in the baby’s body. These issues, if not taken care of early on, can lead to disease, sickness, etc. This stuff is scientifically proven people. It’s not just some hippie view that I have. Anyways….a lot of those previously stated baby issues are caused by mom’s milk and the proteins in it. A popular one is dairy. But not many people know that things like wheat, corn, eggs, soy, and caffeine can greatly affect a baby and they just pass off the signs of a reaction as something that is “normal”. This is the whole reason I went on the elimination diet and, eventually, switched to eating paleo as I did more research on how these things affect our bodies.

So there you have it….lots of info that you should know before giving birth. Sure, not all women experience ALL of these symptoms (you lucky ducks…). You may only experience one. But if you plan on having more than one child, it is good info to keep tucked away so you are prepared for the future. Remember…in the end, it is worth it all. If it meant that Abbie was healthy and happy, I’d experience it all over again tenfold.

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2 Responses to “Ten things they DON’T tell you about life after childbirth…”

  1. Lindsay April 29, 2012 at 12:38 am #

    I’m really glad you posted this. I have been there too. Twice actually. Everything you said is true and I think every woman should know it. I had 2 c-sections,for legitiment reasons, and I bled heavy for 10.5 weeks!! Was NOT prepared for that!! As far as diet, I agree. Kaitlyn ended up having soy only because she HATED eating for the first 2 months of her life. I desperately tried to breast feed her but she would not latch after seceral lactation appts and no other formula but soy worked. Meredith I breastfed but soon found out her fussiness wasn’t normal baby activity but an allergy to gluten that I also found out I have too. So keep sharing!! Its great knowledge and support for others. 🙂

    hjjfound out after she was one yhat her fussiness

  2. Mary Spitsnogle April 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    I live for this level of honesty and humor about true experiences

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