Here I am, 38 weeks and 6 days pregnant. My newly 2 year old daughter has a party tomorrow and I'm trying to patiently await for her siblings arrival. Other than the fact that I have a party planned for tomorrow, one thing that is making it a little easier to wait this time is that I know what is around the corner.
No, I'm not talking about labor (although... if you read my post on Raea's birth, you know how I feel about that situation) and I'm not talking about the lack of sleep and the extreme exhaustion (because we know and anticipate that already). I'm talking about all the other stuff... the "fourth trimester" stuff that no one warns you about because they are too busy giving you tips on how to get your baby to sleep, or how to feed your baby, how to manage time for yourself and your husband as well as the baby. What the best brand of soaps are, best diapers, what to pack in your "hospital" bag. People are telling you how awesome life is once your baby comes, and how it is the absolute biggest joy you can ever experience... which is true.... it's the most beautiful thing and the single-most thing I'm proud of in my life...
But no one is telling you the ugly stuff.
No one is telling you (except maybe your mom who had 8 kids) to enjoy the last and hardest (physically and mentally) month of pregnancy because once that kid comes out you still have a ways to go before you stop feeling the effects of the 9 months of trauma your body has endured.
Well, I'm here to tell you the Truth. Obviously with only one experience, I can't say I'm an expert here... but if you're going through something similar right now you're not alone and if you are super anxious about getting your baby out, maybe this can help: It's not all butterflies and rainbows after, so enjoy your netflix binging while you still can.
1. The Bleeding:
Oh sure! One of the perks of pregnancy is that we aren't visited by our monthly "friend"... well, DON'T WORRY LADIES nature has a cruel way of correcting itself. After baby, be prepared for 9 months of missed bleeding ALL AT ONCE! Like, how am I not dead from all this?, type of bleeding.
Tip: Purchase some depends in addition to pads because just a pad isn't going to save you, and unless you plan to throw out all your underwear, I found this to be a pretty tolerable solution, and obviously super sexy. I used the sillouhette brand because they had purple ones, and I felt like less of a patient having purple.
2. Rocks for Breasts:
This is the worst. When that milk comes in, yes, at first you feel happy and relieved because you've been reading about how some people struggle to produce enough milk and your just glad you don't need to pay for formula... but then the pride wears off and you realize you've gone from a size B to a size E overnight. Did someone just implant rocks in here? Holy Hell it HURTS and why am I a human sprinkler system? If you were worried about stretch marks on your belly, ha! Just wait till your boobs expand 10 x their original size overnight.
Tip: Pump out a small amount, just enough to relieve the pain but no more than that or your body will think your kid needs all that and continue to overproduce! Yikes! If you have a strong letdown, I highly recommend Milkies to catch the milk as it releases. You can save SO MUCH MILK without pumping with these guys!
3. Shit Talk:
I'm a runner, so shit talk is fairly normal conversation and most runners aren't shy about talking about it and recognize it as a normal, healthy bodily function, However even I had a fear of the embarrassment of shitting during labor, just like all of you (which, in hindsight is hilarious because by the time you get to the pushing you have less than 0% of dignity left, anyway). After the birth of your child, all you want is to take a shit! A nice, pain-free and easy SHIT!
Tip: Motivational running videos! Nothing like thinking about toeing the line to get those Bowels moving! (okay, this tip doesn't work for everyone... but it worked for me!). Also, a squatty potty per recommendation of my Pelvic Floor Specialist, and one of these mom washers for cleaning that area because... well, that water bottle they give at the hospital isn't the easiest
4. Hair Loss:
Locks of Love should somehow team-up with postpartum woman to make their wigs. I swear, the amount of hair left in the drain daily could make at least 5 wigs! I shed worse than my dog! I'm not even sure how I have hair left on my head to shed! But sure enough, every day, the hair keeps falling.
Tip: If you're considering cutting your hair shorter before you have your baby, do it.... and if you do, Donate it! Also, if you cook a lot... even at home... better get a hair net!
Of all the weird things, this was the worst for me. Forget about sleeping on your nice sheets or in nice pajamas, just sleep on a towel! or two, or THREE! Hell, just submerge your bed into water because by the end of the night that's what if feels like! I don't know if it was worse because I was marathon training or breastfeeding... but this literally lasted until I stopped breastfeeding 16 months after I had Raea.
Tip: I slept on a moisture wicking towels, But in general before I went to bed I had at least two changes of clothes ready for when I woke up from being drenched. The temperature of the room did not help.
Okay, they warn you of the lack of sleep, but no one talks about what your actual sleep starts to become like the movie inception. You enter a whole new realm for middle of the night feedings.... what level am I in? is this a dream within a dream, or a dream within a dream within a dream. Or am I actually awake? Whatever you do, just in case, DON'T DROP THE BABY
Tip: A Totum, Obviously. (I have no real tips for this, Falling asleep and dropping the the baby was my second biggest fear, (right next to walkers coming to the window and eating her)... I started sleeping with the boba wrap on so when she needed to eat I could feed her in that just in case...
Thought contractions were over, didn't you? Well, you were Wrong! It took you 9 months to stretch out your uterus and now it has to shrink. Shrinking pains are real (and according to my mother get worse for each kid). It seems like every time your kid latches instead of sucking milk She is sucking your uterus back... All the pain of stretching magnified in these beginning of postpartum stages.
Tip: My mom warned me of this so I only really felt the pain badly a few times. Take motrin before nursing to decrease this pain.
I'm not talking about the baby crying, that one you expect. I'm talking about the mama crying. Imagine all the characters from Inside Out only having one response to all situations: Crying. Feeling Joy over your bundle of joy? CRY. Angry, at yourself for dropping freshly pumped milk? CRY, Scared from your irrational postpartum anxiety (of the walkers eating the baby, or tripping while holding the baby and falling on a dishwasher with knives facing up... Yeah, that was me) CRY. Sad that you have to go back to work? CRY, Disgusted by the 7th diaper blow out your child has had in one day and you didn't pack enough changes of clothes? CRY. Cry, cry, cry... You cry so much you will laugh at your own crying which will start a whole new flood of pathetic happy tears.
9. Intimacy: Even once you're cleared for sex, that shit can hurt! You'd think pushing a 8 pound kid though your va-jay-jay would make it so that nothing else in the world could possibly cause pain in that region, but it's not true You've been torn, or cut, or stitched back up and you're lucky if you recognize anything down there as your own for a while.
Tip: Fake it till you make it ladies. Okay, this isn't actually true... Probably you should see a PT who specializes in Pelvic Floor Health. Check out this website:Julie Wiebe
Okay, they tell you about this one... but no one can ever really and truly tell you. For some it's immediate, for others it could take days or weeks or more... but one day your heart looks outside to the world and loves what it sees and then the next day your heart expands big enough to fit that whole world inside it... One thing is for sure, you will never be the same
Tip: I don't have one. I still look at my daughter every single day and think how can I love this child more and every day I do. Embrace each moment because before you know it you'll be celebrating her second birthday trying not to go into labor with her sibling.
So there ya have it ladies. My top 10 things they DON'T tell you about postpartum... SO if you're anxiously waiting for that baby, try to relax... because there's not much you can do but wait... and even though the baby part is the most magical thing ever... there's plenty to not look forward to that can give you a little piece of mind in the meantime.
I do not believe in advertising products I, myself, don't know anything about or don not believe in so if you trust my opinion, you can trust these products! All are mentioned in this post!
Welcome to my blog! I blogged my entire pregnancy in 2017 and I had high hopes for where I could take my running after baby number 2, but my body had other plans. At some point I got too discouraged to write and recently realized that it is essential for my personal growth and development to keep putting feelings into coherent(ish) thoughts. I still hope to run sub 2:45 in the marathon one day, but for now I’m trying to focus on the process and I’m learning to enjoy it. You can come along for the ride, apologies in advance for grammatical incorrectness!