The Stuff No one Tells you

Saturday, January 26, 2013

So there are lots of things that no one tells you before you're pregnant about actually being pregnant, and I've found the same to be true about childbirth recovery and motherhood. So I'm breaking down the things that made me go hmmmm in the last year or so since this whole baby journey began.



Let's start with pregnancy...
1. You don't sleep. Most people think you start losing sleep once the baby arrives, but I stopped sleeping well around 8 months since my hips hurt and I always had to pee.
2. Every woman you know, and some you don't will tell you the horrible stories of their own childbirth or pregnancies. Just smile, nod and forget what you hear.
3. Your boobs and hair will never look better!



Childbirth...
1. Contractions hurt like a mother and if you do the actual birth sans epidural, you are my hero, and possibly even superhuman. I have crazy respect for the ones who go without; I made it about 8 hours before I took mine and that was enough for me.
2. You lose any sense of modesty, humility and dignity during this process.  Practically everyone who darkens the doorstep of your delivery room is there to peep or poke at your lady business and guess what? You don't really care at that point.
3. If you get an epidural or c-section, you have a catheter. Perhaps this wasn't news to some, but color me surprised.



The Recovery...
1. At some point, you will likely be convinced that you could be bleeding to death, but turns out the occasional walnut sized blood clot is normal (gross, but true).
2. Your tummy is like a jiggly bowl of jello for at least a week, but likely more like a few weeks. Your belly button will look weird for awhile and if you get one of those brown lines on your tummy, it takes a bit to fade, too.
3. You don't forget the pain of childbirth. You may suppress it, but it's a pretty memorable experience. And I can only speak from my experience, but it wasn't half as bad as I feared. It was about 5-6 weeks when I felt normal again, but I didn't take any pain meds while in the hospital or even after.
4. Your hair will come out like crazy at some point over the few months after birth. Something to do with estrogen during pregnancy making your hair full and awesome because not much of it comes out while pregnant, but when the levels drop, that hair starts to shed and gets EVERYWHERE!
5. It's very surreal. You don't feel like your body is yours anymore, it's  just there to serve your baby, at least for a time.



Breastfeeding...
1. Engorgement sucks...like having 2 big hard coconuts in your bra sucks.
2. You lose weight like crazy when you breastfeed and it shrinks your uterus back to size quicker after birth. You can actually feel it contract when your baby eats, it's wild!
3. Most women don't have a period while breastfeeding...it's awesome. I did not know this until I went to my class and if I'd had any doubts before (which I really didn't) this sold me!



Taking care of baby...
1. You second guess yourself over everything, but eventually you start to trust your instincts.
2. The tiny, sweet little human you made will likely push you to your limits within 48 hours of having them home from the hospital.
3. You feel every emotion heightened beyond what you knew possible, especially love and fear.
4. Babies don't sleep as much as advertised, at least mine didn't.
5. 95% of the photos you snap of your baby will not be Instagram-worthy haha They make some seriously hilarious faces and getting that one perfect one takes a lot of work, but you end up with some pretty adorable outtakes!.







Whatever the surprises, at the end of the day you're making memories. Just remember that on the days you're running on fumes...it's all worth it. I'm sure there's plenty that could be added to this list, so let's hear it, What surprised you about your journey?

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