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Jul 25, 2013

The shiz no one tells you after childbirth


Like moths to a flame, veteran mamas always seem to flock to expectant women in order to share their terrifying labor play-by-plays or graphic pregnancy war stories. I can't imagine they believe this information is truly helpful; they just need someone to commiserate with I suppose. Either way, I hated these women when I was pregnant. I didn't care to hear the tale of an epidural gone terribly wrong, or a story about a women's tailbone snapping while pushing out her baby, or about the onset and treatment of pregnancy hemorrhoids. I didn't want any negative energy affecting my own experience.

With that said, there are some things I think need to be discussed. My intention here is not to scare any of my childless friends from ever getting pregnant (because trust me, I want each and every one of you knocked up, like yesterday), but I wish someone had prepared me for what takes place after pregnancy and labor. These are the things no one ever seems to talk about, probably because they are busy kissing all over fat new baby cheeks. But I want to change that. It's time to get real. Ready? Go.

First, you will not want anyone else holding your baby for a while. Don't get me wrong, you want to show off your new bundle of joy, but you are also convinced visitors will either drop her or give her the ebola virus.

It will hurt to poop for months after childbirth and you will experience PTSD-style flashbacks each time you head to the bathroom.

After having a baby attached to your boobs every two hours for the last three months, you will no longer view those things as anything other than life-giving milkshake dispensers. They want no part of being fondled by your frisky partner. 

The last 10 pounds of baby weight does not fall off simply because you are breastfeeding. That stuff clings to your butt and thighs like white on rice to ensure that if you never have another meal, you can still feed your baby.

In the first weeks after your baby is born, you will dread the nighttime. While it used to foster feelings of peace and relaxation, it now brings with it bleak isolation and exhaustion. You will see the clock read 10:00pm, midnight, 2:00, 3:30, 5:30 and 7:00am while you feed your baby in a groggy state. You will resent your husband for sleeping like a rock through it all. (Normally, you would have said, "sleeping like a baby" but it turns out babies don't actually sleep and you realize whoever came up with this term is full of crap.) You will also do some of your best thinking at these ungodly hours. You may even scheme up ways of selling all your belongings just to afford a night nanny.

Much to your husband's dismay, you will have no interest in sex. The term "Irish Twins" makes you shudder as you question how anyone gets pregnant so soon after delivering a baby because THIS.SHOP.IS.CLOSED for the foreseeable future.

You want to kick everyone in the shins who tries to convince you that you'll feel back to normal after 6 weeks. 16 weeks seems like a more reasonable expectation. Yes 16 weeks. You're still hopeful for 16 weeks.

You think it is very likely that your heart will explode from the love you feel for your child. It is an all-consuming, scary kind of love and you have to convince yourself daily that she is not yours– not really. She doesn't belong to you and as hard as you try, you can't will her to keep breathing while she sleeps. You must give up control and just accept each moment with her as a gift if you wish to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So there you have it– a few things I would have appreciated a heads up on as I blindly walked into motherhood.

Is there anything you wish someone would have warned you about? Feel free to add to the list!


18 comments:

  1. Having no children of my own (yet), I appreciate the transparency and honesty here. You are right...no one talks about those things. I found your blog from top baby blogs and have enjoyed your story :)

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    1. Thanks for reading, Melissa. Welcome :)

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  2. Haha some of these are funny to hear! I'll keep this in mind when I have my first. I nominated your wonderful little blog for the Liebster award, too.

    http://sewmuchtosay.blogspot.com/2013/07/a-lovely-liebster-award.html

    Amanda Rose

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    1. How sweet are you?! I did a little research on the award and will get to answering your questions just as soon as this little munchkin will let me ;) Thanks for reading, friend!

      K

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  3. Yup...if you get a snip down there to help baby come out you can't sit down comfortable for at least a week afterwards. Frozen sanitary towels were my saviour!

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    1. Yes! I called them pad-cicles. My freezer was stocked! :)

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  4. Soo true. I have a 7 month old and could have wrote this post myself. Word. for. word. :)

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    1. How do you feel after 7 months? I'm hoping everything gets a little better with time...please tell me it does!

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  5. I'd like to add: Prepare yourself to possibly need more help than your husband during the first few days to weeks after birth. Don't be afraid to ask for help (which I did from my mom who was at my house almost everyday) when you're hormones are going to town on your sanity. I cried everyday for about 2 weeks. Also, have a stash of giant pads and panties (to fit the giant pads) for a few days after birth. And, even if you're feeling great to walk around and do simple chores during the first few days home because you're on some kick-ass pain meds, rest anyways. Once the meds wear off, the burn and pain will catch up with ya.
    http://www.momistabeginnings.com

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    1. I can totally relate with the sob fests and crazy hormones. I would weep for hours just looking at my baby and my hubby didn't quite understand...was I happy? was I sad? should he be afraid?

      I wore the frozen pad-cicles with granny panties for weeks! Witch Hazel pads were also a life-savor.

      Thanks for reading! I appreciate the comments :)

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  6. Omg, I hated night-time! And my hubby never heard a thing and couldn't really sympathize with how tired I was.
    I think it took 3 months before I could even think about others holding/babysitting the baby.

    It all gets better, though. Those days seem so very, very long ago now that my baby boy is 10 months old. And you will lose those last few pounds!

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    1. We've had a few awkward moments with strangers asking to hold the baby. We try to be tactful but the answer is HELL NO! Why people even ask to take a brand new baby out of the arms of her mother, I will never understand. I stopped feeling bad about my unwillingness to have others hold her when I realized that every other mammal mama mauls anything that gets between her and her babies. It's simply instinctual :)

      Thanks for the comment! I'm glad to know others feel the same and that this blasted fat leaves my hips eventually! xo

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  7. I could relate to ALL of this! Ah, the joys of having a newborn in the house :-)

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  8. I love this post! I am due in 3 short months with our first and its so great to have a heads up on things that no one really tells you. Your blog is so wonderful. I am also going to be a stay-at-home Mom once he arrives and your blog has inspired me to even start my own (on a much smaller version) because as excited and blessed as I feel to have the opportunity to be home with our baby, I have a slight fear about losing some of my skills that I use in the every day work world. I figure somewhere to get it all out might be helpful. Thanks again for sharing!! :)
    http://inanewyorkmin.wordpress.com/

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    1. Thanks so much for the kind words, Brittney. You should definitely start a blog! It's a great way to collect memories and stories for family and friends to see. Enjoy these last few months of pregnancy and do lots of nice things for yourself. Congrats on the baby!

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  9. This is seriously great to hear but the "hurts to poop for months" has got me a bit terrified. It's hard as it is now with the prenatal vitamins slowing things down,i can't imagine that. And do they cut you down there with every child birth or only if theres some difficulty? So many questions!!

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