May 9, 2017

The Truth about Postpartum Life - 10 Not so Pretty Things No One Tells You About Having a Baby

Here's the thing, having a baby is the biggest blessing in the world... I'm so lucky to finally have my little blessing. She is very well my biggest accomplishment in this life and I'm SO proud of her and so proud of myself for giving life to this wonderful, sweet, little light.

And well, you know, I'm not trying to be a party pooper but everyone only really talks about all of the amazing parts of having a baby. You hear about the happy moments, sometimes even the touching moments, but no one mentions the uhhhh... not so pretty parts of motherhood.

It's true, life isn't all rainbows and butterflies after giving birth - contrary to popular belief. No one mentions that:

1. Your stomach turns into a pillow -  I had high hopes that my tummy would bounce back from being stretched out enough to hold a volleyball sized baby to a flat and toned little tummy, but then I woke up from that dream and saw my stretch marks and my giant belly. Not everyone is as unlucky as me, but it's totally normal to have a flabby belly after giving birth.

Honestly, I'm 8 months out and just now starting to feel like I really need to do something about it - i.e. exercise more enthusiastically. Some people are more gung-ho about getting back into shape and those are the people that likely bounce back a little easier. With that said, embrace your extra fluff while also working on your fitness and maybe take a minute or two to cuddle that baby - there's nothing wrong with some curves and the stretch marks will fade, babies don't keep - after all.

2. You're, uhhh, going to be a little damp - Well, honey, I've got some news, you thought that crazy amount of discharge was going to stop when you had your baby - wrong! And... I mean, eventually and unapologetically your pesky Aunt Flo will be paying you a visit again sometime - that's just mother nature for you.

Luckily, U by Kotex Fitness Tampons, Pads, and Panty Liners are a thing - so you're saved! Whether you need protection while toning your core during yoga class or you plan on running a marathon, U by Kotex Fitness are made to fit and form with your body and provide comfortable protection for your busy self.

That's right, you don't have to worry about any nonsense - U by Kotex & Walgreens have you covered! Plus, I have your back - use this rebate offer & save on these postpartum (and all the time) essentials!

3. Watch out... Here comes Big foot! - Yes, mama, I'm talking about you! Okay, well maybe not really but... if you're a shoe hoarder like me you may want to start destashing on ebay while you're pregnant. It's a sad but true fact, your foot grows while you are pregnant and it doesn't shrink back - much like your stomach. The good news is, you now have something to look forward to - shoe shopping!

4. Sleeping in a Pool - This sounds like a luxury vacation... right? WRONG! Another odd but true thing your body does postpartum is sweat profusely at night. I can remember waking up drenched and wondering what had happened, I was cold, I slept without blankets, and still - covered in sweat. It's actually your body ridding itself of all those amazing hormones that helped create your baby... but it's disgusting and you'll probably want a couple of changes of sheets so you don't have to sleep in your own sweat again and again.

5. Go ahead and Start Calling yourself Betsy - If you're breastfeeding that is definitely going to feel like your new name and you'll practically feel like you have udders too. Breastfeeding is such a rewarding part of motherhood but it's not an easy task. At first it hurts... and don't let anyone tell you any differently. Then it's constant, like almost 24/7. You'll want to give up... and it's totally okay if you do - fed is best, after all...then there's always the possibility of engorgement or mastitisis.

But that's all worth it for the benefits of breastfeeding, in my opinion... and the good news is, it all gets better and easier.

6. Want a new hairstyle? Well, you're going to get one. I've always had SUPER thick hair, never had a worry in the world... then I had D. Now my hair is thin, stringy, and gets greasy easier... and somehow lost some of its natural curl. Hair loss is a horrible part of postpartum that I absolutely thought wouldn't effect me... but it did. Oh and did I mention you'll have some hair growth in places you never have before, thanks to those totally awesome fluctuating hormone levels.

7. Party time on the Potty - Well, it's really the opposite of a party... but I wanted it to sound fun. Your first postpartum bowel movement after having your baby will be uncomfortable, to be frank. I was terrified, maybe even more intimidated than I was to give birth. Turns out, I really didn't have much to be scared of. But trust me, you'll be intimidated to poop after having your baby... even if you went while giving birth, which if you didn't know - $h*t happens all the time during child birth and it's totally normal. Oh... and I'm a person that prior to having a baby never even admitted to tooting, now look at me writing about bowel movements on my blog - so I guess you could say your comfort level regarding things like this will likely change as well.

8. Be mindful of postpartum depression and anxiety - Speaking of comfort levels, be aware that postpartum depression & anxiety are both very real. Be careful of the thoughts you choose to focus on and seek help if you are feeling desperate or especially uneasy.

While I luckily didn't really seem to suffer from postpartum depression or anxiety, I've experienced both in my life time and never want anyone to feel that discomfort. While neither condition is preventable, I suggest you take some time and do something for yourself every once in a while, make sure you seek support from your spouse, your family, and your friends, and just try and live in the moment.

9. It's time to discover your new skin - That's right even your skin changes. If you developed stretch marks, those are definitely a huge change so I'm sure you know what I mean. What you don't know is that your skin will likely react differently to your favorite lotion, it may burn easier in the sun, and your skin care routine may need to even be changed to give you the best glow you can get.

10. No longer you - Another thing that no one mentions is you literally are no longer who you used to be. You are "mom" and while that title is a huge honor, it also means you are no longer just living for you. Your life is now ran by a tiny milk-loving dictator and that means you're in for one crazy, sweet, wild, enjoyable ride.

With all of that said, there's one other thing no one mentions... that's the highs. The heights your emotions will reach from watching your child grow and learn. The first time you see your child smile, the first time you hear the word mama, those first tumbling steps towards you... and your heart will swell with a level of joy and pride you've never even dreamed of feeling before, and that... that is what makes it all worth it. That is what motherhood is all about.

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