Motherhood. The wonderful emotional rollercoaster that takes you on the ride of your life.The adventure that nothing can really prepare you for apart the experience itself.
But the first week after having a baby? The bits they don’t tell you that you wish they would? We are going to share them right now! Hold tight mama-to-be – a world of truth is about to commence…
The wee experience!
The first wee after childbirth stings like a wasp on a hot summers day. You hold it and hold it until you can hold it no more and bam – holy moly mother bits! For that first wee there is this little piece of magic! (Thanks mama Kelly for the heads up on this one!)
When you can’t poop!
Constipation makes you feel like you’re about to go into labour again and give birth to a ball of rock. Brace yourself mama – this one hurts.No point holding on – get those bowels moving with a mild laxative, (check with your midwife or HV what’s suitable if you’re breastfeeding) and go for it. Tears to the eyes, teeth clenching stuff but the first one is the worst. It does get better. Promise!
Cracked nipples are more sore than a paper cut to the eyeball. Breastfeeding is wonderful – honestly, it’s great and we all know it’s best for baby after being told twenty-gazillion times, but hey – it’s not easy. Anyone who says it’s easy has had it very lucky. It takes time, practice and patience – all of which can cause rather sensitive nipples. Mine bled (sooo attractive) but after pushing on through, they healed and it was pretty good. Those first latch ons with sore nipples? Prepare your language because I said a whole lot of ‘holy fudges’ in those first sucks! This magic potion eased my discomfort, but please share any that helped you in the comments below!
You still look heavily pregnant!
You’ll have a Saggy belly of beauty. I’ve no idea why I thought my big baby belly would resemble Cindy Crawfords flat bikini perfect bod after having my first baby – but I did. In truth I looked 9 months pregnant for another 3 weeks and a year later I was still nowhere near my pre-pregnancy body. (I LOVE this honest photo set from Blogger Julie Bhosale showing her tummy from 24 hours to 14 weeks after giving birth.)
Fact: Your body IS still beautiful but it’s unlikely to be six-pack sexy. Besides – who wants a six pack? Cake is good for the soul right? You made a whole person so love the scars, stretch marks and wobbles that prove it.
You’ve never known tiredness until you’ve had a baby. Seriously mama. That all nighter you pulled in 2006 then went to work and felt cream crackered for 24 hours? It’s nothing compared to the tiredness your mind and body feel after giving birth and then having very little sleep night after night! Don’t panic mama, you get used to it (kinda) and it gets better.
The unsolicited advice!
Everyone, including the village shop keeper, will have parenting advice for you whether you want it or not. Some will even tell you you’re doing it wrong, that they did it differently and that actually, your choices are not the right ones. There are two ways of dealing with these people. Swearing is quite effective but you’ll end up quite lovely with no coffee mates so the second is a much wider choice. The knowing nod. (See the gif below) Simply smile, curse in your head, and perfect the knowing nod. You know what’s best for your baby. Have faith in yourself and trust your instincts.
The ‘not looking so hot right now’
You might look a bit dreadful. But your baby won’t care! Don’t feel guilty about making time for yourself though! Ask your partner to mind the little one while you take a shower and do your hair, and once a week – more if you can, take time for a pamper session to sort your hairy bits, broken nails and dry hands where you’ve washed your hands so much from the nappy changes. You might lose some hair too.
Don’t panic though – honestly – it’s normal. After your hormones have settled down (usually at about 12 weeks after delivery) more hair shifts into a shedding phase. You may be alarmed to find hair coming out by the handful. It will settle down so do t panic. If you’re really worried – talk to your GP. Remember – it’s ok to look like a pyjama hair-nest recluse in some days, but you’ll feel so much better and more like yourself if you treat yourself with a little kindness and make yourself feel nice. (Those selfies look way better too!)
The battered bits!
Your lady bits might look a bit odd for a while! Vaginal birth? Don’t be popping a mirror down there anytime soon to look at the perfect lady bits you once had, well at least not for a few weeks and especially if you’ve had some stitches. It’s not a pretty bitty site. It will heal though mama – so don’t cry. Any unusual weeping or feelings – get checked by your midwife or GP. No, I know it’s not fun – but it will feel and look better eventually.
It’s very important to mention here that you must (must!) do your pelvic floor excercises. Do them daily. Do them while brushing your teeth. Do them whenever you can and you’ll never pee when you sneeze.
The zombie-mom aches and pains!
You’ll feel like you’ve been hit by a bus. After the first few days you’ll be feeling pretty rotten BUT you’ll also be feeling pretty awesome because you’ll have your beautiful little baby there to remind you how awesome you are! Remember all of these aches and pains and baby brains will go away in time – you just need to take it as it comes and not rush into daily life right away. It’s ok to rest, to leave the housework for a bit and to eat cake. There is plenty of time for exercise and for life’s hum drum daily duties – so enjoy these precious early days with your little one.
I hope these little truths haven’t terrified you and have made you smile! Remember with all the negatives comes a Mighty fine positive; your beautiful baby! If you loved them please do share. (Also – if you have any to add ~ leave a comment!)
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