I hate this picture of me, but I shared it for those of you out there who are wondering what it’s like the first few days after having your baby. Notice that you don’t automatically drop to your pre baby size. Notice the bags under my eyes, the tired smile and the horrible hair roots. Finally, just notice that behind that smile, although ECSTATIC that I was a mom, I was also EXHAUSTED, TERRIFIED, and OVERWHELMED!
I will skip telling you about labor. I’ll just say it’s as bad as you imagine it to be. So I will fast forward past that. Past it to the amazing feeling of FINALLY pushing that baby out, and for the first time you can breath a sigh of relief. I dreaded the labor for so long, and I was finally past that. But the pain of labor was still on the forefront of my mind, and the pain was still very real in the female parts! OUCH!
I will tell you that you will be absolutely disgusting. I felt so bad for my nurse! What she had to see when she walked me to the bathroom the first time is beyond what anyone should have to see. Be prepared….it’s a war zone down in the nether regions, but after all you just went through you won’t even care who sees what. All modesty is out the window from now on. From this day forth you can tell yourself…I gave birth, I can now handle anything!”.
Sleep is now a thing of the past. Your labor will probably bring you total exhaustion, and although you should rest after, I doubt there will be time. You are so excited to be with your child, and so are family and friends. If I can offer any advice it’s to have your husband be the gate keeper. He needs to remind people that you need rest because you probably will barely be mentally present at this point.
I was told that post baby my belly would still look like I was 7 months pregnant. That was so true! So ladies please don’t beat yourself up that you don’t drop all the lbs and belly right away. What do you expect? In that picture above I looked like I was still 7 months pregnant. I waddled like I had a stick up my butt due to all the drama going on down below, and my boobs were so engorged with milk that I winced every time I moved. Not pretty but all true. I will also tell you that getting an epidural may make it impossible to hold in your gas. Let’s just say that I had a few embarrassing situations where each step I took let out a bit of that gas. I feel sorry for my poor roommate in the hospital, as well as my poor family who was spending the night. All I could do was laugh, because if I didn’t I would’ve cried with embarrassment but HEY I just had a baby for goodness sake!
Picture no sleep, lots of pain, and a new baby that you have no idea how to take care of and that’s pretty much the first few days. I also tackled breastfeeding, so that was an added stress. I was riding high on being a new mom though, so I don’t think I fully understood how scared I actually was till much later.
My mom was a life saver those first few weeks. She took care of me and I took care of my son. It was a great set up. I wasn’t sure how I would like having her here because I knew I wanted/needed to figure out how to be a mom myself. But having her take care of the groceries, laundry and cooking made it a lot easier for me. Everyone told me “don’t be too proud to ask for help” and I want to pass that advice on. It really does take a village.
Basically it is perfectly normal to be extremely overwhelmed. I don’t think too many women talk about how scary it really is. But why wouldn’t it be scary? Your life is being forever changed. You will be walking in a cloud post baby for a while….so be prepared. It’s not pretty at all, but the most important thing is that you get that little boy or girl in your arms. In the end that’s all that matters. This too shall pass….and soon enough you will get the hang of your new life and routine.
How were your first few days with your baby?