OK so, you’ve pushed a small human out of your Minnie, been stitched up and have adopted a new waddle and your in your little post labour bubble. But what really happens in those few days and weeks after your…you know…NOT PREGNANT anymore.
You are pregnant for SO long it’s so strange looking at yourself in the mirror and not seeing a baby bump. You literally feel anorexic. I couldn’t believe how slim I looked (obviously I wasnt). And I could see my feet, my Minnie (if I wanted to, but I couldn’t bring myself to look at her for a good couple of weeks. I Darent. What would I find??)
When your in hospital after the birth you feel so elated and proud, it really is the best feeling. Nurses and midwives are coming in, telling you what a great job you’ve done, how beautiful your baby is, how well you look, etc etc. You and your husband/partner are in awe at how you have created such an amazing little thing. You just find yourselves staring at your baby and smiling from ear to ear like some kind of crazed loon. It is amazing and it’s so surreal. But there are also some parts which i, even though I was warned about them, didn’t realise how much it would impact me until they actually happened.
For example! You are told you are going to bleed after birth. like a really big, long period. I wasn’t particularly bothered by this, my periods were horrendous all through my teens, I had awful period pain to the point where I was off school and would sometimes nearly pass out. And they were bad as in heavy bad. Surely it would just be the same as that?
No mate. Then bleeding is worse. Like your wearing this massive ugly fucking maternity pad and you have to change it every hour or so. And there are big lumps and weird shit in it. BE PREPARED. When people say stock up on maternity pads, they mean it. I went through a pack of 12 in one day. ONE DAY. I MEAN..YUCK. Go to boots and get as many as will fit in your basket. Take a friend. Take Dale Winton and do a frigging supermarket sweep. IT IS NOT A DRILL. You’ll be so thankful to have more than you need.
Your legs will suddenly decide they can’t work properly. I can’t speak from the experience of having an epidural, it may be different it may be worse or better than my experience. But after a natural labour I found that I turned into this doddery like little old lady that needed help getting out of bed and walking to the loo unaided was a distant rose tinted memory. I held onto walls, people, myself (fuck knows why I mean what use is that), I was so shaky and nervous. Like when you’ve had sex in a weird position then you get up and your legs are all shaky. I was like that for about 4 days.
Your boobs. Oh. My. God. I will do a post a bit later about my breastfeeding experience and struggle, but for now just let me tell you, your tatas will leak. So get some nipple pads. I got some cheap ones from Home bargains but there are lots of different ones around. In my opinion why spend lots of money on something that is just going to get oily weird yellow shit on and then get thrown away, but everyone is different and that’s cool. I leaked from about 30 weeks pregnant so was wearing breast pads most days, it stains your bras and it is so weird, the colostrum is what leaked in my case. It’s like the first bit of your boob milk. To touch it’s quite greasy and like I said, stains your white bras. After William was born I would sit with him and sometimes if I have just got out the shower or wasn’t wearing a bra or pad I would feel something cold on my stomach and look down and it was as if my tit was a bloody tap, it would pour out. It really is weird.
The first poo. Now. This is something you are told about and have seen pictures of. But until you are faced with it you don’t really believe it. The meconium. It really, truly is like tar. It’s black and slimy and sticky and you use about 34567797543 wipes to clean your innocent baby’s botty. You look at them and can’t believe something so small could do something so rancid (I would love a meconium plop compared to what we have now – honestly it’s something when you say that). Just don’t think about it. Just do it. Put that baby’s legs in the air and wipe..It’s good practice for what’s to come.
The shits are awful, William is 3 months old now and they still make me gip and my eyes sting, it’s like poison. They’re different with whichever feeding method your going for. The formula poos are different to the booby poos. Formula poos are like korma colour and smell fucking rats. Like honestly, it’s pungent. While I boob fed they didn’t smell as much, just had a seed like texture, looks like some kind of food substance you would see a yoga teacher putting on her toast whilst having a green smoothie and meditating on the beach in her size 8 bikini. So yes – be aware of the poos. Make sure you have shit load of wipes. Aldi, water wipes, boots, Johnson’s, pampers, they all do the same thing. Just take lots in with you. And nappies.
Baby blues. This is a real thing. No one told me about it. A couple of days after you have given birth,your hormones are all-over the place. your body is essentially grieving for something it has carried for nearly 10 months, and all of a sudden you have all these feelings and emotions and hormones and it’s all very overwhelming. I found myself snapping at norms and my family for no reason at all, then bursting into tears and sobbing and sobbing with all this emotion, then feeling fine a few minutes later. When William was 5 days old, Norms went out to buy a lottery ticket, I was feeding William and I was just looking at him, crying my eyes out, my tears were falling onto his little face. I just felt so much love for him and was so happy. I must of looked fucking mental. Norms came home and thought something had happened. When I told him I was just so happy he looked at me like I had 3 heads, I was that hysterical. Then I snapped out of it and was back to my normal, sleep deprived moody bitch self 😂. But no one had told me about them, so I was quite taken aback when I started feeling like this, however the midwives reassured me that I wasn’t losing my marbles, it was just baby blues.
The sleep deprivation is hard. Try and get as much sleep on maternity leave as possible because seriously when your up every hour or so, you are literally like a zombie. 3 months on and I’ll be honest…It’s not much better 😂😂 but it’s all worth it. Those quiet times when it’s just you and your baby cuddling and looking at each other really are some of the most amazing moments of being a mother.
Your relationship will probably suffer. Without meaning to, you kind of..Push your partner aside. You are both so tired, don’t have a fucking Scooby Doo what your doing, family and friends want to come see you every fucking day, you don’t have time to eat or shower or do anything, so you neglect each other a bit. The first couple of weeks are hard but trust me it does get better. And your not the only couples who maybe aren’t speaking like you used to, snapping at each other over nothing, questioning what the other is doing, telling them they maybe aren’t pulling their weight. It will pass. It’s a massive lifestyle change and shock to the system, these people and magazines who say that it was amazing and it brought them closer together instantly and it was all fluffy bunnies and unicorns with rainbows and marshmallows are talking absolute crap. It’s hard, you both have dragon breath and B.O and leg hair the same length but you will come out the other side and laugh.
Wees and poos aren’t the same. You lose the ability to know when you need to wee, so it just comes on all of a sudden and sometimes , SOMETIMES you don’t make it in time. Just be prepared. I still laugh and sometimes piss myself now. The feeling does come back, and for a while afterwards you don’t actually have the ability to push your wee out, you just have to sort of sit there and waist for it to finish. But it all goes back to normal. Your first cack is a scary experience. You know you need to go. You want to go. But you daren’t push. You have flashbacks about the last time you pushed like you needed a poo. What happens if you rip? Will I bleed? Will it be hard? Will it hurt? Will you die? What if another baby plops out you didn’t know you had in there like Sonia from EastEnders? All these things were going round in my head. You just have to sit there and you’ll find its not as bad as it seems. I was shouting to William “oh no it’s coming out, oh no William I’m doing it, oh god oh god” like what is this 1 week old baby going to do? Toddle round the corner and pat my head with a cool flannel and tell me it’s going to be ok? Heck.
It’s so surreal, you spend the first few days in, well a daze really. But whenever your feeling glum or overwhelmed just remember, you have the best reward for all the pissing yourself, scary poo, bloody pants and leaky tatas.