By the time I reached the 9th month of my last pregnancy, I was counting down the hours until it was over. I had finally reached the breaking point of how much discomfort I could take on the exact day my son was due to be born. Thank goodness for scheduled c-sections! I couldn’t wait to say goodbye to swollen feet, insomnia and my aching back.
Once my son arrived, I settled in patiently to wait for my body to get back to normal. I expected that it would take a little while. After all, I was pregnant for a really long time. What I didn’t anticipate was being 6, 9, 12 months postpartum and not only continuing to deal with ailments that I had while I was pregnant, but to be dealing with new challenges as well.
I don’t get why some moms guilt their kids with, “I carried you for nine months”, or even, “I was in labor with you for xxx hours”. The real testament of love comes in the postpartum months. When my son gets older, I’m not going to do that at all. Don’t want to do chores? Want to be disobedient? I’ll just list out all of the issues I had after giving birth to him and remind him that he owes me thanks to what happened to my body after childbirth.
What happens To Your Body after childbirth?
I was in the shower, washing my hair like normal when I felt something sliding down my leg. I glanced down just in time to see a huge chunk of my crowning glory make its way into the drain. Since then I’ve lost so much hair that I’m surprised I have any left. Apparently when my baby boy was born with a head full of curly hair, he took all my follicle juju. Fortunately, the hair finally grew back (thank you, *affiliate link* Jamaica Black Castor Oil!), but I was literally in tears about my hair for months!
Did you know postpartum carpel tunnel was a thing? I sure didn’t. That is, until 3 AM a few days after my son was born. I went to lift him up and a pain shot from my wrist that was so powerful I nearly dropped him. My doctor suggested that I be careful lifting heavy things. That wasn’t really possible with a nine pound baby (who seems to gain an ounce every day!), so I purchased a wrist brace and have been wearing it off and on since then.
Eat sugar, get hives. Drink coffee, get hives. Talk. Walk. Breathe. Hives. More hives. Even more hives. There is no rhyme or reason to the postpartum hormones that have taken over my body. I’ve gotten used to my family members calling out, “You’re breaking out”, and the skin changes that come along with it. In other news, baby boy has the softest, most lovely skin ever. You’re welcome, son. You’re welcome.
But wait, there’s more.
After weeks of feeling pain while walking, and wondering why my stomach wasn’t going down even when I exercised and ate right, I talked to my doctor about it. She checked me out and diagnosed me with diastasis recti. Basically my ab muscles are shot from pregnancy, so my core is a wreck. Who needs core muscles when you’re lifting a baby up a million times a day? Years from now, when he’s playing basketball, or dancing in a theater production with his strong, able muscles, I’ll be sure to bring this up to him.
Swollen, bleeding gums
My son is exclusively breastfed which means he is literally sucking the nutrients out of my body after childbirth. No matter how many prenatal vitamins I take, or leafy, green vegetables I eat, I can hardly keep up with the vitamins I need to stay healthy. I just brush, floss, and use mouthwash and hope that I still have a few teeth left by the time he starts eating solids.
Now that my baby is a toddler, I’m still healing from my last pregnancy and his birth. Would I do it again? Absolutely. The pain, discomfort, and stress of this postpartum time is worth it to have this little guy by my side.