What I didn't know about Postpartum

7:41 AM

Somewhere between the pints of coconut ice-cream, 'shareable' size bags of Lifesavers gummies that are no-where near sharing size, and the Arby's curly fry runs (those frys!).. I somehow missed all the Pinterest articles on the postpartum aspect of having a baby.

With my first pregnancy, I was thought I was ready for it all, the nursery was done 2 months before my due date. We had long had a name picked out. Baby clothes washed, hung and folded, hospital bag packed by 35 weeks, it became a waiting game for her birthday. Then we would come home and it would be all snuggles and rainbows right..


I knew it would be life-changing, everyone was happy to share that little tidbit with me. But no one ever hinted at what really happens.

First - I had a c-section due to breech presentation, so my experience may be different in some departments than those who go through a natural birth.

1. You would rather not go to the bathroom.

It's one of those instances where ignorance may be bliss. Going to the bathroom means having to address the fact that yes, yes you're really constipated, and yes, nothing is happening. Yes, you have mesh underwear - (don't dis the mesh underwear, see #2). And the squirt bottle they give you un-admittedly is your best friend.

2.  Embrace the mesh underwear.

I even sought out and purchased my own giant granny panties to wear with giant pads and to go over my incision.. but I never opened that fruit of the loom package. All I wanted to wear were those hideous mesh underwear. Don't judge. They are WAY more comfortable and DISPOSABLE.

3. Breastfeeding is not 'natural'.

Never had anything been so awkward as having a nurse look over your shoulder and watch you stuff your squished nipple into a clueless baby's mouth over and over. It's not automatic. I ended up having to use a shield since my daughter was too small and weak at birth to efficiently nurse. Plan on patience.. both of you are new at it, and it takes time.

4. You go home with shiny new Shrek feet.

Due to my c-section and the IV's I had while in the hospital, I could not wear anything other than flip flops for about 2 weeks. I think my flip flops were begging for mercy. I could not even bend my toes due to swelling. Elevating my feet and lots of water helped.. which works since you are stuck in one place on the couch for hours at a time and more thirsty than a camel that just crossed a desert.

5. That I really can ask for help.

I didn't plan on C-section - but it happened. So my poor husband was dumped into the position of having to take care of a wife that couldn't move or do much on her own and a brand new baby in which we we're both pretty clueless about.. We had some wonderful friends of ours bring over food, make dinner, feed us and offer all sorts of help. But I couldn't take them up on the latter.. neither of us felt right asking for help. We're supposed to be ready, put-together.. she was just a tiny baby after all.

We realized after about a month that those offerings of help we're something that doesn't continue. After the new wore off of those first weeks, we were on our own. Dinner had to be prepared, dishes, laundry.. they couldn't wait any longer.. We had gotten by doing just the basics, but this was real life, we had to figure out how to operate a household again.

My word of advice - take up those offers of assistance. Don't feel ashamed to ask them to rinse a few dishes, move the laundry, feed the critters.. or grab the mail in the mailbox that won't shut anymore. I know this round will be different.

I wouldn't trade any of it for anything, just a learning curve and bit of advice. I love kissing these sweet little fingers and I strive to embrace everything that comes with motherhood.

How did your post-partum time go? Please add any additional tips/advice below! :)

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