If you have never had a child, nothing prepares you for what your body goes through. Unless someone tells you. And even then, everyone is different. There is no guarantee that your experience is the same as anyone else’s. Just like being pregnant.
But I still feel like everyone that goes through a pregnancy has a model that they think they need to fit into…
I have obsessed about my weight since I was eleven. I’m not going to get into all of the years of disordered eating and self-loathing in this post, but when I look back on photos of myself, I can’t believe I thought there was anything wrong with me. I was a fox — long, lean, lithe, and curvy in just the right places. I could shimmy into tons of really cute clothes, and heads would turn. These days, you could describe me as “pillowy” rather than “willowy.”
I’m expecting my first child and keep coming across registry suggestion lists for cute onesies and baby stuff. But what I really need help with is knowing what possibly embarrassing stuff I am going to need after the baby is here.
I hear my husband coming up the stairs with our four-day-old baby. I hide my head under the duvet and dread their entry to the room, knowing it means I’ll have to feed him. Exhausted and sore from the birth, I wish the baby would disappear for a few hours so I could have my old life back.
After my baby was born, I lost about half my hair. Apparently this isn’t uncommon, even though nothing I read forewarned me about it. Now its growing back, though, and my face is framed by a halo/ruff/mane of little half curls. They’re too short to be pulled back, too numerous to be clipped back, and it’s too hot to wear my hair down.
What I learned from postpartum depression: don’t suffer in silence, don’t think that your feelings are synonymous with failure, and recognize that post-partum depression can occur anytime in the first year after delivery.
After three frustrating years, many visits to fertility clinics that ultimately resulted in nothing, we found ourselves pregnant in the late Spring of 2009. Aside from the regular baby chaos, everything has gone extremely well. Except for one thing: sex. I can’t have it.
I wish people had given me specific examples of adjustments they made after giving birth. So knowing that, here are my observations as a new mom of three weeks.