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Here are some things that I have learned about my body that I just never paid attention to:
It takes a whole year for body to return to normal
Say what, now?! Yes ma’am! A whole freakin’ year. What your baby set up for your body in 9 months will take 12 whole months to dismantle. Why? Because it can. As it should. Pregnancy change the entire biology of a woman. From the hormonal changes that causes nausea, to the weight gain, to sleepless nights, back pain, Braxton-Hicks within 9 months is a short amount of time. You want your body gradually go back to normal as you and baby find your ‘new’ normal. So the stretch marks may stick but wear it with pride, those are your tiger stripes and you earned every single of them.
Your period may return sooner than expected
This really vexed me, right here. I’ve always had bad cramps during menstruation so when I heard that breastfeeding could keep me from getting my period I was excited. Also what a great way to avoid another pregnancy so soon after the baby was born (not that it’s a full proof way of not getting pregnant, but you know). Turns out, that doesn’t happen to everyone, and I learnt it the hard way.
Mine came back so fast, you’d swear there was a conspiracy for me to get pregnant as fast as possible. Regardless, make sure you use the proper protection if you’re trying to avoid getting pregnant as soon as you gave birth.
You can gain weight while breastfeeding
Again, I kept hearing that one of the benefits of breastfeeding was weight loss, but did you know you can actually gain weight? Me neither. This is when I found out ignorance is not bliss. I gained a good 10-15 pounds postpartum. Turns out you can’t give what you don’t have nutrients included. My appetite increased as I breastfed, my choice of fast f
ood and junk food diet did not help in caloric deficit factor, so naturally I gained weight. Which by the way is perfectly normal.
The older sibling is willing to help
One thing that surprised the most was how much my eldest daughter wanted to help, I mean really wants to be involved and help. Despite the fact that she was not at all excited for the arrival of her sibling she completely makes herself available as the self appointed chief security guard for her baby sister. She alerts when the baby is crying, even though we are in the same room. She may not want to share her toys but she’s ready to change a diaper or feed the baby (neither of which I’m ready to let a three year old do)!
You will be challenged in every way
I thought one was tough, then I had another one and realized I did not know what I was
talking about. One is tough. Two is tough too. Both situations are hard but in a different way. There are different factors and scenarios to even dive into so believe me that they are both tough but nothing that cannot be handled and tackled. The beauty in all of this is no phase stays the same forever.
Remember to ask for help if and when necessary
ALWAYS. ASK. FOR. HELP! No, you don’t need to do it all. NO. YOU. DON’T! If anybody tells you, send them my way for a nice chat. You deserve a break. You deserve sleep. You deserve to eat. You deserve to have time to breathe and reconnect with the woman that you are. We need you. Your family needs the best of you, not the worn down version of you. Get the help you need, when you need. No compromise.
You may lose your sleep, your mind and your hair?!
That part shocks me everytime I think about it. I know it’s coming but it’s the ultimate betrayal. First I can’t sleep, then my mind isn’t all there but my hair?! Yup. My edges have been playing hide and go seek for about 10 months. I know they’ll come back but it still hurts…
Every birth experience is different but no less special
This is self explanatory. No birth is the same but they are all special. Enjoy your blessing because pregnancy is not a joke. So many things can go wrong and for many it does. If you’ve been blessed with life, to carry life, birth life, please count your blessings. Enjoy the moments you’ve been given. It’s a gift to be enjoyed.