Disclaimer: in this blog post, I will be talking about my experience postpartum – if this is a topic that makes you uncomfortable in any way, I encourage you to check out some of my less serious posts instead!
There’s something about having a baby that makes you not have a single care in the world about what people think of your body. I used to stress so much about what the doctors and nurses would be thinking while I was in the delivery room, but in that moment, the only thing anyone (including me) in the room cares about is getting that baby out healthy and safe.
That being said, in some ways I’m more confident, but I’ve also never felt more vulnerable and uncomfortable in my own body. I’ve never been the most confident person and my squishy postpartum body is the opposite of how I used to look, but it’s teaching me to love myself even on the hard days. I’ve got more stretch marks than I can keep track of, my already wide hips are now twice as wide, and my boobs have seen perkier days. I’m learning to love myself and I know it takes time – my body created a human and that’s a pretty amazing thing!
So, what’s it like to be postpartum? Right after Basil was born, I was overwhelmed with emotions, I couldn’t feel my legs, and the doctors and nurses kept pushing into my stomach so hard to massage the placenta out and make sure my uterus was shrinking down. Definitely super uncomfortable. I was beyond exhausted – after all, my body had been working harder than ever for the last 16 hours or so in order to prepare for/give birth.
The first weeks were so rough. How many times did I cry just because I was tired? I couldn’t tell you… I was too tired to count. Going to the bathroom was terrifying because I was so sore that even just thinking about something as simple as going pee was painful. I was generally just uncomfortable due to leaky boobs and the phonebook-sized pad in my mesh hospital underwear… TMI? That’s the reality of having babies!
I was expecting to hurt after giving birth, but once the epidural wore off and the adrenaline rush went away – DAMN. I felt like I had been hit by a bus, and then it backed up cause it thought it missed me, and then someone walked by and thought I deserved a kick in the crotch. I was so incredibly sore, my waddle was so much worse than it was at 39 weeks pregnant. Worth it? Definitely! There is no amount of pain that I wouldn’t endure for Basil.
So aside from being incredibly sore and completely exhausted, I had this newborn baby that needed me more than anything to take care of him. Now, don’t get me wrong, being needed in that way is an amazing feeling – the bond I feel with my baby boy is like nothing in the world! At the same time, you’re being sent home to both heal from a major medical procedure, take care of someone else, and deal with crazy hormone ups and downs. Easily one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, but again, so worth it.
One major thing about postpartum is that it’s different for everyone. The idea that women should “bounce back” quickly after birth is crazy! Some women are able to be in their pre-pregnancy jeans the day after birth, while others can’t until months or even years after. I’m currently 5.5 months postpartum, and although I can fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans, they’re quite tight and uncomfortable. If I’m being honest, I hate jeans anyway, so this isn’t a huge deal for me because leggings are life! Learning to love my body no matter what shape I’m in has been a rollercoaster for me, but I’m working on it and the fact that my body created life is a huge plus! Even though I’m a little stretched out, I’m proud of what my body has done and I have the cutest son to show for it! So. Worth. It.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this, but I will say this: postpartum life is hard. It’s different than anything I’ve ever done, but it’s the best time of my life. Learning to love my body is a challenge every day, but it’s totally worth it. I have sooooo much respect for women and the whole process of pregnancy/postpartum.
I’m working on writing up my birth story too if anyone is interested in reading that… I mostly just want it in writing for myself, but I know when I was pregnant I was obsessed with reading other mama’s birth stories!
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What was/is your postpartum experience like?
Thank you for reading!