Being almost half way towards experiencing my second labor and postpartum I've started reflecting on my first experience. While in labor I swore I would never ever get pregnant and go through that pain and agony again... ha! I didn't know what having a baby was actually going to feel like, but I did know that I probably wouldn't like it, however there were a few things I had NO IDEA about concerning postpartum (besides crazy emotions, that one I was very informed about) and I thought I'd enlighten you women who have postpartum in your future. I will say that just because this was my experience and the experience of friends I have talked to (afterwards confirming it was 'normal' and also questioning why they didn't tell me...), it doesn't mean your postpartum will turn out like this, I'm no doctor.
1) Night sweats.
After I got home from the hospital I would wake up in the middle of the night completely soaked and freezing! I had no idea what was happening and it terrified me. If it happened in the hospital I would have asked the nurses but I didn't experience it the first couple nights when I was there. Guys it was so bad, like have to change my clothes and sheets bad! I would then be so cold that I would start crying because I could barely move due to how bad I was shaking. I initially thought something was wrong but in fact night sweats are a normal way that your body tries to get rid of the excess fluid in the body from pregnancy. Who knew! Not me.
2) Instant dry mouth.
I've always been a more than good water drinker, especially during pregnancy but nothing could have prepared me for the moment Gabriel would latch on to nurse. Half a second after Gabriel latched the inside of my mouth instantly felt like it was so dry that it would crack. I would try to drink a bunch of water before nursing to alleviate the awful experience but it didn't matter. If I sat down to nurse without a glass I would go into a panic as soon as Gabriel began to eat because my hydration felt like life or death. Christopher was on water duty quite a bit.
3) Ravishing hunger.
I didn't experience crazy instant hunger during pregnancy which I expected as a pregnancy norm, but then I started nursing. You don't know what it means to be hangry (hungry-angry if you didn't know) until you are postpartum and nursing. It wasn't until this time that I actually ate in the middle of the night and kept snacks in my nightstand. Yet even with the crazy food intake I was still steadily loosing weight, thank you nursing!
4) Nursing will assist with losing "the weight" but isn't the end-all, be-all.
First off I think it's horrible as women that the instant we have a baby we're already obsessing/hoping/guessing/planning for when to have the weight off. We just went through 9 months of progressively putting it on and hello, talk about all the other crazy body stressful things we experienced! Let's give ourselves some grace and not let that be our focus. Instead can we put our attention towards recovery and keeping ourselves healthy (without fixating on a number) so we can be the best mom we can be (self talk for 5 months from now)? With that said I thought that nursing would literally suck all the weight off and I'd be back to a (new) healthy weight in no time! Yes, nursing did help but it wasn't overnight. Between nursing, intuitive eating, and my normal exercising it took me a year for my body to land on a new healthy weight for me, similar to my pre-pregnancy weight but not THE pre-pregnancy number and guess what? That's okay. My SIL wrote a great pregnancy and weight blog that I highly recommend!
5) Baby nightmares
Never did we co-sleep (not against it, just not for us) but every night for the first few months of Gabriel's life I would wake up terrified that I was sleeping on him or that he was lost in the bottom of the bed! One night I started punching and hitting Chris yelling at him that he had rolled on top of the baby. He very sternly informed me that what I thought was the baby was just my pillow, oops. So yes, months of waking up frantically throwing around blankets, punching husband, and a
I'm glad I know these things now going into the second pregnancy but I wish I knew them going into the first! So for those of you who haven't had your first postpartum experience yet, here ya go. For those of you who have, what are some things you wish you knew beforehand?
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