Aka 25 Things I’ve Learned Since Giving Birth
1) Despite not having less sleep in your life, you somehow manage to power through the day. I’ve gone from needing seven hours of sleep to functioning almost as well on what I call “a sustained fuck all” — maybe getting up to pee every couple of hours from the 5th week of pregnancy helped build my sleep deprivation stamina?
2) Nights can be frustrating. Five minutes of sleep is much worse than just staying up. I’m sure it’s used as a torture practice elsewhere.
3) The tingling of your boobs will wake you a few minutes before your baby cries, and it’s a magical thing. Even when you were asleep for only two minutes.
4) Breastfeeding is HARD. You have to learn how to do it. In a bygone era, your female relatives would have taught you. Nowadays, the wisdom from a lactation consultant is indispensable.
5) Breastfeeding is painful! But if you can survive the first week, you’ll survive the first month. If your nipples are sore, try repositioning the baby (heart to heart, head facing forward) and checking she’s latched on properly (lips flanged out).
6) You will learn to like your food lukewarm…
7) … and how to do things with one hand. Like writing a blog post.
8) Life is lived in two-hour time slots, during which you get to do ONE thing — take a shower, prepare a meal, FaceTime family, read, reheat and try finishing your coffee for the third time…
9) Time speeds up. Kind of funny, seeing as how you’re awake more often than before.
10) Even if you’re the emotionally dry-eyed type who’s never had PMS, you will be a hot mess of hormones for a couple of weeks after you deliver. And when your partner asks why you’re still crying, your answer will be “b-b-b-because w-wuh-once you start (exhaled whine) it’s really difficult to stop-p-p-p…”
11) When your milk comes in, your tits explode. Literally–they bust out (pun absolutely intended!) of your bra and leak uncontrollably.
12) Put a clean diaper under the dirty one as you change it. That way when Someone decides to pee two feet into the air you have something to catch it with.
Caesarean Recovery Tips
1) Get up as soon as they let you. It will fucking hurt, even 30 mins after taking Percocet, but I’m convinced that put me on the road to recovery. If you can do it once you can keep doing it. The first time is by far the worst.
2) To get up, draw your knees close to your chest to help get yourself out of bed. Push up with your hands. Use the bed frame to get you sitting on edge of bed. Use leg muscles to stand. If necessary, have someone help lift you by your head (arms pull on stomach, ouch!)
3) Two days after surgery you will feel like you got hit by a truck. This is the worst day because the anaesthesia and heavy narcotics have left your system. Ask for an abdominal binder if you don’t already have one.
4) Embrace wearing mesh underwear / granny knickers and abdominal binder. They are awesome.
5) Send the baby to the nurses’ station so you can sleep for a couple hours in the night. It doesn’t make you a bad mom, it makes you a more relaxed mom!
6) A bath robe from home is nice to have.
7) Eat lots of fruit. Your first crap will take 30 minutes. Painkillers constipate you, even with all the Colace they give you.
8) You will learn to (almost happily) fart in front of everyone.
9) You may be very puffy from all the IV fluids they give you. My thighs were twice their size and a poke from a finger would leave a dimple! It took a week to sweat and pee it out.
10) You will sweat like a pig, especially if breastfeeding. Stay hydrated!
11) Wear your abdominal binder in the car. It protects your scar from the seatbelt and it feels better to have something holding you together.
12) If you want to breastfeed, STAY ON TOP OF YOUR MEDS! By which I mean: take the damn painkillers and take them regularly. Pain inhibits milk production, and it’s easier to keep pain at bay than stop it once it’s flared up.
13) Whatever pain or discomfort you find yourself in, you will look at your lovely baby and do it all over again in a heartbeat.