20 Things They Don’t Tell You About Pregnancy, Giving Birth, & Motherhood
Some exciting news on the blog today .. Starting every other Monday (so twice a month) I’ll be doing a post on Motherhood! So mark your calendars for our Motherhood Mondays, it’s going to get real. Especially on today’s agenda … I know that sometimes my posts (especially on Instagram) can make motherhood look a little bit too glam to be real, but honestly in this digital media age, what you see isn’t the whole truth. Fact of the matter is, I’m still learning how to fine tune my life as a career women and my role as a mom. But you guys asked for honesty and so here it is…. 20 things they don’t tell you about pregnancy, giving birth, and motherhood!
( Please keep in mind that these are just my experiences, & that every woman is different! )
1. Okay so I knew that of course my body was going to change after getting pregnant. Like one of the things was my belly button would pop out & become an “outtie,” but in my case, my belly button totally flattened out & disappeared! I had no idea it could even do that. For a few months I literally had no belly button .. it was the weirdest thing.
2. When I used to think of pregnancy I thought we just get a free pass to eat as much as we want. But actually that wasn’t really true! Your uterus is actually pushing down on your stomach so you really can’t eat a large amount at once, but I found that I was eating more frequently. And for that reason I was literally going to the bathroom every 30 minutes. I would wake up at least 6-8 times a night just to go pee. It was the most annoying thing ever because I never got to sleep through the night.
3. The craziest thing was that during child birth, no one told me that I could’ve asked for the epidermal at any time! (Silly me, I just assumed the nurse would give it to me whenever she thought it was appropriate.) But it was actually a blessing in disguise because I ended up getting it at the last minute and I had JUST enough so that I could still activate my muscles down there & push through (I pushed Chloe out in 15 minutes!). PS.Ummmm no one told me the anesthesia needle was the size of my arm!!!
4. Speaking of childbirth .. no one told me that I couldn’t eat solids or go pee after getting pitocin. (I had to get pitocin to increase the frequency & intensity of my contractions.) I was only able to drink liquids, which made me want to go pee, but I wasn’t able to go pee. It was the craziest feeling ever.
5. This next one is kind of gross but okay I was not prepared for my postpartum pains down there if you know what I mean. Going to the bathroom was like a war zone.. I did not expect it to be so gnarly! Lets just say I didn’t know going to the bathroom could be so scary ..
6. So after Chloe came out, we were in the hospital for 3 days after for recovery. During that time it was amazing because there were nurses around the clock who helped change, bath and put Chloe to sleep. During those first few days I thought having a baby was totally easy! Then Allen and I brought her home on the first day and it was seriously til this day one of the hardest days of my life. Neither Allen or I had a clue to what we were supposed to do !
7. I know I look mostly back in shape, but like I mentioned here, the bump doesn’t just magically go away. I thought that after pushing Chloe out, my stomach would automatically deflate like a balloon. But the fluids and gunk in my stomach actually took months to digest. Even now that I work out and have been eating relatively healthy it’s still definitely an area that I have to work on.
8. & okay .. some women look like this during their pregnancy, while other women (like me) gets a gigantic stye on her eye. During my last trimester I got this huge gross stye that completely shut my left eye and I had to get it surgically removed. I swear I looked like quasi modo during this time ugh. Throwback photos were in full effect on Instagram during this month because no one needed to see how I looked like during this time. No one told me that hormones in your body can do some crazy things to you.
9. When I think of breastfeeding I always thought that it was kind of like drinking from a fountain. But let me tell you guys, that was not the case!! It took a lot of work and patience to even produce the tiniest amount of milk. Apparently when the baby latches on, that’s how you’re telling your body that it needs to produce milk, so my milk didn’t actually come out until a few days later. It was so frustrating, and I wanted to give up because I thought my body was not capable of producing milk, but I kept pushing forward, and on the 5th day finally I started to produce some milk! (I had to supplement with formula in the beginning because of my no milk supply.)
10. You’d think that once your baby is born it’d be an endless stream of love and perfection. But to be honest, the initial trial and error stage of trying to figure things out was so overwhelming that it was hard to really appreciate Chloe until I truly got the hang of it because having a baby is HARD!!! When she was first born I was so overwhelmed with joy, but after a few days into it, I was extremely tried & discouraged. I found myself crying in the bathroom because I didn’t know if I would be able to get through it all, but like everyone says, “It only gets easier and easier.”
11. Allen’s connection was a different story. The bond between a mom and her baby is so special in that you can feed and nurture her immediately. But as a dad it’s really quite different and the connection doesn’t come until later. Allen helps me with all the diapers and running errands but in the beginning all a baby does is sleep and want to drink milk, so there’s not a whole lot for the dad to do! It really took him about 3 months to truly connect with her! Now he can’t keep his hands off of her, he’s completely obsessed with her!
12. My body has changed SO much in the past year, from getting pregnant to pushing out a baby. But even though I’ve always had wide hips, they’re definitely wider now. Although I have lost most of the weight that I gained during my pregnancy ( i’m currently 5 lbs away from my pre pregnancy weight), there are things that will never be the same. For instance my hips are wider because my bones have moved from pushing out Chloe. Also there is stretched out skin on my belly that is not fat, it’s simply….stretched out skin. The end.
13. & No one told me that my hair would change from pregnancy! I’ve always had thick hair so I wasn’t worried that I’d lose hair after having a baby like some women do, but I definitely noticed it’s more prone to breakage. That’s actually what inspired me to do this post, 7 products for dry damaged hair. I have to part my hair in a specific way or else you could see some of the thinning and Hair loss areas on my scalp. They say it grows back eventually!!!
13. Everyone always talk about having the pregnancy glow (including me!), but no one told me that on the flip side I’d feel so unattractive & lethargic! I kind of went MIA in my third trimester because it was hard for me to find the motivation to throw on a cute outfit & makeup to face the world. All I wanted to do is lay in bed. My body was changing beyond my control, and it was so hard to feel pretty with crazy hormones overpowering my body.
16. I never knew a baby needed so much stuff! During my baby shower I had so many friends who gifted me with a lot of things I needed like a breast pump, swaddles, diapers, wipes, etc. But still after all those generous gifts I found myself on AMAZON almost everyday, after Chloe’s arrival, ordering all sorts of things that she needed. I never even knew half of these things existed, like this Nose Frita!
17. Because I pride myself in my work and absolutely love what I do, I thought I would immediately go back to work right away. Yes, I answered some emails here and there, and occasionally worked from home, but it actually took me 3 months to fully get back into the swing of things. And although I’m now fully back into “work” mode, I still find it hard to leave her. I’m always looking for an excuse to “work from home” now.
18. I never knew how demanding nursing was, and that I couldn’t wear whatever I wanted. Babies are milk monsters, and if you are nursing, you have to be readily available to feed them anywhere at anytime. Which means you have to be strategic with what you wear, so your boobies are accessible at all times during the day. For instance Low stretchy V necks, Loose oversized sweaters, and button up shirts or dresses are a must. You definitely want to stay away from high necklines and/or stiff material. You can watch my recent vide on Chic Nursing Outfits HERE.
19. & No one told me how heartbreaking and sad you can get from motherhood as well. Chloe got sick a few days ago and she’s getting better now, but she got a cold and couldn’t breathe well because of all the mucus in her little nose. Motherhood has been the most joyous and rewarding journey thus far, but there is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing your little one suffer. I never knew motherhood would have such highs and such lows.
20. Lastly, no one told me that I would have an instant bond & connection with other moms after becoming a mom myself. There’s something incredibly humbling after giving birth. Maybe it’s because it was quite possibly the hardest thing that I’ve ever done. Knowing that other women have also gone thru the same experience gives me a reason to instantly connect and have so much respect for them. There’s no words to describe what you just went through, and the only people that can truly understand are the women that also have gone through it themselves. There’s this instant bond knowing that you’ve gone through the same thing .. it’s like joining a sorority! The sorority of motherhood!
I remember, as I was going through some of these moments (especially the giving birth moments) I would find myself asking my mommy friends, “Why didn’t you tell me about this???” This may sound silly, but they all said that they simply just forgot. That was hard for me to comprehend, but believe it or not, as I was going down this list today, I too can say that I totally forgot half these things. I’m telling you… #MommyBrain is a real thing! So that’s why I’m writing this list for you guys before I forget. And you might be wondering why any of us would put ourselves through this, but now that I know the full picture (as a girl who wasn’t ready for kids just a year ago), I can honestly say that the joy that these little ones bring overpowers the pain of childbirth, the loss of freedom, and all the sleepless nights.
“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. The mother is something absolutely new.”
I know that I have a lot of non-mommy followers/readers, so I hope this post didn’t scare you too much! If you are soon to be a mommy, a new mommy, or a veteran by now…please do me a favor, and leave me a comment below and introduce yourself to me. I would love to get to know you ladies..after all we are in this together, right? Also please let me know if there are any topics you would like me to talk about on this “Motherhood Mondays” series.
Happy Monday everyone!