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As a little girl, I witnessed a friend’s older sister go into labor. I was playing with my friend in her room and all of a sudden, there was this frenzy in the house as everyone rushed around trying to figure out what to do because her sister’s water had broken and she was in pain. At the time, I lived just down the street so of course I was sent home while the family took her to the hospital to welcome her little boy into the world. Apparently I was traumatized by this experience because when I got home, I told my mom I would never have any babies and that I would just go to the store and buy one instead! (Such innocence!)
Fast forward twenty-something years later to me going into labor and welcoming my own baby boy into this world! Being that this was my first experience, to say I was naive on what to expect is an understatement. Younger me knew that this kind of life changing event would be painful to say the least. But what isn’t often talked about is what happens AFTER this miracle takes place. And I’m still learning about all of it more than four months later.
When I was pregnant, I was gifted with acne-free skin and a luscious head of hair along with my growing baby bump. What I didn’t know was that sometime after the baby has exited and the hormones disappear, you don’t get to keep some of the things that gave you such confidence when you were pregnant. And not everyone has the same postpartum experience so really there is no telling what’s going to happen. Though it would’ve been nice to have some kind of disclaimer warning of the changes that could occur within the next few months.
In addition to the physical body changes that happened after giving birth like spreading of the hips (which means clothes don’t hug me quite like the way they used to) and feeling “squishy” because the balloon that had been growing for nine months has suddenly deflated, let’s just add some postpartum hair loss and acne! Such a confidence booster, right?
I’m sharing this experience because it’s not talked about enough. There is such an expectation for women after giving birth to get back to “normal” and I fully admit that I had no clue that what used to be normal for me would never be ever again. I’m creating a new “normal.” It’s not easy because I critique myself everyday on all the changes happening to my body four months postpartum and I’m impatient about the changes. I want to feel more confident in my new body and accept that there are things I cannot change right now. I’ve been told that things start to balance out around six months postpartum so I’ll definitely be looking forward to that. But I’m surely not in any hurry for my baby to be six months old! I’ll accept the balding if it means he can stay my baby forever!
I hope others are able to relate and understand that they aren’t alone in their postpartum experience! It’s hard, but it’ll get better.????