Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Postpartum Necessities

No one likes to talk about the postpartum stuff: pads, bleeding, a belly, breastfeeding…

...Everyone likes to talk about pregnancy, and the new baby, and how the baby's getting along. And for obvious reasons! The later stuff is, well, kinda gross

If it weren't for my friends who have had babies and my mom, I would have been shocked at a few things that come with having a baby. Heck, I was still shocked at a couple of them! 

Here are a few things that no one tells you about the "after" part of having a baby, and I've also compiled a collage of a few of my postpartum necessities. I'm not going to lie, this isn't exactly the most ladylike post, but I want others to be prepared and know what's going to happen! 

As a disclaimer: I love my son so much and can't imagine life without him. We just gotta get real.

My Postpartum Necessities: 

1. You will bleed. A lot. {Gross, right? I'm just being brutally honest here.} 
After you have the baby and your epidural wears off - if you choose to get one - your nurse will wheel you into the bathroom and you'll have to use the restroom in front of her. My nurse, Kim, was amazing and I truly didn't want her to leave; so , I felt very comfortable in front of her. {Heck, after giving birth, modesty was pretty much out the door.} You have to use a little squirt bottle of water and have to pat yourself dry, then use these giant granny panties and economy size pads for your entire stay in the hospital. {My friend Liz told me this right before I had Walker - so I was semi-prepared for this - and I'm pretty sure my jaw hit the floor when she told me. No lie.} 

2. Going to the restroom is zero fun. 
Pretty self-explanatory, right? You had a lot going on down there {maybe even stitches}  so going to the restroom isn't exactly a walk in the park. They give you stool softeners in the hospital, and I'd advise you to take some when you get home, too. When I first went to the bathroom at home, I told my mom, "Yeah, that was not fun. At all." And she just laughed. She's been there; she got it. Also? It takes you a lot longer to go to the bathroom, so just prepare yourself. 

3. You will cry. A lot. 
When I read blogs during my pregnancy, I saw so many people comment about crying, and ridiculously thought, "Oh, that won't be me. I'm going to be so joyful; why cry?" HA! You have so many emotions and hormones going on in your body that sometimes you can't help but cry. I cry when I am feeding Walker and think about taking him to day care at 13 weeks; I cry at the "Because of Mom" commercials on TV; I cry because I'm so dang tired; I cry because he won't sleep. Which leads me to…

4. Unless your child is perfect, you will be up every 1-3 hours at night. 
I don't know what I was expecting - a perfect baby, maybe? - but I wasn't expecting to be up so often at night. When babies eat, they eat 1-3 hours from the time they started - not finished. So, Walker typically eats every two hours during the day and every three hours at night. That means: I start feeding him at 2 p.m. and it takes him 30 minutes to finish. So, I will then start feeding him again an hour and a half later at 4 p.m. And you have to calculate time in there to burp and change them. It's a marathon! The sleep was pretty bad at first, and that's coming from someone who loves her sleep. But I think my body is slowly adjusting to being up every 2-3 hours, so it's getting better. {The dark circles are truly glamorous. Ha!}

5. Speaking of feeding, your milk doesn't come in right away. 
Again, I was naïve and thought I would wake up in the hospital the day after Walker was born to boobs full of milk. Uh, no. In fact, it was quite the opposite. My milk didn't come in until the morning of Day 5 after his birth, and I'm not going to lie - those five days of trying to feed him were awful. No one tells you that breastfeeding hurts at first. Like, BAD. Your boobs will become dry, sore and even have callouses. {What a pretty sight, right?} But I will tell you that IT GETS BETTER. And if you have to supplement with formula while you wait for your milk to come in - or if you strictly formula feed - you are a good mom. I had to have my mom and the hospital's lactation consultant tell me that before I believed it, but it's true. My mom would force me to pump while I was waiting on my milk to come in because it's supposed to really encourage it to do so. That hurt, too, but I knew my milk came in because I was pumping the morning of Day 5 and it just appeared. You would have thought I won a million dollars I was so excited. Also? Your boobs will leak. Not a water fountain or anything, but they'll definitely leak. And that's gorgeous. 

6. You will still have a small belly. 
Think Duchess Catherine here. The baby doesn't come out and you immediately have your body back. {I think my husband thought that because he looked at me the day after Walker was born and said, "Wait. You still have a little belly…?" He got a major side-eye.} It takes awhile to go back to "normal," and that's okay. Breastfeeding does help take down the belly because when the baby is feeding, it shrinks your uterus back down. {And yeah, that doesn't exactly feel amazing, either.} Additionally, you will still swell in places. In fact, I had to have the Irving Fire Department come to my house yesterday because I stupidly put my wedding ring on for Walker's newborn portraits and couldn't get it off. My finger was swelling and turning purple and just wouldn't budge, so the Fire Chief had to cut my beautiful wedding ring off my finger with what looked like a miniature can opener. So, moral of the story: it's okay to not wear your wedding rings or have tight shoes after baby. 

7. You will be in the weirdest clothing limbo ever. 
I laughed when people told me I'd still be wearing maternity clothes after Walker was born. But alas, I am. And, they're a little big, but my regular clothes are still too small. Oh, and the bigger boobs thing doesn't help. So, I've pretty much been living in my pajamas and/or jersey knit pants these days and am counting down the days until I can exercise again in week six and fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes. 

But, amongst all of this, having a beautiful baby that you had a part in creating - who you love more than anything in the world - makes everything above so worth it. But, every mama has to get real every now and then, right? Right.


  1. Hats off to you for being so real, I don't think I have ever come across such a down to earth, real blog as yours, you are not intimidated to put what is real in life out for readers, and all that you posted today, I experienced those, the clothes ill fitting on my body, the boobs leaking and being large, everything and I completely agree with you that someone needs to know these things, so that they do not enter "shock land" when it does, I would have really appreciated someone putting me on the alert.

  2. They will also leak during intimate moments. ;) prepare Brandon for that! Lol j

  3. Love this post! Everything is so true! Breast feeding was horrible at first!! I nursed both my girls for almost a year and it does get easier!

  4. I just posted a comment but I'm not sure if it went through! Breast feeding IS so tough at first and the most painful thing! I nursed both my girls for about a year and it does get easier!

  5. Love this post! Everything is so true! Breast feeding was horrible at first!! I nursed both my girls for almost a year and it does get easier!


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