I was breastfeeding my daughter while my 2-year-old slept and I started to feel really weak and shaky. I barely made it to her crib to put her down after she fell asleep in my arms because I was feeling so light headed. I suddenly wanted to devour a jar of peanut butter and box of wheat thins.
I was really late for my period and had taken two pregnancy tests that were both negative, but I was feeling the urge to take another. Because, you know, I hadn’t felt this way since I was pregnant with my first son. And, if I wasn’t pregnant, I knew I needed to get my blood sugar checked or something because a mom with two young kids couldn’t function like this.
I pulled out a test from my stash (you know you’ve had one too), and sure enough, I was pregnant. Good thing I was still wearing my maternity jeans from having my daughter and had kept them all.
This wasn’t because we thought we’d have another child, but because at six months postpartum, my maternity clothes were the only things that comfortably fit my body.
Did I feel like I had given up because I was still wearing them? Was I ashamed my belly hadn’t returned to its pre-pregnancy circumference?
No, not at all.
I didn’t have time to dine out on that bologna. I had two kids in two years (soon to be three) and my maternity jeans made me feel awesome.
The thing is, wearing maternity clothes long after birth happens to a lot of us. After my first was born, I smugly packed my pre-baby pants and after dipping a toe in the right leg, I wanted to burn them in the hospital trash can.
It’s part of the process and because no one tells you that you might not fit into your old clothes for months, or years, you wonder if you ever will. And suddenly you feel inadequate — RELAX, you aren’t.
There are other things no one will tell you about birthing a child which is unfortunate so let’s get into it:
1. Your nipples might bleed.
And get dry and crack and hurt like a motherfucker. You may feel like you are constantly getting a titty twister and you may feel shooting pains whenever your child latches on to the milk machines.
I definitely had some pain with my first and no one told me that would happen. After stocking up on some nipple cream, and applying half a tube before each feeding, my nips began to toughen up a bit, but it took two weeks. Those two weeks were spent crying my eyes out and hating my life and my very large bras and thinking my newborn was really a Piranha.
Keep in mind, you can also get mastitis so look for the signs and see your doctor if there’s any question in your mind.
2. You will feel resentful.
You will love that child but have many days when it feels like it’s all on you. You won’t get the help you need from family members or your partner unless you are very clear about what you want and, frankly, you don’t have the energy to fucking do that.
Instead, you will feel like a servant to your babies eating, sleeping, and changing schedule and miss your old life and who you used to be.
This is confusing because you want to be a mom and you love your child. You’ve waited so long for their arrival, and suddenly, you want then to go away for a bit so you can have a breather and you literally have no idea what you are doing.
3. You will hate your partner.
I had no idea this was coming. And when I friend called me to congratulate me on my pregnancy, she came out and said, “You will hate your husband. You will fucking hate him,” I didn’t believe her for a second. We had just gotten married and were still in the newlywed-bliss zone. There was no way I could hate my husband.
Until our son was 24 hours old and we came home from the hospital and he invited all his fucking friends over to see the babe at fucking 9 a.m. after we hadn’t slept in literally days and he didn’t cancel like I fucking asked him to because he thought we’d be fine and I had nothing that fit me properly and I wanted to beat him over the head with diaper cream.
Also, I couldn’t walk from all the tearing, my boobs were inflated, and I felt like I had to stuff all that as his friends hardly looked at the baby and thought it would be fun to crack open a beer.
I wanted to shout, “Get the fuck out of here,” but I didn’t and the hating began.
4. You may sprout some big-ass hemorrhoids.
We’ve talked about how that first post-baby poop is a rough one but sometimes it can be so rough you are afraid to go and ten days go by without taking a steamer because the ‘roids that started from pushing for two hours sprout into full-sized anal speed bumps and you start to fear people can see them through the maternity pants you are still wearing.
Not that I know, AHEM. I’m just saying, it might happen to you and if putting your feet up, soaking your ass, and rubbing on tubes of Preparation H don’t reduce those butt-blossoms, call your doctor. There’s no need to suffer thorough this.
5. You will piss yourself.
The bladder is weak after the baby comes. Also, you forget to take the time to go to the bathroom because you are trying to find your new normal and somehow believe your piss balloon still has the strength it had before you had the baby. It does not.
One afternoon, my two-week-old was sleeping next to me as I washed dishes. I kind of had to pee but wanted to get the dishes done before he woke up.
As soon as my hands hit the soapy water, I pissed myself. It wasn’t a little pee, either. And there was no sucking it back up, the seal was broken and I gave the kitchen floor a golden shower.
When in doubt, use the restroom for precautionary measures.
6. You may get some infections.
You bleed for at least a month after giving birth and nothing can go into the vagina for six weeks if you’ve had a vaginal birth so you can either free bleed or use something to protect your clothing which doesn’t give your vag a lot of breathing room.
You may get a yeast infection or rash from the moisture no matter how often you change your underwear or pad.
After a vaginal birth, you already have so much trauma down there, it’s hard to tell what is supposed to feel normal because you are uncomfortable all the damn time.
At my 6-week appointment, I had a horrible yeast infection as well as a rash from using pads for so long and I literally had no clue. I thought it was all a part of the healing process from the third degree tearing. Guess not.
There were so many times I was walking around with my kids and people would ask how I was and I wanted to shout, “It’s awful! I won’t stop bleeding, I can barely sit down, and I don’t know if anything can ever be inserted in my vagina again!”
But people don’t talk about those truths even though they are a huge part of giving birth. And it’s unfortunate because simply hearing you aren’t the only one pissing your maternity pants and buying tubes of Preparation H can make a huge difference in your day.
Let’s speak the fuck up.