No one really talks or prepares you for the changes that happen after birth. Personally, I feel like there were so preparations for birth and the arrival of my newborn that I had kind of forgotten about the aftermath of it all so I thought I would write a blogpost of my experience. I absolutely love being a mother and it’s the best feeling in the world to see your child develop and grow. Any parent can tell you that! So I thought I’d write about the challenges that I faced adjusting to motherhood. This is quite a personal post, so I do hope you enjoy the read!
What People Forgot To Mention About After Birth:
- Blood, blood and more blood – If you think you’ve escaped the copious amounts of blood from labour; you’re sadly mistaken. Straight after birth, I found myself bleeding bucket loads. And that is NO exaggeration. I knew that there would be bleeding for some weeks after labour, but I didn’t realise the amount that actually comes out. In general, after giving birth; you’re suppose to wear maternity pad – that’s just how it is. But I found myself wanting to wear an actual adult nappy… Or several. There was an incident where I was sitting down in the delivery suite for about 30 mins or so, and as I stood up; blood literally just gushed out of me. There was blood all over the seat and dripping out of me incredibly fast as I ran to the toilet. It was honestly horrific for both me and my boyfriend to witness. I can’t tell you the embarrassment I felt when the cleaner or nurse came in and just saw the hospital seat covered in blood as well as a nice pool on the floor.
- Painful pee – This was the one thing that I was NOT prepared for in the slightest. Have you ever had a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)? If you have, that’s exactly how it feels like. It lasted for nearly 3 weeks that I started to question whether or not this was just an untreated UTI. I dreaded going to the toilet (not that I went that often for the first week or so… probably twice a day). Peeing stung so bad and only a little amount would come out. It was horrible. Absolutely horrible. To lessen the pain, I used to bring both of my legs straightened up in front of me and clench both my toes and hands. And even that didn’t help. Because your insides are very displaced (not exactly surprising, since your baby’s taking up every bit of space), your bodily functions are a little bit displaced as well. Like the bleeding, it doesn’t last forever. And that’s what you have to keep telling yourself, when you leak aggressively through another pad or you feel like your pee hole is on fire.
- It just all bloody well hurts – Well it’s obviously no surprise that it’s going to be quite painful for a while but I didn’t realise how much. I could barely walk for the first week. Simple day to day tasks were very hard to do. Things like bending down was a no no. To be honest, it didn’t last that long so you know it wasn’t TOO bad. Obviously at the time, I thought it was the end of me and things weren’t going to get better (dramatic much?) but you know… It does and you keep on living.
- What is eating? – Personally, in between looking after a newborn and going by the rule: ‘When your newborn is asleep, you should sleep’, I had no time to eat throughout the day. I lived on snacks my mum or boyfriend came back from work.
- Breastfeeding is HARD – Unfortunately, I wasn’t one of the lucky ones who found breastfeeding very easy. When I was pregnant, I thought breastfeeding would come SO naturally and I regret not doing my research beforehand. Breastfeeding IS a skill and it does take patience and determination. There were SO many problems I had with breastfeeding and for the first month I hated it. My 8lbs baby was a HUNGRY baby, who wanted to feed on the hour every hour. It was mentally and physically exhausting for me but that’s a whole different blogpost! Bottom line is, you should do a lot of research into breastfeeding before you give birth if you plan to breastfeed because it will help you a hell of a lot. And if you don’t end up breastfeeding, it isn’t the end of the world and you honestly shouldn’t force yourself to keep on if you’re suffering so much in the process.
There were SO many changes after Tyler was born, I was very much overwhelmed with it all. The ones mentioned are just a few of the temporary changes that I experienced. There are so many changes, that up till now I’m still having to deal with. I didn’t really feel like myself for quite some time, and the transition from carrying Tyler internally to having Tyler physically there was the hardest time of my life. Having a newborn is hard, especially being a first time mum. I know a lot of mums from the get go, want to be with their babies all the time and are completely besotted with them (not that I’m not) but honestly… for the first few weeks, I just wanted to sleep. Sleep. Sleep. And Sleep. It definitely puts a mental strain on you. It’s very easy to get baby blues for the first few weeks. It’s so important to have a good support system. I’m definitely thankful for mine. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t get baby blues or struggle. I cried like a bitch for so long till I grabbed two grips and kept it moving. I thought I was doing everything wrong, from breastfeeding to carrying him. I didn’t think I had maternal instincts but I definitely am learning and growing with Tyler. And it does take time. As long as you have people around you supporting you and you take it one day at a time, everything will be okay.