MY STORY: WHAT I DIDN’T EXPECT AFTER HAVING A BABY

Whenever women have babies, you always see the beautiful pictures that show how wonderful having a baby is. You see the cute pictures of babies dressed up, the SnapBack pictures showing how quick mom bounced back and the pictures of how in love and happy they are. Now, all of the above does happen but there is a hidden side to postpartum life that isn’t glorified. I am here to be transparent about my personal journey.

My pregnancy was great I believe. I made sure I worked out 4-5 times a week and ate healthy. I was preparing myself to be as ready for delivery as I could be. I was not prepared to have a 3.5 (the highest is 4) stage vaginal tear after pushing my daughter out. That was terrible! I pushed her out so fast because I was so against having a C-Section. She was out in 20 minutes and I was left tore up! I heard and read all about vaginal tears but didn’t think it was going to happen to me. Well, I was praying it didn’t happen to me. Generally, healing time is 6 weeks. However, in my case, it was approximately 10 weeks. When the doctor came in the room and told me due to my tear, my heal time was going to be up to 12 weeks long, I smiled and said ok. But boy, when she left the room, I cried to Drew like a baby lol. Healing was kind of tough. I had hemorrhoids, swollen ankles and had to tote around a donut pillow so I didn’t mess up my stitches. After the first two weeks, I started feeling back to my old self.

Let’s get into breastfeeding and engorgement. I must’ve been living in fantasy land because this was another thing I thought was going to be a breeze. Thank goodness AnnDrew latched on right away — One less hurdle I had to overcome. People told me how sore and raw my nipples were going to be but hearing it vs experiencing it are two different ball games. I did struggle with that pain for a bit. There were nights when AnnDrew was days old, that I would cry to Drew about how painful it was. My breasts got engorged days after I had the baby. I exclusively breastfeed AnnDrew but I had always heard about pumping so I started pumping after birth. Pumping and breastfeeding caused my milk to come in heavy!! They were so engorged and my skin was so stretched it was shiny!! Painful!!! I couldn’t let the water from the shower hit them. I had to keep washcloths over my chest while I showered. Since breastfeeding burns so many calories each feeding she is draining me dry lol. AnnDrew eats a lot so it burns more calories than what I take in. I always joke and say from carrying her my arms are toned like Michelle Obama and from her draining my weight my legs look like Jay-Z’s. What a combination!

I work at home so majority of my days are spent wearing nursing bras and milk pads. If you were to FaceTime me during the day, you will see me with my hair tied up and my milk pads practically hanging out. Definitely not Glam, but real life lol. Let’s not even get into how many shirts I’ve leaked milk on or how many times I had to quickly jump out of an outfit due to heavy spit up!

The MAIN thing I was not prepared for was postpartum hair shedding/loss. Picture this. While you are pregnant, your body does not shed any hair for 9 months. Typically you lose 100 hairs a day. While pregnant, none! The vitamins are helping your mane flourish into this gorgeous thick crown. My hair was boomin’. Ok! Fast forward to 2 months after I had the baby. My hair started shedding quick, fast and in a hurry. It really was out of no where. I was washing my hair and noticed little strands of hair on my hands with the root attached!! Talk about your heart dropping. The next time I washed my hair I had handfuls (HANDFULLSSS) of hair coming out –still with the root attached. This was another thing Drew had to hear me whine about. He tried to give me the “it’s not bad” talk until he saw the hair and even he couldn’t deny. IT WAS BAD!! Presently, my hair is starting to come back in the patches around my temples where I had hair loss and AnnDrew is 5 months old. Oh but thank God I still have my edges!

The changes women go through are monumental. You grow a whole human being inside of you! It is truly amazing. No one is prepared for what you will go through. Of course the reward of your precious baby outweigh any temporary pain. Everyone has their own journey and everyone handles things differently. I know it can be hard to see other women’s lives through social media. But what you have to realize it, its perception. People post what they want you to see. Everyone goes through hardships and everyone has some sort of insecurities.

Women are expected to always be strong. After having a baby it’s ok to vulnerable and it’s ok to ask for help. This is something I had to learn. Be strong and always embrace your own journey. It’s what makes you you!

Comment and let me know your biggest struggle after having a baby.

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10 Comments

  1. Denisha
    November 23, 2016 / 5:50 pm

    Having an emergency c section, after the epidural (which only worked on one side) that resulted in a snipped bladder. I went home with a catheter for 2 weeks, a new nursing baby, had a full 6 weeks worth of a cycle, and family members that wanted to help but really weren’t helping a lot because I was up entertaining with my catheter hanging (embarrassment to the utmost). I cried at least three times over the catheter. Everyone always says “But look what you got! A beautiful baby!” Yes he’s everything to me, but that was a true challenge! My boyfriend was very supportive, but it’s one of those things that you just don’t understand until you’re in it.

    • Mel
      Author
      November 23, 2016 / 6:13 pm

      Oh wow! Yes, that sounds very challenging!! You did it though girl ! I definitely would’ve been crying over the catheter as well. As he gets older and ever tries to act out you can say “Boyyyy do you know what I went through to bring you in this world…!” 😉 Denisha, I take my hat off to you.

      • Denisha
        November 23, 2016 / 7:13 pm

        Thanks! As women just making a baby is amazing. People just don’t tell you about all the stuff that goes along with motherhood. I wouldn’t trade it, but I will always tell the truth! You look great by the way! You’re snap back was awesome! You’re doing a great job mommy!!! Thanks for sharing your experience 😊

  2. November 23, 2016 / 11:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story! My pregnancies were great. My deliveries were horrible. Baby #1:induced at 41 wks. Unsuccessful induction led to a csection. After 13 days of fever of unknown origin I finally said let me go home and enjoy my baby because I thought I was gonna die. Finally I laid down and boom. Explosion. The whole time I had an abscess on my csection incision that finally came to a head. To top it off I went 15 days without a bowel movement got thrush from antibiotics and grew what looked like a finger on my pinky and had to get that removed. I didnt get to nurse my son because of the medicine. I spent my maternity leave getting wounds packed 3 times a week. Baby #2 repeat csection. Not as bad. I caught the abscess before it got too bad. I was able to nurse my daughter until 10 months no engorgment. Only thing was I still have the “csection belly” from not being able to wear my abdominal binder. My edges were bald 2nd child. And I had post partum. I now have a 5 1/2 yr old n a 1yr old. Wouldnt trade it for the world. No more babies for me!!

    • Mel
      Author
      November 24, 2016 / 6:11 pm

      Whoa! You’re are one strong woman!!! Thanks for sharing your story! Yes, the babies are worth the struggle.

  3. November 25, 2016 / 9:03 pm

    I’m so proud of you and your blog! It’s truly wonderful to see you transform and now, a Mom! I could write a book on my experience, but one being the toil it takes on your body. I did have a C-section and after two weeks, it re-opened almost killing me which lead me back in the hospital. All of the above I’ve experienced with the exception of hair loss :o/ I was in labor and delivery for 4 days, the longest patient they’ve had, i beat hospital records during my stay, LOL! I commend you for your honesty and pray God’s favor and blessings over everything concerning you and your beautiful family. God Bless!

    • Mel
      Author
      December 6, 2016 / 4:33 pm

      Oh wow!!! Thanks xoxo! Much appreciated!

  4. Christelle
    December 6, 2016 / 4:21 pm

    Wow I love your blog. Thank you for sharing your motherhood experience. I have a 3 week year old and the struggle is definitely real. It was great to read that you experienced the same things. I had a bonding moment lol. Continue to do great work, your are an inspiration.

    • Mel
      Author
      December 6, 2016 / 4:32 pm

      Thank you so much!! Your kind words are definitely appreciated!

  5. December 11, 2016 / 12:03 pm

    Mel,

    I am so proud of you! As your mom I have watched you grow, mature and develop into an awesome mom and an inspiring woman! You inspire and motivate me.
    Though it was 24 years ago when your twin brothers were born, their birth took a toll on my body. Over 13 pounds, and they were delivered early by a c-section. Waking up every two hours to breast feed, I was so sleep deprived. Stretch marks beyond belief and a sagging stomach…. it was well worth it, but I had no idea what was in store.
    Love your blog! Keep doing great things and inspiring others. Love you and AnnDrew so much. Mom

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