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.