So lots of things happen postpartum. No sleep and leaky boobs being the ones we know best! Here are a few that lets just say, caught me by surprise and, that I didn't expect to happen after having Emelia!
1. Hair loss
I'm malting. Yes like a dog shedding its winter coat. Hm I've walked into that one, well not literally like a dog, but its falling out pretty quick! The hair loss is no joke, and if it wasn't completely normal, than I would be sooo worried right now! My hair really thickened up whilst I was pregnant and, grew really quickly due to the added blood supply and the fact you don't lose much hair whilst your expecting. My hair has always been quite short, so for it to grow so quickly, I was more than happy! I really did not expect to start losing so much hair though. Of course I have heard of "postpartum hair loss" but, naively I thought this meant a few strands of hair not literally enough to make some weird hairy rug (ugh gross). But mine comes out in clumps. It doesn’t help that Emelia just randomly grabs hold of my hair when she feels like it either! I think because it started falling out when Emelia was 4 months, I had half thought I'd got away with it but no. Any way I have decided to not colour it at the moment and try to keep it in as best condition as possible. I'm hoping its going to slow down real soon too.
This was something I really didn't expect to happen after Emelia was born, I was in agony for about 2 weeks after delivery because my hips felt out of place after giving birth. I had slight discomfort throughout pregnancy, with the normal pelvic girdle pain, and ligament discomfort because of growing and stretching. But yes, post delivery, I expected general discomfort, but not barely being able to walk. Everywhere took double the amount of time and effort. Even rising up out of chair was so so painful, and getting out of bed in the night to see to a newborn was near to impossible. To be honest I should of just put my feet up, and not worried about being too out and about, however, for some reason I felt this pressure to just get on with stuff, so most probably I overdid it! I mentioned it lots to health visitors, midwifes ect. who reassured me, and luckily mine disappeared after about 2 weeks, but it really was agony to begin with. The relaxin hormone that is released whilst you are pregnant is necessary to loosen ligaments, and relax the pelvic area,
ready for delivery. However, once delivery has taken place the stress on your joints and ligaments still occurred, so I guess this can potentially cause a certain amount of long term issues. It can take up to 5 months for everything to return back to normal after birth. Needless to say this was something I most definitely did not expect. Also another reason to take it real easy with exercise after birth.
I think I've had more cravings since Emelia has been here, than I ever did throughout pregnancy. Breastfeeding makes you so thirsty, but also peckish for snacky style items. Throughout January, I am going to be re-working on my diet, simply because it makes me feel so much more energised and better when I am eating cleaner. I have become such a grazer when it comes to food, not really eating substantial meals and just going for snacks throughout the day. This is mainly because its quicker and I just dont have the time anymore. With the sweet snacks taking my fancy, I have been more than happy to oblige! When your feeding though, you do just get this sudden thirst and hunger again, more so then I ever expected. I find it really handy to have things like water on hand. Really I should be more organised, and have lunch prepped and ready for when Emelia's feeding too. Wouldn't it be lovely to be that organised ! (I'm working on it !!)
So yes I suppose this kind of goes in the same box as baby blues, but it wasn't just tears and it wasn't post natal depression. The first few days after giving birth were so tiring, not only because of the constant visitors, but obviously the sleepless nights kicking in and recovering from birth. 3 days after delivery, Reggie and I decided we needed a day just us and our new baby, no visitors, just so we could recuperate and enjoy our time with our new baby. We literally shut the blinds and said no to visitors. It was amazing. My favourite day from those first few. The next day went back to normal though and the influx of visitors began again. At this point I started to get over emotional and started to hate people holding Emelia! Totally irrational as obviously, nobody was going to hurt her, but I just really didn't like it to the point where I would have to leave the room sometimes! (okay now I sound crazy).. No I know this is quite common with other mums I have spoken too, and it really is hard to explain. But that emotion is so so strong and especially in them early days, when your hormones are all over the place, you really just want baby all to yourself. We have 100% decided that next time we are going to be selfish and have a few days of us time before having people over. In fact for any new parents that would be my one bit of advice. DO NOT feel guilty for saying come back another day or no visitors in the first week. Its your baby and you need that time to get to know your child. I did decide to breastfeed, and establishing feeding with constant visitors is IMPOSSIBLE. Well in my opinion.
5. You become a mum
Okay that sounds silly. But your whole mindset just changes. I suppose maybe its different for everyone but I just know for myself every thought, decision, and choice ect. is completely centered around Emelia. Its not just about responsibility, its more than that, if that makes any sense! Your world really does shift. Of course that is what being a parent is all about but, I just thought it would be much more subtle. Lets just use a simple example. As most women do, I love a good shop but I find myself instantly going to the kiddies section now instead of spending all that time finding things for myself! I don't know, as I said its so much more than that and obviously not about shopping! But becoming a mum just changes even the smallest movements you make!
Obviously saying all that it is all completely worth it! I would definitely go through it all again as many other women do to :)