Dear Seekers of Truth Regarding the First Year of Motherhood

WHY DIDN'T SOMEONE TELL ME ABOUT THIS...

 

WHEN DO I SLEEP?

I cannot pinpoint when my thought process changed, but I think in a completely different manner after having a baby. My mind cannot stop racing, which is probably because I am multitasking all day long and it’s hard to shut off. Over-thinking all of my motherly actions and trying to keep up with everyday life is difficult. Not to mention, I was napping through the early months of both my kids lives, so I was never fully rested. I wanted to hit a pause button so I wouldn’t miss anything, but also wanted to sleep for eight straight hours. Who am I kidding, I wanted twelve hours. I wanted a morning to myself so I could use the bathroom alone, finish a cup of coffee and plan my day without background noise.  

 

Ashley, mom of three
You will NEVER sleep the same again, but you will adjust to life on little sleep. You may be blessed with children that sleep through the night at three months, or you may be blessed with tiny nocturnal beasts that wake you every hour for a year. They will eventually all sleep, but even when they do, your mama bear sense will never stop. You will awake with every noise you hear, or sometimes just to run in and check to see if they are breathing. You may wake from sleeping to grab your phone and Google child behavior advice, recipes for baby food, or what preschool they will go to in three years. Your mind will never ever stop thinking about how you can do this mothering thing the best you possibly can.

 

Em, mom of two
There is not much I remember from the first six weeks of either of my children’s lives because I was a sleep-walking zombie. When people say, “the first couple months are easy because all the baby does is sleep,” they are lying or do not remember! They do not sleep all the time. They sleep all day and are up all night.  

 

Eveline, mom of two
I was so tired after my second child was born I found the butter in the pantry, the coffee creamer in the dishwasher and shoes in the washing machine. New baby, postpartum, a toddler needing extra attention took its toll. Ask for help!

 

Sarah, mom of two
I thought I would be able to handle the sleep deprivation everyone talks about because I pulled all-nighters in college and I was fine. Let me tell you, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life! I guess I forgot I was able to nap whenever I wanted to in college.  My daughter didn’t sleep through the night until she was ten months old. I found myself crying a lot and being stressed by my lack of sleep.  When I was given a break and was given the time to sleep, I couldn’t, because I had to get up and pump after three to four hours to relieve my engorged breasts. It was rough, but I would do it again.

 

Barb, mom of one
Some kids just don't sleep well and scream a lot and none of the books are going to help you with that.  Do what you need to do to survive. Sleeping with your child is not necessarily equal to a death sentence.

 

 

WHO'S BODY IS THIS?

So your body will change, obviously!  If you are lucky, work hard, and in my case breastfeed away those calories, you may get back to pre-baby weight.  Maybe even get under that number.  But, your body and clothes will not fit the same. 

 

Emily, mom of two
You may get back to your original size, but your boobs may sag or go away completely. Things just are not as tight anymore...anywhere!

 

Heather, mom of three
I didn't know that breastfeeding could dry you up like a desert in your nether regions. It was a solid 6 months for me. This was caused by low estrogen levels. I also discovered that any kind of exercise that involves jumping is out of the question for me. It feels like my uterus is about to fall out. Seriously. Do your kegel's, people!  
My midwife advised me not to investigate how things looked down there until at least six months after giving birth. She said clean it in the shower and leave it at that, Do. Not. Peek! I of course ignored this advice. All the Relaxin© in your system keeps things loosened up in preparation for birth - joints, ligaments, organs (thanks, heartburn) and smooth muscle tissue.  OH YEAH, and all your lady bits.  I looked down one day to see what was up and UGHHHHHH I should have listened!  Eventually things tightened up.  

 

Tonya, mom of two
I could still feel the baby kicking after birth due to nerves.

 

C, mom of two
After I gave birth to my son, who was just shy of nine pounds my childhood asthma condition came back in full force. I am not sure if it was his size, or just the position he liked to be in while I was pregnant, but to this day (2 years later) I still need a daily inhaler and a rescue inhaler when I get sick.  

 

Ricki, mom of three
Umbilical hernias* and hemorrhoids* are a real thing.  They hurt like a bitch and are extremely embarrassing to talk to a doctor about, but the pain pushes you through it.

*Umbilical hernia is a pouch formed from the inner lining of your belly that pushes through a hole in the abdominal wall at the belly button.

*Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in lower rectum

 

Cait, mom of two
My first visit to the dentist after having my first child I ended up having five cavities!!! I was shocked and embarrassed. I brushed and flossed the same if not more when I was pregnant, but still managed to get FIVE CAVITIES?!? My dentist told me that a woman’s body is being depleted of nutrients while she is pregnant and it is very common to get cavities. Heads Up!

 

Talia, mom of one
My feet actually grew ½ size larger.

 

NEW HAIR WITHOUT THE SALON?

While pregnant you probably loved your hair, right? It grows so fast, its thicker than normal and has a beautiful shine. Well, sorry to say, that all goes away. After my first child, I lost so much hair I thought there may be something wrong. Nope- it’s unfortunately very normal. The damage was most evident when I would pull my hair up. I had so many fly-aways that did not tie up, not to mention the new side bangs that appeared on both sides of my forehead.  It grows back…slowly.
 

With my second child, Weston, I expected the same thing to happen.  Yes, I did lose some, but the consistency changed dramatically.  I have always had very fine, straight hair.  I never needed a straightener, and always needed lots of spray to keep a curl.  About six months after having my Weston I had this crazy section of crimpy hair located on the back of my head.  I like this change, but would have preferred it was all over and not just in a random section.  I am still trying to figure out how to tame it. 

 

Before and After Weston.....

 

Kitty, mom of two
I had huge chunks of hair come out when I stopped nursing.

 

Heather, mom of three
Straight hair my entire life, and then after being pregnant, wavy hair all over.

 

Katie, mom of one
My child is almost 26 months old - WHEN IS IT GOING TO GROW BACK?

 

 

SKIN ISSUES?  whamp whamp - que downer music

During pregnancy most women have that, “pregnancy glow” which is caused by increased hormones and an increase in blood volume. Enjoy this time. After having your baby the hormones go all over the place resulting in the opposite effect, acne. Boo!  

 

Emily, mom of two
The complexion on my face and back changed.  It was a mix between acne and pigmentation that started a few months into my pregnancy and lasted for a year after giving birth.

 

Barb, mom of one
I got weird brown spots on the skin of my breasts that faded a bit after birth. I think it was Melasma, (a common skin problem that causes brown to gray-brown patches on the skin).

 

Ricki, mom of three
I had so many stretch marks on my stomach and everyone told me to use about eighteen different creams to make them go away, but they didn't. I still look like a zebra.

 

Michelle, mom of two
I now have differently pigmented spots on my face that my dermatologist says are there for the long haul due to all the hormone changes. I also developed several skin tags that I’ve never seen before.

 

K, mom of two
I had terrible rashes on my abdomen after both c-sections! I mean AWFUL and so painful. I had bad reactions to whatever medication they used in surgery. It came about 6 weeks after my first-born and immediately after my second-born, which was really bad because I was still recovering from surgery. I've never met anyone else who had this problem.