My beautiful baby girl Willow was born a week ago today, and perhaps surprisingly, adjusting to having a new little member of the family hasn’t been as difficult as I’d envisioned. There have, however, been a few things happen that I didn’t expect.
The Blood Loss is Ridiculous
Okay so I knew I’d bleed during the birth – I’ve seen enough episodes of One Born Every Minute to know that this is pretty much standard. But the blood loss afterwards? Jesus. The first couple of days, I looked and felt like I was part of a horror movie and although it has got better since, there’s still enough going on down there for me to consider taking out shares in a sanitary towel company.
Your Bits Will Swell Up
I didn’t have the best birth (hopefully I’ll write about it before I bury the memory forever), and ended up with a tear and stitches afterwards. While my vag looked and felt like a jigsaw puzzle, what I didn’t expect was the amount of swelling that would happen. It looked like someone had stuck a balloon pump into my labia and inflated them. This has mostly gone now, but in the couple of days after birth I did worry whether this was going to be permanent. If it was, no-one would be seeing my lady garden again!
You’ll Transition from a Total Badass to an Emotional Wreck Overnight
Thanks to my childhood, I’ve never exactly been emotional. In fact, for much of the third trimester my sister was in a coma and rather than cry about it, I spent much of the time making jokes and writing her a stupid diary in the style of Big Brother “Day 31 in Boston Hospital. I heard you pooped yourself today…”. I’ve just always been a bit detached from everything. However, once Willow came into the world, everything changed. I now cry at everything. Last night my husband told me to whisper as he’d just got Willow down for a nap and it turned into a two hour meltdown on my part, believing I wasn’t a good parent. Just looking at her makes me cry as well, and I cry every day because she’s getting older. Yep, my badass, detached nature has disappeared and been replaced with one that cries more than the newborn’s.
Even with a First Baby, A Lot of Stuff is Pure Instinct
Due to the horrific birth I had, I ended up having to stay in hospital, with Willow, alone. Before she was born, I’d never held a newborn before, let alone changed one, fed one, and comforted one and to be quite frank, I was shitting myself and begging to be discharged. But, luckily, everything was fine. The nurses were there in case I needed anything, but we both survived the night, and it was pure instinct that got me through. You just kinda know what to do.
You Might Miss Being Pregnant
I hated being pregnant for the majority of it. I hardly got out of bed in the first trimester due to morning sickness, and my food aversions left me eating a diet of Haribo and crackers. The second tri was pretty decent, although you’re in that in-between stage where you look more fat than pregnant. And then the third tri was okay but uncomfortable in the heat, and with SPD, walking more than 50 metres absolutely killed my pelvis. At 41 weeks, I asked to be induced, partly because I was worried about the placenta failing (thanks Dr Google), but also because I was ready to have my body back. However, now I am fully mourning not being pregnant. I miss feeling her kicks inside me, I miss my massive bump, and I regret how detached I was during the pregnancy and how I hardly took any bump photos. The sane part of me knows that this is ridiculous, but the emotional side is grieving!
Laughing Makes You Pee
Not much to say about this one except yep, it’s probably a good job I have a shit ton of sanitary towels at hand. I remember an hour after the birth being advised to start kegals even though I couldn’t even feel my bits. Still haven’t started them, still peeing myself daily…
Despite Everything, You May Be Instantly Broody
I always said I only wanted one baby – I’d convinced myself it would be easier, and after two years of trying to conceive Willow, I also didn’t want to put myself through the monthly pain of infertility all over again. Fred was the opposite before Willow’s birth – he always wanted more than one. One week after her birth, my views have totally changed. She’s made me ridiculously broody and I want more tiny, snuggly babies. He, on the other hand, is still traumatised from the birth and can’t imagine himself going through it again. I’m sure, when my hormones have recovered, this feeling will end, but right now, I’m not against having a Duggar sized family.
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