I was going through some images and came across a photo taken at the hospital when we were about to head home after having Mariah. I remember that moment perfectly. I told Nina to take a photo with my iPhone. Everyone takes a “going home photo” right? I remember looking at the photo after she took it and did this…
Ok, so that’s really dramatic which is not at all what I did. 😉 I did know that this going home photo was going to be tucked away in my hard drive…FOREVER (until now).
BELOW: Ready to POP!
BELOW: 2 days after giving birth and about to leave the hospital and SWOLLEN.
This was my 4th rodeo. At least this time I was prepared. I had maternity leggings and maternity shirts in my overnight bag for my hospital stay. When I had my first child, I literally thought I’d be back to my pre pregnancy body so I packed “regular” clothes. Tell me I’m not the only one who had this thought! Talk about a reality check…I remember trying to fit my leg into the jeans I brought and well, it couldn’t even get past my thigh.
Since no one really tells you how days after pregnancy really are, here’s an inside scoop….
- Be prepared to wear huge pads probably the size of the newborn diaper your baby will wear.
- You will bleed…a lot. (reason for the pads)
- Ice packs for your private area never felt sooooo good.
- Be prepared to wear huge stretchy mesh granny panties. Thongs are not going to be holding those huge pads in place!
- They will push on your stomach a lot. Gotta make sure those blood clots are out!
- Are you modest? Throw that out of the window. You are like a baby yourself. They will have to check your private area multiple times a day.
- Peeing will be such a huge accomplishment.
- Take the laxatives consistently that the nurses give you. If you don’t, prepare to be super constipated.
- You will still look pregnant so plan wisely when packing your overnight hospital bag. Maybe 4-6 months instead of 9 months pregnant. You may feel and look heavier and more swollen after you give birth than when you were actually pregnant.
- Your stomach will be squishy and look like a deflated balloon.
- Take advantage of the nursery while you’re at the hospital. Have them watch your baby while you rest. When you’re at home, you’ll wish someone was wheeling your baby right next to you.
- Once your milk actually comes in, you will look like you had a boob job. They will be hard as a rock.
- Breastfeeding doesn’t come as easy as you had imagined. It may be easy at the hospital but once your actual milk comes in 3 days after giving birth, it may be a whole new ball game.
- Be prepared for nipples to be demolished.
- Baby blues do happen. At least for us….you’re on this all time high at the hospital (you have food served to you, people watching your other kids, everyone helping, giving you medication, peace and quiet) and then once you step inside your home, you have that overwhelming feeling. You’re now in reality…. your body is still recovering, you need to keep track of your own medicine, you’re adjusting to breastfeeding, you have to take care of your baby (and your other kids), late night feedings, hardly any sleep, your husband goes back to work, your parents/family who were helping have to go back to work/home.
- Don’t turn down help…if it’s a free meal, if it’s someone watching your baby for a few hours so you can have a nap, take a shower, or even to go on a date night with your husband
- There is no right way. People will tell you what to do, but you’re the only one who knows what will be best for you and your baby.
- Sex after pregnancy may not be very enjoyable for you at first…..or the second time…or the third time.
- Even though you may not look your very best or not feel like yourself yet…get in from of the camera. Those photos may very well become your favorite photos in the future.
- ENJOY MOTHERHOOD. It’ll be tough. You’ll cry. You’ll be exhausted. You’ll be tested. It will get better. Days are long, but years will be short.
I disliked that going home image above. I was swollen and still looked very much pregnant. Definitely didn’t have a “Heidi Klum body” ready to walk on a runway after popping out a child….and that’s ok. I look at that image now with a huge smile on my face. That was the day we got to take home our baby girl who makes our family complete.
BELOW: December 2015