I remember thinking while pregnant with Abby that once she came out, everything would feel "normal" again. In other words, all of the pain of pregnancy and labor would be worth it, because my body would feel great again.
The laughter at my total ignorance is bubbling out of me as I type this.
It seems women are made aware of every possible pain and inconvenience of the pregnancy months. Most are even told of the endless possibilities of things to occur during labor that might be embarrassing. But, it seems no one talks about the first few weeks of postpartum bliss.
For those of you who have gone through or are going through this experience, this is for you to not feel alone. For those who have not yet experienced this joyous time, please do not let it scare you from future pregnancies.
Here are my "favorite" parts of the first few weeks of motherhood...
1) No matter your birthing story, your body will feel like it has been through a war. And it will look like it. Stretch marks, stitches, hemrrhoids, sore nipples, stretched out skin...need I go on?
2) Some women (and their husbands) think it is great to have larger breasts during the nursing time. Too bad that the sore nipples and engorgement take away any desire for them to be touched.
3) Taking a shower (when you actually get the chance every three days or so) starts out pleasant, until you face toward the water with full breasts-ouch.
4) I have heard for men to understand labor, it would be like them pushing a watermelon out of their...you know. Picturing that kind of trauma should tell you how everything feels for a woman after giving birth.
5) Going to the bathroom during those first few days is an event. It requires extra time and lots of supplies. The best is when your husband comes to check on why it is taking you so long. Please try and keep your patience with him.
6) It has been said that nursing is a great way to lose weight because of all of the calories being taken from your body. However, the truth is that you are constantly hungry as this little creature drains the life out of you. Get ready to eat-a lot.
7) Babies do not know their nights from days for awhile. It makes sense-while in the womb, they tend to sleep during the day because of their mother's constant motion. Understanding this concept during the day is easy to accept. Seeing the logic in the middle of the night when the sweet child continues to interrupt your needed sleep is another thing.
8) At first, the baby eating every three hours seems like it would give you enough time inbetween to get things done and to rest. Then, you realize that after the baby eats for 30-45 minutes, after you burp and change him or her, then keep him or her awake (to learn night from day) and finally put him or her back down to sleep-you are left with about 15 minutes of "me" time.
To be fair, there are many lovely advantages to this time as well. For me, I love the fact that we are blessed with meals from friends for the next month. It is also nice to have an excuse to just stay home and rest-no one expects much from a new mom during those first few weeks. After watching you give birth, your husband has a newfound respect for you. This respect gets greater the more dramatic the birth (mine thinks I am a hero right now).
And, of course, the blessing of a new child that has made all of the drama worth it. I will gladly suffer through the pain and tiredness as I get to know this new little one in my life. Noah, you are worth it.