It’s been 2 weeks since we welcomed Baby Livia Alejandra Pineda into the world.
For new moms out there, you might feel the same way too. Awestruck and thunderstruck and monstertruck. Completely amazed at what your body just accomplished…but now your body is…well let’s just say things are not quite…but look at that BABY…
Oh my God. What just HAPPENED?
(Or you might not. You might be one of those women who bask in a gentle glowy glow afterwards, with your perfect makeup and hair and oh look! The basketball you’ve been carrying under your shirt is gone and HI AB MUSCLES! And then your milk comes in five minutes later and your baby poops gold ingots and you know what? This column is probably not for you. Move along.)
For the rest of you, now, a few things you should probably be ready for immediately post-birth:
YOU WILL STILL LOOK VERY PREGNANT!
I remember two things vividly after my first born, which NO ONE cared to inform me of.
Thing 1 – post birth of baby, you literally have to birth the placenta. Wtf? Why doesn’t it magically just slide out? We did just birth a watermelon. To me this seems like a rather cruel joke.
Thing 2 – You still look VERY pregnant. Now call me naive but I just figured that your stomach would shrink back to its normal, flat, beautiful self post birth but that is not the case.
I know, I know. No-brainer, right? This isn’t like giving birth in a sitcom. But all 3 times I admit to being a little (okay, very) taken aback by my empty, squashy abdomen. What was once so round and ripe and lovely now resembled a large batch of smushy bread dough. It deflates a bit each day, but there were definitely days when I stand in front of the mirror and regarded myself with frustration because ARGH. GO AWAY BELLY.
I do have good news however, it does go away and things do tighten up. If you breastfeed and were able to workout during pregnancy, sustaining a little muscle, that squishy belly will tighten up a little faster.
YOU STILL GET CONTRACTIONS POST BIRTH…
Onto the Uterus. My first born – no issues at all. My second, slightly painful during nursing and thereafter for a little while (usually first 7 Days) but DEAR GOD. No one prepared me for the pain I was going to endure for the third. Multiple nights I was woken to uterine contracts which simulated child birth contracts.
At their worst, postpartum uterine contractions can feel like labor pains. Other times, they’re more like vicious menstrual cramps. They’re uncomfortable for sure, but ESSENTIAL. Breastfeeding is the best way to stimulate your uterus – it tells your body that indeed, the baby is out and pregnancy is over.
If you aren’t breastfeeding, you can stimulate uterine contractions just by holding your baby. Skin-to-skin contact is best, so don’t be afraid to undo the hospital swaddle and get them all good and baby-naked and let them curl up on your chest.
EVER SEEN THE MOVIE CARRIE?
So as if menstrual cramps weren’t enough, you’ve also got the privilege of having the LONGEST PERIOD OF YOUR LIFE. Lochia. It’s blood, mucus, placental tissue. It lasts a freaking long time. Four to six weeks, usually. (Makes you want a baby doesn’t it?!)
The first few days you’ll feel like your in a gruesome horror movie but after that things will slow down. The depends you bought can be put away and a normal size diaper should now suffice for the next few weeks (lucky us).
NOW FOR THE COW…
I thought I had birthed one baby but apparently I birthed 3. The mountains which developed a few days after Livia arrived, were mountains of pain and felt as though they were going to combust at any given moment.
Cesar who seemed delighted in the moment, put out one feeler and was put in his place faster than he could blink an eye. Needless to say he has steered clear of me ever since.
My suggestion, buy a pump prior to your milk coming in to help relieve some of the engorgement. I thought I’d save a few $$ by buying one for Black Friday – a solid week after Livia was born and I thought I was going to cut off my boobs myself after trying to convince Cesar how “good” the milk was for him to help drain this stuff out of me!
Cabbage – for those who have tried this… maybe I did something wrong but it didn’t do much to reduce the pain of the milk coming in… in fact, it almost made my children throw up because I was walking around smelling like soggy cabbage for days.
Now I am one to always promote breastfeeding – NOTE: IF ONE CAN! No judgement to any moms who couldn’t or knew BF wasn’t for them. But I’ll quietly admit that BF this time around, as much as I love the connection with my little girl, it’s been a real struggle getting anything done as I feel glued to my child 24/7 and must plan activities, drop offs, pick ups, laundry etc all around feeding.
I do hope to last until 6 months plus, but the cards aren’t looking as bright as before.
Any tips or suggestions are kindly accepted.
So now moving on to the magical part – admits all that is listed above, I am truly loving and soaking in every part of this stage of baby Livia. It goes so quickly and is so precious. To help keep my immune system strong, especially with the lack of consistent sleep, I have added the following supplements back (or kept) into the diet:
Keep going moms. I am back in the days where I have to remember, slowly but surely things do get easier. Just handle one day at a time and take the grace you need.
Lisa Pineda xox