At the moment of writing this, I'm 7 months 2 weeks postpartum. I've just stepped out of the shower, looked into the mirror, thinking about how much my body has changed. Now, I'm sitting on the couch with my laptop half resting on my mom pooch ready to talk about it.
There's just so much to unpack. From the amazing changes during the pregnancy and how I felt to the not so amazing changes that came once my wild bubba arrived. It feels almost impossible to list them all, but I'll try.
The first thing that was noticeable, at least for me. You'll soon realise that your breasts will be one of the hottest topics during and after pregnancy. I've always been in team "no-boobs" for most of my life, until getting pregnant. During the pregnancy, the girls kept getting fuller and rounder. I was enjoying the new look, along with that growing belly. Body con dresses that hugged my latest curves were a new favourite. Of course they didn't get that way without any pain. My first pregnancy symptom was that my boobs got really sore. We're talking, I-had-to-stop-while-walking-sore.
The year before getting pregnant, I was dealing with pretty severe adult acne. Trying all sorts of products and facials that didn't help improve my skin. Upon discovering about the pregnancy, I kind of took 'less' care of my skin and used less products. Around the end of the second month, my skin magically cleared up and I was glowing. I felt more confident about my skin than I had in years. Although, please note that for some women, pregnancy has the opposite effect.
While we're on the topic of skin... My issues regarding my Linea Nigra are very personal. I dreaded the day it would appear and kept hoping that it would appear really faint or not at all if possible. It took me a while to accept that I now had this dark brown line on my belly and, for what would be an unknown amount of time.
Yet another skin matter I didn't want to have to deal with. I read about stretch mark prevention as much as I could. To summarise my reading, you can try as much as you want to prevent stretch marks, but it has more to do with your genes than it does with the amount of belly butter you slather. I rubbed oils and lotions from when I found out we were pregnant, every morning and every night. I had no stretch marks. And then, they appeared all at once, overnight, in my last trimester along with an itchy belly.
This might just be the ugly in all of it. I'm not going to go into detail cause it's rude but whether it's coming out of your mouth or your bum, whatever is changing inside our bodies is going to cause an increase in gas. Trust me.
I love this one! Although I didn't notice it immediately, it was almost as though I had none. They just stopped growing as fast and I didn't have to worry about shaving, plucking or waxing very much. Considering that all those things got increasingly difficult to do as I grew, I fully welcomed this change.
Somewhere during the second trimester, my gums started bleeding every time I brushed my teeth. This issue really lingered but it's more of a topic for part II.
Sleep (or the lack thereof)
Everyone I knew who was already a parent told us "get as much sleep/rest as you can". Don't. Be. Fooled. What sleep? Between the pregnancy migraines, the indigestion, the discomfort and the backaches, there wasn't going to be much sleep. In the first trimester, I would fall asleep anywhere, any time. I would wake up in the morning, have a coffee, transport myself to the couch where, an hour later, I would be asleep again. After getting past the pregnancy fatigue, I was waking up at odd hours of the night, jolted awake by some weird dream or by my own bladder. I felt exhausted for so much of my pregnancy, and then I became a parent and it took exhaustion to another level.
I didn't actually have any cravings particular to my pregnancy and I don't believe in them either. What I did have, was a mammoth appetite. I was eating, all the time. Even when I had indigestion and wasn't feeling 100% in my belly, I ate. I took a total of 16kg during the pregnancy and was advised several times by my doctor to take it easy on the food. I kept telling myself that my appetite was due to the pregnancy, but boy did it continue on after.
For the first 2 trimesters, I put on about 1kg per month. I thought I'd be one of those ladies who didn't seem to change physically after having a baby. My belly didn't even "pop" until I was well into my 5th month. And then the remaining 10kg piled on so rapidly in the last 3 months. Fast forward, 7 months 2 weeks postpartum, I wasn't one of those ladies who "bounced back" either.
These are just some of the changes I noticed and went through during the pregnancy. Like every child, each pregnancy is different. So don't go thinking you're any more or less pregnant than I was if you don't experience the same changes! And while I didn't embrace them (especially the physical ones), over time they mattered less to me and I accepted that my body went through a major ordeal to have mwb. It was only natural that I would look, feel and think differently once I became a parent.
Postpartum changes, to be continued in part II...
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