Little Joejoe is one month old now and, I know it’s cliche, it’s crazy how fast he’s growing. At his two week appointment he was 8lbs 1oz and 21 inches long, only one ounce over his birth weight. Two weeks later at his one month appointment he was 10lbs 10oz and 23 inches long. That means he put on nearly a third of his body weight in two weeks! My husband, the engineer, did the math and if you scale that up to a 170 pound person (my husband) that’s like gaining 88 pounds in two weeks!
Joejoe is growing and eating and filling his diapers almost nonstop. In the last couple days he’s really started to figure out smiling, which just melts your heart. He’s also nearly there when it comes to rolling over, he’s so close it’s frustrating. If he could just figure out how to push with the arm and leg on the same side he’d flip right over. My little guy is doing wonderfully, and I love him to pieces.
But let’s talk about the other side of this coin, everyone always discussing beautiful baby and only baby. I don’t blame people for this, hell, I’m guilty of it. There’s just some serious business we need to discuss too, woman to woman (or whoever might be reading this). Once again, this is not medical advice nor are these examples applicable to all women. It’s entirely possible these things could happen to you, or you may never experience them at all (except the bleeding). This is just my personal journey after pregnancy.
First, at this stage my bleeding has all but stopped. Oh yea, in case you didn’t know you do in fact bleed off and on for up to six weeks postpartum. It’s also possible you’ll be super lucky and bleed up until 3 months postpartum, start gathering those Always coupons now. Randomly the bleeding kicks back up again, which is honestly more annoying than anything. Your body makes up for all those missed periods by letting them out all at once in the 6 weeks after birth. How kind of it.
Second, night sweats. What? Yes, as if you didn’t already feel gross enough you now get to wake up drenched in sweat. I mean drenched. Keep in mind too that you wake up every 2-4 hours to feed baby. So, every 3ish hours I wake up drenched in sweat. Fun times right?
Third, you may still be constipated. Have serious poop problems while pregnant? I did, and it appears they’ve stuck around to taunt me in my convalescence. Lots of fiber, water, and a little help from friendly Colace are making this particular issue less of a…headache.
Fourth, stretch marks, extra fluff, leaky boobs, dark circles, and a sore downstairs are not the ingredients to a confident body image. And that’s ok, really. I’ve come to terms with looking like something the cat dragged in for the next few months. Once you accept that it’s easier. Eventually everything will settle into a new normal. In the meantime you just have to be patient with yourself, your body, and your baby.
Fifth and finally, pregnancy is not easy, birth is painful, postpartum is gross, and parenting is hard. But, whenever I get a little overwhelmed or I can’t see the light at the end of the sleepless tunnel I remember that women have been doing this since the beginning of time. Women have done this over and over for centuries. And if those women can handle this, then surely I can too. I’m stronger than I thought I was, and so are you. Learn to accept help and roll with the punches. Cause it’s not easy, anyone who said it was was a dirty rotten liar, but it’s doable.
Another cliche for the road, every time I pick up my little boy and he smiles at me it makes it all worth it. There’s nothing better than that.