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Monday, November 4, 2013

Everybody lies (and other simple truths) : Pregnancy lasts for 9 months

More then once I have complained to my husband that my least favorite month of pregnancy was the 10th month. More then once I have been met with a blank stare.

I have news for you my friends...pregnancy goes beyond 9 months. I could make a good case for it lasting for 11 months. Once your body releases your beautiful bundle of joy into the world, it is still not your own (your body that is). The changes that I went through over the next month of post-partum recovery almost seemed greater then the changes I went through when I actually had Gabe still inside of me. It was unexpected. It was overwhelming. And as I think about having another baby in the very near future, it is not the anxiety of bringing home a newborn again. No, it is the postpartum anxiety because I now know what to expect. I know there's a 10th month to this pregnancy.

And here, for your reading pleasure (and so that I may enlighten a few moms-to-be or someday-moms-to-be) is a list of some things you may or may not experience once you give birth. Some ways in which, after you have baby, your body is still changing and adapting. I remember looking at my husband one day asking him it was it was ever going to end. It seemed like one change or discomfort, etc. after another.

I will spare you all the details, and I am just going to touch on my top 5 "highlights".

1. Let me start with probably my very least favorite. The milk coming in. Seriously, nobody pre-warned me how severely painful this can be. I didn't nurse Gabe (for a whole slew of reasons that I will get into at a later date), so when my milk came in I had to just wait for it to dry up. That took about a week. A week of carrying around leaking bowling balls on my chest (ow!!). A week of stuffing my bra with nursing pads (leaking was probably an understatement). A week of my poor father cutting up cabbage leaves to stuff into my bra to soothe the pain. Seriously...because you aren't feeling attractive enough...

2. The hormones. Oh...those post-partum hormones are something else. I feel as though I was pretty good hormonally wise (during my first pregnancy)...although my dear hubs may beg to differ. But then came post-partum hormones. I remember very distinctly when it hit me. It was day 3 in the hospital, I was sitting in the rocking chair waiting to go home and laughing at something my father and hubs had just said. Next thing I knew...I wasn't laughing anymore. I was sobbing. My mom looks at me "I knew this was going to happen" and sent the boys out of the room for a cry fest. I think that pattern (of crying out of nowhere) continued for the next little bit every night when it got dark. Rarely was it over anything in particular, just an overwhelming flood of emotions and need to cry it out.

3. Your body is just as awkward as it was in the initial months of pregnancy. Maternity clothes are suddenly too big (whoo hoo!!). But your "normal" clothes are nowhere close to fitting you. So there you are...stuck in this very strange in-between phase as you loose the baby-belly and baby-weight. I lived (and I mean lived) in these over-sized blue and white pajama pants for at least a week pulled up to my chin I swear. (They had to be large enough to fit over top of my very uncomfortable C-section incision).  When I was feeling extra-fancy I donned a pair of yoga pants. Look out world. I remember when I finally had the nerves to try on a pair of "normal" jeans a few weeks into post-partum and they was a squeeze but I didn't care. It wasn't PJ or yoga pants and I was so excited I cried. (see above).

4. Swelling can be pretty bad, especially right after baby. I look at pictures of myself when I first had Gabe and my face was the size of a balloon!! I can't say for sure why, but I think it's all the fluids and drugs they were pumping into my during and after my C-section. I have known some women who's swelling was worse a few days after delivery then during the pregnancy itself. Not just in their face, but their legs, arms, hands, everywhere. You thought you had kankles now!!

5. Gas...gas...gas...and more gas. Am I alone on this one? I am very gassy when pregnant (TMI??). And it seemed to continue post-partum forever. I won't get into the lovely details...but seriously.

Oh, it was tough. And I envy those women who look fabulous and are out and about after having a baby as though nothing is happening with their hormones and bodies.

And I'm nervous to experience it all again (although I know it could very well be completely different).

But I look at Gabe and I am so overwhelmed with my love for him that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt it was worth it. And so short-lived in the grand scheme of things. And I have no doubt that I will end up feeling the exact same way about this new baby to come.

Despite the dreaded 10th month of pregnancy.

I wasn't the only one trying to adapt to the newness of Gabe. Poor Rory.

The joy that he brings to my life now is so worth every cabbage leaf that I so desperately used. 



  1. true...all of them! You're not exaggerating either! #2 totally surprised me - I'm not an overly emotional person, but right after Tessa was born, I literally could NOT control my emotions! It was so strange, I'd be completely fine, then something would open the floodgates and I couldn't stop it - and I don't mean just a couple of tears - we're talking full-on ugly cry for no reason at all! And #4 caught me totally off guard - I was one of those lucky girls who didn't swell at all during pregnancy (wore my rings into the delivery room) but the first night home I thought I was having a stroke because my left hand and forearm went numb, followed by my feet - later discovered it was because of swelling! Crazy! Hope you have an easier go of it this time around...but you're so right, it's all completely worth it!!!


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