There’s so much that happened to my body after I gave birth, things no one talks about. Night sweats what on earth are they? Bad skin from hormones? Dry knuckles? I would have appreciated a heads up to not think is this normal, am I broken? Everyone talks about pregnancy but what comes after? I had night sweats with Logan but it was a heat wave summer so I put it down to the heat. It was snowing and I was sleeping in a vest last month so now I know it was my body, but why was I sweating like a pig? I researched it and it’s my body apparently getting rid of the extra fluids it stored while pregnant. I am happy to report that the sweating seems to have stopped unlike other things. Dry skin is something I’ve never had on my face, EVER (until now and while pregnant with Luna). I have tried and tested a No7 face brush thingy I got my sister for Christmas and it’s a miracle. I don’t have a spare £30 at the minute so my skin is dry again. I have always suffered with psoriasis on my scalp so it might just be that in patches all over my face, hormones maybe?
The biggest thing that shocked me was the fact that when I was sat at home with a newborn and I was still feeling contractions, what the?! It went on for days and I never had that with Logan. It would just come on randomly and pain killers did not help at all. Again with some online research it’s common with your second child and gets worse with each child that you have, all because of muscle tone being weaker or something along those lines. My back felt awful like it was out of line, my stomach felt empty ‘for obvious reasons’ it didn’t feel right though like my whole posture was out of line. With Logan I bounced back fitting into my size ten jeans right after. This time around eight weeks later I still can’t fit into a lot of my old stuff, I’m not bothered as I know I will get my weight down but what’s the point in buying size 12 clothes that I won’t stay in for long. Is it the older you get the harder it is to lose the weight? Or is it harder after a second child? Those are things I’m yet to find answers for.
The second thing that shocked me was this extreme hunger I would feel and I mean it would be 2am and my stomach would roar. I had to snack so much, especially during night feeds. I would advise anyone to stock up on snacks as I didnt fancy cooking in the early hours and to be honest I hardly cooked at all those first few weeks. I did of course eat our weekly food shop rather quickly, the hunger did luckily soon calm down, not completely though as energy food is still needed in the day.
My first period in nearly a year started exactly 8 weeks after having Luna. It started four weeks after having Logan so I was wondering when it would start. I must say that this time it’s not as bad, it’s a lot calmer. With Logan I had to wear the maternity pads again because the average ones just weren’t big enough but this time it seems to be a slower flow- I’m totally thinking why are you sharing this but the point is after having a baby our bodies doesn’t just jump back to being normal.
Baby blues I had never heard of before, maybe with my first pregnancy there was less awareness? I didn’t really need to know about it as I didn’t have any afterbirth hormonal effects after my first child. This time it hit straight away. The first day being at home I felt so hormonal, overwhelmed, kinda out-of-place and a little sad. I was sad that I wasn’t pregnant anymore and sad that I hated being pregnant when I now missed it. Sad that I was sad because I was also happy and as you can tell my hormones were just crazy. When my milk would start leaking my hormones become raging I would feel emotional, out-of-place and irritated. I would find myself staring into space while thinking ain’t I suppose to be super happy right now? What am I even sad about as I couldn’t think of a reason to be sad about anything. It is overwhelming having a baby a lot changes, a second baby is a lot harder as you can’t always just hide in bed for a week to slowly adapt. I had to crack on with life while juggling so many new things. Luckily After a few weeks my hormones calmed down and I started to feel a lot better, maybe my milk drying up helped? Rob also helped he knows me well now and knows when I need some extra help or an ear to rant to. If I say to him I’m fine he just knows when I’m lying, he’s also a good listener.
I talk about all these not so pleasant changes and emotions but there was some amazing changes that I happily welcomed. I didn’t need to wee 24/7 and all night. I could actually hold my bladder! I could touch my feet, shave my legs, put shoes on properly as well as trousers without struggling. I had awful eyesight while pregnant which got better right away. The best thing was that I could throw away the Gaviscon, the horrible heartburn was gone instantly, I had my first cup of tea in months without it irritating me. Now at this point in life I can say that lack of sleep doesn’t affect me because I felt so ill while pregnant, that I’m buzzing to feel great, tired but physically I am really motivated. After spending months with a baby lying on my hip unable to do a lot I appreciate being able to move. I don’t even want to day nap as I’m not even as fatigued as I was while pregnant, as you can tell my pregnancy was horrendous but worth it, the after effects are slowly going.
One last thing I will add is women need to remember that we spend so long growing a human that our bodies won’t just jump back to normal. Looking back it took me nearly two years to feel normal after Logan including raging hormones, I did get post natal depression with my first. Postnatal depression can appear at any point after a baby. We get free prescription for a year for a reason, we get nine months maternity leave to recover for a reason, our bosses or whoever decide on maternity leave don’t sit and think here’s nine months money to bond with your baby. Our bodies still have to do a lot to recover. pregnancy doesn’t just stop so maybe we need to talk about the after changes to not think why does everyone bounce back and I’m hit with my fourth sick bug this year- no joke I was sick four times the first year after Logan. I’ve already been hit with one sick bug and bronchitis eight weeks after having Luna, free percription is appreciated as I needed medicine. We all know that giving birth isnt all glamours but neither is the recovery that is masked behind our bodies.