So I hit the 9 month mark the other day….my last little babe is a 9 month old——– And coincidentally it’s also bathing suit season. And you know what they say….it takes 9 months to put on the weight and you should give yourself 9 months to lose it. Well guess what…that’s not what happened in my case and if it did for you then fuck off (or tell me allllll of your secrets pleeeaaassseee). So it got me to thinking, if they lied about that, I might as well break it to you that they lied about everything else too. Well at least when it comes to pregnancy and popping out babies. (They lied about adulthood too, but I’ll save that for another day)
You know how in movies, this cute little mamma to be arrives at the hospital all calm and giggling with her toe nails newly polished and a cute carry on bag like she’s taking an exotic vacation and then comes out with size two jeans and a cute little quiet smiling baby—-ahhhh no—this is not real life. This is what actually goes on in there and in the days following:
There was no size two jeans for me. Hell, I still looked 5 months pregnant. But not in a cute way. In a gross, squishy, ‘if the baby came out then what the fuck is still in there’ kinda way. Yes, a woman’s uterus is amazing but no, it’s not magic. It takes more time then I would have liked for anything to resemble normal in my stomach. And four kids and nine months later….definitely haven’t seen stomach muscles in a while.
Another thing you won’t see in a while after giving birth….thongs. Instead, you will be presented with giant mesh underwear that I could probably catch a fucking shark in. Apparently you need them to hold the giant ice pack made specifically for your vagina (which I also never knew existed) and the pad the size of a king size pillow for the subsequent bleeding that I was also unaware of (and gets worse with each kid…awesome). So pack your thongs away ladies because thong PTSD is a real thing after pregnancy.
While we’re are on this topic, I will mention that hemorrhoids are also a thing. I didn’t even know what the hell those were. Well guess what, I do now and I won’t go any further than that😳
On to the boobs. You’d think that for a flat chested gal such as myself, I would bask in the glory of having anything more than A cups for the first time in my life. But alas, my dreams were shattered by the pain, constant sogginess, and chronic nursing issues. Don’t go into this with the assumption that nursing comes natural to you. If it does, great. If not, welcome to motherhood where nothing comes natural. Everything is pretty much trial and error. And it’s not something you get ‘good at’ either. With each kid, I had to relearn how to breastfeed and it was a worse experience each time. So when everyone is telling me that they won’t bother boring me with repeating how to do this because ‘you’re an old pro’ (and I’m thinking in my head, who the fuck wants to be a professional breastfeeder anyways), please! Bore me to death because my fucking nipples are about to fall off. Read me the whole handbook. Grab my boob and demonstrate. Do whatever the fuck you have to so this doesn’t hurt like a motha anymore. It does get better and is worth it, but it was a long time before it became normal (well, I guess whatever normal is in a world where a tiny human is using your body as a 24 hour open bar)
No one tells you about the emotional wreck you become either. They actually give you questionnaires at the baby’s pediatrician appointments asking about your emotional state. ‘Have you cried more than normal?’ What, in the last hour??! Of course I’ve cried. I’ve cried everyday. Between the pure exhaustion and crazy hormones, I’m crying watching the spongebob episode when he and Sandy have a fight and have to make up. That’s the level you’re at. One minute your crying from the overwhelming happiness you feel just looking at your newborn and the next you’re crying at the thought of having to poop for the first time after you give birth. And this up and down doesn’t completely go away either. No, I’m not sobbing at the Kleenex commercial anymore, but momming is a constant state of highs and lows.
So, there’s more. There’s horrible epidural stories and sleepless nights/years and having sex again. But I willingly had four kids so it can’t be that bad. And the one thing I was not expecting about having children was becoming a part of a group of strong women who have all been through this huge change together. Once you become a mom, you join a different league of women who have done all of these amazing/ horrible things and are stronger for it. You create new bonds with these women because you have accomplished something amazing and only another mom gets it. You share birth stories, and sleepless nights, and breastfeeding catastrophes and as a collective, you get through it. I don’t know if I would be able to do this without these women. So not only do I now have 4 beautiful children who drive me crazy, stretch marks, and more to love, but I have a tribe of women who would have my back no matter what and help me get through this motherhood thing.