So... It's probably for a best no one told me all the nitty gritty of what one could experience postpartum (physically, mentally, emotionally). I took the time to read up on postpartum depression and have a strong support network that I feel comfortable tapping into when I need to. This post isn't really about the emotional highs and lows - that's a story for another day. I'm still drinking in all it means to love someone so much, with every fiber of your being, that you can be elated one moment and thinking of the 5,000 things you want to protect them from the next. There is nothing like it. Nothing. That level of responsibility, love, and lack of control over most things is like free falling with a parachute you've packed and repacked but still wonder if it will open when you need it.
This is a light post compared to the gravity of depression, anxiety, and other mental health layers. Like I said, that's a post for another day.
So what are some of the things no one told me?
1. You will lose a lot of hair. Before I got pregnant, I started an uphill battle with my hair in some spots. During pregnancy, my hair thrived. Now? Yikes. It's the pits. Some parts are even more thin and in the shower the shedding gets real. Really real. Thankfully, I'm not shy about extensions to boost my natural curls or put them away in a protective style as needed - so, looks like this summer we will have to make that happen.
2. You will be thirsty all the time. Ok, so I drink a lot of water anyway. I love water! My husband says I was always thirsty before... But now that I'm breastfeeding? GEEZ. Thirst central. I drink at least 100ounces of water a day. No exaggeration. And it's still not enough. Oh well. That's not bad - but something to be mindful of if you have a busy schedule. Keep the water bottles locked and loaded on standby!
3. Everything (about your body) changes. I'm not taking shape - although, well, duh. I mean hormonally. Everything I've grown to know about myself in these last 30 years? Most of it is the same. But some of it? We will be exploring new antiperspirants this summer. It's important to schedule me time. I write absolutely everything down, and triple check because my memory has gone to shit it seems. I need more lotion than EVER. I also have night sweats. I hope those go away soon!
4. Some of your taste preferences change too. I was all about some marinara sauce while I was pregnant. I still like a good bowl of spaghetti. But... It's not the same. Go figure.
5. You get stronger. I had a c-section (more on that later too) and I am not the best at sitting still - at all. In any aspect of my life. I think it's a trait that's served me well. In this case, it actually helped me with recovery I think! But, it is a slow process and I am atill recovering and I go back to work in a week and a half. That's crazy. But, compared to where I was when I first left the hospital? Light years ahead. And you get stronger, everyday.
It's such a blessing to be able to raise a child - no matter how they arrived in your care. I am grateful to be healthy and of sound mind, and have experienced childbirth for sure. The amount of feels is amazing and honestly, overwhelming at times. But I wouldn't trade any of it. I'm so happy with our little and having a loving partner to do it with, to boot!