25 things my father-in-law never wanted to know about me post-pregnancy

This is me. The only me I’ll ever be.

I love finding pretty kerchief tops and grandpa sweaters at thrift stores, I’m happy to drive a Honda with a chip in the windshield, I wear a ponytail almost every day of my life, and I only shave my legs when I know I’ll be wearing a bathing suit. You should see me in the winter. 🙂 I have strong arms, a dimpley butt and thighs, and a momma tummy pooch that I’m proud to have. During and after pregnancy, my body became stronger in some places, more jiggly in others, and I have come to accept the fact that my current body is my new normal. It’s my momma body. And now, everything you never ever wanted to know about me and my body post pregnancy….

My Tummy aka the Momma Pooch:

I was fortunate to not get any stretch marks except a little one in my belly button piercing that I can’t really see anymore. From day 1 of my pregnancy, I rubbed this stuff into my ever-stretching beach ball belly.

I doubt it’s why I didn’t get stretch marks but you better believe I plan on using it everyday again if I ever have another baby because I’m superstitious like that. I also love that now when I use it on my hands, the smell reminds me of being big and round and beautifully pregnant and it makes me smile.

My belly button is completely different than it used to be and I’ll probably never wear a belly button ring again. I’m perfectly fine with that. Meanwhile, my stomach tattoo went completely back to normal.

Some of my innards have been rearranged. I know this because if I step over the baby gate with my right leg first, I pinch a mystery organ that was never there before between my hip bone and my ribs. It’s not a feeling that makes me pump my fists in the air and yell, “hell yeah! Let me do that again…”

For about 7 months post-baby, I had a big gaping hole down the middle of my stomach muscles where they separated which is actually very common from pregnancy. It creeped me out the first time I stuck 4 fingers into my abdomen and almost tickled my spine. Luckily the muscles eventually grew back together with the help of lots of dancing with baby in the kitchen, and good old-fashioned time.

It is physically impossible for me to suck it in like I used to and I’ve pretty much given up trying.

Over a year after having a baby, my linea negra, though faint, is still there from my belly button down.

I’ve accepted the fact that no matter what weight I am, my stomach will now always have a little bulge and never be flat like it was ever again. And I now sometimes find myself noticing other women’s mama tummy pooches, mostly at Babies R Us (go figure), and every time I do, I feel an awesome sense of camaraderie. Us mamas are strong and amazing creatures and our pooches are beautiful little baby houses.

Mom Boobs and Breastfeeding:

In the last 2 years, I have ranged anywhere from a 32B to a 32DD.

Actually in the last 48 hours, I have ranged anywhere from a 32B to a 32DD.

It’s been 14 months and I’ve decided to retire the boobies, I haven’t pumped for 2 days, and I feel guilty for stopping. Summer definitely prefers breastmilk over cow’s milk, this I know. And my guilt is like a little voice in the back of my mind telling me that if I can still give her breastmilk, shouldn’t I? But then I look at my pump and take off running the other way.

I’ve had people tell me I should be proud of myself for keeping the boobies going this long, though this whole time I’ve just kinda felt like it was what was meant to be, my call of duty, and it was just another part of being a new momma.

I had a clogged milk duct the size of a golf ball for a while. It was looked at, felt, prodded, poked with a needle, examined with an ultrasound, and at the end of the day, my doc’s advice was to put a hot washcloth on my boob for 20 minutes then try to press on it until it popped. So I went home, I heated, I pushed, I pressed and pressed and pressed, and just when I was about to give up, I gave it one more good push and it burst inside, almost knocking me into the mirror in the bathroom. It hurt like a mother fucker and my breastmilk was tinged pink and looked like strawberry milk for 2 weeks, but the lump never came back and the doc said the milk was fine for baby.

I recently had thrush from breastfeeding which is basically a yeast infection on the nipples – it involved a lot of fun peeling, red, rawness on cracked nips that burned and itched horrifically. I decided to save the $30 copay to the doctor and take matters into my own hands with some Monistat 7 from Walgreens a few times a day, washing it off before each pumping. It went away after about a week. Oh yeah, the doctor is in, people.

I’ve been strictly pumping for a while now and I’m so so sad that I don’t remember the last time I actually directly breastfed Summer. I wish I had known that the last time was the last time ever, I would have burned the memory into my mind. In fact, a few weekends ago she and I woke up early together and out of curiosity, I offered her a boob thinking perhaps it was like riding a bike and she’d pick up where we left off. Yeah, she looked at me like I was crazy. It’s all good though, my nipples practically invert every time she flashes me a cute little smile full of razor-sharp teeth.

When I was pregnant, I wasn’t sure I wanted to breastfeed. I even watched videos on On Demand about breastfeeding and pumping to try to get me to feel more warm and fuzzy about it and they ended up turning me off even more. Then the day I had her, breastfeeding came so naturally to us and I am so grateful because breastfeeding was the most amazing bonding experience between the two of us I could have ever asked for.

I have yet to share a story with you all about the lactation consultant in the hospital because just thinking about her makes me want to punch her in the throat. Someday perhaps I’ll be able to share without getting the urge to drive back to the hospital mid story and maim her.

Now that I’m pumping so infrequently, I find I’m not nearly as hungry as I have been for the last 2 years. My emotions seem to be in check, too. Not sure if that’s hormonal or coincidence but I know Scott’s happier. 🙂

Other Random Bits of Crazy:

I had a stuffy nose the whole time I was pregnant and it literally cleared up in the hospital within a few hours of having the baby.

All of the weird broken blood vessels in my chest and little skin tags on my neck disappeared within a month of having the baby.

I have a picture on my fridge of me and Scott towards the end of my pregnancy and I can’t believe I didn’t realize at the time how puffy my face was.

After all my hair fell out after having the baby, it finally grew back to a length where it wasn’t sticking straight up again, probably around the 9 month post baby mark. And then I done went scissor happy crazy and cut bangs way too short and had to do it all over again.

I got my period back when Summer was 10 months old and I was still a breastfeeding maniac. Having not gotten it for almost 2 years, I did NOT miss it, especially since my cramps are worse now.

And now even though we are not trying for another baby at this point yet, when I get my period I get a little sad thinking that could have been a sibling for Summer. My period has never had so much significance to me as it does now.

And if you read through all this, you now know more about me than you probably ever hoped for. If anyone has their own mama contributions for the list of post-baby mama stuff/revelations/things you love or hate about your new mama body, I’d love to hear! I’ll just be over here dancing like a maniac to the beat of my momma heart….

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15 Comments

Filed under Love, Parenting, pregnancy

15 responses to “25 things my father-in-law never wanted to know about me post-pregnancy

  1. Kelly Y

    God I wish I lived closer to you. We’d get along so well…I had a c-section, and I was so sure I would want a plastic surgeon in there to make sure there was no scar. They said no, that with my next one they would go in and clean it up and close it, and I was disappointed. Now, every time I look down and see the tiny little scar, it makes me happy knowing thats where my baby came from. I somehow do not think I would get the same feeling if I ahd delivered naturally and wanted to take a peek at my vag lol. So I embrace my scar.

    I do mourn my pre-breastfeeding boobs though. They were fantastic. Liv is 13 months old and still nursing (I too just stopped pumping at work) and it remains to be seen what they will look like when all is said and done…but Im holding out hope they go back!

    My hair STOPPED growing when I was pregnant. All of it on my body and head. I only had to shave every few weeks, and that was more to keep my skin exfoliated. I miss that

  2. excellent post. it makes me want to hug you if I wasn’t in fear that you would douse me with boob juice.

  3. I am still losing handfuls of hair a day and my son is 16 months old. It’s driving me crazy, although I do think it is finally starting to slow down. I’m not sure why I’m not bald yet.

    I both love and hate my belly pouch. I have stretch marks too, which I think makes me like it less. I have lost about 30 pounds at the beginning of this year, and while I am definitely slimmer (weigh less than I have since I was a college sophmore) I don’t feel like I lost a lot of my belly. But I also hate core work, so that’s probably why.

    My boobs are smaller than they were pre-pregnancy, which is awesome since I run and was big chested to start with. But they sag a bit more and even though I have bras from a 36D to a 40E, none seem to fit right.

    I wish I had known that it would be the last time when I stopped nursing my son. I tried everything to keep my supply up after I got a wicked cold one weekend, but just 36 hours of not pumping or nursing much killed my supply. I struggled for a month before giving up, but then I just didn’t nurse one day, or the next, and then it was all over without me realizing it. I miss it.

    • I miss it, too. So much.

      And I actually finally decided to get fitted for a bra, like professionally measured for the first time in my life a few months ago. As a girl who grew up in the itty bitty club, it took all of my power not to kiss the girl at Victoria’s Secret on the mouth when she told me I was a freaking 32DD. I highly recommend going somewhere for a pro fitting! Though now that I’m slowing the breastfeeding, I find myself trying to fill a gigantic expensive VS bra with tiny boobies and it’s not pretty.

  4. Michelle

    Thanks for sharing such personal feelings! I’m a new mom, only 6 weeks post partum and everything seems to be overwhelming. From caring for a new baby, adjusting to a different life than I was used to, getting the hang of breast feeding and watching my body go through so many changes, it’s comforting to hear other Moms’ perspectives. I love my daughter and feel so lucky to be a mommy, but it’s still hard to accept all these body changes. Sharing your experience let’s us mommies know we are not alone!

    Love your blog! Summer is adorable!

    • 6 weeks! Give that little bebe a squeeze for me! Looking back at that point now, I feel like I was in a daze. Although I kinda still do now sometimes…

      Every step seemed to get easier and easier for me, and before I knew it my weight was getting closer to my old normal and my mind became more and more accepting of the differences.

      Just remember that you are amazing and strong and at the end of the day that baby is happy and I’m proud of you 🙂

  5. i loved this. funny, truthful, fantastic. like you 🙂

  6. Mina

    like kate, loved this. man, i have a lot to look forward to in the post-pregnancy body department, don’t i.

  7. I loved this too…especially this part “Us mamas are strong and amazing creatures and our pooches are beautiful little baby houses.” I’m still struggling with my post-baby body and that gave me a little bit of a boost. Thank you!

  8. Krista

    Love this! Thanks for sharing. I’ve never commented (sorry …) but started reading last year, as you were a few months farther along in pregnancy than I was. Hearing advice/stories from other mommas is always so helpful.

    I will add that my hips were HUGE during pregnancy and for about 3 months after. My stomach shrunk back fairly quickly, but I was sure I’d never get my pre-pregnancy pants over my hips again. Suddenly, about the time I had to return to work, they popped back in. I’d never considered that bones can move, too …

    Also – the line about your period having “significance” now – so true. So weird, but so true.

  9. lara

    All of this is so true! The boobies, the body changes, and all the emotions. I love being a momma to my little 9 month old baby girl. I’m just starting to wean off the pump with a freezer stash that will last until she’s one and I can’t wait to wear a normal bra again… and I am hoping one of them in my drawer actually fits me! Although, I’m not looking forward to visits from AF as a result of no longer breastfeeding.

  10. Mandy

    I love your theory on baby houses 🙂 I never personally understood why women become so obsessed with having their body completely back to normal post-baby (no stretch marks, no pooch, no c-section scar) because I have always believed the same – it’s evidence that we are mommas 🙂 I had an emergency c-section and I love my scar. I was talking to a girl recently who is due in January and she has herself worried literally sick over the hypothetical possibility she will end up with a scar and jiggle she can’t get rid of. I didn’t know how to be re-assuring.
    Congrats on breastfeeding this long, and CONGRATS on retiring the boobies. I learned I am not physically capable of breastmilk production in viable quantities and my daughter only received breastmilk for 3 months (supplemented with formula) Letting go was a tough, tough time for me and I always appreciated your non-judgment toward formula-feeding mommies. In my experience, it’s rare.
    Love your blog!

  11. I love this post! Your honesty is so refreshing

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