Nine months of pregnancy is actually more like, well, ten.
We talk about pregnancy being nine months. Well, sit down cause you're gonna need to prepare yourself. Pregnancy is FORTY damn weeks. And those last four weeks count.
When you are 38 weeks along and you require assistance to put on shoes... You spend your day clocking 108 steps on your Fitbit while running on five hours of restless sleep (not speaking from personal experience, of course)... You're gonna curse that sneaky extra time.
And when you hit full term and you can't believe you're going to get bigger... Look at me. Look right into my eyes. You can and you will.
Your favourite influencer lied to you
We don't ask someone who just got hit by a car when they're planning on getting their pre-car-crash body back. Why do we treat postpartum rehabilitation like some kind of weird competition?
I'll never forget trying to go for a walk about a week after my daughter was born. It was one of those incredible summer evenings. About a block from my house, as I pushed the stroller along the bumpiest sidewalk (have you ever seen a newborn in a bassinet?), I realized that I couldn't physically do it.
Turning around to head back, I cried. I felt stir crazy in the house on a 24-hour, on-demand breastfeeding schedule. I was dying to feel like the woman who could reach 108 steps on her Fitbit again (😂). After hearing everyone's stories about being fit and getting back to normal almost immediately, I just assumed that would be me, too.
I, of course, don't speak for everyone. But the truth is, recovery takes time. Give yourself that time.
Your shower drain will look worse than that scene in Psycho
Going into this thing I understood that my body would change. There's just one thing I didn't anticipate.
The unconscionable hair loss.🙀
After giving up nearly a year of soft cheese, alcohol and physical comfort and going through some physically demanding stuff... Surely now, it all stops.
Okay, fine. Some hair falls out. But it's just a little bit, right? Like the extra you had while pregnant?
Okay, but it will obviously fall out in a really sensible, even manner?
Ha hA. Ha.
Every time I ran a brush through my hair, every time I showered. Every time I deigned to take a step in any direction... Clumps of hair fell out.
With so many loops now required to secure my hair into a ponytail, my hair ties are exhausted. I actually wondered if there was something medically wrong.
Nope. Apparently this is... just fine (?). So anyway, be prepared.
The term "Baby Blues" is kind of messed up
We're lucky many high profile people have shared their experiences with postpartum depression, but we don't pay much attention to "Baby Blues".
The "Baby Blues" are not necessarily just feeling weepy at commercials, though they can be. But if you're like me, they may feel a bit unbearable. I personally noticed they were worse at night, and especially around day four when the post-birth hormonal high you've been riding begins to plummet.
It's only when these feelings don't subside within a set amount of time that they become categorized as "Postpartum Depression". Oh, cool. So it's literally defined by how long you feel shitty.
Nearly 80% will experience "Baby Blues" but somehow we don't provide a lot of support or even information about this. But it is an experience that can be intense, so it's important to be prepared and supported.
Don't be afraid to talk to your partner, family, midwife/doctor or doula, or to reach out for help.