Alright, I know I’m not alone in saying that throughout my pregnancy, I searched up and down for tips on what pregnancy feels like, how big my babies should be, and so on. Everyone wants to know that their babies are on track, and that their own bodies are also doing well, right? We tend to worry when one little thing feels funny or hurts, and need reassurance, even if it’s just from an internet forum of other women. HOWEVER, do you know what I did almost ZERO research on? What happens to our bodies after giving birth.
Humungous mistake. So, if you’re reading this, good job doing your homework! I’m going to fill you in on what will/might happen to your body after your precious babies arrive (besides “mom brain”) and you have been sent home. Keep in mind, I had vaginal deliveries with the twins so, I can’t speak for women who had c-sections. If you don’t want to be filled in, you should think again and read this anyway. There’s nothing wrong with bracing yourself for the glory of labor. Remember, these things don’t happen to everyone, so don’t be scared. If you read the story linked above, you’ll notice that my delivery wasn’t exactly routine!
- You will be swollen, possibly extremely, horribly swollen. With that said, your baby (or babies!) won’t be the only one wearing something resembling a diaper. You’ll be given a few ice packs and some underwear that resembles a hair net with leg holes to help your swollen lady parts. If your nurse says, “Wow, you’re realllllllly swollen,” let that sink in, then expect to wear this ensemble for at least a week.
- You’ll bleed for days. Maybe weeks. Not a panty liner kind of bleeding either. Like, an extra long, extra absorbent, you must wear granny-panties to keep it in place, kind of pad. So, when you’re done with what I described in number 1, you’ll move on to this. It’ll be disgusting.
- If you tear, your stitches might make numbers 1 and 2 even more intense. I was told that my stitches would fall out around 2 weeks. They did, BUT when they did, I thought they were blood clots. Not alarming at all. Also, don’t try to move too fast with those stitches…if you do, they’ll let you know that you should slow down.
- Your hips will not be where you left them. Sure, you’ll be able to find them, just probably not in the same place. Why does this matter? Because simple movements, like walking, lunging, or squatting, involve your hips. So, when you go to do these simple movements, you will feel lost. It’s okay though, because you and your baby can both learn to walk together…and he’ll do better than you.
- Your abs will also seem to have packed up and moved. They might be hiding out somewhere, or they might have gotten in a fight and relocated at least 10 miles from one another. Diastasis recti is real guys, and it feels scary to be able to almost fit your fist between your stomach muscles. You won’t even be able to do a sit up. Or half of a sit up. If this happens, fix it. I tried to, and although they’re somewhat together now, they’re crooked as ever. You’ve been warned. (FYI- It doesn’t matter how fit you are, this can still happen!)
- List of times that I would pee prior to babies: When I used the restroom. List of times that I might pee after babies: When laughing, being startled, hiccuping, sneezing, jumping, landing, coughing, running, lifting heavy weights, and…when using the restroom.
- You may return to pre-baby weight sooner or later. Don’t get too excited though, because any extra space in your pants will be used to tuck your extra skin into. Or your lost abs. You might have to tuck those in too.
- Your hair will fall out. You can have a competition with your pets to see who sheds the most, and win.
- Are you pumping milk? Better make sure you pump on time, or else you’ll think your boobs are going to explode. You will now understand what an over-inflated balloon must feel like (if balloons had feelings). It doesn’t feel nice and you might end up with mastitis, which feels like the flu, but somehow worse.
- Your hearing will feel like it gets 1,000 times better. Before becoming pregnant, I could fall asleep anytime, anywhere, even while driving (doesn’t that make you feel safe?). After having the twins, I sleep incredibly light. I’ll wake up if a baby even thinks he’s going to fart.
And there we have it. There are likely things that I haven’t mentioned, but for the most part, these are the things that stand out to me, as far as my own post-partum body. While some of it sounds terrible, rest assured, every moment is totally worth it. Before having kids, I used to think, “labor sounds terrible…it’s not worth it,” but only after having babies, do I actually understand. I mean, look at these guys!