Things that suck about being post-partum

June is no longer an infant and it rules. I’m sure I’m going to look back on her infancy and get all teary-eyed and yearn for those days of yore. That’s why I made this list:

Things that suck about being post-partum: 
My body proportions are completely out of whack.
Breastfeeding makes your boobs look huge (or maybe they just make my boobs look huge, I have no clue). For this reason, my enormous rack creates the illusion that I have a really tiny head. Whenever I look at myself in the mirror I see:

Yeah, GET REAL, Barbie! Unless you’re Post-Partum Barbie or something. Then you’re a little too real.
And not only do you have a huge rack and a shrunken head, you still have a big floppy pregnancy gut hanging off your midsection and a shitload of extra skin. Oh, and your feet grew a full size during pregnancy. So have fun looking like Pale Man.

“Aren’t you glad you have your body back?” UM, NO. 

I don’t have an excuse to get fat anymore.

I gained 35 pounds when I was pregnant, and the last 10 pounds I gained is what I like to call “Taco Weight.” When I was pregnant, we didn’t eat out very much at all. But every once in a while we would drive to our parents’ houses in the Chicago suburbs for a visit, and with traffic the ride would take usually two hours or so — which was an hour longer than my tolerance for not eating, so I’d insist we swing by Taco Bell for a “snack.” Sure, it wasn’t really healthy, but it’s not like I wouldn’t gain weight anyway, right? If I gained five pounds because of umbilical fluid, or five pounds because of two Chalupas, who would ever know the difference?

I had the baby five months ago, and now the difference is painfully clear. The weight you gain from growing a placenta and developing umbilical fluid — that goes away. The weight you gain from eating Chalupas? That sticks around. On your ass. Probably forever, since I don’t exercise. So now I’m fat and the worst part is that I can’t even blame the baby. I’m fat because I eat Taco Bell, not because I’m pregnant. Baby’s out. Taco Weight is still hanging around. The jig is up.

Also, Taco Bell meat looks like June’s poop. So it’s not even as enjoyable as it once was (lie).

Picture this inside a diaper. 

You get a monster period.
I don’t want to get all graphic on this blog, and normally I wouldn’t talk about my bodily functions and fluids because that’s fucking disgusting, but I have to bust a myth here. When you give birth, you don’t just push out the placenta and that’s it. You bleed. For WEEKS. And it’s not just some “spotting” like everyone is going to tell you beforehand — you get a SIX-WEEK-LONG MONSTER PERIOD.

 What I didn’t anticipate was having to wear ADULT DIAPERS until J was two weeks old, and then bleeding steadily for a month after that. Like, damn, enough already.

Like this. For six weeks. 

Some people I know only bled for a week or two. And by “people I know” I mean random bitches on WebMD.

You cry — a lot.
Crying is probably my least favorite thing to do besides passing kidney stones. I’ve found that motherhood messes with your hormones in a major way, but at no time is it more intense than in the first two weeks of your baby’s life. By some miracle I did not have postpartum depression, and yet I would start tearing up if my husband made fun of me for putting potato chips on my chicken salad sandwich. Everything makes you cry like a bitch. Baby smiles up at you? Cry like a bitch. Husband falls asleep while you stay up and nurse? Cry like a bitch. Milk stains all over your adult diapers? Cry like a bitch.

And God forbid you’re ever exposed to something in the postpartum period that reminds you of your baby. On a trip to Target when June was still an infant, I made the colossal mistake of wandering through the book aisle. I saw a book that my mom used to read to me when I was little and I made the EVEN MORE COLOSSAL MISTAKE of opening it up and skimming through.

More like CRY LIKE A BITCH FOREVER

I literally panicked and ran home so I could watch my baby sleep before she GREW UP AND LEFT MOMMY FOREVER. This book is the saddest shit in the world and I have no idea why parents want to read this to their children — as though the thought of them growing up and leaving home and never coming back to visit is something you want to drill into their subconscious every single night. Plus how can you even read this to your kids without sobbing uncontrollably? Because I sure can’t. The baby grows up and becomes a man! He rocks his mother when she’s super old! And then he sings the song to his own baby daughter! I CANT EVEN. 

“As long as I’m living my baby you’ll WAHHHHHH…”

If I could even read this book long enough to deconstruct the thing, I would be really weirded out by the whole thing. This mom raises her son like a single parent — the dad is never mentioned anywhere in the book — and the son is pretty much a thankless turd throughout. He trashes her house and is loud and obnoxious and shit. Doesn’t stop her from crawling in his bedroom when he’s fifteen and rocking him like an infant. And this continues well into adulthood. She drives over to his house and climbs in his bedroom window and rocks him to sleep, WHEN HE’S FORTY. No wonder he moves away and doesn’t come back home to visit until she calls him up and is like hey, I’m gonna die soon. It’s a weird, weird family dynamic. I still cried. 

You turn into a dairy cow.
I was lucky enough to successfully breastfeed June, and it’s been incredibly gratifying to see her plump up, knowing that it was my body — all mine! — that nourished her to the pinnacle of health. That said, every time she latched on for the first three weeks I wanted to kill myself. Breastfeeding was an excruciating nightmare where I literally felt like my nips were on fire and I winced whenever she eyed my boobs. And the pain isn’t the half of it.

This is what happens when you google “milk explosion.” Trust — this is not a milk explosion. You’ll soon know what a real milk explosion is. 

Until your milk “regulates,” you’re going to be soaking wet every time you hear the baby cry. Or whenever you think about your baby. Or for no reason at all. I have no idea if this is something that happens with the first baby only, or if it lessens with every subsequent baby, but there came a time when I was so sore and leaking so much milk into my nursing bras that I literally just sat upstairs in the loft with no clothes on and watched Keeping up with the Kardashians and iced my boobs with bags of frozen vegetables. I don’t even remember where the baby was.

So keep that in mind, future-self. When you get misty-eyed and baby-hungry, remember the boobs. Remember the nipple-fire and the lanolin cream and calling your lactation consultant like ten thousand times. Remember the NO SLEEP and the monster periods and wringing milk out of your yoga pants.

And then remember getting pregnant means having an excuse to eat tacos, and get pregnant anyway.

**No I’m not pregnant. 

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9 thoughts on “Things that suck about being post-partum

  1. Potato chips are excellent on just about any sandwich, especially tuna, chicken, and even eggs salad. If you remember some of the old "Cosby" show, that was his favorite thing to add to his hoagie sandwiches. They're also good on burgers. Now I have a craving for an egg salad sandwich w/chips inside and a nice kosher dill pickle, and a nice cream soda or root beer to wash it all down. Thanks a lot Sarah. 😦

  2. obviously you did not get the message of LOVE YOU FOREVER as i intended. it was to guilt you into realizing that one day, as i took care of you, you will be wiping MY ass and feeding me with a spoon like i did you. I am willing to wait until i'm really old though so no worries. by the way. are you upstairs with the baby? i'm coming up to rock you in a few minutes…..

  3. I am now going to add you to my blog reader JUST BECAUSE YOUR MOM IS CLEARLY AWESOME.Also, bitches on WebMD. Seriously, it advised that if the bleeding hadn't stopped after two weeks, I should call my practitioner. She laughed.

  4. Can I just say that it's weird that Love You Forever is written by a dude–who, what, apparently thinks parenting is only for mothers? Or who has some weird Oedipal complex about being rocked to sleep at age 45?I found his picture online. I'm not sure what it tells us. Something.http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/89/f2/ef9351c88da0038f2852d110.L._V192615383_SX200_.jpgI remember that my second grade teacher read this book to us and couldn't finish because she broke down sobbing. I totally get it now, but to a group of 8-year-olds who didn't really understand motherlove, it just seemed insane. Please keep this blog going. It's my favorite way to not write my seminar papers.

  5. I could've written this, but it would've been a lot less entertaining. Except I didn't leak for some reason. And a year later I'm still crying. In fact, we don't even own that book but I cried the other day just thinking about it! I also still have some chalupa weight, not to be confused with the Big Mac weight.

  6. I wish I'd read this 7 years ago when I was pregnant with my first. I tell all first time moms I can about this stuff because it's good to be prepared. Of course it's worth it for the little babe, but man, it's great to know about the insane (and terrifying) bleeding, the painful-ness of beginner nursing, and the crazy "I have to hide in my room all day long" gushes of milk. Don't get me started on the accidental middle of the night nursing on the same side twice in a row…

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