While I was pregnant I read this hilarious post, “The ABC’s of Pregnancy”. It was a light-hearted amusing nod at the joys one can experience while pregnant. Joys such as nausea and food aversions. It really hit close to home.
Recently our second daughter was born, and I had a whole new list of symptoms, ah the joys of postpartum. So today I give you a follow up to “The ABC’s of Pregnancy”.
The Postpartum ABC’s
A-Abdominal Cramps-As your uterus shrinks back to its normal size you will likely experience abdominal cramping. This is quite common while breastfeeding and pumping as well, because apparently the breast pain isn’t enough!
B-Breast Changes-Speaking of breasts, if you thought your breasts changed during pregnancy, wait to see what your girls do once the baby comes! You are likely to enjoy swollen engorged breasts, itchy and dry nipples, and I hope that you don’t ever experience a clogged milk duct, but I hate to tell you, it’s a possibility! Fun, eh?
C-Crying-Of course your baby will cry, but did you know that you might lose it in fits of sobs as well? You’ll tear up watching the grandparents “ooh and ahh” over their new grandchild. Diaper commercials will leave you sniffling. And whoever said, “Don’t cry over spilled milk,” never tipped over a freshly pumped bottle of breast milk!
D-Diapers-Endless amounts of diapers with more types of poop than you ever thought possible.
E- Exhaustion-You will live in a fog of exhaustion! Likely the most exhausted you have been in your entire life! In college I worked 2 nanny jobs, went to school full time, did endless hours of homework, had an active social calendar yet STILL never knew true exhaustion until having a newborn.
F-Firsts-You are in for a load of firsts with your newborn. First smiles, first giggles and the first time they wrap their little fist around your finger….uh oh here come those tears I was talking about!
G-Germs-You will suddenly be very aware of germs. I keep a hand sanitizer in almost every room, because germs are the devil when you have a newborn!
H-Hunger-If you are planning on nursing or pumping, you will be hungry! Starving in fact! Midnight snacks and second breakfasts are a thing postpartum.
I-Itchy and Dry Skin-It must be those crazy hormones! Your skin will become dry and itchy! Seems unfair when your newborn has the softest skin you’ve ever touched!
J-Jitters-You will be jittery, anxious and overthink everything. Having a newborn at home is scary! You are suddenly responsible for keeping this tiny human alive and you even kill houseplants…how are you supposed to do this? It’s okay Momma, everyone feels this way!
K-Kicks-Oh you thought that just happened when your baby was sharing your body? Believe it or not, there is a phenomenon called “phantom kicks” which can be explained by twitches as your uterus shrinks mimicking the feeling of your baby kicking you. Not going to lie, after my fist daughter was born, this totally freaked me out and had me frantically googling what it was! Luckily many women experience this and it is totally normal!
L-Laundry-You will likely be swimming in laundry. Blankets, onesies, and burp cloths pile up! It is totally okay for them to stay unfolded in the laundry basket though. Enjoy the snuggles and skip the folding!
M-Messes-Similarly, dishes will overflow the sink and counter tops will be scattered with ALL THE BABY THINGS! Just let it go momma! If there was ever a time to let the house cleaning go, now is the time. Babies don’t keep. Enjoy those first few weeks and soak up that newborn smell while you can.
N-Naps-I know you’ve all heard it. “Sleep when the baby sleeps.” I have to admit, I am not the best at doing this, but it is so important to get rest when you can. Plus, there is nothing better than curling up with a brand new babe on your chest.
O-Overwhelmed-Breastfeeding, birth certificates, diaper changes, etc. There is so much to do and get used to when you bring your baby home. It can be overwhelming! My advice to you, WRITE EVERTRHING DOWN! Make lists so you don’t forget anything.
P-Pelvic Pain-This is totally normal. It can take a while to heal down there. Hang in there momma and keep up with your pain meds!
Q-Quiet Time-Try and soak up as much quiet time with your little one as you can. The days pass quickly and you will be so thankful to have those memories of loving on your little one.
R-Rectal Pain-Embarrassing, I know! But, you might experience some pain in the butt…literally. Unfortunately, if you are having a vaginal delivery, hemorrhoids are very common, and very uncomfortable.
S-Stretch Marks-Just another fun postpartum symptom you are likely to experience. I like to think of them as my pregnancy battle scars.
T-Tummy-I wish I could tell you that once the baby comes the tummy goes away, but that’s not the case. Don’t pack up those maternity jeans quite yet.
U-Underwear-You are going to want to stock up on some granny panties! This leaves room for some padding during your recovery…that is, unless you want to rock the hospital mesh underwear for a few weeks.
V-Visitors-Everyone you know will want to come meet baby! If you are lucky they will even bring a meal or offer to load the dishwasher. Just be sure that you stagger visitors so you don’t get too worn out and be sure they wash their hands before picking up the baby.
W-Wonky Schedules-Unless you are used to waking up at all hours of the night, the wonky schedule is difficult to get used to. You will probably spend more time feeding, burping and diapering than sleeping. Trust me when I say, it’s all worth it!
X-X-tra Emotional-Remember when I said you might cry at the drop of a hat? That goes for getting angry and overwhelming happiness too! Your hormones are all over the place. You will be extra emotional and your mood will swing.
Y-Yuck-In case you haven’t realized it yet, there’s a lot of ”yuck” associated with postpartum care. From mesh underwear to hemorrhoids there are plenty of icky symptoms to look forward to.
Z-Zits-And to top it all off, you might experience breakouts!
Though there are many not so pleasurable parts about becoming a Mom, the good far outweigh the bad. I wouldn’t change the experience with either of my daughters! Take it all in because time is a thief! Before you know it those first days home will only be a memory.