What to expect when you’re no longer expecting

Ok, so without wanting to preach to those of you who already know all of this, here goes. By the way, why did nobody tell me any of this stuff anyway? I’m even talking to myself here- it’s only two years since my last postnatal period and yet I still forgot! So here is a little guide: What to expect when you’re no longer expecting- the postnatal period.

  • Firstly, it’s no longer about you any more. Those phone calls where friends and relatives ask after you? They’re really just  a formality now. What they really want to know is, how is the baby? Nobody really wants to know whether you are tired or what you had for dinner any more. They want the low down on the tiny bundle of joy you kept warm for the last nine months. You are no longer centre of anybody’s attention (aside from the baby, that is) and you better get used to it.
  • Babies take your grey cells.
  • It won’t be just the baby keeping you awake at night. Oh no. Did anybody tell you about the night sweats? This is one of Mother Nature’s final v-flicks in the whole baby-making scheme of things. Those first few weeks will see you shedding all that excess fluid in the most efficient of ways- sweating. You will wake up drenched in the stuff. Your head will itch, behind your knees will itch and your pyjamas will stick to you like lycra. If you decide to sleep with no covers, you will then wake up freezing. Oh, and then (if you’re breastfeeding) each time you feed the baby, your temperature will rise once more and the whole sweaty mess just gets worse. You now need to add an extra thirty minutes onto your morning routine (on top of the extra thirty you already added to accommodate the extra child) because your hair will need washing every morning. Unless you brave the school run looking like the wild man of borneo. I did it once.
  • Babies take your grey cells.
  • Giving birth is the best diet you can go on. It’s true. Within hours, you will notice that suddenly you can lean forward without grunting and without obstruction. It’s amazing. Your stomach will feel so flat! It may not look it, but that doesn’t matter. You instantly lose at least 5lb and then you get to sweat the rest off. If you’re breastfeeding, you’re allowed to eat an extra 500 calories and still the weight comes off! I like this one.
  • Babies take your grey cells.
  • It’s not time to ditch the big knickers just yet. Ok, so big knickers do not look so good. That’s a known fact. BUT towards the end of the pregnancy and in that immediate postnatal period, they are likely to be the only knickers you want to wear. For c-section ladies, they are quite possibly sanity savers. Yes, you may look longingly at your pretty little knickers each time you open your underwear drawers, but these bad boys serve a purpose in the long run. They really make you appreciate your normal clothes.
  • Babies take your grey cells.
  • Each time you look through your wardrobe is like going shopping. I keep re-discovering clothes I haven’t worn in, like, a year! It’s like going shopping. Honestly. Or at least the next best thing. Because, um, there really is no point in going shopping just yet. Unless you are ultra lucky and blessed with fantastic genes, it’s going to take a few more weeks to get back into your normal jeans again. Again, c-section ladies might find it takes even longer than they hoped, since all normal clothes now painfully rub against your scar. This is where the big knickers save the day once more. But there are still tops in there that you’ve forgotten about. If you’re breastfeeding, just make sure that the front can be easily adjusted… oh, ok then. Each time you open your wardrobe is like window shopping, then. So many clothes you forgot about and so many outfits you just can’t wear yet. Ho hum.

I wish someone had told me/ reminded me of all of these things. Of course, there are many more pieces of postnatal advice I could give. It’s just that I think I was supposed to be doing something else right now… did I mention babies take your grey cells?

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