MADEWELL DRESS (I’m wearing a small) | SOLE SOCIETY SANDALS
What is it like being pregnant for 9 months then suddenly…not? Post pregnancy is quite a transition to wrap your head around. Growing up I always knew that I wanted to be a mother and actually looked forward to being pregnant some day. But I never really thought about what it would be like and how I would feel after the big birth day. It is a body and mind change that happens SO rapidly. I can’t think of anything else comparable! I think that’s why some people call this stage “the fourth trimester” – because you’re not quite back to yourself.
Since I gave birth to Sidney 20 days ago and am in the thick of this transition, I want to share how I personally feel right now, both in my body and in my mind.
What Post Pregnancy Life is Really Like
The Body Transition
There are the blatantly obvious body changes post pregnancy, and some that took me by surprise. I ask myself almost every day: should I purchase some new clothes in a bigger size? Should I keep wearing my maternity clothes even though Sidney is out? Do I just keep it baggy and loose until I shrink some more? I’m not in a particular hurry to lose the baby weight, even though I know it would make me happy to fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans. I created a human and I’m giving myself some grace, patience, and respect. But here are 3 main body changes that I’m grappling with.
Have you heard about how pregnant women aren’t supposed to lift anything or exercise too vigorously? Well – the same stands after you give birth. As my body heals from pushing out a baby (a perfect one!), I’ve had to really slow down and let people take care of me. Healing will most likely include perineal care, changing pads from bleeding, being afraid to poop, and hemorrhoids, depending on your experience. So instead of just taking care of the tiny human you just met, you also have to take care of yourself.
I want to get out and move the body I’ve been given back after 9 months of sharing it, but walking too far kinda hurts. I feel exponentially better every day, and that keeps me going.
It takes awhile for the uterus to shrink back down to it’s original tiny size post pregnancy. Some women wear belly bands to help the uterus contract more quickly, but I chose not to because the cramps were enough discomfort for me. But every day, my belly is a little smaller. I left the hospital looking about 6 months pregnant, and I still look slightly pregnant 20 days later. The shrinking process is so crazy, and was a little bit painful at times. It felt like really bad period cramps some days, where I could actually see my belly quivering when I was in the shower, and other days I felt nothing.
So if I put on a pair of pants 10 days ago and wrote them off because they didn’t fit, that would have been a mistake. I’m working on trying on things, then waiting awhile, then trying them again. Think of it like reverse pregnancy, but faster, haha.
This change took me by surprise. My breasts did grow during pregnancy, but once I started breastfeeding they grew even more. Most of my clothing is tight because of the boobs, and I did not expect that at all! I’m kind of in a weird stage with this change because I don’t have any proper bras that fit me (only sports bra-like nursing bras), as I feel like my breasts fluctuate in size every day depending on how much milk is in there. Should I say goodbye to my pre-pregnancy tiny boobs and get rid of all those bras, or just wait it out and see? You can probably tell I’m having a lot of trouble with this one!
POST PREGNANCY OUTFIT DETAILS:
MADEWELL DRESS (I’m wearing a small) | SOLE SOCIETY SANDALS
More Post Pregnancy Truths
The Mind Transition
One day you’re pregnant, and then a few days later they let you walk out of the hospital with a tiny human in your arms. I was sore and tired, but so happy. In addition to the body changes, the mind changes are huge.
I knew I would be emotional, but I didn’t expect to be a hormonal mess. I went from not even crying when watching The Notebook to crying at basically every little thing. I can just think about Sidney and the whole birth experience and start bawling – its ridiculous! There was one point right after we got home with Sidney that I totally lost it on my dad as all my emotions built and culminated to a steep and irrational post-birth point. I was hormonal, in pain, scared to poop, overwhelmed with suddenly being the center of my baby’s world, and uncomfortable with my body. So I just had to cry it out. You never know what will set you off, but something inevitably will.
No Longer The Queen
Sidney comes first – always. Going from being pregnant and having people hold doors for you to becoming a personal vending machine is quite the transition. The little things I took for granted like blow drying my hair, finishing my coffee, and eating breakfast while answering emails are going to be few and far between with this little one. I didn’t know I was capable of holding my pee so long or not noticing my hunger until after fulfilling all of Sidney’s needs. And to think all that happened in the blink of an eye!
I feel awkward while I’m trying to learn how to dress my postpartum body. I’ve been reaching for styles and cuts that I didn’t love before pregnancy (shift dresses, extra flowy styles) simply because they work on my body now. Is it weird for a fashion blogger to admit that she feels fashion challenged!? But this period in my life is throwing me for a temporary style crisis loop!
In all, the transition is a huge one, but I’m trusting myself and trying not to be a perfectionist. I’m allowing myself to feel the emotions and weirdness, and appreciate that this is part of the process of pregnancy and all that comes with it!
Do you have any post pregnancy tips or advice? Share in a comment below!
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I am wearing size large tops (never did that ever!) bec of breastfeeding boobs. Haha. Congrats again. Your points are all valid. Heal well. And love on those newborn snuggles.
Huge congrats on your baby dear! She’s such an angel. Also, yes! I couldn’t agree more in everything you said here. As a mom of two, I could definitely attest to these.
Jessica | notjessfashion.com
What an honest and vulnerable post. I loved every word of it. So many moms out there are relating to this right now, and as I read your words all of those memories and experiences came rushing back vividly. I was younger side of having my children, 25 & 27, so lots of pros and cons, but I was terrified of my breast situation. I was extremely self-conscious of them prior to pregnancy and feared that they would grow and stay even bigger forever. Mine did not, in fact they shrunk smaller than they were prior to babies, but now over time they have changed once more. The truth is, you just don’t know. If you are fortunate to have the financial ability to buy a couple of nice bras to accommodate your new stage, that wonderful, and if you don’t, then you make the sport bras work until you see how it goes. Breastfeeding also changes how it all goes. For me, breastfeeding was a difficult journey and I pumped with one and with the other I switched to formula. As soon as I was done with breast feeding things changed for my body again, the breasts began t o shrink over time and also, that’s when I lost my last five pounds (not to be confused with actually having the same pre-pregnancy body). Sorry, this is long winded. All to say, that I see you are having some really positive conversations and outlooks for yourself. Try to remember that as much as you can.
Ah all the emotions and transitions while trying to stay sane to care for a little can be overwhelming. I had pretty bad PPD with my first for 8 months and it was a struggle most days. I wasn’t planning on shopping until I got my body back but I decided that I needed to dress for where I was at and my hubby definitely was good about letting me have me time when I really needed it. This is a huge change and it never really goes back to the hair drying and silence 😉 It’s all worth it though. If you ever need to talk I’m a simple instagram DM away 😉
I was a hot mess when my son was born. I thought I had things figured out until I found I didn’t. Breastfeeding was the worst for me. It hurt a lot and it hurt even more to find out I didn’t produce enough milk! I was okay with it afterward but just enduring the biting and bleeding on the boobs was just not fun at all. Looking back, I think going through a sleeplessness night was better than having your nipples sore and raw. I am so glad that you are giving yourself grace because it is essential and something I didn’t do for myself in the beginning. I hope you had a great start to your week and happy Monday!
Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com
Amy Johnson says
I just got home from visiting my daughter (also in the Chicago area) who just had her second baby and has gone through everything you’re describing. Don’t fret, it gets better!
Christine B. says
Congratulations Roxanne for the birth of your baby girl!
She’s absolutely gorgeous and you look amazing!!
In regards to fashion, just go with the flow and you’ll discover new styles that you actually like!
All the best,
You look great! It’s just a miracle what your body goes through so quickly! It’s all a mystery what happens but You have the right attitude about it.
I love that you are giving yourself grace during this transition! And I love that you are being so open and honest by sharing your birth experience. I have not had any children but as I get older, this is something that I’ve been interested in learning more about (I’m such a researcher haha!). Sending you lots of positive vibes and hoping for a fast recovery!
I love the real talk on this post. Already being almost 16 weeks ago myself I already notice so many weird physical and mental (emotional) changes in my body. I can only imagine that AFTER the baby is here, it will be an odd transition back to normal or understanding if there is a new normal.
Love you girl and so happy that I can have you to look up to in this process since you are 6 months in front of me. xo
Thank you for sharing your struggles and keeping it real Roxanne! Sounds like no matter the ups and downs, it’s the most rewarding experience ever. I can’t wait!!!
Good for you for giving yourself grace to heal and take care of yourself properly. I pushed myself entirely too much after having my first son and was much more relaxed about everything when I had my second son. You look so cute in your tiered white dress and amazing red shoes!
Grace Liang says
It sounds like you are doing awesome during this process! Love your outfit! 🙂
What a great post to read! My kids are in middle and high school now (time really flies!) but this brings back many memories. The changing hormones was the hardest for me, especially with my second one, but so worth it! Enjoy this special time! You look gorgeous with that pretty dress!
Julie | This Main Line Life says
Yeah, they don’t really tell you much about all the changes you’ll experience after the birth. I found that each time the baby’s nursing schedule changed (like dropped a feeding), I’d go through a few days of hormonal crazy all over again as my milk adjusted. You’re doing great.
Love the red shoes with the dress! Your daughter is adorable too! 🙂
I found the over emotional side started in pregnancy and never really left, I think it’s just my life now and wasn’t a post baby phase, haha!
Dressing postpartum I found so easy – because I just kept wearing my pregnancy stuff for a while, haha! if it fit in pregnancy and I could breastfeed in it that was all I needed. Took me a while to venture back into my regular wardrobe, as stretchy pregnancy stuff worked best!
Thanks for the link up!