Monday, September 27, 2010

The Post-Partum Body

So since my post on weird pregnancy symptoms is by far and away the most popular post ever, on my wee blog (50% of all traffic, thanks to accidentally hitting on a popular search term), I've been meaning to write a bit about what's happened since.
  • Regarding what I wrote about hair loss: during pregnancy I may or may not have stopped losing hair. About four months after I gave birth, WHOMP out went half my hair. Seriously, there was so much hair falling out of my head that DH and I were worried I was going bald. The hairstyle wasn't noticeably affected, to me at any rate. Ask my hair stylist if you want to know for sure.
  • All that stuff I mentioned about darker body hair and moles: no change. Ahem.
  • Belly: still no stretch marks, but poochy and jiggly. I haven't done a lot to try to change it. I've been exercising intermittently and eating like I'm still pregnant but with the addition of a moderate amount of wine... so... no change expected.
  • Breasts: fourteen months of breastfeeding and every once in awhile, I look in the mirror and say 'hey I've finally got the cleavage I've always wanted. Meh.' 
  • Lady bits: the small tear took longer than I expected to fully heal. And by fully heal, well, I'm not going to explain that. But it was six months or so before... I was going to say back in the saddle but that's not quite right. Sad face.
  • Behind the lady bits: also, the side effects of my intestinal slow down took a long time to heal. I wouldn't say things are totally back to my pre-pregnancy state even now but thankfully a lot better. 
  • Birth control: around one year post-partum, menstruation returned for me (thank you lactational amenorrhea!) so we gave up the condoms (yay!) and I went back on the pill. Or rather, I thought my period had returned. So far she's made only one appearance. At any rate, being back on the pill has changed my...
  • Skin! Nasty old adult acne that I used to get while on the pill, if not using retinol, is back with a vengeance. Ah well.
A couple notes on the post-partum mind:
  • I was never much for horror and suspense genre entertainment. I find it totally unwatchable now. I am writing this with an episode of Bones running in the background. The storyline involves a kidnapped 8 year old boy. I can barely tolerate it and it helps to be distracted by writing this and watching the twitterstream flow by. I'm just watching for the shots of DC. I should watch Legally Blonde or something instead. Blog posts about miscarriage and sick children are pretty much guaranteed to get me bawling.
  • Don't get me started on long distance commercials. I will cry at the drop of a hanky, or the sound of a kid saying 'Mom?'
  • Pre-birth, I gave myself a manicure every Sunday night, and a pedicure every two weeks. I think I've half heartedly painted my nails three or four times in the past year. I miss it but I often can't be bothered. 
Poor kidnapped kid in Bones had a finger cut off. I want to throw up.

Speaking of nauseated, after almost a year of unplanned bedsharing with the baby, I love it. It made life easier and mornings are so snuggly and delicious with the baby right there. She wakes up in such a happy mood. Oh right, on nauseated: I just feel sad for the babies being left alone to cry themselves to sleep every night. I wish I could snuggle them all. 

Some of these things have been a surprise, some not so much. All of them, I hardly notice, especially when I'm schmooshing my baby girl!

What has your post-partum or post-adoption body, mind and life been like?


Anonymous said...

I definitely can relate to some of this. I'm 20 weeks post-partum and in the midst of the falling out hair, even though I never had the full, cliche pregnancy bouncy, shiny hair. (Seems unfair, really.)

We opted not to co-sleep (we don't have the space for it as we don't have a wall the bed could be against OR the space for a co-sleeper next to the bed) and our little one recently moved from his little bassinet in our room to his crib with no trouble, thankfully - and NO CIO. It absolutely breaks my heart to think of some little baby, all alone in his or her crib, crying and not understanding why someone isn't coming.

I need to stop responding about it right now or I'll be sobbing. I'll just say I don't get CIO. At all. Never will understand.

I always hated horror entertainment, but now I also find myself sensitive to things like Bones and CSI, which I did like. That change definitely surprised me.

Jes said...

I totally hear you when you say it breaks your heart with all those babies out there crying alone in their cribs! I have been co-sleeping since day one and can't imagine it any other way. My sister-in-law hopes that her soon to be born baby will "sleep in her crib right away and be a happy, sleepy baby!" I want to laugh and cringe at the same time....I wonder if "crying it out" is a borderline child protection issue?

In terms of the body...4.5 months later my hair is falling out too; gobs! I am still craving olives (never liked them until I was pregnant) and also chocolate (also never really craved until pregnancy). And, no stretch marks while pregnant, but when the belly shrank they suddenly appeared...but they are fading on their own with each passing month so not worried.

Sadly, all my hip pain during pregnancy has reappeared recently because I sleep on my side curled up by the little one....guess its back to the Chiropractor for me again! It's really a miracle practice!