I said it previously but I am part of 4 different Facebook mom groups. As such, I see a constant stream of mom related questions flow across my timeline, and well, they are all exactly the same. Here's my new handy guide on postpartum:
1) OMG my hair is falling out? Am I dying? Is this normal?
Welcome to the club, baldy. You will soon be one of us: a mom with a weird crown of tiny baby hairs growing back in. I call them accidental bangs, when feeling generous. Other times I just flip off my own head as my hair stands straight up. This is one of those things no one talks about during pregnancy. You see that lush, perfect hair you were rocking for 9 months? It's because when knocked up, you stop losing hair entirely. So, when your body finally realizes the baby has made its way out, that no hair loss hormone turns directly into some kind of hair ejection serum. Yes. It will stop eventually. No. You are not unique with an unheard of medical syndrome. Yes. It's fucking awful.
2) I'm starving! I'm going to gain 100 lbs!
Hi. You just ran a marathon with your vagina. Labor is really, really draining. Also? If you're nursing you are burning an absurd amount of calories. Your body needs the food to produce the milk. It's basically math, which is hard and dumb, so eat the cake and if you start to gain weight eat smaller amounts of cake.
3) I just had a baby 2 days ago! When can I start working out?
You can start working out when you are able to move around without feeling like your uterus is going to fall out. Because that can actually happen. It's called prolapse and it seems very painful (DO NOT GOOGLE THIS. There are things you cannot unsee). Ergo, if you are still in your hospital gown don't start doing squats. Wait awhile and join the rest of us in lounging around in sweatpants. You kind of need to do that anyway, as again, vagina marathon. Rest up, lady. You'll eventually feel super ok (it generally takes 4 to 8 weeks) and you can start working out again. Unless you're me and then 10 months later you're still trying to train the cats to go get you a glass of water because the kitchen is like way over there.
4) My baby won't sleep! Will they ever sleep?
If you're not me: yes. If you're me: no. But seriously, eventually that baby will sleep. Until then you will find a way to deal. It sucks and it's awful and I'm sorry. But, you had a baby and now you'll either be up 24 hours a day or sleep with one eye open because you're too paranoid to let them sleep without you watching. I am hoping this ends by the time she's 30 but I am placing no bets on that.
5) Everything has changed! Everything! Will it ever be normal again?
At least not the version of normal you knew. This is your new normal. It's weird and itchy and uncomfortable at first. If you have a partner you may find yourself arguing because holy shit there is a tiny human now that is relying on you and suddenly you can't just go out to dinner whenever you want and every relationship you have has changed, fundamentally. From what I hear from my coupled parent friends, that will get better too. You'll find time for each other. Your relationships with everyone else will even out too. It takes time. A lot of time. But you will get there and then you will look back and be perplexed as to how your life was anything but this. It will be ok. It's scary and hard but I promise, you'll figure it out, your body will eventually feel like yours again (even if it's a new and different shape), and everything, day by day, will get easier.
Congratulations momma. Got eat a victory cake. You earned it.