Our Lady Jr will be turning one next week(!!). So of course I’m thinking a lot about the last year. I have a lot to say and I’ll try to spread it out over several coherent posts.
This time last year I was 100% done being pregnant and convinced I’d be pregnant forever. I knew I’d be a week late, but thankfully I’d been prepared for labor to start since about 36 weeks. So when I actually went into labor on my due date, I was prepared.
…well, ish. Can anyone really be prepared for labor? For kids? That’s at least one thing I did right in those final weeks: to have no expectations. But even attempting to avoid expectations, you have expectations.
I realize now that I’d expected to have a long, late labor, that I’d have a difficult baby (in one way or another), that I’d be exhausted all the time, that I’d go for short walks, that I’d just sit around most of the time in the first few weeks, that I’d also be able to do things like go grocery shopping right away, that I’d have PPD, that I’d be back to my regular lifting/running by six weeks, that I’d be able to keep life-ing like usual, just minus the dayjob.
Oof. Yeah, not so much. So let’s just go with what I wish I’d known:
1) There’s a reason why a lot of ladies fear fast labors, and it’s not just because of the distance to the hospital. While I appreciated the shortened window of pain, the speed of it terrified me and gave me no time to absorb the fact that I was legit having a baby before the baby was had. I’m still grappling with some what-ifs from that time, TBH.
2) Putting any pressure on your bits post labor, including (especially) sitting, is painful AF. Leaning forward, getting up from sitting, basically any sort of movement was a lesson in pain and physics for about 2 weeks. I should’ve started using witch hazel and frozen pads sooner, but for some reason I just didn’t think about it.
3) PP recovery is no joke & just because I had a short labor, I wasn’t magically spared. I went to the grocery store 4 days post labor and nearly fainted. When they say take it easy, they legit mean stay in bed as long as possible. Do not do the dishes. Do not do the laundry. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
4) Colic =/ difficult baby. I wish I had known this sooner so that I would’ve sought more solutions instead of just accepting It Is What It Is. Beause…
5) Dairy intolerance does not necessarily mean lactose intolerance. It can mean casein, which means that even yogurt and hard cheese can be problematic. I didn’t realize this, so I avoided lactose, but still ate hard cheeses etc. It wasn’t until I cut out dairy 100% that Lady Jr stopped screaming and started sleeping longer, quite literally over the span of 24 hours.
6) Bouncers/rock n plays are lifesavers for colicky babies.
7) Sleep begets sleep and that’s true for mommy, too. I had a very hard time sleeping those first few months, even when given the time to sleep.
8) I’m running and lifting again now, but it took a good six, seven months before I was able to do anything like I used to. This is normal.
9) Honestly, I should’ve just expected to chill and try to sleep whenever I could for the first six months. After that, life began to get a bit easier.
10) It gets better. Don’t listen to those blog posts from moms with teens who’re telling new moms it doesn’t get easier. They’re assholes. You will sleep again. You won’t always cry from exhaustion when your baby smiles at you. They either had charming little sleeping newborns or they don’t remember what it’s like to have a 102 degree fever and be dragging yourself from room to room so you can pump for your 3 month old in daycare who was up all last night (and will be up all that night) only to have to stop and puke for the third time because you can’t keep liquids down and then have to spend all weekend caring for that 3 month old who is not happy because they can sense you’re not happy and you haven’t eaten or slept in 3 days… yeah.
11) Sleep is so incredibly important. I wish I’d been kinder to myself when I was so sleep-deprived.
12) The lows are really fucking low but the HIGHS are incredibly high.
13) It is 100% worth it.