I’m sure you already know, when you’re pregnant you hear all kinds of stories. Horror stories, what to expect, the best doctors, best place to deliver, how to get your child to sleep, so on and so on. When you’re a first-time mom, you consume so much information it almost gives you anxiety before the baby even arrives. What they don’t tell you is everyone is different, which means everyone’s experience is different. I was prepared as I thought I could be, I had a birth plan, the nursery was ready. I took a birthing class. What you don’t realize is no matter what, you’re not really ready. When that moment comes it doesn’t matter if you’re prepared or not.
The whole time I was pregnant, I imagined what it would like with my child. I was in a fantasy land. What I didn’t expect after delivery were these 3 things, I’m going to share with you. It really shocked me when I was in the moment. I thought: I have to tell other moms too! (Of course, a few months later. You really don’t think that in the moment.) These will apply whether or not you’re a single mom. Don’t let that scare you!
3 Things They Don’t Tell You After Delivery
How hard it is to breastfeed. First, I want to say, I knew there was a possibility this might be more difficult for me than other women because not being able to produce milk runs in my family. However, my sister breastfed for 6 months, so I was all about it. I seriously thought that breastfeeding was easy! It was like 1, 2, 3, natural, here you go! I was totally wrong. I had to call the expert in twice. Eventually when my daughter had the perfect latch, it turns out I wasn’t producing enough milk. (I was in a very stressful situation. If you want more on that click here.) Then I was on this crazy routine of latch, feed, then pump! In the end I breastfed for maybe 2 weeks. I’m sure it would have been different if my circumstances were different but they weren’t. I was very disappointed. However, the point is, be prepared, breastfeeding can be hard.
How quickly you recover & how quickly you don’t. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I didn’t take the epidural. I took ibuprofen for the pain afterward. That’s it. But I was so sore. Omgosh! Ladies-I think only we understand when we talk about the aftermath! I just don’t know how to describe it. Anyway, I was pretty much healed within a week. Still some soreness but I was moving around and doing things. That was great. However, when they released me at 6 weeks for full activity, they don’t tell you you’re not healed enough to do jumping jacks! I’m pretty sure my stuff was still moving around. And I tinkled. Still to this day, at 4 months postpartum jumping jacks get me every time! So yes, you heal quite quickly… to an extent.
How to deal with your emotions. I thought emotions while you were pregnant were bad, but nothing really compares to postpartum emotions. I was crying all the time, I was angry, protective, happy, all at once. It was certainly hard to adjust. Especially when I was finally back in my house really living the single mom life. (Want more single mom blogs? Click here.) In fact, it even got so bad I started to get postpartum depression. Luckily, I had the right people around to pull me out of what was going on. But my emotions were so far beyond control, not even my guide on dealing with your emotions was working for me! It was bad! Sometimes, it still is. Especially because I’m in the middle of custody battle with my ex. Either way, your emotions can get the better of you. All of it’s normal. Just 2 weeks of crying, like I was told, is BS, especially if you’re a single mom going through it alone. (Read: The One Thing that Saved Me During My Transition into Motherhood and or 3 Things No One Tells About Being a Single Mom (to a Newborn).)
I think we as women can be a little bit more prepared with this list on what to expect after delivery. I was really shocked by most of this. Again, everyone is different but for me, how hard it was to breastfeed, only semi healing by 6 weeks, and my emotions I wasn’t prepared for and I wish I was.
If you have a question, can relate, or have a story, leave a comment. Let’s connect.