[Note: Motherhood Journal Pt 4]
Read about Pt 1 HERE on Obstetrician, Pt 2 HERE on Pregnancy side effects and Pt 3 HERE on the Birth Plan.
My lil girl is 4 months 2 weeks now and I have been a new mom about the same length of time. The rejuvenation and recovery period started immediately after birth, and it is still happening today. Quite baffling that at 4 months, I am still undergoing this restoration period, physically that is. No kidding on this part. I know I read them before it happened (just to prep), but when it did, I'm still in a state of disbelief that those changes are happening and it's as inevitable as the sky is blue.
So here's a quick one because although I'm not that comfortable talking about them, I'm just going to share them briefly. Because it's constantly bothering me that I could've been better prepared for this (at least mentally) but didn't and I could've been better informed about them but wasn't.
1. The Flood
Well yes this part is expected - the bleeding. After having them on hold for 40 weeks, what do you expect to happen when the plug is finally pulled? It rained day and night, as in the days of Noah. Unlike a normal menses, the discharge continues for up to several weeks. In my case, it was like mm... 6 or 7 weeks. But then this is manageable as most new moms undergo a period of confinement at this time. How did I get by? I supposed it went unceremoniously as I had a more pressing matter to be concerned about e.g the baby, the confinement, the breastfeeding, the family, etc.
2. The Belly Paunch
I still have them, and doing plenty of sit-ups to try to minimize them. I can forget about a flat belly because my belly has always been cute and bumpy. Now more so. Haha. I supposed it can't disappear forever as my uterus shrink back to it's normal size. And I supposed I should thank all the Cokes and Sundrop I had when I was wading off the sugar cravings.
3. The Rock
Perhaps I'm one of the more lucky ones because although I went through a brief period of breasts engorgement (sometimes they were hard as rocks, even I was a little alarmed), it was not as painful as what I've been told about. Or maybe I followed the program right (when to express milk, when to feed the baby, what to do when you can't express etc) so it didn't cause too much problem. Here's a big thanks to the nurses at Normah Hospital because they were really helpful with tips and advice and even encouragement. Oh by the way, if you don't have a water heater for warm baths at home, now is a good time to install one. Hot showers do wonders for them rocks. =)
4. The Breakouts
I don't normally have any problems with acne or pimples and my facial skin is clear at most times. During the pregnancy months, I actually experienced a smoother and clearer skin. Glowing, some may say. However, two weeks after the birth, my face went through a period of breakouts like nobody's business! Okay I exaggerate. It wasn't so bad but the red splotches here and there and sometimes appearing and disappearing without warning were really annoying. The skin was also kind of dry and although moisturizer helps, it doesn't do much to stop it. Inevitable... of course. Drinking plenty of fluid helps, and so does staying away from the sun. It naturally stopped on its own though.
5. The Hairball
This is the most annoying one. My doctor actually warned me about them but I didn't think it was anything I should worry about until it actually occurred. When I was pregnant, my hair felt thick and glossy and voluminous, they even stopped falling off, all thanks to the hormones. But about 3 months after giving birth, the hair-fall comes with a vengeance! It's still happening as I type this, to my dismay. I used to experience hair fall previously, but it wasn't as bad as this. This is literally hair-shedding! Every morning when I wake up, I'd run my fingers through my hair and like 5 - 10 strands come off at one go. The floor, on a good day, has strands of hair here and there. I couldn't even shampoo my hair without taking off clumps of hair from the drain cover. I think the thinning patches are showing and it doesn't look good on me. This is the one change I'm truly upset about and can't wait for it to end in a month or so before I go completely bald! Kidding. It's just the body's way of returning to normal and some stuffs need to mend.
6. The Thyroid Nods Swell
Ah. This one. Tricky. And it doesn't happen to everyone. So ask your mom if it runs in the family especially after you've had an operation, because it happened to me and I had to undergo another operation to deal with it. The doctor said it wasn't cancerous but at the same time, there were no medications for it and if the swell is left unattended, it could go bigger in years although still non-cancerous. I had a tiny lump the size of tiny quail egg on the right neck after I had the C-Sec, which wasn't even there before. All that hormone overdrive allegedly triggered it. Couldn't really see them unless you look closely. I survived them --Thank You God-- and I have the visible scar to prove it. My best friend said it's my lucky natural necklace that only special people have. True, that. =)
There are actually other changes but they're not as obvious as the above. So how do I deal with all these changes? They will eventually stop naturally and that should indicate the body is done doing its round and is back to normal. All in its time. But most importantly, I tell myself everyday that my beautiful and healthy baby girl is totally worth it all. :-)
And so, will this make me think twice about having a sibling for Carissa? Nah. Babies are God's gifts to mankind. Remember that it's a blessing to even be able to conceive.
That's all for today, and sorry no visual aids. But thanks for reading!