Or should I say oh mama!!! The truth about motherhood can be a bit overwhelming to explain, maybe that’s why people don’t bother to talk about it.
Anyway, here are a few headliners that I felt like someone should have given me a heads up on! (My mom tried of course, but did I listen? Obviously not.)
Morning sickness!!!! Okay, we hear about it, we’ve seen it in movies, we all understand the concept…but wow! I always thought in my head that I’d be the type of girl that could control my urge to vomit and that movies exaggerated the reality of it. Of course everyone is different, but for me it was like clockwork. Every damn morning I’d wake up and immediately head straight to the toilet. It’s commonly known to stop after the first trimester, and hooray for you if that’s the case, but unfortunately for me it turned into my morning routine all the way up until the first week of entering my third trimester. Even now that Brielle is one I have some mornings where I wake up feeling like I’m about to gag.
*tip: always throw up on an empty stomach. Barfing stomach acids is much easier than throwing up chunks of food. Sorry for the mental pictures.🤢
Third trimester! The last few weeks of pregnancy are the hardest, even though you’re not throwing up anymore, hopefully!! You’re absolutely drained. Mostly because you hardly get any sleep because your giant baby has decided to push down hard into your uterus and urination occurs every hour or so. Also because you can no longer breath laying down on your back and your belly is so big there’s no way you can sleep on your stomach, so you’ve decided to sleep on your side to take the pressure of your lungs, oh but wait your hips all of the sudden screech with pain!!! So you end up falling asleep sitting up. Cool. You need help getting out of bed or off the couch, you suddenly can’t walk and talk at the same time, getting dressed is annoying, and putting socks/shoes on? Forget it! Oh and last week was your due date. 😩🙄
Sore/broken nipps!!! Yup, I said broken. I cringe at the thought of remembering the pain of breastfeeding Brielle the first few weeks. Omg!😖 My mom would tell me all the damn time while I was pregnant to rub oil all over my nipples. And yeah I would do it, occasionally. I honestly thought she was exaggerating, because she tends to do that a lot, I mean who’s Mexican mom doesn’t exaggerate, right? Well let me tell you, no better yet, let me warn you: if your mom tells you to put oil on your nipples, you better listen. Your nipples are literally raw those first few weeks, a piece of raw meat. They swell, they crack, they bleed! They are beyond sensitive! In the shower when the water touches them, you’d think it’d be soothing…it’s not. Remember that scene from a bugs life when it starts to rain and the ants are literally being slammed by the itty bitty rain drops? Well your nipples are the ants nearly getting slaughtered by the rain. The pain is unbearable! I’m telling you, you can’t even face the damn shower head. I suggest you wrap something around your bust so that they’re not directly hit by the water, or a bath if you have more time on your hands. I promise you that I am not exaggerating any of this, so please take care of your nipples!
Childbirth! Okay, who actually thinks to ask a new mom all the gory details of how their precious heaven-sent offspring made it into the world? Yeaaaah, me either. Literally never ever cared or thought to ask. Well next time, ask! Then maybe when it’s your turn you wont be so confused when your water breaks and how you have no idea if you just peed yourself? And how once your water breaks that means that your body keeps pouring fluids out of you constantly and reoccurring, and not just that one time. Literally means your legs are getting soaked over and over again. Disgusting. I changed out of my hospital gown like four times before the nurse finally told me, “sweetie, childbirth isn’t like you see it in the movies, it’s messy and it’s hard.” Aka my face screamed with disgust every time I got my gown/sheets wet. Ugh! And the actual pain of a contraction? When I was pregnant, I tried to imagine what that could feel like so I could somehow mentally prepare myself, but I could never figure it out…well if I had to describe it I’d say to imagine the worst, worst period cramps you have ever gotten, (and if you haven’t ever felt bad cramps, then you’re in for a treat,) and multiply them by a million and to last at its high peek on your lower back for a whole minute, and by a whole minute I mean a you’re waiting in front of the microwave for your food minute. I would describe the whole ring of fire if I could for you, but my labor didn’t get that far. Anyway my point is, ask about what really goes on underneath that hospital gown. 🙃
Cuarentena: if you’re not Mexican, you probably don’t know wtf I’m about to talk about so just skip ahead, lol! If you are Mexican like myself with a really strong willed old school mother like my own, you know exactly what I’m referring to. After birth, it is said that your body takes up to 40 days to restore and somewhat/somehow go back to its original state, (down there/inside you). During that time, Hispanic culture believes that you should take careful care of your body by not exposing yourself to the outdoors. (Aka you better not catch any “aire” because apparently this could lead to back pains and headaches.) Also, you maintain a very specific diet. All spicy, cold/icy, fresh foods are off limits. Reasons for that is to avoid stomach cramps, and if you’re breastfeeding, giving the baby colic/gas. If you do follow these beliefs then the first month is very draining on you. Staying indoors for that long is literally depressing, I mean it’s fine the first two weeks because you’re home with your new baby and your tired cus hello childbirth!!! But omg, after two weeks you’re desperate for any little bit of fresh air! That month is a never ending cycle of, “same shit, different day.” A lot of people don’t even do this anymore, honestly I probably wouldn’t either if it weren’t for my mom. But if you can handle being held captive for that long, then do it!! It’s rest that your body needs and more alone time to actually bond with your baby, so thanks mom!😊
Afterbirth: Recovering childbirth takes time. Hence the 40 days! But also sometimes even longer. Even though I didn’t look like I gained too much weight when I was pregnant, I did. I was up to 178 when I went into labor. And surprisingly I lost the weight fast, thank you breastfeeding!!! But did I fit into my pre pregnancy clothes? No. I could not get into any of my jeans if my life depended on it, or my shoes. Yup, I went up a size in shoes. 🙄 Your body is still swollen for months. It’s a little disappointing to be honest because who wants to still wear maternity jeans after giving birth. Well actually they’re pretty damn comfortable, so maybe I won’t complain to much.😅 Anyway, your body will eventually go back to normal just takes time.
Postpartum depression: This ones hard. Not just on yourself, but the people around you. No one wants to see someone struggle with their emotions after just having a baby. I think that’s why no one talks about it or wants to recognize it. These things happen, not to everyone, but if it does happen to you that doesn’t make you any less than anyone else. It doesn’t make you a bad person, or mother. Speaking of experience, it is much easier to deal with by communicating. If you don’t open up to anyone about how you feel, you literally start feeling like this cloud is taking over your life and it weighs you down. It’s intoxicating. I use to have anxiety attacks every time I would breastfeed. I’d cry for no reason at all. Every time someone asked me if I was okay I felt a huge lump in my throat. Once I accepted the way I was feeling and talked about it, I realized that part of it was the medication they put me on. It’s important to listen to your body. Postpartum depression is nothing to feel ashamed of, and it is a lot more common than we know. Please open up to someone and ask for support when you need it.
This was a lot longer than I expected, but truthfully I hope someone got something out of this. That’s what my main goal is, so take my advice and use it, share it, laugh at it, whatever. Just trying to shed some light on some of the things that left a huge impression on my first pregnancy.