1

Love takes time…or does it? Bonding with your baby.

The lovely Mummy at Mummy Flying Solo posted a wonderful proposal about putting together the stories of many Mama’s who had trouble bonding with their baby. It is something that people don’t talk about often, either due to shame, embarrassment, or the incumbent “don’t you love your kid?” comments which are incredibly out of line.

I think it’s so brave of her to venture into this project, and am sharing the post for her in the hopes that it will reach more Mama’s who may like to contribute to her project. It isn’t abnormal to go through an initial period of difficulty bonding with your baby. Some people just take more time to get to know.

xoxo

Love takes time…or does it? Bonding with your baby..

7

Going Organic? My Skin Says Yes!

I haven’t always been conscious of things that said “all natural” or “organic”. In fact, being the lazy cheap person I am means I would usually purchase whatever product was on sale for the cheapest price at the store. I have never been loyal to a specific brand. In fact, I would go so far as to label myself a “brand hopper”. I’d go from product to product without ever really feeling like there was one particular thing I couldn’t live without. To me, shampoo was shampoo, face wash was face wash, and they all did relatively the same thing.

Then my little L was born. I got so many products for her at her baby shower, that I hadn’t really had to put much thought into purchasing items. That is until everything changed. L had very sensitive skin. The wrong kind of cream would have her break out in little hives. She got small patches of what I was told “looked like eczema” (by a doctor and a pharmacist) on the top of her shoulder, on one leg, and on her belly. Something wasn’t working for her, so I made some changes.

Johnson & Johnson products were out. They may work for some kiddos, but weren’t working for mine. I switched to Live Clean products for her bath, her lotion, and her bum and her supposed “eczema” went away within two weeks. That’s pretty telling.

That is what started my research into more natural and organic skin products for L and for myself. Yes, myself as well. I have had awful skin ever since I became pregnant. I’m acne prone, have pores that to me seem to be the size of craters, and ankles that are crazy dry and was told by a dermatologist resembled a “knuckle pad”. Gross. L’s changed skin by switching to less chemically-laden product was my motivation. If it worked for her, surely it couldn’t hurt to try for myself!

So after doing research, I came across a local woman who makes natural, organic products from her home. Her company is called “Homemade Organics by Jen“.

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Everything in her product is not just natural, it’s orgnanic. Every single ingredient is organic. It’s so natural, in fact, you could eat it. I figured it couldn’t HURT me to try it out, so I contacted her. I purchased a lip balm and a deodorant, and got samples of the facial scrub, body scrub, toner, whipped shea face and body cream, whipped cooca face and body cream and a hair pomade for my fiance to try.

I have tried organic products in the past, and had so-so results. Lip balms I’ve tried have either been so hard they crumble on contact, or so liquidy that they literally spill everywhere. Same goes with deodorant. These weren’t like that. The lip balm was a tasty lemon scent, and was firm enough to glide on but not liquidy. Kind of right in the middle and perfect. It is also long lasting, so I don’t have to apply a bazillion times a day, which is great! The deodorant was coconut-lemon and smells delicious! Since giving birth two years ago, I’ve become crazy sweaty. Must be the hormones I guess, but I need a good deodorant or else I’m left smelling gross. This scent was very long lasting, non-offensive and effective! It is less firm than a commercial deodorant stick, and somewhat melted into my armpits as I applied it, but it worked and that’s the main thing I was concerned about.

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The next thing I tried was the facial scrub. My face breaks out faster than you can say “Effin’ pimples!” so I was hoping for a miracle here. The ingredients listed are: Organic, Unrefined Coconut Oil, Organic Honey Powder, Pure powdered Nahcolite, Vitamin E, and Lavender Essential Oil. She told me I wouldn’t need moisturizer after using this, and I was honestly a little skeptical. So I went home, wet my face, took a small amount into my fingers and got ready to wash. I could instantly feel it almost melt in my fingers, and as I scrubbed it almost felt like a waxy coating. It was much different than any facial scrub I’ve ever used in the past. I took that to be because of the oils in the product. I went to rinse off and it felt like it wouldn’t completely rinse. Again, I think that was the oils in the product, so I just gave up and patted my face dry. That’s when I noticed the difference. My face was glowing. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true. It was soft and smooth and glowing. I couldn’t believe it! The sample she gave me was enough to last about 5 days and after 5 days of using the facial scrub once a day (at night), and the toner once a day (in the morning), my acne has cleared up about 80%. How crazy is that? It feels really different when I use it, but the results speak for themselves. I think it is tied for my favourite product she makes.

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So what is my other favourite? I think its another combination of the body scrub and whipped cocoa face and body cream. The body scrub smells delicious, and I really focused on using that on my crummy ankles. It is again full of natural oils, and guess what? While it didn’t cure my skin in that area (yet), it did take the crusty look away from them! That is something that expensive creams from dermatologists haven’t been able to manage yet, so I’m hooked. After the shower I hopped out and put on the whipped cocoa cream and I ended up smelling like chocolate chip cookies for the day, with skin as smooth as silk. It was light-weight and soaked right into my skin without feeling heavy or greasy. A co-worker actually asked me what cream I had on, because she said I smelled “delicious and edible”. Seriously, who doesn’t want to smell delicious and edible, while remaining chemical free? I’m sold, and my skin has never felt better.

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I could go on and on, but I’d end up writing a novel rather than a review, and honestly nothing could explain the results better than trying it for yourself. I know if you’re local to her, she will give you samples to try of her products, and she ships throughout Canada.

I wasn’t asked to review her product, and I wasn’t paid for this review. I just felt so strongly about what it has done for my skin (my facial acne, and gross ankles in particular) that I was compelled to share it with other Moms who may have had hormonal skin changes since pregnancy, and are as desperate as I was to find something that works, is organic and completely chemical free. I know I probably sound more like an infomercial than a Mommy blogger right now, but it’s the truth and I feel like a new, fresh-faced version of myself. If you’ve had bad skin for a while, you know that finding something that actually works can feel life-changing.

Check out her facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/#!/homemadeorganicsbyjen

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7

My leaky bladder makes sense now!

Call your mother and say something nice!

My little L will be two at the end of October, which means I am approaching the hell that can only be described as potty training. She’s already shown interest a tiny bit, and has asked to sit on the big girl toilet once, and stayed there for about 15-20 minutes while singing songs and “chatting” as much as a not quite two year old can. Which means, I’ll have to go buy a potty.

So I’ve been trying to mentally prepare myself for potty training. I’m bracing myself for accidents – an unintentional pee in the underpants, not quite making it to the toilet in time, her feeling ashamed of peeing herself, trying to let her know it’s okay, and that Mommy knows it was an accident, etc. Then I realized – it all makes sense!

THIS must be why after we give birth, our bladders aren’t ever the same. THIS must be why when we cough, or sneeze, or laugh too hard we piss our pants. THIS must be why I’m up a bazillion times a night to pee. THIS must be why.

Mom’s are biologically made to accidentally piss themselves after giving birth so that we are empathetic to our toddlers when they piss themselves during potty training. I’ve unintentionally peed in my underpants, I’ve felt ashamed at peeing myself (even if it is just some wee drips), and I need comfort too, dammit! So this is why it happens – so when my sweet L feels embarrassed and ashamed when she has her first pissy accident, I can say with complete sympathy, “It’s ok L, Mummy understands. She sometimes pees her pants too, but we have to keep trying to make it to the toilet on time, and empty ourselves frequently to avoid accidental drips”.

So, my sweet L, Mummy gets it. She really, really does. Kegels just don’t do what they are supposed to do 100% of the time.

(Do you piss your pants, too? If so, vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs – just a single click on the button to the right of my blog equals a vote! If you don’t piss your pants, I’d still  appreciate sympathy votes to make me and my leaky bladder feel a little bit better).

36

Ever hear of a Lotus Birth? Don’t eat while you read this blog post!

photo of newborn with intact umbilicus, one ho...

photo of newborn with intact umbilicus, one hour postpartm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

* Edit – these thoughts are just why I PERSONALLY wouldn’t choose to do this. I can only write what I know, and what I feel. If anyone has any information on the benefits to a Lotus Birth, and a link as to why it should be considered, feel free to leave it in the comments section and I will gladly edit my post to include it and have both perspectives.

Have you ever heard of a Lotus birth? This rather new parenting trend was recently brought to my attention, and my first instinct was to barf all over my keyboard as I read about it.

Before I start with MY TAKE on just how messed up I think a Lotus Birth is, let me fill you in on what it’s all about.  

After a baby is born, the conventional medical thing to do is to clamp and cut the umbilical cord right after birth. Some people do a delayed cord cutting (an hour or two tops) as they wait for the cord to stop pulsing which allows the last of the cord blood to enter the baby’s blood stream. I can completely get behind that concept, and think there are great benefits to the practice of delayed cord cutting.

HOWEVER, with a Lotus birth, you don’t cut the umbilical cord at all. You leave the cord attached to the baby AND to the placenta. You bathe your placenta in a salt bath (to apparently aid in reducing the STENCH, and you can also “scent” your placenta if you wish), place the placenta into a little cotton carrying bag – design of your choosing – and bring home baby, placenta and the attached umbilical cord as a package deal. Then, you wait for the umbilical cord to naturally fall away from the baby – a process which can take anywhere from 3-10 DAYS!

So let’s start with the benefits of a Lotus Birth. Apparently babies who remain attached to their placentas after birth are more content and relaxed as the placenta is comforting to them. They can be less affected by jaundice, lose less weight, and apparently continue to get nutrients from the placenta while it dries up. (** I’ve also since been told that it is often a spiritual/cultural thing, where people believe the spirit/chi/soul of the baby is in the placenta and that if you leave all attached, the soul will be able to fully enter the baby’s body without being severed. I wasn’t aware of this, and think that is actually a pretty cool concept! Also, in these cultures the mother often goes nowhere for 40 days, and has mothers/aunts etc. help take care of her.She is simply expected to rest. Still not for me, but at least now I have been enlightened as to why it is done). All ok points, but for me the negatives outweigh the postives.

Here’s my take on this:

1) I get it. The placenta is the new “in thing” for birthing mama’s. First there were placenta pills, then placenta jewelry (yes, that’s a real thing – not on my Christmas list!), and now you get to spend a crap ton of money on a cotton bag to carry around a rotting flesh organ for up to 10 days. That’s right, days. I just don’t think I’ll ever relate to the placenta loving Mama’s. Just not my thing. These bags aren’t cheap either! Here’s one I found here on etsy, and it costs $95.55! http://www.etsy.com/shop/LotusBorn

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2) If this becomes mainstream, you can be sure that some hippie granola celebrity Mom is going to have a custom designed Balenciaga placenta bag. Or Louis Vuitton. Or Prada. Prada Placenta bags. Oh the possibilities (and increased profit margins) are endless.

3) Wait a minute. If you have all of these design choices for placenta bags, and people are charging $100 bucks for a cotton sack, doesn’t the whole thing become “designer” and “mainstream”? Would that not be exactly what an au natural granola Mom would be against?

4) If you delay cutting the umbilical cord until the pulse stops, you’re not looking at more than one day (let alone a few hours). With this process, it can be 3-10 days. Could you imagine?!? “Awww can I hold the baby? She’s so adorable!” Ahhh sure you can, but you also have to drape the cord over your arm and hold this bag of decaying flesh as well. Oh don’t mind the smell, I’ll just spritz it. BARF!

5) Heaven forbid you have to go to the grocery store. How do you manage the baby, a shopping cart, and a placenta bag? It’s hard enough with just the baby! Oh, and what about the poor people who work at the store and have to check all outside bags for shoplifting? “Excuse me Ma’am, you can’t carry your own shopping bags around the store. Please use the designated shopping cart only. Do you mind if I search your bag?”. That’s going to be a shocker!

6) You thought Baby-wearing was a trend! You obviously haven’t tried PLACENTA WEARING! If feeling so close to your baby feels that good, imagine what it feels like to feel that close to a piece of your very own insides! There’s no love like self-love, baby!

7) So it’s bath time. Yay! Where do you put the placenta? Make sure you don’t get it wet. The only thing worse than the smell of slowly decaying organ in a bag, is WET AND MILDEWY slowly decaying organ in a bag. BARF, BARF, BARF! Oh and make sure you manoeuver that bag carefully. You don’t want to accidentally kneel on it when you’re bathing dear baby. SQUISH – BARF!

8) Just how often do you have to give your placenta a salt bath? Because let’s face it, as a new Mom you barely have time to bathe yourself, let alone something that’s dying in an overpriced bag.

Uggh. I could go on and on and on about how much I really am not into this idea, but I have to stop before I get even more nauseated. I’m sure there are some who will completely disagree with me, and I’m sure there are some who will send me hate mail. That’s fine, we are all entitled to our opinions, this is simply mine. That’s the wonderful thing about giving birth. You have the choice to do it your way with whatever method you feel is best for you and your baby. But no matter what you say, I’m sure as hell going to stick to doing it my way!

11

The Field Guide to Visiting a New, First Time Mom.

I was so flattered to be asked to guest blog over at Modern Man of the Cloth, for my post entitled “What a New Mom Wants from You“. This post was mainly directed towards the Father figure/partner in the Mom’s life. I really enjoyed writing things from that perspective, and was very appreciative of the offer to guest post for him. As a result of that post, I got another amazing offer.

The wonderful Mama from Mama Miller Parenting contacted me with a great idea. Why not have the two of us collaborate to come up with a two part blog post, covering what a new mom wants from friends/family who visit after a new baby is born? I would cover “The Field Guide to Visiting a New, First Time Mom”, while she (a soon to be Mama of three) would cover “The Field Guide to Visiting a New, Veteran Mom”. Two different views, from two different women. I jumped at the idea, and wrote her almost immediately with scattered thoughts and ideas.(I shamefully admit she seems much more organized than I do when it comes to blogging).

Be sure you pop over to read her take on things here: “The Field Guide to Visiting a New, Veteran Mom“.

1) Call before you pop over for a visit.

I get it. There’s a new baby and everyone wants to meet her/hold her/fawn over her. As a new Mama, she wants everyone to fawn over her baby, too. But she also would like to have notice that she should put on a bra, some clothes that aren’t covered in baby puke/shit, shower (since she likely hasn’t in a few days and smells like be aforementioned baby puke/shit mixed with the stench of hormonal changes we experience post-birth as mentioned here). Plus, do you know what she hasn’t had time to do lately? Clean. At least not to her prior standards. So yes, a call would be nice, with at least a couple of hours notice.

2) When you come over, surprise her with something she just might need.

She likely hasn’t fed herself properly all day (or all week for that matter), hasn’t had a chance to run to the store, and is running low on both the essentials and her sanity. Not sure what to surprise her with? Here are a few ideas: Her favourite coffee/tea, some basic groceries (think a loaf of bread and some milk), her favourite chocolate bar or snack, a rotisserie cooked chicken from the grocery store so she has one part of dinner looked after. Heck, if you’re SUPER close to her, pick her up some hemorrhoid cream, overnight maxi pads, or lanolin cream for her surely cracked and bleeding nipples. As tempting as it is, DO NOT BRING HER FLOWERS. It’s just one more thing she has to look after (which is the last thing she needs) and they will likely suffer a quick death.

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3) Do not make any comments on her appearance.

If you have called and given appropriate notice and she still looks/smells less than stellar, don’t say anything. Sway away from comments like “Oh you look exhausted!”, or “I’ve never seen you without makeup” and especially “Are those maternity pants you’re still wearing?”. You’re lucky she even managed to get up and answer the door for you, so shut up and focus on the precious baby. PS – the same advice goes for the state of her house. Pretend you don’t notice the mess. If you do notice it, and it bothers you that much, she’d much rather have you clean it than hear your opinions about it.

4) Keep your visit short.

She’s tired, and likely not really up for entertaining. Don’t hold it against her if she forgets to offer you a drink or take your coat. If she keeps looking at her watch, don’t take offense. She’s probably caught up with trying to remember the last time the baby was fed or pooped. Don’t overstay your welcome, unless you plan to be helping out around the house.

5) If you’re sick, don’t come.

Even if it’s just a little sniffle. A new baby is susceptible to germs, and the effects on a tiny human are much greater than on an adult body. If you’re even the slightest bit sick, or have been making out with a sick person, or even breathing the same air as a sick person, postpone your visit. It is not worth the health of the baby, and the mother doesn’t want to be the bad guy who says “You’re sick? Sorry you can’t hold the baby”. On the same note, if you do come over to visit please wash your hands before handling the kid. It might sound like overkill to you, but it’s just plain smart and respectful.

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6) Can it with the unsolicited advice.

If she’s asked you for your thoughts, opinions or suggestions by all means advise away. But if she hasn’t asked, don’t offer. She might not be perfect yet, but she has to learn about her child’s cues all on her own, and she will. Both she and the baby are new to this, and they are learning together.

One great example of this is how she chooses to feed her baby. If she is breastfeeding/bottle feeding, she doesn’t need your advice on why the other choice is better. She’s made her decision so just support her in it. If she is breastfeeding and is having difficulty with it (as I did), she does not need to be inundated with 6,537 pieces of advice on things to try, stuff to take, etc. Chances are if she’s made this decision she has already been in touch with her doctor, a public health nurse or a lactation consultant for information. Hearing over and over and over about other things to try and how it was “easy” for this person because they did “this”, just makes her feel even more stressed out. And guess what? Being stressed makes breastfeeding EVEN HARDER!

Again, the best rule of thumb is to keep it to yourself unless she asks for your advice.

7) Don’t tell her that her birth must have been easy.

It’s the question that always follows meeting a new baby. People want to know how the birth went. It’s fine to ask, and most Mama’s I know don’t mind telling their birth story at all. Just don’t follow up with things like “Oh your birth was only 20 hours? I wish! Mine was 53 hours!”. Seriously. Whether it was 1 hour, 20 hours, or 53 hours – it all is painful and it all sucks. Don’t try to minimize what she went through or felt. Empathize, share your story if you like, but don’t tell her what she went through was “easy” in comparison. Nothing about giving birth is easy. We’re all just as tough as the other to have gone through what we did, no matter the process, length of time, or outcome.

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8) Don’t complain about how tired you are in front of her.

I’m sure some of you are wondering if that’s really necessary to include, but it is. Trust me. I came off of a 47 hour labour and delivery, followed by nearly a week in the hospital with a baby who was really jaundiced, so I wasn’t sleeping most of those nights either out of sheer worry for the health of my baby. The second or third night I was home, I got a phone call from someone. We chatted for a bit, and they then complained to me about how tired they were because the neighbours had a party till 1am the night before. They only got to sleep from 1am till 9am, so they were “exhausted”. Looking back, I honestly don’t know why I didn’t tell them to stuff it and then hang up the phone. I probably should have. So yes, just don’t even bring it up as a topic of conversation. It won’t end well.

9) Offering to babysit.

I’m torn on this one. Since my girl is a toddler now, I’m all for having people babysit her (family at least). But when she was first born I was literally overwhelmed by the number of people that offered to babysit for me. Some of these people I wasn’t even close with, and the thought of leaving her with these people sent me into panic attacks. Heck, the first time I decided to leave her with my own mother so my fiance and I could go to a movie, it took me 45 minutes to leave the house, I hyperventilated a bit, checked my phone every 5 minutes and cried. So chances are if she hasn’t come right out and asked you if you’d be willing to babysit in the future, you are best served finding another way to help.

Need some suggestions? Offer to come over and sit long enough for her to shower or take a one hour power nap (she might feel less anxious about leaving the baby if she knows she’s still under the same roof). If you’re close enough, and she’s comfortable with letting you, offer to come over and help her with the dishes or the laundry that is piling up. Heck, if you’re rolling in the dough and you want to gift her the ultimate help, buy her a maid/cleaning service for the first month she is home with the new baby.

10) If she’s coming to visit you, remember to greet her as well as the baby.

It takes a lot for a new Mom to get it together enough to trek to your place for a visit. She has to think if she’s got enough diapers, wipes, changes of clothes, toys, etc. Chances are she is paranoid and has grossly over packed her bag, which makes it ridiculously awkward to carry around. She probably had to start getting ready 2-3 hours before her time of arrival just to be sure she got there on time. So when she gets there and hears “Oh there she is! Look at that sweet little one. We’ve been waiting for you to get there!”, then sees that you’ve whisked away the baby into the house and left her at the doorstep alone, it is kind of a slap in the face. She put in the effort to come see you, the least you could do is acknowledge her existence as well. It happened to me more than once, and left me feeling like the person couldn’t care less that I took the time to come see them. Yes, we all know the new baby is the star of the show. But don’t leave the new Mama feeling like she’s invisible.

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11) If she’s breastfeeding, be aware that she might be modest.

I was never really a super modest person, so this wasn’t as big an issue for me as it can be for some. Breastfeeding for a new Mom is hard. Likely at first, it is hard to tell if baby is latched properly unless you can physically see that your nipple is going in the baby’s mouth correctly. This makes nursing with a cover difficult for a new Mom (until she’s got the hang of things). Also, every new Mom I know has one particular “spot” in the house that is her comfort zone for nursing. Don’t know what I mean? Think of Sheldon and his “spot” on the Big Bang Theory. This spot is sometimes essential for a relaxed Mama and a successful feeding. Maybe that spot for her is in her chair, smack dab in the middle of her living room. Be aware that there is potential for her feeling modest about exposing her breast. If it is time for a feed, it is perfectly fine for you to ask the Mama if she’s comfortable with you being in the same room while she feeds, or if she would prefer privacy. For me, I didn’t care and just fed my kid. I felt if they were uncomfortable seeing my boob that was their problem, not mine. For some new Mom’s, however, it could be a make it or break it situation as far as feeding goes.

12) Don’t complain to her about how she’s “changed”.

Becoming a Mom changes you. Hot pants are traded in for sweat pants. Make up caked on your face is traded in for baby food caked on your face. Vacations with the girls down south are traded in for escaping to the grocery store by yourself. Is it a complete change? Yes. Does she miss some of her life from before? Probably some aspects of it, yes. Would she trade in her kid for any of it? Never. Complaining to her about how she isn’t fun anymore since she’s become a Mom is a surefire way to ruin your friendship. Her kid will always take precedence over a friend who doesn’t “get it”.

So, if you’re a Mama to be and are worried some people won’t follow the not so subtle hints I’ve written in the Field Guide to Visiting a New, First Time Mom, feel free to forward this along to them. It might save you the trouble of looking like a crazy person (I’ll gladly look like that person for you). If you have any other points to add, feel free to leave them in the comments section!

And don’t forget to visit part two of this post – The Field Guide to Visiting a New, Veteran Mom written by Mama Miller Parenting.

Be sure to like How to Ruin a Toddler’s Day on Facebook!

39

So you just had a baby. Now what?

One of my dearest and closest friends in the world is 10 days away from her due date, and I couldn’t be more happy for her. I’ve answered any and all questions she has had for me as fully and honestly as I can, but I honestly have no question in my mind that she’s got nothing to worry about when it comes to preparing herself for birth. She is probably the strongest woman I know, both physically and mentally, and quite literally can roll with the punches. She’s also come out at the other end of some pretty horrific injuries, and can tough it out in any situation she is thrown into. Honestly, I admire her in many ways for her strengths and accomplishments, and am proud to call her my friend.

But here’s the thing. Everyone prepares you for birth. You take birthing/parenting classes and they tell you what to expect during delivery – what may happen and the various types of scenarios you may encounter. You read plenty of books, and every single person you know (and their step-sister’s cousin’s uncle’s half-brother) has told you their birth stories. You go in there terrified, but pretty sure what’s going to happen. You’re going to come out on the other end of things with a baby. But then what?

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I know I wasn’t fully prepared for everything that can happen to you postpartum, and all while you’re going through an emotional shit-show called hormone fluctuations. So I thought, why not do a post about it! I hope it doesn’t scare her (though I know her well enough to know that she tends to go after challenges balls-first), but I also know that sometimes brutal honesty is the best thing for you. So let’s get to it!

You will sweat more than a Ladyboy in Thailand at high-noon. Thank the hormones for that one. I was in the hospital for a week after L was born. After delivery, I had a nice lovely shower (that first one feels like you struck it rich!) and got moved up to our proper hospital room. The next day I remember doing a few sniffs and thinking “Holy shit, what is that smell! Someone hasn’t washed in a few months”. Then I realized it was me. I was the stinker. I smelled like the deep folds on Jabba the Hut. I asked my fiance why he didn’t tell me I reeked so badly, and he said he didn’t want to hurt my feelings. God love him. I don’t know how he was in the same room as I was. So G, my dear friend, pack deodorant, antiperspirant, baby powder (for yourself!), body spray, and any other anti-stink gunk you can think of.

Don’t look at your crotch! You might be tempted, but trust me, don’t do it. It won’t be recognizable to you, and might scare you. It’s straight out of a horror movie. Think “Night of the Living Labia”, “The Blair Stitch Project”, “The Vagina Chainsaw Massacre”. It won’t stay that way for ever so it isn’t even worth torturing yourself about. Make sure you take advantage of sits baths and the little squirt bottle they give you.

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You’ll be scared to poop. Literally scared shitless. You just pushed a baby out of your vagina, which if you think about it, practically shares real estate with your pooper. You will be terrified, especially if you’ve torn or had stitches. Don’t be scared – the amount of stool softeners you are on will, for lack of better words, soften the blow.

You may have a Marsupial Pouch. Thankfully, most people are aware of a typical postpartum body now after Kate Middleton showed hers off. You won’t walk out with a flat tummy. You will still probably look 5 months pregnant when you leave the hospital and it’s normal. Even after you lose the weight you may still have what I lovingly refer to as the “Mommy Marsupial Pouch”. Don’t sweat it – it’s like instant membership into the club we call motherhood. No entrance fees required.

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You may have a period of mourning. I didn’t hear a lot of people talk about this, but I had a serious period of mourning. I loved my little L, and was so thrilled she was in this world, but part of me was sad that I wasn’t pregnant anymore. I was mourning my baby tummy, and found myself looking down at my saggy, squishy gut and feeling depressed. I had felt so empowered while I was pregnant – I was nurturing, growing and protecting a human being that I had helped create. I was still doing all of those things with her on the outside world, but now it wasn’t only up to me. Others could help out, and my sense of empowerment had diminished. It’s okay to feel this way.

You may cry. A lot. You won’t always know why. And it isn’t a pretty cry. It’s an ugly, soggy, snotty, yucky cry. You’ll cry because you’re so overwhelmed with love and happiness your body literally explodes with tears. You’ll cry because your shoelaces aren’t cooperating with you. You’ll cry because your husband looked at you “wrong”, and so he obviously must be judging you. It’s ok to cry. But if it gets too much, remember to reach out. You may feel alone, but you aren’t.

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You’ll get porn star worthy tits, without the surgery! I know you’re looking forward to this added bonus! They’ll be firm, and perky, and glorious. The only downfall is, they may leak a bit. We just can’t have everything.

You’ll panic and think you are going bald. Ahhh the postpartum shed. It’s just lovely. Your hair will come out in CLUMPS in the shower, and you’ll freak out and wonder if it’s normal. It is. You won’t go bald, it is just your hormones adjusting back to normal. Pretty damn scary though!

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In all seriousness, my dear G, you’ve got this. But if there ever comes a time where you feel you don’t, remember that we’ve got you.

xoxo

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