My son Esa is almost 5 months old and I am enjoying every moment of seeing him grow and change. A few things I am not enjoying so much is this ‘postpartum version’ of myself. After almost half a year like this, I have not gotten used to the way I am right now. Having a baby is awesome but the after effects it has on your body is not so fun.
I wish someone had warned me, so here I am warning you if you’re a first time mom of what could in store for you…
Hair loss – I am not enjoying losing tufts of my hair every time I wash it. Even when I brush my hair, more of it lands up in the brush, on my shoulders and on the floor than I am comfortable with. Oh the joys of hormones.
Postpartum depression – This was really awful and made me question my ability to be a mother. The depression creeps up on you and makes one feel helpless, negative and sad. I remember crying a lot and struggling to get out of bed some days. It made me imagine things like people thinking I am idiotic or silly. I questioned everything I did, thinking it was all useless. Some days I thought I should just get in my car and drive away as far and as fast as I could because I believed my husband would be a better parent than me and didn’t need me around to mess up. It was totally irrational thoughts. It was only when I went on a mild anti-depressant that I started to see the light out of that dark place.
Big boobs – This may not seem like a downer for some women who welcome the added cup size, but when you’re wearing 34E bras and none of your clothes fit because of your breasts and sleeping on your side is uncomfortable because of the sheer weight of your breasts hanging to one side – there is nothing fun or ‘sexy’ about these hefty knockers.
Baby weight – I know I have spoken about this before, but whether you’re carrying 5 kilos more or 10-15 kilos extra, carrying any amount of additional weight that you know you would not be carrying had you not been pregnant is not fun. While I count my blessings and remind myself that I have a healthy baby boy and the weight is a small price to pay – the amount of hours I spend in the gym, the careful way in which I am eating now is all hard work all in order to lose the weight.
Limited wardrobe – Following on from the baby weight, I have an entire wardrobe filled with fabulous clothing that doesn’t fit me. I REFUSE to buy bigger clothes because I don’t want to get comfortable at this size – so I bought just two pairs of bigger jeans, one jacket and two shirts. These together with a few other items that I can fit into in my old wardrobe is the sum total of my casual wardrobe right now. Getting dressed is not as enjoyable as it used to be.
Hormonal Breakout – I feel like a pubescent teenager with the amount of regular breakouts of zits on my face. This is all thanks to my hormones and apparently it can take one’s hormones up to a year to settle – oh joy.
No period – To date I have not got my period in over a year. Yip, it’s nature’s contraceptive – while you are breastfeeding your period can stay away. It’s not the worst thing in the world at all. But I don’t feel quite myself without it.
So, this is me right now – the postpartum version of me. When the old me does return eventually, it’ll be like seeing an old friend after a really long time – I’ll be really happy to see her.
Happy Healthy Fabulous
Photography: Hemisha Bhana