Everyone, it seems, is obsessed with pregnancy. There are ten thousand kazillion websites (that's an accurate number) on the subject matter alone. When you're pregnant, everyone wants to talk about your pregnancy and touch your belly, while offering you unsolicited advice. When celebs are pregnant, we trash talk their wardrobe choices and analyze their bodies under a microscope (which enrages me).
But what happens once the beautiful (or ugly) little baby is born?
The topic of conversation shifts to focus on the new wrinkly human. And that makes sense, because people love talking about babies almost as much as they love talking about pregnancy. Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with talking about babies, but it seems we often forget to talk about a very important part of the new motherhood experience:
THE POSTPARTUM PHASE
There is so much that goes unsaid about this incredibly important time in a new mom's life. And if you've never had a baby before, it can be overwhelming. So let me break down the postpartum period for you into a few sections that I think are important:
You thought shopping for maternity clothes was a chore? Try finding nice things to wear in the postpartum phase. It sucks. All of your pre-pregnancy clothes are still too small. All of your maternity clothes are too big. On top of all that, you need to find shirts that have easy boob access (if you're breastfeeding), and bras that will support the above-mentioned porn boobs. *sigh* Maternity wardrobes are a breeze in comparison to postpartum wardrobes.
YOUR MENTAL STATE
And last, but not least, your mental state. This is a big one, and of course, every woman feels different. Some women feel nothing but pure love and bliss after their babies are born, and others feel an emptiness. Some women rage, some women cry, some feel completely the same as they did before the baby. There is no way of knowing how you will feel, but all I can say is this: communicate your feelings to those around you. It's a very intense time in a new mom's life, and you'll need all the support you can get.
I'd like to give a shout-out to a very good friend of mine, Megan, who is talking about her struggles with postpartum depression and urging others to be vocal about their experiences and climb out of the darkness together. You can find her story and learn more about the awareness campaign here.
Porno boobs and blood clots (gag) aside, being a new mom, for me, has been an incredible experience. And I'm enjoying it in a new way the second time around. When you become a mother, it's like the doors to a secret club have been opened and you're welcomed in with open arms. At least, that's how it's felt for me.
Now excuse me while I go and get dressed (at 2pm) and try to find something that is at least somewhat flattering...