The 5 Most Surprising Things that Happened to Me After Giving Birth


Recently, Yahoo posted an article about The 5 Most Surprising Things that Happen to you After Giving Birth.  In it, it states that insignificant weight loss, breast pain, bleeding, bathroom complications and the inability to drive as their Top 5.  While I must say that insignificant weight loss, breast pain and bleeding were not surprising to me, I have listed below my personal Top 5.

  1. The Appearance of My Stomach.   Oh good grief, I wish someone had prepped me for what my stomach would look like after the baby was out.  I remember when I first got my belly, it was cute, and people couldn’t stop touching it.  That was at 3 months.  By 5, my mother asked me “Are you sure you’re not having twins?”  By 9, I was a walking, talking house.  But regardless, that belly housed my princess and I wouldn’t change a moment of it.  Now perhaps I was naive, or even disillusioned that my stomach would return neatly and smoothly to its pre-baby shape, but after 4o lbs and a c-section, this was not the case.  After giving birth, it looked like a withered leather satchel.  No longer round and cute, it was just there, staring back at me, mocking me for being so foolish.
  2. My Feet Were Still Swollen.  Again, another lovely side effect of pregnancy are swollen feet.  My feet were not only swollen, but the size of holiday Butterball Turkeys.  My daughter was born in November, and by January, I was still sporting flip-flops.  Out of the 40 lbs I gained, 15 of them went to my feet, the rest being spread out to my butt, belly, hips, chest and face.
  3. How Many Times You Are Asked “Did it hurt?”  I was blown away by how many people asked me after my daughter was born, “Did it hurt?”  Perhaps it was the “are you serious?” expression I had on my face or the blank stare, but needless to say I didn’t respond to many of the questions.  So for all of you who asked and received no answer, this is my final answer.  Yes, it hurt . It hurt a lot.  It felt like someone had one hand down my throat with the other up my bottom, pulling my organs from either end all the while kicking me in the spine.  Why do you think all those movies of women in labour, they are screaming?  Would you think your body expelling a 7 pound human through a very small opening would hurt?  Don’t you think having your abdomen sliced open would hurt, just a little?  So please, please, do not ask a woman if it hurt giving birth.  Happily assume yes.
  4. The Slow Healing of My C-Section Incision.   The doctors were nice enough to give me dissolvable stitches when the sewed my back up.  I had heard horror stories of staples and having the pulled out, and I was praying that wasn’t going to be me.  So when the doctors informed me that it would heal in 7 days, I was impressed.  The human body is a wonder after all.  However, 3 weeks later, it was still healing.  Every time I had a shower, I would grimace when I looked at it.  It was tender and numb, and it still hadn’t fully healed.  Now I’m not usually the squeamish type, however, since this was my first time ever having stitches and it was only my already gross looking belly, I dreaded every moment of it.
  5. How Many Times I was Asked if I had a Boy.  I totally understand when babies are born, when in nothing but a diaper, it is almost next to impossible to differentiate between boys and girls.  However, when they are wearing dresses, pink and Disney Princess outfits, let’s just say it’s a girl.  But nope, it was unreal how many people asked what our son’s name is.  Instance number one.  I had to be put under for my c-section and when I awoke, still drowsy from the medication, I held my baby.  I knew ahead of time that it was going to be a girl.  So when I was counting all 10 fingers and all 10 toes, I read her baby bracelet which read “Boy”.  I flew into a panic.  “No no, I had a girl.  This isn’t right.  I had a girl.”  I ripped open her diaper to find that I was right and the hospital had labeled her the wrong sex.  Phew, I had all girl stuff and what was I going to do, dress my boy in pink?  Instance number two.  My husband was walking with our daughter to the grocery store, her firmly seated in the baby carrier in her pink Minnie Mouse Snowsuit.  A man, his wife and children approached them and the husband said, “Oh what a cute little boy you have.”  His wife replied, “That’s a girl hun.”  All he could muster was “Oh” and walked away in embarrassment. So word to the wise, when in doubt, ask this “Oh wow, what a cute baby! What is this little sweetie’s name?”

So I ask you fellow bloggers, readers and mommy’s alike, what were the 5 most surprising things that happened to you after giving birth?


10 responses »

  1. Hi,
    Great blog post. The appearance of my stomach after giving birth to my first also shocked me. People always kept telling me not to scratch, and I tried my best not to. But sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night, and I catch myself unknowingly scratching my stomach. After a while, I met a few older moms who had more than 1 child, but… “NO STRETCHMARKS!” How on earth did she do that? They all told me that when you feel the need to scratch, it is okay to use a comb! Now I am pregnant with twins, and I know that my stomach will be stretching a lot bigger than the first time, but it helps to know that I can use a comb to scratch! LOL 🙂

    • I never heard of the “no scratching” rule. Maybe that’s why my stomach looked awful haha. I remember feeling like I had rolled in a big tub of scratching powder. Oh the joys of being pregnant! Congrat’s on expecting twins, there are 4 sets of twins in my family! All the best 🙂

      • Wow 4 sets of twins! In my culture, there are so many superstitions with pregnancy… Thanks. I am filled with different emotions right now, and I don’t really know what to expect. I wonder how things would be like raising a toddler and newborn twin..

  2. Having never given birth but having worked as a nurse on the post partum floor I hear a lot of these things all the time! Also, my niece just had a baby and just yesterday showed me her belly and asked if it was ever going to be “normal” again and I had to giggle. Define normal sweetheart…

    • Yes, it is quite sad to look at the belly after the baby is in your arms and realize your belly may never be the same. Just have to come to terms with it, I have, although this was after I ate my belly full of junk food. I would have a food baby instead LOL

  3. definitely the belly. but also the boobies. I mean, I knew they would be bigger than before when the milk arrived. only made sense right? I was not however prepared for the mountain ranges that sprouted over night upon my chest. Or the fact that they would leak. Like a faucet. For ANY baby crying. that would have been nice to know before I left the house without an extra shirt.

    • I hear you about the boob thing. I couldn’t hear another baby crying or have any kind of extreme emotion without setting off the sprinklers. I was out shopping for a new pair of pants when my milk came in and I told the hubby we needed to go home. They hurt sooo bad.

  4. Had to laugh as I read your post but only because I know your pain so well. I’m constantly learning that motherhood is full of surprises, and some of them, like a deflated pouch where once there was a baby, are not so good. Great post!

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