A question I asked myself a lot.
I didn’t really mind what happened to my body. Ultimately, it had grown my little boy, and I was proud of that.
But, that didn’t stop me wondering what I would look like once he arrived. And what my body would actually “do” post baby. Well, here goes.
I realise that makes it sound horrendous, but it’s the only way I could describe my belly in the days following Teddy’s arrival.
That bump doesn’t disappear overnight, and you’re left with a heavy, watery feeling. After a c-section, this felt incredibly strange as it sits just above the scar. I felt as though that weight sitting on my scar was what caused the most discomfort in the early days.
I could tell that my belly was getting smaller by the day though, which I am guessing was helped by the huge amount of water that I was consuming, and breastfeeding.
I’m now 5 weeks in and if you see me stood up, and dressed, you would think I’m exactly the same as I was pre-baby. In fact, catch me in my underwear, or sat down, and you’ll spot a softness that definitely wasn’t there before.
But do I mind? In a word, no. As long as I look and feel good in what I’m wearing, that’s good enough for me. If I feel like working on my shape in a few months time, I’ll cross that bridge at the time.
I’d pictured lots of sagging skin and stretch marks, but my own experience was nothing like that. Somehow, that extra skin has magically disappeared, and I have one tiny stretch mark on my hip, and one where my belly button is pierced.
Bellybuttons! They are also very weird post baby. Mines kind of bigger and more open than it was before. Weird.
I actually didn’t know anything about this until I was actually pregnant. Lol.
You can expect to bleed for around 5-6 weeks post baby, and those huge maternity pads will definitely come in handy during that first week.
Oh, the glamour!
Yes, they will make you feel a little like you’re wearing a nappy, but there are worse things in life.
I’ll be honest, it’s a bit grim. It’s not quite like a period, and it can leave you feeling like you constantly want to jump in the shower, but it’s not forever, and you can soon downsize to a usual pad.
With a c-section to recover from, I also found big underwear an essential. Go for something high waisted and two sizes bigger than your usual. Trust me, they will be your best friend.
The night sweats
Well, no body warned me about this one!
I was literally waking up in a pool of my own sweat to start with. Throw that in the mix with breastmilk, and those nightfeeds seem less appealing by the second. And they’re bad enough to start with, lol.
I’ve since discovered that it’s just the body’s way of losing all that excess fluid you’re carrying. That jelly belly I mentioned, slowly working its way out of your body!
I found cool, breathable pyjamas the best for this. You just have to ride it out and remember that it will stop in a matter of weeks. At 5 weeks, my night sweats have finally eased off, and I feel so much more comfortable at night.
What with night sweats and the bleeding, I honestly lived for my morning shower each day. It was the one thing I made sure Ross was around to watch Teddy for, I felt like I couldn’t function without it the second I got up!
I am breastfeeding Teddy, and I’m sure everyone’s experience here will be very different, but ermigaaaad I honestly didn’t think my boobs could get any bigger than they already were. Nope, they could…here I am with a pair of size H monsters sat on my chest.
The day after Teddy arrived, Ross even commented that my boobs had quite literally disappeared. They had, I glanced down to see empty boobs that had been drained of colostrum.
Skip forward 24 hours, a draining night of cluster feeding whilst still in hospital, and they had BALLOONED.
They’re pretty uncomfortable most of the time, I’m carrying at least a stone in weight on my chest alone. So, be prepared for a bit of a change in cup size, regardless of what happened whilst you were pregnant!
I’d like to add in a HUGE thank you to Panache for reaching out to me just at the right time with the offer of trying their nursing bra range. Switching my stretched, zero support maternity bras out for something pretty, supportive and practical made me feel like a new woman, and I’d recommend checking out their bras.
With all of the stories you hear, I’d also expected lots of soreness and cracked nipples to start with but there really was none of that. In the first couple of days, that first let down was a little bit uncomfortable, and you could see the tiniest little bit of bleeding on my nipples for literally a day, but it’s been smooth sailing since then.
It’s true what they say, as long as you have a good latch, there should be no discomfort. If you want to breastfeed your baby, I urge you to get as much help as you can in those very early days if something doesn’t feel right. We have fantastic support locally, and I was able to pop into a breastfeeding drop in when Teddy was 5 days old, just to check we were on the right track.
I think those are the main things that really struck me in the immediate weeks after Teddy arrived. There were certain things that were unique to a c-section, but I’m more than happy to dedicate a whole post to that if anyone would find that useful, just let me know!