It hit me a while ago after talking to other moms and their experiences that I really want to highlight some of these “postpartum things” that are often never talked about and I thought it would be PERFECT and so fun to start a little mini series about our “postpartum” journeys as mom’s – all from our emotional experience, to healing physically after birth ( c-sections and vaginal birth,) “the first poop!” mom-guilt, mom-shaming, getting back into shape, dealing with pelvic-pain & pressure, our mom pooch, stretch marks and anything else we can think of!
The possibilities here are endless because mom life is HARD yall and we all have so many different experiences that so many of us can still see ourselves in.
There are SO many things around pregnancy and especially POST pregnancy that often is never talked about… I’m not sure if it is because it’s 10 years ago I had my first daughter and it was not a “hot-topic,”or if I was young and naive, or maybe it’s because we don’t want to scare new mom’s with the real “postpartum” stuff BEFORE they go through it..? But I felt as I had NO CLUE about postpartum LIFE & BODY after my first baby was born, and I wish I would have been more aware of what in the world I was going to go through after my first sweet baby girl was born.
NOW, I have 3 kiddos and 3 different postpartum experiences under my belt, I’m a certified trainer who focus on health for moms BUT I so wish it was more talked about in the doctor’s office when you go to your monthly and weekly check ups and not something you would have to research and figure out along the way AFTER it all already happened to us…
I mean you go to the hospital and have a baby, and then they say, see ya in 6 weeks! And on that 6 week appointment they check you quickly and tell you “- you are good to go!” And that means we can go back to having sex, working out, and maybe go back to work again.
I don’t know if you ever heard my first birth story, and I feel as I need to make a video about it all – because it’s pretty unreal how they treated me. It was a CRAZY experience!
I’ve been back and forth and re-writing and changing and adding and deleting details of the “back story” to when I got into one of the darkest times in my life.
This is LONG – but don’t worry – you might find it pretty interesting to get to know me some more! Haha.
For some reason I’ve had this “NAGGING” feeling that will NOT go away that I have to share with y’all things I’ve never shared on social media before, and not even that many people knows about. I used to feel so ashamed of it because, nothing I ever do is the “traditional or right” way and I got to hear so many opinions about my decisions of what I did and didn’t do.
My husband can brush anything off him in a blink of an eye and never remember anything about it – I on the other hand take every experience and comment to heart and can re-live it over and over again in my head like it happened yesterday. I’m working on being better on this – but dang it! It’s hard! We all come with garbage – and I guess that’s mine – worried what others think and over thinking everything.
When I unexpectedly got pregnant I was told from tons of people everything from “just have an abortion” to “you have the devil in you.” People told me things would never work out, I was too young, not married, our relationship was already in a rocky place, I was from Sweden and my (now) husband in the US Marine Corps and too young. I was blamed that I got pregnant on purpose, because, obviously it’s just the woman’s fault for getting pregnant… Insert MY eye rolling and hashtag it #DUH! too! Haha.
Let me back track some more to before I got pregnant..
My (now) husband and I had been dating almost a year after I’ve moved to San Diego, ca as a nanny from Sweden where I was just going to stay for a year and he was stationed out there as a marine. We got connected through some friends and had a very intense puppy love relationship.
Knowing he was going to deploy and I was going back to Sweden emotions were all over the place because we wasn’t sure our relationship would last nor HOW it would last since I was heading back to Sweden.
So we emailed back and forth the cutest love letters for months and we eventually decided that we were not ready for a break up at all, so I came back to San Diego and started college and we would go from there! When he came back I was back in the U.S already and enrolled in a community college, and we were back at dating and being in love until we hit a rocky spot in our relationship a few months later.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay here and study, I missed home, and he was about to deploy again and had a lot on his plate as well.
And as that was not enough, I surprisingly found out that I was pregnant. NOW we had some SERIOUS decisions to make! And what at first seemed would be IMPOSSIBLE turned out to be the only right decision. We wanted to get married and become parents together. We didn’t know the HOW but we knew we would figure things out as they were thrown at us.
Since I was just on a school visa and my man was about to deploy again we decided get married before he left so I would have insurance and be OK to stay here and then later on have a “real wedding.” We obviously had a lot of work to do on our relationship and preparing together to become parents. Again, marriage was NOTHING what I expected and our puppy love quickly disappeared and we were thrown into the “real” world!
A deployment is stressful as it is, a new relationship, back to back deployments, a new unexpected baby on the way and all the paper work to get my green card, me realizing that “CRAP! What was once a fun adventure turned out to me not really having an option about going back to Sweden no more” and things were sure not easy for us!
But we jumped in with both feet and did the best we could. J left to Iraq when I was about 15 weeks pregnant, and the next few weeks after he left I found out we were having a girl! I remember telling him in the parking lot at the old naval hospital in Camp Pendelton, ca over a crappy satellite phone that I could barely hear him on and it makes me smile thinking about that moment when he had to call back like 3 times because the phone kept hanging up on us. Seasoned military spouses will know the satellite phone struggle! Haha.
When I went into labor the night of my due date I sent J like 10 messages saying I was heading to the hospital and to call me asap. It took him a few hours to get the message, but then he called on and off while I was in labor. I had my friends with me as support it was a crazy and pretty bad experience – yet, I’m aware that I did have a pretty easy & short labor.
The nurses were horrible and so rude when my husband called to check on me from Iraq because they were “sick and tired of my ring tone,” they rolled their eyes at me because I had to start pushing right when they were going to eat lunch and they asked me if I could just wait… I couldn’t, but luckily for them and their hungry tummies it went pretty quickly. Once she was born they told me she would never be able to walk because she had a “dimple” in her back (she was completely healthy, and oh! They forgot to tell me that the next day too after they did all their tests on her etc.)
They left me all messy, with blood and gunk on me and with the placenta on the table next to me and the nurses just went to lunch. The list can go on and on about that experience… So I think already there, my emotions were all wacky with being thrown into motherhood, marriage, deciding to stay in the USA for the rest of my life, with most people around us having some kind of opinions. Opinions as a young new mom can be HARD, especially when you feel like you are on survival mode and I didn’t have any help – baby books were my guide to keeping that baby girl alive pretty much – and I had tried to be so confident in our decisions of getting married and me staying here because I felt as people were waiting on us to fail. Once the baby was born I couldn’t do it mentally any more, I never slept, never got a break, and it quickly turned into a depression. (more about that in a later post.)
But of course I couldn’t show “weakness” and as the good wife, daughter and friend I thought I was – I just slapped a smile on my face because I didn’t want to worry anyone else and I didn’t want anyone to think that we had done the wrong decision. I was more worried about what “others might say” than my own health. And honestly, I also thought I was being ridiculous for not feeling good when this should have been the happiest time of my life with a new baby that was healthy and beautiful and I had a man who after all did love me!
But on the inside I felt as I was going crazy, my husband had his issues to deal with when he came home from Iraq, it was so hard our first year of marriage finding our place as parents and husband and wife, and a cross-country pcs (military move) from California to Florida and new routines and two completely different cultures (with again, two different types of opinions) didn’t help our situation out either. It was HARD y’all!
Along side with my whacky hormones and feeling depressed, I was also so stressed about the way my body looked, covered with stretch marks, huge milk filled boobs that were so sore, I was worried about my “ho-ha” and if it would it ever be the same, I had of course heard some horror stories… Oh and I didn’t lose weight when breastfeeding like everyone told me I would, I GAINED weight because I was so freaking HUNGRY ALL THE TIME, craving more food now than when I was pregnant!
Ahh, and the dreaded mom bod was a crazy thing – I felt ruined for life and as I would never again be attractive or “me” again. (More about body-image after baby coming soon.)
As moms we have SO MUCH PRESSURE ON OUR SHOULDERS.
The STRESS to have it all together in tip top shape as a new mom – and I’m talking body, relationship, motherhood, breastfeeding, “your hoo-ha” you just squeezed a baby out of or maybe you are dealing with pain from a c-section and struggles with how your scar looks – you should also be involved in mom groups, eating healthy, listen to everyone and their mother and grandmothers DIFFERENT opinions on what you should do or not do, have a neat organized house and the list goes on and on – oh and don’t forget to nap when the baby naps and of course SOAK EVERY MINUTE UP because it will all go by so fast. Oh and the most important thing! Post cute pictures on social media about it too and brag about how blessed you are!
And all the guilt that mom’s feel not knowing if what we are doing is enough. Maybe you have mom-guilt because you have to go back to work, maybe you have guilt because you are feeling lonely and a tad bored as a new stay at home mom. Or MAYBE you miss your old self some, and of course, you have to feel guilty about that too.
Jumping with joy that we’ve survived the first 10 years of craziness!
Today I just wanted to introduce you guys to my new postpartum series I’m SO PUMPED up about, a little bit of my background as a new mom (soon) 10 years ago. My story may be a little different and messy from many of you, but I believe we ALL go through things in life with a purpose. And now I’ve been married to my man for 10+ years, expecting our 4th baby (ANOTHER GIRL!) and we are happy, I love being a trainer who focus on mom’s health and I get to use my own experiences to do so; I know that “the harder the struggle, the greater is the triumph!” And my husband and daughters are my everything.
A part of me I used to feel was too messy and embarrassing to talk about, has been urged from within that I need to share because I’ve realized people somehow are pretty amazed and inspired from it all.
It’s from all the “gunk” in our lives that we connect better. It’s easy to seem as we have it all together, but most days I feel like I suck at adulting, yet I try to inspire others to do their best just as I am trying to do my best daily.
In the following weeks I will share EVERYTHING I can think of that mom’s might struggle with – that I’ve struggled with and things I STILL struggle with. Some of it will be videos, some of it will be written posts. First off is the in and outs of the mom pooch – because after all – that’s a part of the name of this new series!
I would LOVE to hear from you – what would you like to hear about in the “beyond the mom pooch series?”
Also, have you done things more the “traditional route” in life or the “messy route” in life?
Would love to hear in the comments!
xoxo – Lina