What do I wish I'd known? How about all of the true-life, freaky stuff that my closest girlfriends and my mom either forgot to tell me about (Thanks Guys!) or were too embarrassed to say? So let's focus on that because what goes on with a woman's body and vagina is some crazy stuff and I feel knowledge is POWER and the more you know the better prepared you will be in an out of control experience.
Your boobies. When your breast milk comes in your breasts will be hard as rocks and possibly even look porn star like. This is completely normal. Whether you decide to nurse or not here are two soothing ideas to ease your discomfort throughout this transition:
1. Buy silicone gel pads and keep them in your freezer. Put these gel pads on your breasts as often as you need, especially after you complete a feeding, ah.....
2. Buy Lansinoh lotion, this is fantastic relief for sore nipples.
It takes 2-3 weeks for your breasts to get it together and feed your newborn or to realize you're not open for business and these are lifesavers to get you through this awkward time in your life. And truth be told, if you are breast feeding you will feel like a cow until you and baby settle into a routine and you'll never really have the same relationship with your boobs again.
The night sweats. At the same time as your boobs are freaking out another super awesome experience are the night sweats. This occurs at night for several weeks after giving birth. You will wake up having soaked through your pjs, your sheets, your blanket and you may even be freezing at the same time. It's your hormones blazing through your body removing the extra water you retained during pregnancy. Drink tons of water to speed up this process and to keep from getting dehydrated.
Anxiety. Anxiety can rear it's ugly head when bringing home a baby. If you find you're worrying non-stop, can't sit down, can't stop swiffering, can't let anyone help you, you are having anxiety. This is normal. Just be aware of it. It's your brains coping mechanism for trying to instill order in an out of control experience. If you find it doesn't go away, it's getting worse or you just don't like feeling this stressed out contact your OB to fix it.
Post-partum. It is real. When my 2nd son was born I would wake up every morning and long for it to be a cloudy day. At the time I thought to myself, "This is a weird thing to want." My thinking stayed the same, it never worsened, and floated away when Grey was a month old. Post-partum is completely different for everyone. Please be aware of your thoughts and share them if you're feeling like, "Whoa! My brain is messed up." Our brains just aren't normal after having a baby.
Congratulations on becoming a new mommy the first time or the 10th time, you rock! Take care of you so you're a better mom to your child.