Pregnancy’s certainly full of its share of surprises…you just don’t know how it feels until you’re there! But, at least it’s gradual…you don’t go from being ‘not pregnant’ to having a full-term newborn in your body overnight!
On the other hand, you do go from having a full-term newborn in your body — one who is completely shoving aside and squishing your internal organs — to not having one anymore in a matter of minutes. That can lead to some pretty…unusual feelings.
Here’s what really shocked me postpartum:
1) Emptiness – I was just not prepared for how empty my body would feel. I had become so used to having this huge mass of baby, placenta, and fluid in my body, like a really heavy water balloon, that I felt so strange. It felt like something was missing, and it took a few days to adjust.
2) How long I could go before peeing — In the last weeks I had to pee as soon as I walked out of the bathroom. Immediately after my babies were born, I could suddenly go 8 – 12 hours without peeing, even when I was drinking a lot. My bladder was just so much bigger without a baby sitting on it!
3) How sore I wasn’t – I don’t know, somehow I imagined that opening up to give birth would result in, ah, local soreness. But it didn’t. I mean, I was slightly tender where I tore, but the rest wasn’t sore at all. I felt great.
4) How I still couldn’t eat — Okay, this might just be me, but I was starving immediately after both my babies were born…but I could hardly eat a thing. The adrenaline was running high and I felt some stress and excitement and nerves, and I always lose my appetite under those circumstances, regardless of the reason. It took a couple days for me to calm down and be able to eat normally again, although I did.
5) How much I wanted to cry — Even when I was happy. For a couple days, the roller coaster emotions to just overtook me and anything and everything made me cry. Sometimes just sitting there and wondering what to do next made me cry! Luckily in a couple days this straightened out. And one thing that helped a lot was sitting and talking to my husband about random things while the baby was sleeping, so I could still feel “normal” and connected to him.
What really surprised you postpartum?
I was afraid to hurt my baby: Irrational Fears of Early Childhood