Sunday, November 14, 2010

The aftershock....

Well, I've been spending a LOT of time contemplating how to best handle/manage life right after Boy Bean arrives....that glorious emotional roller coaster-sleep deprivation-constant questioning-learning a new human being state known as the Post-Partum Period.

And String Bean makes 3!
It is intriguing to me how much emphasis is placed on pregnancy and prenatal health...labor and delivery classes...and all the fun stuff that happens to you from when you pee on the stick until you are discharged from the hospital.  And then there is diddly squat about the REALLY hard part....what the heck you are supposed to do when you get home!

Wow. I was a lot younger.

So, I figured I may as well share some stuff I've learned, observed, been surprised by, and hope to improve on. :)

I was most amazed at how utterly exhausted I was. I was literally walking into walls - couldn't remember my name - wasn't safe to drive for at least a week!

In the NICU with Bitty Bean

The driving one was with Bitty Bean - in my defense, she was in the NICU for one week. I was nursing, so I was sleeping for 45 minute snatches at a time and traveling back and forth to the hospital. I had no idea you could keep functioning at that level of exhaustion. 
Bitty Bean in the NICU - her sweet nurse cut hearts for her stickers!

Even though everyone tells you - tries to warn you of the exhaustion - there is no way to prepare. Thankfully, it is not forever...but those first few weeks sure can feel like a looooong time! With Bitty Bean I truly took the "let everything else slide so you can sleep" to heart - and definitely did that come week 2. I had to wait until she was out of the hospital! With Boy Bean, we've made plans to take it a step further - I will do NOTHING except focus on him and myself for the first (hopefully) 10 days. I will nurse, sleep, eat, repeat. That forced rest will allow my body to recover from the war of labor and delivery MUCH faster - and it will help me learn his nuances and quirks.

And Jumping Bean makes 4!
 I'm not gonna' lie - I am SUPER excited about that forced down time. 

With String Bean, I was one of those naive mama's who actually packed pre-pregnant clothing to wear home from the hospital! Perhaps some women could wear those home....I was not one of them. At all.

For some reason I thought the 55 pounds I gained with String Bean would all just disappear when I delivered her! She weighed 5 lbs and 12 ounces...yet I left the hospital weighing 5 pounds MORE than when I was admitted!
In fact, I was shocked and appalled at what my stomach looked like after delivery. It was this saggy, balloony, thing that I wanted NOTHING to do with. I would strongly suggest avoiding looking at your naked body in the mirror for at leas 3 is just so disturbing!  AND pack maternity clothes to wear home. Soft ones. Maybe a skirt. Eventually you will look like yourself again...but the drive home from the hospital isn't gonna be that time.

They are NOT joking about the bleeding. All I'm going to say....but take them seriously.

You will question pretty much every decision you make...over and over again. And that makes you normal.
Why God didn't have us deliver a specific instruction manual with each child is beyond would really be helpful to know ahead of time which one is allergic to milk, who can only sleep on their side, which one will need more sleep, who will need less sleep, what each cry means, what type of diapers they are allergic to.....the list just goes on!

Our Sweet Jumping Bean
There will be a identity crisis. Ranging from minor to severe. But at some point - you wonder if there is anything else you can talk about other than sleeping patterns, eating habits, and poop color. Yes. You will be able to converse like an intelligent adult again....but it just might take a little while.

There will be an identity crisis - figuring out how to balance the "wife" with the "mom." Best tip ever for me? Buy an item of clothing that is ONLY wife-wear. It helps flip the switch from one to the other. (But make sure there is enough coverage for dealing with leaking if you nurse!)

And Bitty Bean makes 5!
There is sooo much more I could say....but this post is plenty long enough already!

Do YOU have any tips/pointers/questions???

Copyright 2010


  1. Take any and all of the help offered to you. Don't be afraid to let people know (when you're asked) that a load of laundry washed & folded, or taking the older kids for an afternoon (or even an hour), or a dinner cooked or pretty much ANYTHING would help tremendously. If people didn't really want to help then they shouldn't have asked! :)

  2. Oh! And remember that this is an adjustment for the whole family, not just you, too!

  3. Laurie - those are all really good points....may I steal them for next post regarding the post-partum period?


Thank you for your thoughts and encouragement!