I want to share with you my personal journey through postpartum recovery to becoming the strong, fit and healthy mama I want to be. Today, as I write this, it marks 9 months since the birth of my son. And it calls for celebration.
Celebration of him and his nine months of life in this world. Of us, as a family.
And me as a Mother of a 9 month old, and all that I and my body have achieved.
I often think that final one; the celebration of the Mother, is missed. Everyone is so focused on the baby and how cute they are and how much they've grown, not that many people look you in the eye and say 'you are doing such a good job.'
But it certainly was one thing I wanted to make sure I did.
And so here is my summary of this incredible journey. Talking about the three trimesters of pregnancy and comparing them to the 'three trimesters' postpartum.
If I'm going to compare my first trimester being pregnant and first three months postpartum, I'd say they're not too dissimilar.
1. I spend this time hiding from everyone and all social events.
2. I was learning about my newly changing body.
3. I was in awe of the changes inside and out that were happening with my body. and my hormones!
4. I was eating like a crazy woman!
5. I was excited for this new adventure.
6. I was nervous and totally out of my depth.
Again, comparing pregnancy and postpartum in this time, I’d have to say have similarities.
1. I was starting to find my feet with my new life.
2. I regained some energy back.
3. In pregnancy Max started moving and reacting and postpartum he started to really show his little personality in this time.
4. Just a very happy time for me both pregnant and postpartum.
These are the funniest comparisons, but they actually work:
1. I feel the strongest now at 9 months postpartum and I remember feeling so strong in that third trimester. Not in a 'look how much I can lift or how far I can walk' kind of way. More so in a 'look at my body house this baby and still be able to do my yoga and exercise and day to day activities.'
2. Mentally I feel the strongest now postpartum and I certainly had a dedication and determination going into my birth, standing my ground on what I wanted to achieve - and actually doing it. Natural birth with no drugs was the goal, and even though I knew I'd be happy with whatever outcome, I was so proud of myself for achieving what I did in birth.
3. In pregnancy third trimester I was the biggest I've ever been, and it really has taken the full 9 months for me to feel like my body has recovered from it all. I've been doing my Core Rehab exercises since two weeks postpartum, and pretty much every day since.
In nine months I grew a baby, birthed him and then in nine months my body has repaired. I'm actually so amazed at how it all happened.
Just like every new Mother, I had my up days and my down days. Postpartum hormones take you on a ride like no other, and there's certainly things that no one can prepare you for.
Like how the 3-month hair loss would affect me.
My goodness, I'm talking CHUNKS of hair throughout the day. I remember it vividly.
I felt my 'ugliest' in a time where the beauty of my lush hair I'd become so accustom to (thanks to pregnancy) had abruptly been taken away from me, right at the time I feel my most insecure about my body AND my hormones were running a muck.
The good times certainly have outweighed the bad though. I do like to share both, because I don't know a Mother who doesn't experience some 'not-so-fun' moments. It’s so important to keep it real, because trust me, no one is perfect.
So, if you're in that right now and by me saying I struggled too helps you realise that you're not alone. Then you're welcome.
Because as Mothers it should never be about comparing yourself. I've never compared myself to anyone else. I've just been me. Taken my own steps into this motherhood journey and experienced it for what it is for me.
And tell your sisters and girlfriends to do the same too.
I loved pregnancy and motherhood even years before I've experienced it for myself, but never could I have imagined how much I could love a little human being.
I just love him.
It's funny, because I've always thought he was the most gorgeous baby. I remember thinking when he was first born that 'wow, I have the most gorgeous baby there ever has been.'
And now, looking back at photos of him when he was that little squished-up-old-person-in-a-baby-size I think, ha! Yep, he was just like all the other babies all squished up and wrinkly.
Each day he becomes more gorgeous. And honestly, his smile is the most contagious smile there is.
I never knew, at such an early age he could make such an impact. His little personality shines through and he is so cheeky and, in my eyes, just perfect.
He's a little bit of his Dad and he's a little bit of me.
I feel like I've been on a journey like no other.
I was saying to my husband just the other day how everyone one told me just how:
1. Tiring and uncomfortable it is to be pregnant.
2. That's I'll probably vomit day and night and feel horrid.
3. That the glucose test in pregnancy is just so disgusting.
4. How horrible and painful birth is.
5. That the first four weeks of having a newborn are the worst and you'll get no sleep and it's relentless.
6. Having kids is great, but so exhausting.
I actually loved all of the above. Okay, I didn't LOVE the glucose test. But I did like having to sit there for hours and just read. Something I don't often do.
And my pregnancy was great, my birth incredible and I loved those early days and weeks post-birth where it was just us, skin-on-skin getting to know each other, were the best.
I loved being pregnant, but I love being a Mother even more. The last nine months have been the best of my life.
Even if being isolated at home and not seeing friends and family due to Covid. I have my best little buddy with me every day. And having my husband home has been so good for me and for the bond with Max.
And cheers to every day, week, month and year going forward from here. Because I have a feeling, it's only going to get better.