Postpartum Thoughts.......

I’ve been away for a few days but I just recently gave birth to our second child, a baby boy. My nights have been long and my mornings very early. Surviving off of 3-4 hours of sleep in a day has become my new norm and most days, I’m not quite sure of how I’m even able to function. I’m breastfeeding our son as I did with our first, and this just intensifies things. I had to have a second cesarean and when you are healing from a major abdominal procedure as that (coupled with breastfeeding), let’s just say that life becomes very interesting!

Although I felt as though I had mentally prepared myself for this second pregnancy and life after, I was wrong. Honestly, I don’t believe that a woman can fully “prepare” as every pregnancy is different. My body is currently going through hormonal changes. Nursing my son makes me sweat bullets! My nipples are soar from nursing, I’m always hungry, rushing to take showers which typically only last 5-10 minutes, and I am struggling with the idea of being confined to my bedroom and loft another day! I can’t explain why my stomach looks so extremely dark and every few hours I’m checking my arms to ensure that my deodorant is still effective due to the hormonal changes. Did I fail to mention that I had some mild complications from my incision with the c-section which caused both physical and mental pain? But yet, the requirement is to keep on smiling and say how grand of an experience pregnancy and life after, really is.

It’s been a little difficult for me as my 8-year old son has always been connected to me at the hip. I’m unable to be present for his basketball practices and Saturday games as well as unable to drop him off and pick him up from school per “doctor’s orders”. If it were not for the patience

and understanding that he exhibits at such a young age, I’m not sure how I’d be making it through this transition. He often says to me “Mommy. You don’t have to apologize”. And it is at this moment where I am left with a bucket full of tears attempting to explain why I’m so emotional. But yet, the requirement is to keep on smiling and say how grand of an experience pregnancy and life after, really is.

My husband has been increasingly supportive this time around. As opposed to the first pregnancy, I believe that he has a much better understanding of what I’m experiencing than what he knew before. How is it that he thinks I’m beautiful? My hair is a mess, granny underwear have become my best friend, and every day that passes leaves me feeling a little less attractive. Makeup and hair? What is that? These days, a little coca butter spread to the lips and hips feels just about as good as a total and complete makeover! But without his support, patience, and understanding I do not know where or how I’d be. But there is a bonus to his understanding which usually results in breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner being served in bed!

Let’s not forget that I am still pursuing my PhD (as much as I can), communicating via email and text to ensure the safety and security of a wonderful business that I had the opportunity to start a little over 5 years ago all while still being mom and wife. It hasn’t been easy.

The reality is that pregnancy and life after, is tough! You look and feel like shit, but the requirement has always been to make it “look good”. Well, I refuse to play that game. How I look and how I feel is just that. And I’m still a “kick-ass” Mom! I have everything that I prayed for in my two sons, but never claimed to be super woman. I’m just a girl- soft, vulnerable, and a bit “bitchy” at times and that’s ok! As they say, finding a girl who is both soft and strong is a combination that few have mastered and I’d like to consider myself one of the rare ones. In a perfect world, motherhood could be best enjoyed if women all over the world would talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly. Maybe if we decide to be honest about our experiences, we could save another Mom from postpartum depression or feeling as though she just isn’t a good Mom. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being human and there is nothing wrong with “feeling”. If you've lived long enough, you have experienced what it is like to feel something and it's the one thing that most of us women have in common; we've all been made to "feel".

As for me, unapologetic and honest is the route that I have chosen and that’s enough for me!

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Beautiful - India Arie