4 articles Tag Changes

Things They Don’t Tell You About Your Post-Baby Body

When I fell pregnant with Sausage, there’s no denying the fact that I wasn’t in the best shape I could have been in; two years of marriage and the “comfort” had set in, with lots of lovely evenings spent together, eating takeaway and watching movies, and it had exactly the effect you#d imagine on my figure. I’d always planned to get in shape before we even considered having another baby, but fast-forward five and a half years and I fell pregnant a LOT quicker than I thought I would after having my implant removed. All of this neglect aside, there are things which happen to your body, post-baby, that a lot of people don’t talk about. Here’s just a few of the things that I’ve had to deal with:

Hair Loss

I’m pretty lucky that I have fairly thick hair to begin with, but after both of my babies the hair loss was shocking. I always lose it from around my hairline which is probably the most annoyingly noticeable place to lose it from, especially as I wear my hair in a ponytail and it can really mess with your confidence. I’m lucky that I didn’t lose enough to have needed to resort to an FUE hair transplant, but it’s something which affects a lot of new mums. 

Incontinence

This one is pretty much a universal truth for anyone who’s had a baby – you WILL pee yourself at some point in the future. I know women who’ve done every Kegel exercise imaginable who still break out in a cold sweat at the thought of going on a trampoline or getting a bad cough, and it’s not something we should be ashamed about, it’s just a fact of biology.

Stretch Marks

Because of things like Instagram and women’s magazines, it would be really easy to think that only us mere mortals get stretchmarks and that they’re something to be ashamed of. The fact of the matter is, some people get them, some people don’t. Celebs have the benefit of photo retouching and professional make-up people to make them look perfect but it’s very rarely a reality.

The Pouch

Obviously, not everyone who has a baby ends up with a pouch (you know , that flap of skin on your belly which just WILL NOT SHIFT not matter how much weight you lose) but it’s incredibly common and a lot of women say that their bodies never look the same again after having a baby, which can be hard to deal with, mentally. It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I’ll never have my 22-year old body again, HOWEVER, I’m working hard to improve my new normal.

Scars

For ages after having Sausage, I found it really hard to look at my c-section scar because it represented a traumatic time in my life. It was jagged and red and made me feel like a failure for not having given birth naturally. Then Husband told me how grateful he was to that scar, how it represented the fact that a doctor was able to remove Sausage from my body safely while she was being starved of oxygen and save her life. As soon as I started to view my scar differently, it changed my whole view and I now love it.

Three Life Altering Decisions To Make Next Year

Ever thought about how you can make your life better without uprooting everything? Well, I have, and I want to talk about some of my personal goals for the upcoming year,

Just to be clear, I want to separate this from the inevitable #NewYearsResolution articles that will manifest online in December, for this reason: the tradition of almost every New Year’s Resolution is that they are not taken even slightly seriously after the first week. The life goals I mention here are ones to stick to, and will ultimately benefit you in the long run.

First, cycling. A lot of you will be familiar with this scenario – after two days of riding your sleek, new bike you just bought from Halfords at 7:30 am to work, you feel like a superhero. Then, almost by accident, something disrupts your system. A day off work, a surprise illness, a punctured tyre. Suddenly lie-ins remind you what was so warm about them in the first place.

I understand that, we all do. However, I’m personally aiming to ride to work twice a week. If not to work, why not go somewhere nice at the weekend? A bike ride on a day off can be one of the most therapeutic stress relievers. If you can find a way to fit cycling into your life comfortably, there’s nothing holding you back!

Second is the transition to environmentally friendly heating. This is an odd one – why would you change a system that works? The truth is, electric heating is far more efficient for a much longer period than gas heating. For example, if I bought  this stand-alone electric radiator range from Verismart, its efficiency, lack of extra parts and long life means I’m far less likely to have to replace it within 2 years. You can also heat specific rooms and turn it on and off when you please, so it’s far more convenient. It’s just like any durable product – you’d much rather have a more powerful, long lasting laptop than waste money on several that can’t handle more than two programs at once. In the end it’s a no brainer.

Finally, and admittedly most dauntingly, I aim to go gluten free. The world is getting scarier each day and everything we love seems to now be cancerous. Just like every other big life change, however, switching to a gluten free diet appears to be a chore; the food doesn’t seem as nice, it’s more expensive, you have to be that one who asks for different food at parties. Overall, however, the end justifies the means. I can’t count how many people who have told me how much better they feel now they’ve gone gluten free. Sure, it will take a bit of effort, but again, don’t feel like you have to throw yourself in the deep end immediately. Moderation will tell you how well your body’s reacting to the change, then you can decide where to go.

The truth about all of these changes is that they are tough to do right away, so my advice is this: don’t run before you can walk. Those baby steps might just make a serious life decision that bit easier.

5 Things I’ll Do Differently With My Second Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with Sausage, I was keen to do everything to the letter; she was my first child and when you’re doing it all for the first time, you rely on advice from books and other people, simply because you don’t have the experience for yourself yet. I’m confident that Husband and I did a good job of caring for Sausage as a baby, but after a while it becomes instinctive, rather than something you can read about.

This time around, things are already different. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I think every parent gains invaluable experience during their first effort at child rearing which equip them for further pregnancies in a way that no third party advice can. Obviously, there are plenty of things that I’m still getting hysterical about (‘Is this twinge normal?’ ‘Should I be feeling movement by now?’) and I’m really lucky to have an epic group of friends that I can turn to for advice, but there are things that I did with Sausage, through a mix of naivety and keeness to do things ‘right’ that I simply won’t do this time around.

1. Buying Ridiculous Items

Nappy Bin

After I gave birth to Sausage, I got given a Bounty pack with a voucher in it for a nappy bin and I fixated on getting that nappy bin like my life depended on it. My Dad took me to Argos to collect it and I set it up and placed it proudly in Sausage’s nursery…and then used it once, realised how useless it was and promptly consigned it to the loft. This is just one example of the crap that you get duped, or GUILTED (‘Your baby NEEEEDS one of these, otherwise it will grow up with a sense of emptiness which will eventually lead to an adulthood of drug usage and casual sex’) into buying and this time, I’m simply not allowing myself to get sucked in by clever marketing aimed at vulnerable people who want the best for their child.

2. No Excuses

Excuses

Last time, I made lots of excuses about certain choices I’d made, such as why I didn’t breastfeed or why we chose to have Sausage sleep in our room until she was 4 or why we did any number of other things that we chose to do. This time, I won’t make excuses for my choices, I’ll simply say “Because that’s how I want to do it”. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past 6 years, it’s that pregnancy and parenting are subjective and divisive and I’ll never please everyone, so I’m not even going to try.

3. Don’t Take Any Crap

keep-calm-and-don-t-take-any-crap

Last time I did this, I was under the impression that I didn’t have any choices outside of what my doctors ‘recommended’. I was pushed into a birth plan that I was by no means even vaguely comfortable with and I felt like I didn’t have a voice when it came to so many different aspects of mine and my daughter’s care. This time around, I have opinions but more importantly I have a voice and I intend to use it. When I asked if I had any plans for birth, I told them in no uncertain terms that I would be having a c-section or finding a hospital which would give me one if they refused. I plan to continue this assertiveness over the next 5 months and beyond.

4. Comparisons

Apple_and_Orange_-_they_do_not_compare

“Oh, little Fungus has been sleeping through the night since the day he was born, doesn’t yours do that?” “Oh yes, but Phlegm can count to 20. In Latin. She’ll be 8 months old on Friday!”

There’s a sort of inherent competitiveness when it comes to new parents, where the tiniest milestones and achievements are paraded around to make other parents feel inferior. I’m sure I was guilty of it too, but this time I’m not doing the comparison thing. Every child is different and does things in their own time, so if Crammond Baby number 2 doesn’t smile or gurgle at exactly the same moment that other babies of its age do, I’m not going to sweat it.

5. Washing

baby-grows-on-washing-line-3-1024x634

When I had Sausage, I used to wash all of her clothes together, in a separate wash to mine and Husband’s clothes. I used the same machine with the same detergent, but I washed them all separately.

Yeah, I’m not doing that this time. It’s a pointless waste of energy and makes no sense at all, so I simply won’t do it.

What did you do, or do you plan to do, differently the second time around?

OH NOEZ, NOT TEH INTERNETZ!

So, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve made a couple of changes on my blog. First of all, I’ve removed any trace of my daughter’s name from my posts, and have removed the post which contained pictures of her. Secondly, I’ve also removed my Husband’s name from all of the posts.

They will, forever more, be known in the blogosphere as “Sausage” and “Husband”.

Now, I’m well aware that this may seem like locking the stable door after the horse has bolted, but I’ve only had really positive feedback so far, so I’m hoping the nice readers that I’ve had up until are not the type to go and use our identities for nefarious purposes.

When I started this blog, if I’m totally honest, I didn’t really think anyone outside of my friends and family would read it, but I had moderate interest from others and, whilst this is a pleasant surprise, I now feel a bit like I’ve hung my family out for all to inspect.

I will continue to mention Husband and Sausage in my posts, but I’ll try not to be as…personal. The older I get, the more I find the internet to be a scary place. I don’t want pictures of my kid to be found on hard drives of dodgy people and I don’t want our identities to be somehow used against us.

I hope you’ll continue to read, and bear with me while I adjust to their new monikers.