Tuesday, March 18, 2008

a hairy ordeal

I am not the kind of a woman that enjoys being pregnant. Although I absolutely love and adore the baby growing inside of me, I dread the 9 months of out of control hormones, ever-increasing weight, skin problems, vein issues, sore joints, crazy hair and the list literally goes on and on. By most standards, all three of my pregnancies were good. I never had any health concerns, with me or my babies, and that is something I'm very thankful for. I'm also proud (and a little hesitant) to admit that I never, ever had morning sickness...never, not even once. Oh alright, I'll stop rubbing it in! But, physically and emotionally, pregnancy was hard on me and my body, and it just took more of a toll on me each subsequent pregnancy.

I need to stop right here for a moment...I can't go on without mentioning my (late) Grandma Inez, my mother's mom. If I ever complain about pregnancy (which I'm not really trying to do right now, but I know it's coming across that way!), I think about her...and I remember this: My Grandma had 13 children. That number alone is amazing, but what's even more amazing than having 13 children, is having 3 sets of full-term twins! That's right...My Grandma had 3 sets of twins (my own mother is one of the identical twins) and I never, ever (not even once!) heard her complain about her pregnancies. In fact, she never had a negative word to say about anything or anyone. She was (and still is) my hero. Even as a little girl, I adored my Grandma, but now that I'm a mother, I can appreciate her in a different light. (SIGH) I miss her so...

So, I go through 9 months of bliss physical hardships and emotional ups and downs, only to be faced with another 9-12 months of bliss physical hardships and emotional ups and downs. After I had my first baby, I was naive to think that I'd feel (and look) like myself within the first couple of weeks, but after having three, I've learned my lesson. For as much as I dislike being pregnant, I dislike postpartum even more. I don't know, maybe I'm emotionally more affected than the average woman, but I AM NOT MYSELF! If I can perfectly honest, I'm a total mess! I catch glimpses of myself, between pregnancies and nursing, but having 3 babies in 4 years has played nasty games with my hormones. Believe me, my husband firmly agrees! For as much as I'm saddened by the thought of not having more babies (because we are done now), I'm relieved to know that I'll find myself again...soon, I hope.

I'm about 4 1/2 months postpartum, and believe me, I'm doing my best to roll with the postpartum punches, knowing this is the final round. It certainly throws some interesting right hooks...like hair loss, for example. Who would of thought that losing handfuls and handfuls of hair for weeks on end was normal? You know it's bad when your 4-year old comes up to you and says:

"Mommy, your hair is EVERYWHERE! It's on Britten's nuk, it's on the living room floor, it's on our Candyland game!" What? How on earth did it end up there???

So, alas, I will press on, even if it means ending these postpartum days with half as much hair on my head!

So, what about YOU? What are your thoughts on pregnancy and postpartum? Men (you know who you are!), feel free to answer this question from a husband's perspective. It'd be very interesting to hear from you!

* As a side note, this was merely a venting session. I need to say that my feelings on pregnancy and postpartum have no influence on how I feel about my babies. I LOVE babies and especially love every stage of their 1st year of life. It's an absolute miracle and worth every moment of pain and emotional craziness I've endured!


Kim said...

Vent away pretty lady! Vent away... bc all in all, I like reading your stuff.

Sophia said...

I love being pregnant - probably one of the only times when I reach hormonal Zen. (ohm....) Of course, that Zen is totally thrown out of whack once the baby arrives. I was a mess after Andrew - no sleep, no idea what I was doing - in a big fog. After Gretchen - I think I knew myself a bit better, and I didn't push everything so far. Like jumping back into work right away, or trying to lose the baby weight within the first month.

Take Ella to the cooking class I sent you an email about - and we can complain more... ;)

Anonymous said...

I echo your statements on pregnancy, except I had "all day" sickness for months. I think you start to feel like you will never feel normal again, and then the baby comes and you still don't feel normal. I finally feel like I am getting back to some state of who I was before only more tired now. I too have been losing large amounts of hair, and seem to find it in Micah's mouth a lot, which totally grosses me out. Maybe I need to start vacuuming every day.

Kristi said...

Oh, Amanda...I can SO relate to what you shared here in many ways!!! Thanks for sharing your struggles and your heart...you are not "alone" here!

I too did not LOVE being pregnant! I loved the MIRACLE growing inside me and found it absolutely amazing that I was growing a LIFE inside of me. So, that I loved, treasured and appreciated. And, like you, I never really had bad "morning sickness"...maybe a bit of nauseousness here and there...but, only once did I ever throw up during my three pregnancies (and that was having a prenatal vitamin on a somewhat empty stomach!).

HOWEVER...the emotional/hormonal part of the pregnancy and postpartum was a HUGE struggle for me as well. It was by far the worst with my last, Caleb. I found myself in a HUGE emotional rollercoaster...tears, loss of sleep, then other mental struggles and doubts that came because of all of this. I was a MESS with a capital "M"!!! In fact, I gave my testimony at MOPS a couple of years back and spoke on some "storms" in my life and how God pulled me through. And, this time in my life (pregnancy and postpartum) with #3 was one of those "storms"!

I don't remember when I really started to feel a bit more like "myself"; but, quite honestly, I think that part of who I am changed a bit through this all. "Myself" is kind of a "new person"...not "new" in drastic ways or anything...but, "new" in that the Lord used my struggles to grow me and change me in ways too.

Anyway...this is getting quite long...sorry! I can just feel your frustration and pain here as I read this. SO, just know that I will pray for you right now! You know that "things" DO get better as those hormones change around and get back to "normal" again...but it can be hard to be patient and persevere through these postpartum months!

Hang in there, Amanda...and thanks again for sharing!!

Natalie said...

I am in my last week before my due date and have been having contractions all day...I have always looked at pregnancy as just a means to an end-the babe! I can not wait to get on the road to my own body. I have been either pregnant or nursing for the last four years. I am looking forward to being done or at least having a long break for my body. Can't wait to meet this little one though.

Anonymous said...

I have no opinion about being pregnant or babies in general, cause yeah, don't have any yet...but I was just going to comment on your grandma Ini (sp?)...I remember the good old days of walking or biking to her house to watch tv, steal cookies, and generally just hang out with her. She loved people, even us little moochers!!!! And I think you have her genes as well. I think you roll with the punches extremely well and have an awesome attitude for someone with 3 babies under age 5! I admire you amanda jean and think you are yourself, at least when you're laughing with me:) heather

Jenny said...

1)I'm with you, I don't like being preggers.
2)My husband said once that there are three sexes in the human race: Male, Female, and pregnant woman. He happened to say this when I was part of the third sex, which you can imagine how it went over. I was mad for days. Which is a long time for me.
Here's to "finding Amanda" again :) It is the truth that we'll never quite be the same again :( sniff.

Angela said...

Hey Amanda! Since you and I are on the exact same child bearing schedule I can totally understand and relate. I never had much postpartum emotions, but I DID have the weird hair loss thing after EACH of my kids between 3-6 months post partum. It's like you'd find another little Angela at the bottom of the shower drain. Gross! What is with that?!!? Anyway- hang in their girl. I know the emotions can be like riding a roller coaster. But, when you start feeling bummed about that- take one look in the mirror at your beautiful self and that should cheer you up. You are one hot momma (I mean that completely non-gay!! :)- no one would believe you just had a baby 4 months ago! That is the truth, and that should make you smile!

Tiffany said...

Ok, all you pretty little ladies. I beg to differ. I WAS THE MOST HORMONAL MOMMY OUT THERE!

About 10 days after Julia was born, I was hit hard, right between the eyes with Postpartum. I didn't know what the heck was going on. One minute I'm smiling at my beautiful first born, the next minute I'm crying. With our second, I at least knew it was coming and barreled through the first two months. Then the twins came and it felt like a double whammy.

Each time I was in it, I felt like I would NEVER get back to normal. My husband would encourage, remind, and reassure me that it was all going to be just fine. Easy for him to say. :)

Along with all that. I did enjoy being pregnant. I loved wearing each baby straight out in front of me...and feeling each kick. I loved eating as much as I wanted, whenever I wanted. But, I honestly...would sacrifice all of that to never go through Postpartum ever again.

Hairs to thickening hair...I bet the Vitamin D from the warm sun would help it out. That's if we ever get warm sun again.

Lisa said...

I hated hated hated being pregnant every time. The sickness made it the worst. Oh yeah, and the tons of weight I seem to gain no matter what. I did like being able to feel the baby move but that is the only thing I can say I liked. I am almost 6 months post part. and the body is having a hard time coming back. I'm thinking the belly may never be the same again. My back is still killing me too so I may need some more days in the gym just to get stronger. I do love the babies so I'll just try to remember what I got in return. ;-)

Lisa said...

Hey - I just checked out that website - it is AWESOME and so are you. Just what I needed. I have a beautiful body! BTW, I forgot to mention before that my hair is falling out all over the place too. I have a ton of thick hair and would actually be pleased if I lost half of it over my entire head. Unfortunately, it comes out around my face - temples and ears. I'm going tomorrow to get a shorter cut to help. For years I will have those short hairs growing back. Maybe I should just tell them tomorrow "go ahead. give me the little old lady do. the short gray perm".