Ok, I realise in just writing this post that I probably sound ridiculous, thinking about what I am going to look like on leaving the hospital. I haven’t even gone into labour yet and I’m already worrying about what to wear after labour, or so you must think. But, I’m writing this post not really because I’m focused purely on looking good, but more about regaining control of myself after giving birth. It truly is the most physically and emotionally draining experience. After my last long and somewhat traumatic time in hospital when I gave birth to Nye, I am willing to give anything a try that might make me feel rapidly more human.
This time I’d like to feel brave enough to leave the baby with the midwives and have a bath. I must admit when Nye was born I felt very vulnerable and naturally very emotional, some of this is to be expected because having a baby is not an easy thing. This was not helped by a massive loss of blood that left me initially unable to even stand up without collapsing. Last time I recall staying in the hospital gown for days and I really don’t think that did me any favours. I became less confident in my ability to make decisions, as I continued to feel more and more weak. When you have a new born baby it is so easy to flounder without everything else feeling a mess as well. It made me feel like a patient, not like a new mother ready to take on the world.
I know it sounds nieve but I had no idea long it would take for me to feel comfortable in my own skin after giving birth. I kind of assumed that once the baby arrived I’d be back to myself, not at all aware of how totally shell shocked by what had just happened I would be. After being induced for several days it seemed I’d almost become a piece of the furniture in the labour ward, until suddenly, (I mean eventually) Nye arrvied and then I’m off to the postnatal ward, We waited days and days for blood test results and assessments. Of course I have no idea what will happen this time, I can only hope we will have to stay for one night and I do think I’ll naturally feel more confident as I have already got one child at home. Some of what I felt last time I’m sure stemmed from the fact that I was seen to be young and therefore my judgment and feelings were a little disregarded. That may just be how I felt at the time but I can only hope this time I will have a better experience. Since I put this post together I also found a great post on the guardian on postpartum outfits.
At first I found breastfeeding so difficult, especially whilst I was in hospital trying to get to grips with latching a very hungry baby (and dealing with some very unhelpful midwives). I never realised I’d need a whole wardrobe of stretchy vest tops to provide food at a moments notice. The first few weeks I had it relatively easy, but the requests for food only increases month by month. Be prepared to put the high neck tops and dresses on hold. Last time I got by on a selection of vests from Primark, Marks and Spencer and H&M, these are a must have.
I did not believe how sensitive my body would be after I gave birth. Anything that was tight around my waist in any way was truly intolerable to wear. I thought this time that a nice baggy dress with an adjustable neckline would provide style as well as practicality. If it were warmer I wouldn’t need anything for my legs, but in November I think high waisted leggings will be great (avoiding pressure on the stomach area). I’ve also invested in some new converse so I don’t have to walk to the car in my slippers this time and I think they should be roomy enough for the swollen feet I will no doubt be sporting.
There is something to be said for wearing lovely familiar things, but I also think it’s nice to feel special by treating yourself to something new. Last week Neil surprised me with this gorgeous Neils Yard mother and baby set which I have already been enjoying. I’ve had the stretch mark cream out at the ready in the evenings and I just adore the relaxing fragrance of the bath and massage oil. I have also been wanting to get a necklace to commemorate my two children. I am certain that I only want two children so I have been looking for something meaningful which I will be able to keep forever. I originally wanted a locket but I’m yet to find anything that I love that I think will last a life time of abuse. I have been admirning the work of Alex Monroe, especially the Mr & Mrs Bird Necklace. Do you have any post labour tips for getting back to normal? Feel free to add any suggestions in the comments box below.