There are things that I probably should have done differently during my pregnancy.
- Worked out or been a bit more active
- Had healthier food choices
- Taken better care of my skin and not given up
- Had so much more water
These are just a few things I maybe should have done to help with life post pregnancy.
But do you know what? I didn`t know better.
It was my first baby.
I did read a lot about everything and a lot of these things were mentioned, but what no blog or vlog, or an article didn`t say, was why these things were so important for AFTER you give birth.
Let`s start with the first one.
Working out and being active while pregnant.
I did not have the best start to my pregnancy.
Not only it was a beautiful surprise but also I wasn`t prepared, mentally or physically.
We found out that I was pregnant, quite early on. I think I was roughly 5 weeks pregnant and at that point I didn`t really have any real symptoms YET!
Around 6 to 7 weeks I noticed that I was more tired( if anyone really knows me, they know that I LOVE my sleep. I could go to bed at 8PM and sleep until 12PM the next day).
But this was different. I could sleep so many hours and still wake up tired and have a nap later on.
Then around 8 weeks I think, the sickness kicked in.
It started slowly. With just feeling nauseous from time to time, especially when I was getting hungry.
As we told my in-laws about the pregnancy, pretty much as soon as we found out ourselves, they were in the loop from the very beginning so we would go and visit them quite a lot as that was an excuse to tell people why we can`t go out and party.
So just before I turned 9 weeks pregnant my sickness was getting worse and worse, but I just thought it was normal as no one really tells you what is bad.
We were at my in-laws for the weekend, I could literally not get off the sofa or eat anything. I would be sick every few minutes all the time.
As I was feeling so rough after such a horrible weekend and no one at work knew that I was pregnant, I called in sick on the Monday.
Spent the whole day on the sofa, trying not to be sick and eat something a little bit to ease the nausea. The top foods at the time were: ham salad rolls, green apples and tangerines. But even those I couldn`t keep down.
As the day progressed, I started feeling worse and worse.
By the time Dan( the husband) got home in the evening, I was vomiting bile, which is basically this yellowish-green liquid that is made by the liver and stored in your gallbladder.
So as Dan walks into our flat at the time, I am just curled on the floor sobbing because I just feel so horrible as I can`t even keep water down without being sick.
We go straight to A&E and never in my life have I gone through the queue so fast.
Long story short, I am admitted into the hospital to be put on a drip over night as I am really, really dehydrated. The final diagnosis to my sickness is that I have Hyperemsis gravidarum which basically is morning sickness on crack.
As the sickness was so bad( lasted until around 32 weeks)I was put on medication that was the best thing ever and even helped Dan on a boat when he got sea sick.
So that was my first trimester, not that great.
Everyone always says, second trimester is the golden trimester, because the sickness has passed( or you are just good on your anti sickness medication), you don`t feel as tired but then you are not massive yet as you will be on your third trimester.
So as the second trimester hit and I had my routine down for trying not to be sick anymore, the pregnancy hunger hit and now I have finally got to my first point – I should have worked out and been more active, because I just wanted and I did eat everything.
Midnight McDonald`s, okay, breakfast ice cream, okay, chocolate breakfast, lunch and dinner, also okay.
At the time I truly did not care about the consequences but now obviously I have to deal with them on a day to day basis.
This ties in also with my second point, which was MADE HEALTHIER FOOD CHOICES.
It wasn`t all bad because I was craving a lot of fruit and veg but the last few weeks of pregnancy were rough so we just ate McDonald`s, sometimes even twice a day.
Then I come to my third point TAKING BETTER CARE OF MY SKIN.
This time I don`t mean my face, because it was the clearest it has ever been.
I meant the skin everywhere else.
At the beginning I applied tummy butter, firming cream and BIO oil 3! times a day everyday. Guess what?! It did not help.
I read somewhere, that if you are meant to have stretch marks, you will have them, no matter what.
It wasn`t that bad at the beginning but I think once they got worse I just stopped taking care of my skin and it`s one of the regrets that I have.
Not only do I have stretch marks on my stomach, they are also on my hips, thighs, on the back of my legs under my knees, on my arms and also weirdly enough on my pubic bone.
I do hope that they fade but as of now (almost 5 months postpartum) they are still there, deep and dark.
As I talk about my skin I come to my last point as well – SHOULD HAVE HAD MORE WATER!
This point is so under rated it it ridiculous.
Water is one of the main factors for skin elasticity.
But what can I do now about not drinking enough water when I was pregnant.
Because I didn`t take all of the above steps while I was still pregnant, I am dealing with so much shit now.
Because I really did not care what I ate most of my pregnancy I gained an insane amount of weight, but because of the size of my baby, none of my doctors ever seemed concerned about it.
I can`t believe that I am actually writing this, but I gained a whopping 44 POUNDS! or 20 KG, however you work.
That resulted in quite a slow recovery process after giving birth as well as knocking my confidence big time.
Another thing from gaining this much weight and having a big baby + probably not drinking enough water and taking care of my skin is something that I was a 110% not prepared for, and I am still overwhelmed by it daily.
The thing that I am referring to is excess skin on my stomach.
I did know that after you give birth you will still look pregnant for a bit, while everything that has been expanding for the last 9 months shrinks back down. I also knew that I might have loose skin afterwards, because obviously, your skin stretches a lot, hence the stretch marks. But I never in a million years thought it would be as bad as it is.
To be fair, it has only been just under 4 months after I gave birth, and I was huge, but still. Is this amount of loose skin even normal?
When telling my friends about it, they were shocked as well as I can literally pull my skin out and up, and probably tape it around my waist and have a flat belly.
I did wear a belly band after giving birth to help with that but to be honest, I don`t know if it did that much.
I would be constantly out of breath and would get pains in my gut as the belt kept squishing my insides. So I stopped doing that.
I am trying these remedies to try and shrink the skin. Obviously, it`s drinking water, then exfoliating your skin and exercising. All of the things that I try and do.
Personally, I don`t think there is any difference yet but maybe if I start seeing one in a few months, I will share some before and after pictures.
There are a few more things that I probably could have done while pregnant or straight after to help with getting back to my old self.
PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISE!
The three magic words that every women should know.
As your baby keeps pushing down, your pelvic floor gets weaker and weaker, and if you don`t do anything about it, well, you might actually pee yourself while sneezing (this happened a couple of times when I was pregnant in the last month).
I got an app to help me keep track the times when I do kegel and I thought, yeah, pretty soon it will be back to normal.
But then I got my first post pregnancy period which was incredibly bad on it`s own, but then the worst part was that I could not physically use tampons which have been my go to for a very long time.
Now with every period it does get better but still, I never imagined that this would be one of the things wrong with me still so long after giving birth.
Other things that still remind me on a day to day basis that I have given birth, I couldn`t really prevent, I just wish that I would have known about them.
Some women might have done everything the same as I did and still come out with an incredible body with no signs that they were ever pregnant except the little human hanging off of them.
Other women might have done everything exactly by the book and had it even worse than I did.
I just wanted to write this post for someone not to think they are alone with what they are going through when there are all of these perfect post pregnancy bodies all around social media.