Your Self Image as a New Mom

The Duchess of Cambridge has done it again, and gifted the world with another beautiful baby heir to the Royal throne. Here in America, we are so drawn to British culture and find ourselves counting down the days to Royal events. The addition of a sweet baby boy to the Royal family is no different.

While watching the Today show this morning, coverage of “baby watch” had begun when Prince Charles and the Duchess were spotted on their way to the hospital. It would be a matter of hours until the little royal’s arrival! Here’s the kicker. Hours later, the Royal hairdresser was spotted entering the Hospital – which meant the baby had arrived. Not long after the hairdresser’s arrival, the Prince and Duchess of Cambridge made their first appearance on the hospital stoop, announcing the arrival of their new baby boy. This was a mere seven hours after she had given birth to an 8 1/2 pound baby. And. Kate. Was. Stunning.

Of course she was stunning. She had her own personal hairdresser tend to her after giving birth. Heck, I don’t even think I brushed my hair until I had been home from the hospital for three days. This is where, as a blogger, I get to be a little sassy and share my opinion.

Now I am fully aware that the Royal culture is in a league of it’s own, and there are many rules and traditions to follow. And I applaud the Duchess for doing so in such a graceful manner. But let’s get real for a second and talk to each other, mum to mum. Can you imagine getting dolled up and addressing an entire Nation (or really world) just hours after giving birth? Forget an entire Nation. Even just your visitors in the hospital.

For the superhuman strong women that labored in a face full of makeup and hair extensions, I give you a standing ovation girl. For the women that don’t touch a tube of mascara for weeks after having a baby, I raise my mug of cold coffee to you. The expectations we place on ourselves and other women during the postpartum weeks are absolutely absurd. We scroll through instagram and see our friends posts from the hospital or birthing center, and their faces are glowing with the perfect highlight and their lashes are curled to perfection. Me? The only glow I had going on came from the happiness of my epidural, and my lashes were crusty with three day old mascara.

That is the reality of postpartum life, and it is beautiful. Yes, the day will come when we find our new normal and remember how to apply winged eyeliner (it’s like riding a bike, you never really forget). But until that day comes, soak it all up and love yourself. Love your bare skinned face and greasy mom bun. Because from here on out, your priorities have shifted.

Your tiny little newborn will only be this small for just a few weeks. That sweet newborn smell will quickly be replaced by the smell of poop and smushed bananas. And the best part is? That squishy little newborn is going to love you with or without mascara. You are their world right now. You are their source of nourishment, love and affection. Those first few weeks are so crucial to building that sweet mommy baby bond, and it is so hard to not let anything get in the way. But I’m here to simply say this. You are beautiful mama. You just gave life to a sweet little babe, and you have just risen to a whole new level of beauty. Don’t let your surroundings set the standard for your happiness. Be patient with yourself and let yourself heal. If I had to guess, there is no Royal press awaiting your arrival, so just embrace the moment and learn to be comfortable in your mommyhood.

How to Build a Postpartum Recovery Kit

Ah, the necessary evil of postpartum recovery!

If you’re here you either

A – Just gave birth

B- Are preparing to give birth

C – Are one of the 7 people that read my previous post about my Postpartum Survival Guide

Either way, hello! And I’m glad you’re here. You’re either about to or are currently embarking upon those early days of motherhood. If you’d like some more tips and tricks on postpartum healing that aren’t super gory, check out the aforementioned blog post. If you want the nitty gritty, gloves off, how am I supposed to pee details of postpartum recovery, keep reading.

*Disclaimer* The following can get a little hairy and TMI, you have been warned.

If you had a C-section, I’m sure there are a few things you can add or omit from this kit, a few of these items solely will help vaginal birth recovery.

Anyways. Ya’ll. No one can prepare you for recovering from a vaginal birth, you just have to go through it yourself. I highly highly recommend you educate yourself as much as possible about what happens to your body postpartum. So much of our pregnancies are spent getting prenatal care, and while that is necessary, I don’t think we place enough stress on postnatal care. Your body is stretched and pushed to limits it never has before, and it’s going to take a while for things to get back to normal – and that’s ok! It only makes sense – it took 9 months for you body to get into the shape it’s in now. It’s not going to get back to normal overnight, or even in a month for that matter.

To help you along the way, here a few things I think are essential to help your downstairs heal as quickly and easily as possible.

First, go to Target and get yourself a cute little basket to fit in your bathroom, and fill it with the following goodies.

Tucks Pads. Tucks Pads. Tucks Pads.

I was a naive little girl and thought to myself “It can’t be that bad, I’m not going to spend my money on those.” WRONG. SO WRONG. I tore pretty badly in two places, and tucks pads were my best friend. I didn’t have any prior to giving birth, so needless to say we stopped on our way home from the hospital to pick some up. I think by the end of it all, I went through at least 4 jars of them. There are tons of posts about creating your own tucks pads and keeping them in the freezer, but let me tell you. The absolute last thing on my mind was pouring witch hazel and aloe on a pad, and sticking it in the freezer. I was more than happy to spend $5 on that little jar of relief.

Your Handy Dandy Peri Bottle

The hospital will more than likely give you one during your stay and let you take it home. If not, be sure to buy one and treasure it – keep it close to your heart.  Before every bathroom trip, fill it up with warm water and your potty breaks will be so much easier. Be sure to keep it clean and germ free, you don’t need to expose your already sensitive parts to more bacteria!

Baby Wipes

Steal a pack of wipes from your little ones nursery, and keep them in your basket. It can take a few weeks for things to calm down in the blood department and toilet paper will not be your friend for a while. Baby wipes may not even be your friend for a while to be honest. You can however use them to clean surrounding areas, and freshen up in between showers.

Super Soaker XL Pads

Whether you choose to use disposable underwear or regular pads, stock up on them. Buy what you think you will need, and they buy one more box. It’s also important to note, many women find the material of their pads to be very important. Soft cotton materials are much more sensitive on your lady parts, and tend to tug less if you have any stitches. I usually use Always pads, but after having my daughter I switched to Kotex ones. I found them to be much softer and was never afraid of them getting stuck *ouch*.

Granny Pannies

You know what I’m talking about. That pack of bright pink and purple Fruit of the Loom underwear your mom used to buy from Wal-Mart? Girl, go get you some. Personally, I’d buy them a size up from what you usually wear. Things are swollen, you’re stuffing them with pads and tucks pads, you’ll want the extra room. And if they get sacrificed to the postpartum war gods, you won’t feel bad about throwing them away.

Keep all of these items on your bathroom counter, right beside the toilet within arms reach. You may be like me and think you won’t need any of the items, and while that may be true, I bet you’ll benefit from at least one of them. It is so much nicer if you’re already stocked at home instead of sending your husband out to the feminine care aisle. In the meantime, I promise – you will pee like a normal human again. But until then, keep your arsenal stocked.

Alright momma, go forth and raise you babies. We are all in this motherhood thing together, and know that I am here for you! Motherhood is a crazy ride, and we need to grab our fellow moms and hold tight. Let’s get to know each other! Share your childbirth stories below!