Family, Parenting, Pregnancy

Unexpected Postpartum Pleasures

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

Coco Chanel

Bonjour!

Now that the tiny human is here, I am in full recovery mode from pregnancy and childbirth. I expected many aspects of self-care in the fourth trimester, such as healing stitches, resetting hormones, and baby blues-slash-crying (oh, the crying). I also greatly looked forward to getting acquainted with Le Bébé and reveling in sweet, delicious newborn cuddles and snuggles.

There are some unexpected bonuses in addition to the much anticipated and appreciated special newborn time with Le Bébé (and, for good measure, Le Chien and L’Husband too). Lots of the, shall we say, “less fun” pregnancy symptoms that plagued me for months reset almost immediately after childbirth, enhancing the overall pleasure of my Hot Mom Summer.

L’Husband brought gourmet donuts to the hospital the day after delivery. This correct anticipation of my needs is exactly why I married him.

Full disclosure: Most of mes plaisirs are food related (le yum). For example:

Morning Sickness: I have not thrown up since I went into labor four weeks ago. I cannot overstate what a relief this is after seven months of being sick almost every single day.

After a heightened sense of smell and light nausea gave way to actual trips to the bathroom around Week Nine, Wendy – an old college acquaintance from Alabama – spun a tale of what she called “second-trimester bliss.” I was sicker in the second trimester (during yet another COVID winter, le sigh) than in the first. Oh, Wendy, you magnificent tit willow.

The moniker “morning sickness” is a misnomer; nausea and vomiting during pregnancy can happen any time, and last longer (much, much longer) that the first trimester (le sigh). Most of my triggers were IBS- and diet-related (e.g., ice cream and pizza betrayed me), but I hate to discount random queasiness too.

I ate an actual green salad with grilled chicken and bacon for my birthday dinner.

Diet: Food tastes amazing. The Starbucks latte L’Husband brought me in the hospital the day after delivery was the best coffee I’ve ever had in my life. My life. No joke.

I can eat salads and drink English breakfast tea again, among other things. I have a growing taste for sweets and chocolate no longer betrays me (see Morning Sickness, supra).

It’s so nice to diversify my diet away from the limited pregnancy menu of ginger tea, graham crackers, avocados, and spaghetti (not mixed together!).

Sleep Disturbances: I can sleep on my back again and don’t need to go to the bathroom every ten minutes (okay, fine, seconds). Insomnia has been replaced by crashing hard between night diapers and bottles (unless I’m too wired to fall back asleep, le sigh).

Though not symptoms and side effects of pregnancy per se, other unexpected pleasures of the fourth trimester and postpartum recovery include:

Lubing up with special German body butter made just for moms makes my ablutions much more special!

Showers: The long, hot shower I took chez moi post-hospital was the best shower I’ve ever taken in my life. My life. No joke.

Postpartum Body: Even though I don’t always feel great physically or emotionally right now, I love my post-pregnancy body. I am grateful for what she did for me and Le Bébé during in vitro fertilization, pregnancy, and childbirth.

Vraiment, I much prefer the the soft, squishy skin that’s replaced the taught, dry, itchy basketball I toted around for the last six weeks of pregnancy. My new paunch represents my new life and reminds me what my body and mind can and have accomplished together.

My postpartum mom-tail of choice: Vermont sparkling apple cider. Suffice it to say there was no place for apples or cider during my pregnancy.

Clothes: I am starting to wear other garments besides oversized sweaters, tunics, and leggings. Though I will never give up my maternity jeans (le wink).

What new pleasures will you explore this summer?

Merci for reading and please subscribe and share!

À votre santé,

Katie

2 thoughts on “Unexpected Postpartum Pleasures”

  1. How much fun this pregnancy sounds (OMG!). So glad you are feeling so much better again and you can finally enjoy not just the baby but also foods and drinks again, without ‘giving’ them back straight away. You described the not-so-much-fun pregnancy experiences in a very fun way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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