4 unexpected changes after baby
To say parenthood changes your life is an understatement.
I doubt there are enough words in the English language to describe just how life-altering the entire experience is—from start to finish, not that it really ever ends. But nevertheless, here I am anyway, trying to explain it.
My pregnancy was unexpected. According to my vision board, it wasn’t supposed to happen until I was 30. I was five years early.
My life went from double shifts, late nights and being a very casual drinker to days off, early mornings and a serious cutback on alcohol. But there were a lot more changes. Stuff I didn’t really anticipate. Here they are:
1. Emotional changes
One of the biggest changes that take place after pregnancy is emotionally. And I’m not just talking about hormones. Last night, I was watching one of my new favourite shows, Shameless. In this episode, one of the characters runs away with a baby only to find out that little Yevgeny (he’s Russian), needs new diapers, food and comfort.
I was so uncomfortable watching this scene. I was itchy. Hearing that baby cry—fake or not, really affected me.
Commercials also hit you a lot harder. That ad with the “we all need a hug in the morning, and one at the end of the day” almost has me in tears every single time it plays.
It’s so much more than the random outbursts and tears and bursts of happiness (although they are great), it’s just the level of depth in which you feel everything.
After becoming a parent, your relationships undergo some serious changes. Not just intimate ones, but friendships too.
I think after a child, you hold your friends and family to higher standards. You become so much more selective about who you spend your time with. And you’re especially selective of who you have around your little one.
To be quite frank, I’ve been disappointed by some of the people I thought were closest to me. Sounds cliché, but I think you expect your friendships to be on a certain level only to find out that they’re not. There were people I expected to visit me in hospital or in the days immediately following my delivery that still haven’t even met my baby!
On the other hand, I’ve also been pleasantly surprised. So many of my young, single friends that aren’t necessarily child whisperers have constantly checked up on me, come to see me and just showed they care and are part of this next chapter of my life (that means you, Sarah!). It means the world.
In the generation of “snapbacks”, it can be hard adjusting to your new body. For me, a lifetime of being fit and unafraid to flaunt it was hardly the preparation I needed to settle in to my new mom bod. The thing is, as I write this, I’m only 9 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. I’m back in the gym, I’m even eating a bit better. But your body takes on a new form. Love yourself anyway.
4. Hair loss
After months of taking prenatal vitamins that give you tons of iron and other much-needed vitamins, prepare for fistfuls of hair loss in the shower. I used to comb, wash and condition my hair a few times a week. But just to avoid the clogged drain, I’ve mastered the art of the messy bun.
I guess this is the point I’m supposed to write about a changed sleeping pattern, or my come-to-Jesus moment. But other than these four, very normal and widespread changes, the dust truly has settled. And four months in, I can honestly say that I’ve adjusted to motherhood.