Welcome to The Belly Diaries! We’re following pregnant mama Lindsey as she navigates pregnancy #2. If you’re just tuning in, be sure to catch Lindsey’s 28 week, 24 week, 19 week, and 17 week updates – you’ll love her witty style and wise words. You can read all Belly Diaries posts here.
These photos celebrate a 32-week bump (more photos on my blog) but I’ll be 33 weeks tomorrow. Every day counts, right? Especially when you’re carrying an extra twenty pounds in 115 degree weather. Remind me why we live here? (There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.)
I was perusing letters I had written to Elliot when he was in my belly (because I get all mushy and nostalgic when it comes to procreation) and I came across a list I wanted to share with you guys.
Postpartum Rules to Follow Because I Am Incredibly Stubborn and Will Try to “Shake Things Off” Like Pain and Sleep Deprivation
1. The first one deals with the, ahem, war zone that is down there for quite some time during the healing process. My language was uncensored 1.5 years ago, so I’ll save you from the crass verbatim, but in short I wanted to remind myself that while childbirth is serious and messy and physically traumatic, the body is an amazing thing and sooner or later you’ll heal and want to do it all over again for the sake of that squishy, snuggly little person in your arms. I mean I will. Probably.
2. Have a few pairs of the world’s most comfortable being-at-home clothes that are NOT FRUMPY, that make you feel human, but that you also don’t mind bleeding all over (It happens. Just saying.) so that you don’t have to do laundry every hour (been there) and consequently answer the door in your hospital-grade mesh undies (done that).
3. For nursing: in addition to your trusty Boppy pillow, you’ll want pillows to lean on and sit on and put your feet up on, and while you’re at it, have some on either side of you in case you want to double up. Newborns are professional eaters (read: energy leeches) so you might as well transform your couch (or bed, or floor, or whatever) into a land of luxury.
4. Speaking of nursing, protein is your new best friend. Eat it every time you eat. And speaking of eating, try to stock up on easy-to-eat food before baby comes home, whether this means making enough casserole to feed a small platoon or lining the refrigerator shelves with pre-made almond butter and jelly sandwiches. Frozen chicken can’t help you if it’s still frozen and the last thing you’re going to want to do is “whip something up.”
5. (Background: with Elliot, nursing was super painful for me. I cried every time used buckets of lanolin and my skin didn’t desensitize for the longest time, but I stuck it out and, after about four months, my body adjusted and I was able to actually enjoy it.) Your boobs will feel like they are going to pop. And they might. Just kidding. Pumping helps, but don’t kill yourself with it. Have just enough to keep one or two bottles in the fridge so Husband or Mom or Friend can take over a feeding while you nap.
6. Tylenol is not a sin.
7. Caffeine is also not a sin.
8. LET OTHERS HELP YOU. Let them bring you food. Let them let you shower. You are not obligated to them, they are obligated to you for selflessly advancing the human race. Admit what you need.