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Reality Check: Let’s Talk Postpartum Life & After Baby Fashion!

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Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.

— Linda Wooten

And recently, I realized that this is one of the most accurate statements ever spoken about motherhood.

 

Disclaimer: This post in no way condemns those who want kids vs. those who don’t, and it definitely is not meant to shame any mom about her choices, whether that’s staying at home or returning to work. 

Real Talk

Since my delivery, I have experienced a wide range of emotions. Some days I feel like the most badass woman on the planet. On other days, I feel overwhelmed by sadness and fear.

At first, I felt very alone in this new norm.

I mean, I didn’t exactly know anyone else who had experienced this.

Personally, I thought that labor and delivery would be the hard part of this transition to motherhood.

However, after I opened up, and did some reading to better understand what I was feeling, I discovered terms like postpartum baby blues, the fourth and ‘fifth trimester,’ and after baby fashion.

It turns out, I wasn’t the only one.

 

What Are Postpartum Baby Blues?

Well, it’s the lesser version of postpartum depression. In fact about 70-80% of moms experience it.

By definition, it is “a normal, short-lived period of feeling sad, weepy or otherwise moody that is triggered by hormonal changes after giving birth.”

It usually occurs within the first week of a woman becoming a mom, and the symptoms include crying for no apparent reason, irritability, sadness, and insomnia – even if the baby is sleeping.

Crazy right?

I thought so too, until I was holding my baby girl in our rocking chair with tears streaming down my face, and then at another time, I randomly started crying because I thought my husband was yelling at me.

Thankfully, these emotions dissipated after a few days! But little did I know what was to come next — the fourth and ‘fifth trimester.’

 

The Fourth Trimester & The ‘Fifth Trimester’ Defined

The fourth trimester is actually the first 3 months of your baby’s life. For moms this is the up to 12 weeks FMLA, aka unpaid maternity leave granted by the Family & Medical Leave Act.

It’s the time when you and your precious infant adjust to the new norm in three specific areas: body, heart and mind.

The ‘fifth trimester‘, as expected, starts right after the fourth. However, it is a new concept that has been brought to light by Lauren Smith Brody as of 2017.

Thanks to this brilliant movement, the ‘fifth trimester‘ is now known as “when the working mom is born.”

It’s when we entrust the care of our child into someone else’s hands (be it daycare or a loved one), and return to work to help contribute to the financial health of our families.

As women we make it look easy, but this transition period is one of the toughest for us because we usually do it before we are emotionally and/or medically ready.

Allow me to explain, using my personal story.

 

My Fourth and ‘Fifth Trimester’…And I Know You Can Relate

For me, my fourth trimester ended a little earlier than the 3-month benchmark.

It was my choice, though, so no complaints here. It was the best decision for my family.

I will repeat though, as I mentioned before, that I was not prepared for how it would affect me.

I didn’t cry when I dropped her off at daycare. But internally lost my shit whenever someone asked to hold her on the weekends.

And as if that didn’t confuse my husband enough, some weekends I handled it like a pro. Yet some weekends, I didn’t want anyone to hold her AT ALL.

Then I experienced the extreme distrust of people.

I kept asking myself, ‘Do I really know them that well?‘ It was like all my years of watching Criminal Minds and Law & Order came back to haunt me.

My husband can testify that I refuse to watch either of these crime shows now.

Oh, and then there’s the meltdown I have after every postpartum doctor’s visit.

To keep a long story short, my scar tissue healed but it didn’t heal perfectly. So every time I go for my checkup, and am reminded of how much farther I have to go in the recovery process, I go to my car and cry as I text my husband with an update. Thank God I am able to work from home because I definitely don’t want anyone in the office to see me this way!

Think that’s it?

Nope! There’s more.

There’s after baby fashion.

But even though this has been challenging to navigate, I do have a casual postpartum outfit that I’ve discovered won’t make you look pregnant.

 

A “Magical” After Baby Fashion Idea

If you’re anything like me, post-baby you are (were) hesitant to wear that form-fitting dress in your wardrobe that you so proudly wore before with your pregnant belly.

Or, you cringe every time you look in the mirror, and don’t see your former self looking back.

Believe me, I get it. I want to snap back too.

I want to fit into my old skinny jeans and be the comeback queen but that’s not reality right now.

Right now, I’m on a journey, and every day, I take another step closer to accepting my battle scars.

So what do I wear in the meantime?

One of my absolute favorite outfits at the moment is this metallic skirt from SimplyBe  paired with a simple V-neck tee and complimentary metallic shoes.

It has this magical quality! And I’m not talking about the shimmer.

I mean it makes me feel like my pre-pregnancy self and makes me look like I have snapped back.

     

 

To my fellow mamas, what did you experience (are you experiencing) during your postpartum process? What outfits do you currently wear?

Tamara Sykes
Caribbean-Born Gal. Always Plottin' My Next Hairstyle. Encouraging women with a creative spirit to color outside the lines and live a life they love.
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