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My body is not a wonderland



Ok, so I am quite content with my new body shape, wider hips, slight belly pooch and all. There are other postpartum changes, though, that I’m really not ok with.

1. Hair. My pregnancy hair was a-freaking-mazing. Now it is falling out like crazy, dry as straw and so lackluster. And it needs cut. My postpartum hair loss did not start till three months and is showing no sign of abating. Someone make me feel better with positive stories… please!

2. Zits. I have acne for the first time in a long while (IVF induced acne aside). These are painful, cystic under the skin pimples that make you wince when you accidentally bump one. On today’s list of things to do is a run to Target to hunt down some inexpensive acne wash (I am hoping Simple has an acne line because I love their other products).

3. Diastasis Recti. Nope, I don’t hate this because of the little tummy pooch it gives me. I hate it because of how it is killing my core strength and making my yoga practice into something quite laughable. I am also having some back discomfort that I attribute to poor posture from a weak core. I am starting a core rebuilding program next week in hopes of correcting the separation and rebuilding my core strength so I can feel more myself.

4. Dry itchy skin. While my face might be filled with zits, the rest of me is DRY and no amount of coconut oil seems to be resolving it.

5. Gum disease. Pregnancy left my mouth a mess and in a week or two I will be going in for some major gum work. I am SO not thrilled about this.

6. Sex drive? Hello? Where the hell are you? Enough said.

7. Hand pain. Ugh, the hand and thumb pain I am experiencing is horrifying. Part of me fears the autoimmune monster flaring up. The educated part of me knows it is from picking up and holding my child all. the. freaking. time. I am ready for this little girl to be able to sit on her own and maybe, just maybe, not need held 24-7. In the meantime, I think I need to get thyself to a hand specialist to make sure I am not doing permanent damage. I wake up at night in excruciating pain and have started dipping into the 600 mg ibuprofen that I was given post c-section. Not good.

Despite the normal pregnancy discomforts I felt fantastic while pregnant. I think this is because for the first time in my life my PCOS wrecked  hormones were doing what they were supposed to. I am so scared of what I will turn into as the pregnancy hormone high continues to subside. I am giving myself till the new year and then going back to a PCOS friendly diet (reduced carbs and maybe gluten free) to see if that improves things. Otherwise, I’m open to suggestions. Fellow PCOS ladies, what did you do to help your body rebalance properly after pregnancy and maybe… gasp… ovulate (this is a post for a later date…)



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  1. October 31, 2013

    Make sure you’re doing proper exercises for diastasis recti separation and NOT just for core strength. I found out later that standard ab exercises can actually make the diastasis worse!

    Gum disease — *sigh* — I hear ya, My mouth is always a wreck during/after pregnancy. No bueno.

    Sex drive – I had NONE until Stella was nearly weaned (15 mo pp). A lot of women I know are the same — I think BFing actually keeps all the sex drive hormones in check or something (not to mention you generally feel touched out and tired of meeting other people’s needs by the time night time rolls around)…so yah, let me know if you find some magic cure for this. I’m resigning myself to not being in the mood for at least another year otherwise. 😦

    I agree with you about PCOS/pregnancy and hormones finally doing what they should. I really think that taking myo-inositol (starting 13mo pp) is what got my cycle to return and me to ovulate again (and ya, HFS, pregnant naturally). A bunch of ALI women have done great posts on it if you want me to send you some links.

    Our bodies are so crazy, aren’t they?

  2. October 31, 2013

    I started doing exercises specifically for my DR and so far they DO seem to be helping! Like Josey said, though, make sure you are finding exercises for them specifically as regular crunches can make it worse. I think the hair thing is hormone related because mine started doing that too. Its still coming out more than usual, but seems to be slowing down. I had the dry skin too! In fact, it was so dry that an entire layer of skin peeled off my chest and hands! I felt like a snake! So yes, our bodies are crazy!!!
    (Also, I’m kinda hijacking here, but I’d love to have you write a guest post on my blog if you’re interested – maybe on motherhood in a big city? Or adjusting to life after such a big move? The only criteria is honesty – there is tab on it on my blog. No pressure though – just asking!)

  3. October 31, 2013

    I’ve got no hopeful words for you as at 15 weeks pp my hair still sucks and I still have no sex drive, so at least you’re not alone!

  4. October 31, 2013

    I started wearing a wrist brace and it really helped with mommy thumb. Mostly I wore it to sleep, but sometimes during the day if my thumb was really hurting. I also had crazy acne, but I had it throughout the pregnancy and until 2 months after I stopped breastfeeding. 😦 UGH well, MOST of these changes will disappear eventually, and good that you are enjoying the more permanent ones! Pregnancy turned me from a mild pear to a real true pear shape. It actually doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would! Bottom size L, top size S.

  5. October 31, 2013

    I feel you on most of the issues you mentioned, but the biggest one for me, still, is the lack of a sex drive. I hate that I don’t care for sex and would be totally fine without it. And as someone else commented, after being touched, poked, prodded and held onto all day by my guy, I just don’t want to do the same as an adult… So, hubby suffers. 😦 And for info: the boy is 14 months and still breastfeeding twice a day.

    I have recently asked/mentioned this subject with a group of online friends. We’re so not alone. I’ve been thinking of asking my IRL friends, but just haven’t gotten that far yet. I do hope that once I fully stop breastfeeding that the desire will come back. Time will tell. Sorry I’m not more help!

  6. October 31, 2013

    Yeah, my hair started falling out at 3 months postpartum too… I was really surprised it took so long to start. I stopped shedding around 5 months, and it’s not too bad now. It got darker and I think it might still be a little thicker than pre-pregnancy. Anyhoo, the sex drive thing is such a pain, but for once I have something positive to report! I complained of that and severe vaginal dryness to my doctor, who said neither would likely improve till after breastfeeding. But the dryness was so bad I was getting vaginal rawness/sores, so (after ascertaining that there were no other problems and that it was the dryness causing it) she finally prescribed Premarin, an estrogen cream. I wasn’t thrilled about using this while bf, but the dr. is super pro-bf and summed up all the research for me. In such small topicalamounts it seems to be safe. Long story short: the dryness & sores are gone and my sex drive is kind of back! At least once we get going I really enjoy it again. It’s incredible…has made a huge difference with our relationship issues we’ve had since the birth. I know this isn’t for everyone, but I thought I’d write it here in case it might help someone else out. And for the record, I’m now 10 months pp, been on the cream for 6 weeks, still bf-ing like crazy, and still haven’t gotten my period back. Good luck to all you ladies!

  7. October 31, 2013

    I had the awful hair loss too! It seemed never-ending. And then it FINALLY ended, I would say around 8 months pp (though my memory on that is hazy). I have been struggling with Mommy Thumb for almost 6 months now. A few months ago I went to a hand doc and got a steroid injection and HOLY HELL if that wasn’t a small MIRACLE. It pretty much ‘cured’ the pain for a good 3 months. Go get yourself an appointment! I am now having to do 2x/day exercises to stretch & strengthen it, and may go back soon for another shot.

    I feel like I was maybe 5 months pp when I finally started enjoying sex again. It corresponded with Iyla moving into her own room & nursing less at night- I think my hormones did a mini restructure. I hope yours comes back soon!

  8. Amy #
    November 1, 2013

    Hair-get some cute headbands & winter hats. It will probably be back to its glorious state by spring. I had bald patches & the hair has come back nice & thick. It doesn’t seem normal, but it is. For itchy skin I use coconut oil in the bath. A lot. & those radiators are very drying to the skin. Throw some pots of water on top to help humidify the air. I like salicylic acid for acne & the chiropractor for hand pain. Like the other ladies said, bfeeding & sex are intertwined. Don’t worry, it’s just a phase. The DR I’d love to hear what works for you. Sigh. Motherhood has such unexpected burdens, doesn’t it? You are doing a good job! eat something delicious & nuzzle the baby. Repeat until you feel better. Xoxo

  9. November 2, 2013

    Re: the PCOS–I TOTALLY relate to feeling awesome while pregnant because my hormones were more in balance. At 3 months PP, I have not gone back to any sort of diet yet to help my hormones regulate. I think I’m still in denial that PCOS will rear its ugly head again…

  10. MonkeyBear #
    November 3, 2013

    Re. # 7: I had exactly what you are describing (including being woken up in the middle of the night with pain attacks) and was diagnosed (by an orthopedist) with De Quervain’s tendinitis, a condition that is very common among first-time mothers. The treatment is a cortisone shot into the tendon, and for me, at least, the relief was immediate. Go see an orthopedist ASAP and good luck!

  11. jak #
    November 3, 2013

    i soooooooo wanted to spend time responding to this with thought and reflecting on where i am as well, but can’t even afford to give you a decent response (i’m $#%(#$@^@ working on work work on the weekend AGAIN and can’t spare the time to do more than speed read your blog anymore:(((( so much for leaning in. i feel like i’m leaning over).

    anyway, hang in there!!!! you are doing great and you are gonna whoop ass on yoga even more than you did before ivf. diastasis gets better. mine is. it’s just taking special exercises (ie carefully performed pilates). cant promise about the hair returning though as i’m in the same boat and what doesnt fall out, my baby pulls out. but i’m just grateful to have him here with me using his cute little functional hands to bald my head.

    best wishes!!!!! you and the bean are really rocking along!!

  12. November 5, 2013

    Reading the comments to glean some advise because I’m in a similar boat.

    BTW: nominated you for a new blog award. If you’re interested, pop over to see the questions.

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