Nine months on: hurrah, I’m human again!

Two awesome things happened on the weekend.

First thing has a one in 5 million chance of occurring. I actually managed to blow dry my own hair into a semi-submissive state (see amazing transformation, above). No mean feat given the 104% humidity and the vastness of my skanky tresses.

Secondly, not as miraculous but equally excellent, was that I managed to fit into my high-waist super-skinny black jeans. They were always ridiculously tight and for the first time they were almost roomy! I’ve been doing quite a lot of walking and really enjoying it. I think because I’ve actually got some energy and feel slightly human again after the birth of my second bubba.

A night out with my gorgeous sister, Nicole.
A night out with my gorgeous sister, Nicole.

Okay, so here’s where my point kicks in. I want to share a theory of mine.

Look, I know, chuck a rock and you’ll hit some loud-mouthed dickhead with an unfounded theory. And unsurprisingly, when I researched my theory, there was nothing in the way of credible science to back me up.

But anyway, here goes: I reckon it takes nine months for us ladies to recover from the birth of our baby.

It all starts when the baby comes out and there’s lots of shouting and sleeping and feeding and snivelling. That goes on for a few months. You’re mental but sort of prepped for it because everyone knows that with a new baby you’ll be lucky to get a snippet of sleep and you’ll just be their bitch.

Me with my fresh, beautiful baby boy. Mental but happy.
Mental but happy.

Then there can be a wee honeymoon period where the baby smiles and rolls and becomes a real little person. They could even sleep a bit longer. Many of mummy’s aches and pains have gone and there is a whole lotta love flowing around.

140121 nine months baby elroy on mat

Then I think a tough patch kicks in, at around 4 to 7 months. You think you should be feeling brilliant but something seems to go a bit off kilter. The baby can have sleep regression, they are probably eating some solids (which requires much frigging around with steaming and mashing), then have nugget poos and sore tummies. Then the teeth come. And if they’re on the boob they might start breastfeeding a bit less. For mummy, I believe the protective, heavy fog of baby-hormones lifts and can become more of a light mist (useless).

Smile becoming more like a grimace as that hormone tide goes out.
Smile becoming more like a grimace as that hormone tide goes out.

And then by the time they are around 9 months they are sleeping more and generally being highly entertaining. And perhaps doing things with some regularity, making life a little more predictable. That’s where I am almost at now with a very delightful little 8 month old.

140121 nine months baby elroy fingers

But it was a different story four months ago. The “tough patch” manifested (with both kids) in some serious hormonal weirdness. This time around my lizard brain went into overdrive. I (the lizard) decided it would be a clever idea to start trying asap for another baby.

At 42 years of age.

While the other baby was a mere 4 months old.

Having had two miscarriages and complications that left me hospitalised.

With a high risk of multiple birth or chromosomal anomaly.

With two healthy, happy children already (for which we are mind-blowingly grateful).

With absolutely nil sex drive.

And most importantly, being married to a man who would rather flay himself with barbed wire than bring another mewling infant into the world.

Bloody stupid, unhinged lizard!

Luckily, about a month ago, the lizard went into a coma or, better still, I’m hoping it died a peaceful death. I’m now looking and acting a bit more normally. I’ve had energy in the mornings to do some high-five hill climbs. And my skin doesn’t look like a monkey has been biting it any more.

Ahhh. Thank you, body. Thank you for your stupendous healing and recuperative powers. I love you and I promise to be kind to you every day.

What do you think of this crack-pot theory? How long did it take you to recover from birth?

 

Written By

Carolyn is the editorial director of Champagne Cartel and a freelance writer. In her spare time she is a long-distance runner, peanut butter enthusiast, and single mum to three incredible humans.

20 Comments

  • I love this theory! I think it is so true. It was always about nine months with each of my three that I found myself being able to think of myself as a separate being.

    And slightly off topic, but does anyone else think Gillian looks freaking amazing with crazy hair? Love it! Very raw. Very Beyoncé. I have hair envy!

    • Agree re: the hair. LOVE the wild tresses. Simply delicious!

      I think 9 months is being optimistic. My kid didn’t sleep through til after 12 months and so my theory is that the return to feeling normal is based more around everyone getting some freaking decent rest. Sadly for me, my kid decided at 18mths, sleep was for losers again, so we’re still having unsettled nights (although nowhere near as bad as that first twelve months – gah! Still gun shy about returning for more punishment with another here… obviously!

      • Thanks girls about the hair, it’s just so unruly that it drives me NUTS. But anyhow…… Miss Mia I completely agree that it has a lot to do with sleep. I’m sorry sounds like you’ve had a tough time, bloody hideous when bubba is waking through the night. It’s enough to send you a bit mad isn’t it. Here’s to you getting some serious zzzzzzs. Huge hugs xxxx

  • I think you could be on to something. I know with my first bubs it was around the 10 month mark before I started to feel like I was getting some control back over my life and starting to figure out the whole mothering gig. And then I went and got myself knocked up again a month later! This time around with number 2, I am still in a bit of that fog, with a bub that’s not quite 6 months old and still very dependant on me, especially for food! However I am trying to force myself to do a little more for myself and the thing that has been helping the most has been exercise. And having my husband being supportive of my need to do a few things myself (albeit it’s taken a bit of nagging to get him to that point!). I know I’ve still got a few months to go before I can get some true freedom but I’ve been very lucky to have a bub that sleeps much better this time around and that has made the biggest difference. #teamIBOT

  • Ok, bub no 3 is now 9 months (last weekend) and I am feeling worse than ever! Can we extend the theory to 10 months, just to be safe? It will give me hope that I might get a life back soon 🙂

    • Yes, Emma, in news just in, the recovery period has just been extended to 10 months. So you are NEARLY THERE – keep it together just a tiny bit longer and you are home and hosed. Big hugs to you – whatever happens from here, it definitely gets progressively less labour-intensive. And you can leave that gorgeous wee bundle with other people for longer. That’s the key to sanity, I reckon. xxx

      • Ha! are you offering? I have not had a child free second since school holidays started! I think sleep is the key also – I’m only getting 1-2 hrs at a time through the night so going downhill rapidly… Wouldn’t be able to exercise even if I had the inclination to at this point. Ah, but keep reminding myself ‘this too shall pass’. Hugs back at you xxx

    • Oh yes, exercise is key!! Partly because of all the great things it does for your body and your brain, and partly because it’s time for you to spend just on you instead of being a life support system for a little leech that sucks all of the useful things out of you (both literally and, even if you are bottle feeding, figuratively).

      I think the three year rule is another stand-alone one where you actually get back to being your own person. That’s a cracker too, thanks for the reminder, Eleise. I’ve got two out of three there, so looking forward to the third getting there. Only another 635 days to go. (Yes, I worked that out on a calculator. What?)

      Lucky they’re cute, hey.

  • What ? You mean I should start to feel human again ? LOL – my child is all grown up but there are times when I definitely no longer feel human but that is due to menopause !!! I tell you what – sometimes it really sucks being a woman !
    Have the best day anyway !
    Me

  • Gill you just made me feel so much better! Feeling shite for 12 weeks post baby (reflux doesn’t help!) now and hoping I come out the other side pretty soon. So I have another 6 months hey??

  • Ah Phenergan – parents be nice to other passengers on long flights, please. I’m with you CC the hair on the left is fabulous (not to say the right isn’t)
    Babies are the most fabulous pain on the butt ever, I don’t know I ever went back to normal – I know my tummy hasn’t! I’m grateful my youngest is turning three, moving on instead of starting all over again.

  • I wouldn’t know. At 9 months, just when I was within touching distance of normality, I went back to work and got pregnant again in the same week! Now very much in the mental stage with a 4 week old suckling permalatched onto my boob. Bare with me while I calculate his 9month birthday and put it in my calendar with shiny gold stars on it! I can’t wait!

  • I think 10 months and somewhere around 3 to 3 1/2 are magic, then when they can all swim! At the beach in calm water or pool we don’t need to hold on to them! I’m so glad I put that lizard brain to bed about 3 years ago. I can’t deny we weren’t really glad we only had our 7 and 5 yr olds in our lives as we sat at cylinder beach a few days ago, and all the new family versatility that some of you have to look forward to in the next few years. Allow the muddle to happen, the years fly by and before you know it you’re seeing your youngest start prep!

  • Yep I’m with you; it definitely takes a while to get over a baby, and longer with each child I think.
    Funny too how when they are so little you suddenly think you need to plant he next one. Crazy we are aren’t we? 🙂

  • I actually agree with you, kind of, except with 3 kids in 3.5 years it’s taken me until NOW to get my shiz sort of together and even now I have a 2yo who loves hitting me for no reason. Love your photos, and that you are feeling better. BE GONE LIZARD! xxx

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