So, if you saw my title for today’s post, you may have thought that it sounded oddly familiar. Like maybe it had been beaten into your brain by a major branding company or something?
Or maybe you immediately recognized it as the vague-generality-that-sounds-so-deep that Johnson and Johnson came up with to promote their line of baby products.
Either way, if you’ve had a baby of your own, then you know just how insightful the folks at Johnson are.
Having a baby does change everything.
Your heart is suddenly capable of housing more love than you ever thought possible. You’re functioning on less sleep than you ever imagined you could. And one of your legs is longer than the other.
Okay, maybe that’s not exactly what happens to everybody, but today, I thought it might be fun to talk about the ways that our children have changed us on a very deep (and often painful) level.
And since I’ve had 5 babies, it only seems fitting to share 5 things about the ways having a baby (or several) really has changed everything in my life.
As you might have guessed, that one-leg-longer-than-the-other thing is an actual example of something that happened to me.
Simon, my second child, was big. Like—9 lb. 2 oz., 23 1/2” tall, with a 15” head circumference—BIG. Those numbers place him at the 95th, 97th, and 96th percentile marks respectively for newborn males.
So, I don’t guess it’s too surprising that my hips are a bit wonky after his departure from my body. And that wonkiness has resulted in a leg length discrepancy of at least 1/2 an inch.
It took several episodes of trying on jeans and wondering why every manufacturer had suddenly decided to start making one pant leg longer than the the other for me to figure out that I was the common denominator in all of these ill-fitting pants, and the problem might be me.
Of course, that’s not the only way that Simon left his mark.
I now have a rib that is permanently “bent,” for lack of a better term.
Simon was so big that he was constantly bumping up against my ribcage, especially on the left side, which resulted in a very sore spot for the last two months of pregnancy and then even after he was born. What I didn’t realize is that, apparently, you can have a broken (fractured, cracked, displaced?) rib without enormous amounts of shooting pain. How else do I explain the fact that one of my left ribs juts out at an odd angle that can be felt and, when I lie down, even seen.
Not that everything he did to me is necessarily bad.
I am about 3/4 of an inch taller than I used to be.
Before babies, I always claimed to be 5’ 6”. Because “just a hair short of 5’ 6”” is pretty lame sounding.
I didn’t notice anything until after I had Della, so I’m not sure exactly when I had my adult growth spurt, but at some point or another, I had the urge to re-measure myself on a hunch that I had grown. And, sure enough, I was a solid 5’ 6 1/2”.
Should it actually possible for a grown woman to grow 3/4 of an inch? Probably not. But possible or not, I did it. And I have multiple re-measurements since that initial discovery to assure me that it actually happened.
My memory isn’t what it used to be. At all.
I am now capable of setting things down in random locations and having no recollection whatsoever of having done so. It’s frustrating and disturbing and just plain worrisome (especially when you think about my twilight years; I’m never going to be able to find my teeth when I need to go to the grocery store).
When I taught high school Spanish, my #1 “party trick” was learning every last one of my kids’ names the first day. I never taught at huge schools, but sometimes that meant learning 100 names in a day.
I’m pretty sure that if my life depended on pulling that stunt these days, you’d have to go ahead and shoot me. I teach an average of only 3 classes per week at the gym, and there are still participants’ names that I don’t know or have asked multiple times and still have trouble remembering. I look at them when they tell me their names, expecting to be able to recall them magically when I see their faces again, as in days of yore. But instead, I see them again, and—to quote Kathleen Kelly—“my mind goes completely blank.”
I don’t like it at all. I want my old brain back. But the kids took it, and they’re not telling where they put it.
I’m a borderline narcoleptic.
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I’ve never had trouble with insomnia. At all.
But neither have I been known to go “lights out” in the middle of a sentence. Until I had my kids, that is.
Shaun and I pray before we go to sleep while we’re in bed each night, and a few years ago, I had my first instance of “prayercolepsy.”
It went something like this:
Me: Lord, I pray that you would help so-and-so to find a job and that sh…
Shaun: Boo…BOO?? Did you seriously just fall asleep in the middle of a word??!
At first, I could hardly believe it. At least it was a fluke, right? Turns out, not so much. I’ve done it multiple times since, and it seems to be contagious since Shaun’s been known to fall sleep mid-prayer as well.
I could go on, but I really think that’s enough from me for today.
You guys are a different story, though. I bet you have all kind of “changed forever” tidbits to share.
So, spill! How has having babies changed everything for you?
my feet shrunk ( I used to be a 7.5 now I wear a 6.5/7), my eyebrows got lighter and i had side burns that could give elvis a run for his money
I think your kids are in cohoots with mine… mine have run off with my brain too!!! I’ll let you know if I ever find out where they stashed it! Did you get your pelvis straightened out? My chiro used wedges and let my body weight straighten out my spine/pelvis to make my legs the same length again.
My feet got bigger with my 10 lb son. Right at the end I had to sit on a high swivel chair to cook dinner because my feet were hurting so much. I sure was glad when he decided to join us on the outside and the swelling went down. Didn’t help with buying new shoes though – big shoes aren’t easy to find (nice ones anyway!) and even though the swelling went down, my feet are still longer.
And I will confess to haveing fallen asle……………zzzzzzzzzzzz
My hair color changed…but only while I was pregnant. After i had the baby each time it went back to growing in the lighter shade. So it was a dark few inches growing out afterward. The gal that cuts my hair has never seen anything like it.
Well, I didn’t have a baby but had two adopted daughters, ages 4 and 6 when we adopted them. Almost 5 yrs later they are 8 and 11. I would have to say I can’t remember things at all. Going to the grocery store I forget half the stuff I need to buy EVEN with a list. I also can’t concentrate on stuff and have the same issue……..”why did I go into that room???” etc. No physical changes other than losing some weight from keeping up with them. But my mind and what I can and can’t remember is the thing I have noticed the most in being a mother.
I’ve only had one baby (he was huge 8lbs 9 oz, 19 inches 15 inch head) and although my feet grew a size while pregnant they did go back. However my hair which has been board straight all my life was all of a sudden wavy in the back. Just the back mind you – the front is still straight as can be. I also still have to pee pretty much every hour and at least twice during the night and my kiddo will be 5 this month. So. That’s apparently not going to change.
I have a little advice to give. I hate to do that, but I would see a chiropractor if I were you. The one longer leg showing up is a good indicator of a pelvis or spine out of line. The rib thing could be ribs that are twisted out. That is usually painful, though. Since I have 7 kids and have experienced both of these (and lots of other stuff), I won’t bother you with all the stories. Just want to tell you that can be fixed, and should be because it will bite you later on. Ouch.
What a funny post! And you do have some crazy preggo adverse effects…..I think I would like to grow in height 🙂
Mine are mostly what others have said…..my feet have grown 1/2-1 size, my chest has shrunk (ALOT) and my hair got some natural wave (used to be super straight). I also never used to gain weight in my middle before kids….it was always in my bootay & thighs. But, after kids it seems the first place I put on extra #’s is right around the middle??
We recently found out we are expecting #4 in December!!! So, I can only imagine the many changes that will bring 🙂 But, bring it on…..I’d do it again any day!
Love Bliss’s comment too….that’s a whole new post…….thing’s you thought you would never do before kids….now, I don’t even think twice about…..LOL!
Before kids I never ate the scraps of sandwich crusts from other people’s plates as I cleared the table. So having kids is surly what caused me to add some girth to my middle.
My hair went from blonde to brown. The more babies I had the more brown it got. We stopped after 3, btw.
I have 4, so I’ve got a few not-so-pretty side-effects, but the one thing that I LOVE is that my eyesight improved with my twin pregnancy! When I went in for a prescription update when my twins (#3 and 4) were just a couple of months old, my eye doc told me that my eyesight was actually worse when I put in my contacts! Had I noticed? No, I was too busy rushing through showering and getting ready for the day. Anyway, I no longer need to wear contacts and can wear glasses to drive at night if I want to. That sure was a nice surprise after the inability to ever jump in a bounce house or on trampoline again, the double set of stretch marks, the lack of sleep, and the inability to ever again have my house in order. 🙂 Louanne
my brain too – so much so I went to a neurologist to rule out early onset dementia as my grandmother had it and eventually Alzheimer extremely bad. everything turned out ok for me, thank goodness! my other is lack of bladder control also, I used to be able to go from coastal Texas to south Oklahoma without stopping for a bathroom break (yes my boys hated it). my hair went from curly to stick straight almost over night (yuck).
1. I have more empathy for others.
2. I have alot more patience.
3. I am more cuddly!!
4. I value uninterrupted sleep.
5. I appreciate more than ever the gift of having children. Some women never get to experience pregnancy.
Yea, my brain is pretty much shot. I can watch the same episode of any tv drama and not remember how it ends even if I have seen it multiple times.
My feet have grown too.
I am also infinitely more patient, although it did take me four tries to get this one straight and there are days when I am still working on it.
My firstborn weighed 10 pounds even- and I’m 5’6″ and about 112 lbs. I had him naturally and I’ve never been the same. My ability to “hold it” decreased exponentially (even with Kegels which I still do to this day). And my OB delivered my next 2 C-section to avoid what she promised would be an extensive bladder suspension surgery if I had any more the natural way. So, thanks to Number One, I’ve also got a double smiley face scar on my lower abdomen. Worth it? You betcha!
I too got one longer leg!! I’m always having to pull my pants down on one side so they look even 😉
The chest went from a C cup to a B…
I can easily function on 4 hours sleep…still would like more though 😉
I didn’t want to send them to school afterall…homeschooling was something I thought I’d never do, but even on the hardest days, I’d miss them sooooo much!
I had the opposite experience in the chest. I went from a B to busting out of a D, but when I weened my son I shrunk down to less than an A. I actually like it though.
The other nice thing is that my circulation improved. I used to have to wear gloves when I’d run in anything much cooler than 50 degree weather. Now it can be in the 30’s and my gloves come off within the first mile.
Umm definitely my chest, I grew 2 1/2 cup sizes permanently and I still get bigger when I’m nursing. My husband thinks all this is completely awesome of course 😉
My feet grew 1/2 a size with each kid. Started at size 7… 7 1/2 with #1… size 8 with #2… and 8 1/2 with #3.
I believe it’s because we lose our inner arch, because we’re constantly squatting down to kid level throughout the day. We just become more flat-footed. Anybody else have another theory? Do share.
It’s pretty typical, but my hair used to have a really pretty natural curl to it, but now it’s more of a frizz. I like to say that my daughters took it from me, because they all have beautiful wavy hair. And when it’s all said and done, I’m really okay with it…most days 🙂
My feet got a size bigger with each of the first two. Thankfully it didn’t happen with the twins because I’m already at 10.5 or 11.