I’m Good. Also, not.

I am now 3 months, 3 weeks postpartum.

This time around is so much better than the first time in many, many ways.

I mean, I don’t have postpartum depression.  That is sort of huge.

I still have the anxiety, although I am managing it much better.

But you know what? There are still some ways that this time is harder.

Now, I say harder.  I guess I mean different.  Or different difficult, because how do you compare to postpartum depression?  You don’t.

In fact, it’s hard for me to say the stuff that is difficult because almost everyone comes back with, “but hey, you don’t have PPD this time, right?  So?  WIN!?”

Well, yeah.  True.

And then I don’t know what to say.

Just because I don’t have PPD this time doesn’t make all that “other stuff” about being postpartum suddenly glorious and sparkley. But once someone sort of closes the door on the conversation with that remark, it’s hard not to feel like maybe I am making mountains of molehills by thinking anything else is challenging.

So anyway, when people ask me how it’s going, I always say, “GOOD!”  And then stop.

Not because it’s not “good,” but because it’s…well…different.  But if I say anything other than “good,” people start talking about how I don’t have PPD or how “YAY!  these are NORMAL problems!  Doesn’t that feel great?”

Um.

So to be honest, I am confused about how I am doing.

I mean…on the one hand, I am good.

Really.

Charlie is great (most of the time) and Eddie is…well…Eddie is three.

And I am…

Ok, I am going nuts.

Not PPD nuts, but nuts.

People?  MY HAIR IS FALLING OUT.

I know this is normal.  I remember it from after Eddie was born.  It just started falling out a the 3 month mark with Eddie and went for like…I don’t know…three months?  I can’t even remember.  This time it started at about 6 weeks and it’s just flying out like my head is getting paid per hair it evicts.

But not the greys.  No, sir.  Those crinkly little buggers are staying put.

My  hair falls out constantly and now my house looks like I never vacuum or swiffer…which is SO not true!  And my bathroom looks like a hurricane of loose hair blew in.  There are tumbleweeds o hair in the corners of the bathroom.

Even EDDIE has pointed this out.

You guys?  It is universally accepted that a loose hair roaming about is gross.  I HAVE A WHOLE CROP OF LOOSE HAIRS.

Also? No one tells you this before you get knocked up.

Nowhere in all of my knowledge of where babies come from and what happens after did anyone mention going almost bald.

Anyway.

There is also the issue of my body fat.

I know, I know…I just put a living, breathing, human that my body helped build into the world.  Be kind.

I have tried this be kind stuff.

I have not altered my diet much…the very same diet that had me LOSING WEIGHT during the end of my pregnancy…after Charlie was born and somehow, my body is all like, “WOO HOO!  DITCH THE HAIR, PACK ON THE POUNDS!”

I haven’t tried it or anything, but I am fairly certain I could just quit eating and still gain 15 pounds.

That is how insane my body is right now.

I know I have to exercise.  I know.  And I will.

But COME ON. I have not suddenly sat down on my butt and started popping Cheetos day in and day out.

Hardly.

I am trying to ride out this storm of pounds on, hair out.

But then?

THERE IS THE ACNE.

WHAT. THE. MESS?

So, let’s paint this picture:  luscious hair falls out.  greys stay in.  fat finds me.  zits congregate on my chin.

I’m like an overweight 80 year old tween.

I’m trying not to get down on myself.  I really am.

But I am surrounded by beautiful people.

I know they have things about themselves that bug them too…but why oh WHY do I feel mine are on display for the world to see?

Why am I looking at pictures from my sweet boy’s party and getting gaggy at the photos of me?

I know we are all our worst critic, but SERIOUSLY?

When does the feeling of ugly stop?

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Dude, I know this. I’m even considering naming my belly pooch because it looks like it’s here to stay.

    But I also know that it’s temporary. You have to tell yourself that too. Yes, be kind to yourself, self-care and all that jazz too. But, it’s temporary unless you let the uglies stay. Don’t let it stay. Treat yourself to some hair treatment. Color the grays. Wash your face with baking soda mixed with water (really, try that). The weight will come off slowly, but surely. Don’t beat yourself up, really.

    {{hugs}}

    • I know it’s temporary. Sigh. It’s hard to remember though when I am trying to be cute for a night out or a day out or something.

      Also? I want to start doing yoga. I feel like maybe that would help. Maybe?

  2. OH sweetie hair loss isn’t just post pregnancy, it just exacerbates it and makes it seem worse. Actually we all shed more hair in the summer, like animals because we don’t need it as thick in the summer. Second my youngest is 13 this year and I STILL get zits STILL. It could be worse. Trust me. I have a friend that developed LONG BLACK hairs on her BOOBS. I.kid.not. She was mortified. I was mortified for her. I hear ya on the belly as well. I loathe mine. Sweetie you are beautiful, period and you still are not anywhere near my size. Trust me 165 is an IDEAL weight for me and I am well over that.

    • long black hair on her boobs? ack!

      165 would be a glorious weight to be. But I suppose it’s all relative, right? When I WAS 165, I was wishing I was 135.

      Sigh.

  3. First, I love that Alison called you “Dude”. Calling women “dude” is one of my favorite things to do.
    Okay then, about your craziness. In all honesty, I assume that all women are crazy. So you’re not telling me anything new. And about your loss hair, body fat and acne; hell, I have that too! And seriously, I don’t remember giving birth in the past four months. Although I do remember a heavy drinking spell around Valentines Day so who knows!
    I think that you writing all this out was very therapeutic and you probably even felt better after you hit “Publish”, right?
    Take care, Baby Girl!
    Your Friend, m.

    • he he! Alison and I always call each other “dude.” We are awesome like that.

      Yes, all women have some sort of crazy going on. It was very therapeutic to write this. When I got up this morning I felt way less crazy and almost like this didn’t apply all that much, but whatevs. It’s out there. It’s how I was feeling.

      Maybe next week I can get a child-free day and give myself a pedicure.

      Or take a nap. you know, whatever.

      your friend, k

  4. Ugh, we’ve all been there in one way or another. Baby, or often no baby. Everything about ourselves that we hate just gets worse. Hormones SUCK and do crazy things, to both our heads and/or bodies. The weight might eventually come off, the acne will go away, and I’m thinking you will not loose ALL of your hair. Do whatever you need to do to make YOU feel beautiful right now. And if all else fails, go shopping. Retail therapy usually works for me… Until tomorrow, when I have to do it all over again. But, one day at a time!

    • Hormones are evil. End of story.

      And you’re right. My body will even out and my weight will come off, my hair will stop falling out, and the zits will clear up.

      Until then? One day at a time. 🙂

  5. YES! YES TO THIS! My hairs are all jumping ship and I’m like “SAVE SOME FOR ME YOU BASTARDS! I DON’T WANT TO PULL A BRITNEY!”

    It’s one of those things where other people may not notice (aside from seeing the Tumbleweeds) but WE notice and that makes it NOT OKAY. I’m about to start popping Biotin again to see if it will help.

    I won’t even go there with my extreme dislike for my body right now. :/

    As for the skin, which is the only thing I’ve been able to control, here’s what my TV Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Dubrow, tweeted out. (He’s a real plastic surgeon married to an Orange County housewife. He doesn’t just play one on TV.) Salicylic Acid in your face wash, benzoyl peroxide in your face cream. I have to say that, for me, this seems to be working right now. I bought Target’s Up and Up Grapefruit face wash and, while it completely sucks to get it up your nose, I really do think it’s working on my face. I also picked up an Aveeno moisturizer because it’s supposed to be all not-pore clogging and stuff. AND they have one with benzoyl peroxide.

    Okay, enough comment vomit. If you want to talk more, I’m here.

  6. Hmmm–that self hate? It’s a bitch. All I can say is pray through it! You are beautiful and those that love you know that–beyond gray, weight fluctuating, and zits–at least that is what I tell myself. 🙂

    • My devotional today was on patience. I am trying so hard to pray through this ugo-stage and find some peace.

      And Eddie and Charlie have no idea what ugly is, so that is awesome 🙂

  7. Okay, so this probably isn’t a helpful comment, but the nurse and “real food eater” in me is wondering if you should get your thyroid checked???? All of those symptoms can be thyroid-related. Or? It could just be lovely post-partum blissdom. yipee.

    • I actually have my thyroid checked sort of regularly since it runs in my family and the weight likes to cling even when I’m doing everything right. I’m probably due again since I’ve had this baby and all 🙂

  8. i know it’s bad that i love this post, but i so do. 😉
    I HATE pictures of myself these days. My boobs are all large but yucky. My muffin top is, well, there. my hair is also still falling out in clumps (8 months PP) and my legs are all chunky and blech.

    It’s so hard. So then I tell myself, “YAY! You’ll never have to do this again!” But then I get sad and weepy and feel all sorts of fail-y. So that sucks too.

    sigh.

    • and you know what? I look at pictures of you and I am SO DAMN JEALOUS!

      What is that? Why can’t we see the beauty in ourselves?

      Sigh is right.

  9. You are not going to want to hear this but, I still felt ‘postpartum’ and hormonally a mess until about 2 years ago. Yes, my triplets are 5 so I know you can do the math. Of course I had a thyroid issue but my point is… give yourself time. You will get back to yourself. I promise.

    • actually, I am ok with that. sort of. i mean, at least it’s explainable that I am a wreck, right?

  10. Oh my friend, I know this. It sucks and it is so hard to remember that it is only temporary when you’re in the moment. But? It is. The weight will come off. It would be fabulous if as soon as we gave birth our bodies immediately went back to what they once were, though. Just know that no matter what you see in the mirror right now, you’re beautiful, inside and out.

    • As my therapist says, “I KNOW it” (taps head), but it’s hard for me to KNOW IT.

      Sigh.

  11. It makes my heart hurt when I know you are going through this, and there is little I can do to help. Know that I find you just as beautiful now as I did then.

    You’re my girl. Remember that. 🙂

  12. i lost an unbelievable unnatural amount of hair after i had louise. i finally started taking an iron supplement and within a week or so it stopped. i don’t know if it was a coincidence and it was going to stop falling out on it’s own, or if it was because of the iron, either way, it did finally stop, so maybe you should give that a try.

    • I have enough iron, but I am thinking of trying botine or whatever it’s called (a vitamin). this shiz sucks!

  13. Being postpartum is so hard. PPD aside, it is just freakin’ hard. You’re life is upside down because there is a new person in it–a person that requires all of your attention, you look different, your body is doing whatever the hell it wants, sometimes you feel like yourself and sometimes you don’t…it is completely weird. Oh AND you’re exhausted–that doesn’t help. Hang in there, Katie. Take it day by day. I am so grateful that you are writing about your experiences. I had PPD with my son who is three now and we may try for another kid later this year. I’m unsure about what my next post-pregnancy may be like and you blog helps me to see that maybe the next time around won’t be so bad.

    • I’m so wary about posting about the yuck lately because I overall am having SUCH a better time of it this time around. Plus I don’t want to scare anyone off from #2 (especially after PPD) since it’s SO WORTH IT. But at the same time, writing through it is how I process it, ya know? And I can’t not be totally honest. It’s how I roll, yo.

  14. First off, always remember that your feelings are valid. Stand alone and valid. Your feelings right now are your feelings, they don’t need to be compared to how you felt yesterday or three years ago or how you’ll feel tomorrow. They also, absolutely don’t need to be compared to anyone elses feelings. Postpartum is hard…and I never had PPD or anxiety…just run of the mill mommy stuff that everyone has and everyone says “That’s normal.” So I won’t say that, but please feel your feelings. You owe that to yourself.

    Second, I know you won’t care, but I think you look amazing in the Eddie birthday pictures. You are truly glowing. You look really happy.

    Third, I understand the fat, zitty, ugly hair battle. I am fighting the good fight with you honey…so no advice, but you’re not alone. I have zits on my back…never have I ever had zits on my back. And I found my first gray hairs last month 🙁 And my hair is grossly everywhere! And, I haven’t had a kid in over 2 years…so guess this is just me now ;/

    • psst. I have zits on my shoulders and I found one on my bewb the other day. UGG!

      and you are right…we each get to feel our feelings. I am thankful for this reminder. To feel them and move on, but not to dwell and beat myself up.

      Thank you, Jamie 🙂

  15. I know that most of these symptoms are post-pregnancy related. But have you thought about having your thyroid levels checked? I have known a few woman who suffered hair loss, gained weight even though their diet wasn’t drastically changes and so on. At this point it’s probably because your hormones are still out of whack and your body needs time to adjust… after all now your caring for two little buggers. But just keep it in mind for the future if things don’t improve.

    • I do regularly get my thyroid checked, yes. This I think is just postpartum stuff though.

  16. OH my, I just read the comment from Cortney. What a guy!

  17. Man, I know these feelings!! As far as the body part goes let’s talk sometime. It’s really not working out that will make the difference!! And as far as the rest we all see you as beautiful! But don’t I know this phase is hard… Hang in there mama!

    • yeah. we need to talk. Friday at the beach when I am in a swimsuit…HA! 🙂

      But yes, this is a hard phase. Although I am going to start Body Flow once a week (thursday evenings) again to try and at least do SOMETHING for myself, ya know?

  18. Brittany Hubbel says

    Ok, some comments for you “Mrs. Sluiter” 🙂
    1. I don’t comment much, but I love reading your blog 😉
    2. I looked through those bday pics, and you look pretty darn cute in every single one. I see thick brown hair, happy shining eyes, and I dont see any zips.
    3. Weight loss is HARD. 14 months later, and I’m STILL fighting this belly.
    4. Wanted to share one of my favorite quotes with you “That which is striking and beautiful is not always good, but that what is good is always beautiful” ~ Ninon de L’Enclos
    So…the best, real beauty comes from the goodness inside 🙂

    • Oh Brittany! I needed this comment today. You are awesome.

      Also? That quote is now on my desktop wallpaper on my computer. Because it rocks.

  19. Hey Katie — I’m so glad you’re not letting folks trivialize your feelings. With that said, just like everyone else — I see a different Katie than the one you see in your head. I see a woman who is beautiful inside and out. Your boys see a freaking angel (probably complete with a glowing halo and wings) — that’s how amazing and important you are to them.

    And can I just say, if my husband wasn’t already wonderful, I would’ve been signing him up for Cortney’s “How to be a wonderful husband 101” class.

    You’re both very lucky to have each other!

    • Thank you. Really. Just…thank you.

      I process my feelings very publicly, and I know I put it out there to be criticized, so you have no idea how uplifting it is to have people like you who say (and mean!) such lovely things.

      thank you.

  20. I have explosive diarrhea.
    And not just once.
    Multiple times a day.
    Do you know what a WalMart bathroom looks like?
    i do.
    You don’t want to go in there.
    You.
    Don’t.
    All I’m saying is that you can complain about whatever you want whenever you want. You had PPD and got over it. Fan-fucking-tasic for you. That doesn’t mean that life gets “easier” being a survivor… so yes, you shout to the roof tops that you haz the case of the body malfunctions and we women will hear you and tell you that we haz the diarrhea.
    We’re in this together bitches.
    xoxo

    • OH. MAH. GAWD!

      Kim? you…I just…I don’t even know how to reply other than I love you.

      I would offer to hold your hair, but I am hoping that is not necessary with diarrhea.

      And also? the next time I blow booty all over? I will think of you.

      Now THAT? Is friendship.

    • Dude. Walmart bathrooms SUCK. They are truly foul. Thanks to a potty training child, I’ve had to go in them. I actually held her over the toilet to pee because I was afraid of those cooties.

      And I’m a little afraid of Katie holding your hair… 😉

  21. Law Momma says

    I think you are gorgeous. And real. And tremendous. Also every time I see a picture of myself I make a mental note to stop eating, get a nose job, and ps also stop getting my picture taken. It’s so much worse with all the post pregnancy hormones but lets face it… It pretty much sticks around all the time. (or at least for me)

  22. Ohhhh, I totally understand this. I had my second daughter 3.5 years ago and I’m still wading through PPD or regular old depression or whatever it is I have now.

    I am new to your blog, so I don’t know all about your 1st PPD battle (yet) but I can tell you what’s been working for me as I cope with my body hate and all the other crap I’ve been feeling. Besides taking antidepressants and getting some actual time to myself, I have been exercising 2-3 times a week. And no, it hasn’t made a dent in my weight. I have toned up a bit, so that’s nice.

    But the real benefit? All that crap you read about exercise being good for your brain and well-being is apparently true. I don’t look much different than I did in January but I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER about how I look. I now look in the mirror and yes, I see the belly pooch and the thighs and the butt – but the difference is I don’t hate it so much anymore! I also see pretty eyes and nice hair and a great smile and nice (lower) legs. Things I couldn’t see before, know what I mean? And I’m slowly working on getting the stuff I don’t like about my body to a better place. But I don’t hate my body anymore. It’s a nice place to be!

    God, I’m comment-vomiting all over your blog today. But that’s just because I’m a new fan and discovered your awesomeness. 🙂