No one focuses on you anymore:
Not that I'm complaining, but once baby arrives, people hardly look at you. Yes, a few still think you are pregnant and ask how many months are left, but well that's not the nicest thing to hear once you have had the baby.
Per my pediatrician's advice, I was also supposed to focus on getting more than enough milk/formula to ensure baby gained good weight and pooped enough. I used to pump every few hours, and also have an alarm every two (sometimes three) hours at night, to ensure my little one fed round the clock. I had to express each time I nursed too, as he was not strong enough to suck like a champ as a newborn.
My hands and breasts were sore. Not to mention, I had a case of milk blebs, clogged ducts and recently, mastitis. I also had carpal tunnel syndrome for the first three months postpartum. All of these were painful. The back pains were painful and making sure the stitches are dry and yet cleaned up well also was tricky. But, after the sixth week, I was feeling a little better. Then I got milk blebs again.
'Going to miss this time' blues
Yes, each day you will see your baby daily, for hours. So, it will be hard to track growth changes right away. But then you will go back and see a week or two old pictures and realize how big he is now. You will also feel more tired holding him than before, and realize it's his increasing weight.
And it will break your heart (in a nice way) each time he hits a new milestone. Yes, being a mom is overwhelming.
'Going back to work'
Luckily, all of the physical pain became better before I joined work. Getting back to work wasn't easy for me. More on that later though. It wasn't easy, just because it is so hard to leave a three month old baby at home. Then, you want to be good at your job. You want to focus on work for eight hours.
But, it doesn't always work that way. You might end up doing some work from home, and think of baby at work.
Add to that you need to take out time for pumping (assuming you breastfeed), and communicate to men on the team what pumping is and why I'm permitted to take scheduled breaks (per California law at least). But, the great thing about having a baby is that it makes you a little more carefree (aka shameless) to share such details. After all, there are more than 10+ people looking at you as you are delivering.
Breastfeeding, burping, and no sleep
Breastfeeding wasn't always the beautiful, relaxing time I had pictured. It wasn't always like that, but many a time I would just want to and sleep for eight hours (or more) straight. And somehow, I wasn't able to co-sleep in the first few months, both me and my husband were quite scared we might sleep too deep and hurt our baby by mistake. So, he would sleep in his bassinet beside us, and I would get up every two hours to feed him. I would also hold him for an hour so he wouldn't spit or choke as he had bad reflux.
Constant hunger pangs, for mom and baby
I was always hungry. My mom would ensure that I had a good dose of a horrible tasting medicinal herb (supposed to make you more hungry so you eat well, while also helping to improve milk supply) before/after I had any major meals. I used to picturize husbands giving their wives a massage, pampering her etc. I never got a back rub (maybe once when he had a back sprain and I helped him out instead, he did it the next day). But, I'm not complaining. My husband was there for me the first three weeks after baby's birth to ensure he thrived well. Both of us lost a lot of weight as my little one gained some!
Brain doesn't work the same anymore
I was also very birdbrained and fog brained. It was hard to remember the minute things like glasses, cell phone and after a point, it became very tiring. Also, whenever I wanted to hug my baby, I would remove my glasses. I also watched a lot of TV during the first month as I used to get extremely bored sitting/sleeping all day breastfeeding. How I miss those days already! I wish I didn't watch TV and just dozed off with my little one. But, what's done is done.
There's no me time or date time, only baby time.
After I had my baby, it was hard to take time for myself. The littlest things, like brushing, taking a bath, combing hair, was easily forgotten. I would just want to spend all day and night with my little one even though it got very tiring for me at times. It happens so quickly, you don't even realize life is no longer about you, but about your precious little one. And when you realize it, it's too late :)