There are few things about childbirth many mothers would rather forget.
I’m not talking about pain. (Thank you, Mr. Epidural…)
I’m talking about all that OTHER STUFF.
Things we didn’t realize were going to happen, and then happened, and now our husbands have excellent embarrassment ammo for public gatherings.
The moment has come for me to rise up and free future generations of delivering mamas from the bondage of childbirth-induced-shame.
To quote Mel Gibson….FREEEEEDOOOOMMMM!
Who’s with me?!
I’m laying it all out on the birthing table. It’s time to reveal all the secrets I wished someone had told me about childbirth before I actually got there.
No. 1: The Diva in the Delivery Room
There’s a Diva in the delivery room.
…and it isn’t you. *phew*
It’s your bladder.
She is usually at the top of the “attention” list.
When she wants to relieve herself, you MOVE to get her what she wants. I don’t care if you’re sitting down with the President, if she wants you to leave, you LEAVE.
So, consider her surprise when Little Miss Uterus steals center stage. Not. Cool.
How does she respond?
- If she’s just pouting, expect a dribbling river of pee (and count yourself lucky).
- If she’s angry? Well…it’s a good thing the doctor wears a face mask, because it’s about to get all Mt. Vesuvius up in there.
Either way, don’t let it bother you. Everyone knows she’s just pathetically ploying for attention. *eyeroll*
No. 2: Every Party Has a Pooper
You are about to perform one of life’s great magic tricks. As my mother oh-so-timely reminded me on the way to the delivery room: “You’re about to push a watermelon through a tailpipe.”
Naturally, such an effort requires a serious amount of hard pushing…more than a baby could start crowning.
Honestly, you’ll probably not even notice it happened because nurses are discreetly awesome. (Really, they’re the unsung heroes of the birthing room.)
Besides what are you going to do?
Hold everything back? STOP PUSHING?
Yeah…didn’t think so.
Listen sister, don’t sweat it. If your husband teases you, threaten to unmask to the world how Mr. Manliness passed out on the floor like a rag doll. Works like a charm.
DOESN’T IT SWEETIE?!
No. 3: The Little Toot That Could
Nothing gets me giggling like a good toot. (By someone else, of course.)
Actually, in my house we call it “fluffing” because my three girls like to pretend they’re dainty, despite the fact that their BRRRAAP’S wake the neighbors.
It’s pretty common, in the midst of all that’s going on, for a few organs to start talking.
“You know what could really
bring this experience to a whole new level?
Prepare yourself for some Tijuana Brass my friends, because you may just toot out of holes you didn’t know could toot.
See what having kids will teach you?
That every part of the body wishes it has a voice. That’s what.
No. 4: The Blood. O THE BLOOD.
WARNING: Husbands should probably skip this section.
I’m going to steer AWAY from Evil Dead references here and just mention that blood happens.
You know what else happens?
Blood jello the size of half-dollars.
….and there goes the gag reflux.
Yeah, that was a bathroom surprise. What the…?
There’s a reason the nurses give you Giantess-Sized Maxi Pads. (My girls wore them as bonnets!)
After the occasional blood clot nuggets, *dry heaving* prepare yourself for The Eternal Period.
Technically, it’s not eternal. It just feels like it. Usually it’s 3-6 weeks. Cesarean sisters are not exempt! (Evidently your body doesn’t think you’ve suffered enough.)
No. 5: Your Sexy Deflated Balloon
You enter the hospital with rock hard abs (of a fashion). You leave with a deflated balloon.
But before you get all “WAHHHH! I’M SO FAT!” on yourself, remember this: Your uterus is magic.
It’s going to shrink before your very eyes! …Unless it’s your third or fourth trip to the OB.
In that case, you should probably start a new Rockin’ Abs Pinterest board to publicly state you’re aware of the problem and are at least pretending to fix it.
No. 6: The Mucus Plug
You just read the words “mucus” and “plug”.
I think that’s all I really need to say about this subject.
No. 7: The Exhaustion Effect: Oh look. A baby.
I know it seems strange, but if you’ve been in labor and pushing for hours there comes a point when your body just putters out like an old cartoon car.
When my first was born, after 36 hours of no sleep and hard labor, my first thought as a new mother was: “There she is. Now can I sleep?”
I knew I was excited, but I was so exhausted, I didn’t FEEL anything. Don’t make my mistake and feel guilty about something you can’t control. The feelings come. Promise.
If you’re feeling less-than-enthusiastic about this little person you worked so hard to see, don’t freak out.
Bonding is something that is intensely personal between you and your very individualized baby.
It’s never happens the same way twice.
Feed her, love her, hold her, and then let someone watch her while you capture some much needed zzzzz’s.
Just because you’re not all grins and giggles at first doesn’t mean that you won’t be later.
No. 8: The Pooooooolice
Another “Oh Joy!” moment about childbirth is recording your bowel movements with the nurse.
My nurse would come in with a clipboard (CLIPBOARD, like it was 1952!) and ask me if I’ve had my first “post baby bowel movement”.
Why? Is there some sort of a cash reward?
Of course, I hadn’t.
Mostly because of….
No. 9: Intestinal Rebellion
All sorts of organs can have hissy fits about not being the center of attention during labor and delivery.
After racing to be the first organ to leave a specimen on the delivery table, the intestines will often decide to strike against “poor working conditions”. (Tell me you didn’t fail to congratulate them on their first place finish!)
Break the strike by taking Colace or any other pills your nurse offers. (Hint: an episiotomy and constipation do not make a happy couple.)
No. 10: The Gift Bag of Oddities
Once your baby has shot into the world and the doctor leaves to ring the urine out of his face mask, the nurses will start handing you various contraptions and creams. Here are few of my favorite:
- Maxi Pads as Big As Your Head ~ It’s Kotex on steroids.
- One-Size-Fits-All Mesh Underwear ~ Yep. From Size 2 to 32. Oddly enough, they are not carried at Victoria’s Secret…
- Heavenly Antiseptic Spray ~ Numbing the nether regions into bliss.
- Not-a-Toy Squirt Bottle ~ Guard this with your life. It’s the only thing between using spa-like warm water to rinse and rubbing
toiletsandpaper on tender lady parts.
- Magical Tucks Pads ~ You know that hemorrhoid commercial of that lady sitting on a cactus for a 6-hour flight? IT’S REAL.
- Sheep Grease (a.k.a. lanolin) ~ Use it liberally or risk watching your nipples become agony spots of torture.
- Ice Pack Panties ~ If you weren’t lucky enough to have the hospital concierge offer you these, here’s how to make your padsicles at home with witch hazel and lavender. (It sounds divine.)
Your Doctor: A Sucker for Punishment
You know that guy?
That guy sitting across from your nether regions in the medical mask?
Well that guy paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in college tuition to sit right there and experience it all firsthand.
I strongly believe you get what you pay for.
If he didn’t want a face of poo and other nasty liquids, he should have gone into sales.
Here’s to not-giving-a-crap. *toast*
Preggers: Go Birth in Peace
Sweet pregnant sister-friend, I want you to go into the birthing room with your head held high.
I want you to know, deep in your bones, that nothing (and I mean nothing) is going to happen in there that hasn’t already happened a thousand times before.
Concentrate on a healthy delivery, and give a swift booty-kick to the shame monsters. They are all imaginary anyway.
Been-There-Birthed-That Moms: Share Your Experience
Nothing makes a new mom feel better than hearing that she’s in good company.
Let’s circle the wagons around the sacred fire of friendship.
What about childbirth surprised you? What did you wish you had known beforehand?