“Just don’t forget disposable underwear and pads the size of your arm.”
That was what I led with when talking about the not so glamorous side of childbirth. My poor, recently pregnant friend looked at me with disbelief, mouth gaping, seeming asking…”Is this really what childbirth will be like?”
I then continued to explain in detail why such a thing was needed and it occurred to me, there are many such things that are often conveniently not mentioned to expectant mothers. These are the not-so-pleasant details that often don’t come up in your birthing class. Or the horror stories that some girlfriends keep quiet for fear you’ll try to keep that baby in for as long as possible.
So, friends, I’m here to give it to you straight: the down and dirty of what happens when you push a TINY HUMAN out of you. Why? Because I would want to know, and I’m sure that there are others that feel the same way.
I recently asked my amazingly talented, gorgeous mom blogger counterparts and we came up with a pretty robust list of the “Stuff They Didn’t Tell Us”. Be forewarned though, we pretty much lay it all out here ladies.
Think You’re Brave? Can You Handle These…
- You may get hemorrhoids. Oh ya, those. Tucks will be your best friend post childbirth. You may even have your husband go to the pharmacy to buy you a donut to sit on. That’s love, folks.
- You may be constipated. Ok this could happen before or after birth. Just be sure you are taking your fiber, ladies, because hell hath no fury like a woman that just gave birth, who has hemorrhoids, and is constipated.
- Your “cha-cha” will ache. Can imagine what it’s like to get punched in the eye? The pain, the swelling, that dull, lingering ache…imagine that in your lady parts. Don’t be embarrassed, you just gave birth- what do you expect? Give your nether region a break, and just pre-freeze some premie baby diapers to help soothe you down under for the first few days.
- You will probably bleed, a lot. Following childbirth, vaginal or c-section, nurses come in and push on your belly and all that fluid has to go somewhere. So guess where it’s coming out? Yep. One mom described it as the “bloody massacre”. This is when those oversized pads and disposable underwear come in handy. Trust me.
- 99 percent of us poop during labor. I have no idea if I did or didn’t and frankly I don’t want to know. I just told my husband to hold a leg and keep his eyes on me. (Truth be told, he glanced south a couple times, but never did reveal if I did a number 2 on the table.)
- Your boobs will swell, leak and spray….yes, spray. I became so engorged when my milk came in that I sprouted a baseball size milk duct in my armpit. And without fail, every time I got in the shower, I would start spraying milk. Expect to use nipple pads 24/7 and always have an extra shirt handy.
- The other kind of leaking. You think you had to pee when you were pregnant…just wait til you can’t sneeze, laugh or lift something without leaking. I didn’t do my kegels and regret it every time!
- Night sweats. One mom described it as “waking up and thinking you ran a marathon in your sleep”. It’s just a shame it doesn’t burn calories the same way!
- Hair loss. Say goodbye to the lush, full hair you grew while you were pregnant. The postpartum hair loss is for real. You will inevitably clog the drain of your shower and sprout baby hairs that stick straight out of the side of your head.
- Your 1st period post-baby may be the heaviest and most painful you’ve ever experienced. Get ready.
- After nursing, your boobs will most likely shrink and look like sad, deflated balloons. I was a G-cup while nursing and I’m a B-cup now…on a good day.
- Skin tags. I actually didn’t even realize this was a thing until Kim Kardashian had a couple removed on her TV show and blamed pregnancy. I am so glad I’m not alone, Kim.
- Back pain. I had sciatic nerve pain so badly post childbirth that I almost couldn’t pick up my 7-pound newborn. Another friend of mine actually broke her tailbone giving birth to her son. Yikes.
- The hormones. You are laughing and at your happiest one minute and then you will bust into tears the next. You just had a baby…the emotions are cray.
And Then You Forget.
Ok…deep breaths…back away from the ledge. I say all this with one big caveat. In spite of it all, another thing they don’t tell you about childbirth is motherhood amnesia. You see, moms are able block a majority of this stuff out in the end because we just gave birth to the CUTEST BABY EVER! Those bundles of joy are the reason that some of us actually sign up for this again and again. Frozen pads and tucks for everyone! So welcome to the club, ladies. We got it all…hemorrhoids, adult diapers, leaking nipples, and a baby.
Can you handle it? Of course you can.