It’s now 8 months after having my baby boy and after chatting with new and experienced moms I find we always bitch about how we wish we knew this or that before giving birth.
Even after watching all the youtube videos and articles I have, they don’t really talk about the gross stuff, the hardships… you know, the stuff your friends SHOULD have told you. One of my friends said something that really hit home for me: “They probably forgot, on purpose”.
If you’ve read my past posts I mention some of these “purposefully forgotten” things but I’m about to really get into details and also include some input from my mommy friends. Even though all of our births were different we all relate on so many levels because there will always be some similarities. You know same, same but not the SAME.
Is ignorance bliss? Maybe.
But not for me. I’m that person who likes to know ahead of time. I’m THAT person who watched all the birth videos until I was numb. Mind you, I work in a medical operating room so that kind of stuff doesn’t really bother me to begin with, but when I was in the labour and delivery room I was fuckin nervous AF.
If you don’t want to know the nitty gritty details, then OBVIOUSLY do not keep reading.
Looking back on the whole ordeal, now 8 months later, it’s really okay. I’d still have another baby. I just wanted to be real with you and tell you the real shit that happens.
If you’re still with me, then here we go:
How the first shit after giving birth hurts like a motherF*. Laxatives. Are. Your. Best. Friend.
Yes, true story.
I had a friend give me the best piece of advice while I was pregnant – get yourself some laxatives and wet wipes for your ass, girl.
It doesn’t matter if you have a vaginal birth or cesarean. A couple of my girlfriends who had c-sections did say that it was a struggle pushing when dropping a number 2. Because it requires the use of your abdominal muscles, so it still hurts everywhere.
I know with my own experience I was so afraid to push – I was worried about ripping more of my lady bits haha. I sat on the toilet trying to let it come without pushing. I would lean on one cheek thinking a different angle might help and rocking back and forth and maybe, just maybe, a little push would allow something to come out. But nothing. I had to push just like pre-baby turds. So I would wad up some toilet paper in my hand and push it against my vagina and gently push, and that was how I was finally able to have a proper bowel movement AKA take a shit. Yeah, it was shitty, no pun intended.
Good news though, it does get much easier very quickly. I’m sure everyone’s situation is different, like my girlfriend who tore from her vagina to her sphincter – she would probably tell you a story much worse than mine.
It hurts to sit for a few weeks after giving birth (vaginally).
I speak for a majority of the girls I know who had given birth vaginally. It’s uncomfortable sitting down onto your “purse” as it was ripped up (some just a little ripped, others more ripped to shreds). To add to your discomfort, it is also swollen. There is tenderness from having stitches (how they fix the ripping, also for some who have an episiotomy). I tore labially so it hurt for months. I know two of my girlfriends who also tore labially and took at least 3 months to start to feel better. Just keep in mind, the pain is only temporary.
Sex at 6 weeks post-birth is actually not sexy.
I remember at my 6 week check up appointment my obstetrician said to me “You will be dry as a dessert, so make sure to use lots of lubrication” and perhaps even more importantly, “You most definitely can get pregnant regardless of breastfeeding, so use some method of birth control”. That didn’t scare or surprise me, but yes, a lot of women think that you can’t get pregnant because you’re breastfeeding – this is entirely false.)
What did scare me was my girlfriend telling me she made the biggest mistake having sex at the 7 week mark post giving birth and regretting it very very much. Another friend said sex felt like razor blades. YIKES. FUCK THAT. Let’s just say there was no sexy time at our home for a long, long time… Im sure there are some girls out there that have had sex early on and have had an easy time, but I haven’t met one of those girls.
Breastfeeding is such a bitch.
I do think some of the red flags we saw were not taken seriously, as we’re thinking “It can’t be that bad.” Oh yes it can!
Breastfeeding was a huge hurdle for me. As I’ve mentioned in my previous post about breastfeeding, I thought it was harder than giving birth! There is nipple cracking and even bleeding, yeast infections – yes, infections that come from the yeast in your baby’s mouth. They can cause an infection in your boob! It’s called thrush.
There’s also lightning bolt-like sensations that surge through your breast and something called “the let down” where your milk squirts out and is uber uncomfortable.
IF you’re “lucky” and you are breastfeeding during the winter your nipples can be affected by the cold and get more sensitive when you go outside of your house.
Your baby could be a chomper. My baby was a chomper. Tears have run down my perfectly blushed cheek at times because of Ryo literally chomping at the tit bit. (I’ll also add he doesn’t have teeth yet, either) But hey, maybe you’re one of those girls who have it easy and baby latches no prob and you have no pain. If so that’s awesome, but please don’t ever tell me how good it was for you. (Jokes aside you’re one lucky beetch)
How alone you feel even with a supportive partner and support system.
I’ll take “Feeling helpless and depressed” for $800, please Alex.
A common topic in conversations with a few of my really good girlfriends was when night time was creeping around the corner and your anxiety would start to seep in. Everyone’s asleep, you’re alone with baby, it’s night time, you’re supposed to be sleeping and yet you’re wide awake and simultaneously uber exhausted. But, you have to feed baby, you’re in pain as your body is still recovering from giving birth, maybe you’re feeling like shit because baby isn’t latching properly, your milk supply might not be good… All these negative things you don’t think so much about during the day time suddenly are ALL you have to think about because your daytime distractions are all gone with the sunlight. UGH it truly is the worst.
Big tip I can give is make a group chat with some of your mommy friends. They either have gone through this themselves, will go through it or are also going through it at the exact same time. They can help lessen the load of feeling overwhelmed and anxious when night time comes, and the load is shared amongst the group when you unload your thoughts. If you don’t have a mommy group, even a girlfriend who’s been through it will almost always be there for you over text. Thank god for technology.
Depression after baby arrives.
It’s a serious thing! Not to say you didn’t take it seriously but some women don’t even realize until looking back sometimes years later that they had post-partum depression or PPD.
There was one day where I felt really down, even for just that one day. I was in my room, at who knows what hour of the early morning, I sat there feeling like a shitty mom because I thought ‘what the hell did I get myself into’. I was at 6 days post-hospital in my house and in my bedroom feeding Ryo.
I was crying in pain from everything (my neck, my back, my pussy and my crack – for real though, in the least sexy way) and I wondered if I was ever going to have a life outside, would I always be stuck like that. I felt terrible because I doubted myself, and then I felt bad FOR doubting myself, for questioning my capabilities.
I’ve always known I wanted to be a mom and I love Ryo so much it hurt. I quickly snapped out of it and realized it was hormones, and once I forced myself out of the negative mindset I was fine. Not all women get off that easy like I did.
Focused more on post partum in general rather than focusing overly on labour and delivery( which is of course important too)
A few of us mommies agreed that we got so caught up with the delivery and how to handle it we all forgot about the things we should prepare ourselves for after we got home. I wish I did more research on self care for after baby came.
In our birth and babies class they gave us a 1 month calendar and each day had suggestions on what you could do for yourself, which I thought was really awesome. I’m sure you could find one on pinterest. For example, in the first week I took a day for myself to go get my eyelash extensions done – this made me feel a little normal again and a little prettier since I felt really ugly after I gave birth (I swelled up badly).
The one thing I did do that was not on the list was, make padsicles.
What’s that? It’s exactly what it sounds like. A frozen pad. This is to soothe your vagina and help with the swelling after pushing that noggin out your leather purse. You take a bunch of pads you would use for when aunt flo comes to visit and you put a few items on it and you freeze it.
Other recommendations for your “Mommy Self-Care Calendar” might be:
Taking a bath with epsom salts – it helps with the healing, swelling and itching on your bottom area.
Pre-make some meals for when you are home.
Aside: Don’t be the Burnses from Philadelphia and ask neighbours you’ve never met to make these meals and do your housekeeping for you – that’s entitlement at its best! (Read article here)
Don’t forget your other half, he needs some good self care too! – he will most likely be your crutch and having him in top shape helps you and baby out in the beginning.
I say beginning because you’re a super mom and once you get it down you probably won’t need him, but he will need you to make him feel needed. 😉 My husband loves coffee and it’s his fuel, so we got a espresso machine which made him super happy. This saved time and money going out to get coffee. He’s a bougie coffee guy so I already realize this sounds boujee as hell, but we all have our things – coffee is his. The espresso machine also made me happy though, as it was nice ‘upper’ to have instead of my usual go to, cocaine. KIDDING. I’m a mom now, I gave that up…
Your life is turned upside down and now revolves around baby. Can’t shower, sleep, eat or pee on your own schedule.
I know you’ll hear a lot of moms boast about how they love being a mom and how it’s life changing and it is! It’s not bullshit, but you can’t ignore the part where when we say life changing… it really is, and depending on your situation you might have it easier.
I find that my girlfriends and I chat about whether we can even eat or shower like we could before. And sleep, UGH sleep. I wish I slept more when I had the chance. Real talk – I love food and I get hangry all the time now because I’ll tend to baby first before myself. I forget to eat sometimes and I’m like woah, why am I light headed? – OH yes, because I’m starving. And because I’m starving I eat anything in sight and then bam – terrible diet started. Now I’m feeling lousy but I have to keep spirits high because I don’t want to be a negative nancy.
Breastfeeding doesn’t always help you shed all the baby weight.
I’m no expert on this, but from what I’ve gathered some of us ladies in the mommy group lost weight and some of us struggled with it. Don’t assume that breastfeeding will make you lose all the weight, you’re probably going to be dissapointed.
One of my friends said she gained weight after losing a little bit and she felt horrible, because she thought it would shed since she was breastfeeding.
I recommend just expecting the worst so that if your breastfeeding does help you lose the weight quickly you’ll be pleasantly surprised. At worst, you’ll have met expectations.
Aunt Flo visits much earlier than anticipated.
I know a couple of my friends had their first post-birth visit from Aunt Flo just 8 weeks after birth.
Mine visited at around 20 weeks, but even then I was pissed. I was thinking as long as a was breastfeeding I wouldn’t get my period. As I’m typing she’s here … it sucks, but at least it’s something we’ve all been given over a decade to get used to.
I said it before and I’ll say it again – having no period doesn’t mean you’re not still fertile! Think about it – you get your period much sooner than you stop breastfeeding. Some women breastfeed well past the toddler years, but your period is the outcome of an unused menstrual cycle. If you’re getting your period, you can get pregnant.
You made it! See? You can do this, you got through the nitty gritty blog post hopefully without injury, so you’ll be a great parent!
All things considered, everything was so worth it. The majority of the moms I’m friends with and the moms I meet and talk to, tell me that even through all the shit we were bombarded with, and the unexpected things that came up, they would all still go through it all over again.
That baby you have (or will have!) smiles at you and you turn to mush. Every. Single. Time.
I just told my husband I want a second…hehe
Please reach out if you have any questions, and tell me about your experiences!