I was talking with a friend the other day and stopped short of going into all the gory details of what she can expect during labor and delivery. She asked me how come I wouldn’t finish my thought and I told her plain that there are certain “secrets” or rites of passage that you just have to go through and experience.
After you are done, you join the sisterhood of “having given birthhood”.
In fact, it’s not hard to explain, just uncomfortable and that is why these things are best left unsaid and out of pleasant conversation.
Lucky for you again, you follow this blog and you don’t have to go into it all unwarned. Below, I list the top 10 things your mom would never tell you, pregnant woman, about what you’re in for… that is if your friends haven’t already spilled the beans or you haven’t already gotten into in reading the endless amount of stuff I know you are reading right now.
10. At some point you will be on all fours or on your back, with your butt in the air and there will be a small team of people staring at your vagina, massaging it, and sticking their hands in and around your punany…no. Stop and strip down from waist down and spread out and imagine how uncomfortable that feels. Yes, at the point when you’re pushing you may not care about that, but at some moment, you’re gonna be like “oh wow, never imagined it would be like this.”
9. After you have the baby, you’re gonna have to push out the placenta and deliver it. It’s not like an extra baby or anything, but just when you’re all done, they’re gonna be like, whoa nelly, there’s something else in there we need. EEk!
8. At some point, you may want to shave your nether regions, but you won’t be able to see that area at all, let alone your feet when standing up. So, hopefully no one will notice and you don’t plan romping in a bikini anyway.
7. You may have lots of flatulence and find yourself passing gas all randomly and uncontrollably and there is no way to be pretty about it. Your family will understand and they’re the ones that matter the most, after all eh?
6. During the pushing stage, you may poop and if you get an epidural, you may not even know it. The nurses will just clean it up and may not even tell you. Bless their hearts. Your husband may see it and throw up a little in his mouth when he sees it, however. This is why many women try not to eat large meals when they know they are close to giving birth. In the past, women would take enemas to try to empty their bowels. Well, enemas aren’t recommended anymore and sometimes you go into labor when you least expect it and have no control over what leftover digestible matter is sitting at the base of your colon just as you need to start pushing that baby out! oh well!
5. After delivery, you may have to double up on your nursing pads because you may start to leak at the most inopportune time. The sound of someone else’s baby crying from afar may cause your boobs to ache and you to spontaneously leak milk. Imagine that happening in the middle of your presentation at work. Eek!
4. After giving birth, even via c-section, you ooze blood and other secretions for weeks even after having the baby. And if you have to have surgery, you won’t be able to move your legs and may have a catheter for the first day or two while your legs come back. A nurse will have to come in and empty your bedpan every once in a while. You will be amazed at how much you pee in a half a day. It is so weird to be going and not even know it because you have no feeling there.
3. If you have to have an episiotomy (which isn’t done much these days), to repair that and some tearing that you may have while pushing your baby out, you will have to sit there, legs wide opened again, while a doctor sews your vagina back up. Read that again, “sewing up your vagina.” It just sounds Icky! The recovery is interesting because you’ll have to be mindful of those stitches until they heal up.
2. Your baby might come out with an alien-shaped head (on account of the soft still developing skull that helps the baby come out the vagina) and it may have various splotches on its skin, fine hairs (called lanugo) all over its face and body and may have lots of with acne. In short, the baby may not be that cute to anyone else (but you maybe because it came out of you). A lot of newborns don’t start out as cute as they end up after a day, week or even month (or two). If you catch someone calling him/her “precious” or “sweet”, that’s code for “eeek! I hope s/he grows into her looks!” It’s okay, most of them grow into their cute and cuddliness soon enough. But in the end, they all are blessings, even if they start out looking like a creature from Deep Space 9.
1. You may not be able to have normal bowel movements for days even weeks after delivery, especially if you have a c-section or are given any drugs during the process. You may have a nurse come in and have to push a suppository in your anus to stimulate a bowel movement. Why? Because you won’t be able to reach up there easily after all that pushing and prodding (either vaginally or via surgery ) to get that baby (or babies out). Yup, for me that was the number one “oh em gee” and unexpected part of child birth, anyway. I am comfortable with my body and self and that caught me by surprised so… *sigh* Godspeed pregnant people!
Now you know! And like G.I. Joe always said “Knowing is Half the Battle”
Runner ups to the Top 10:
1. The Bill. I recall getting ours (though thankfully our insurance covered most of it) we were charged for each pill, each day watching TV, anesthesia, every shot, pillow, and comfort. For C-section that bill can be even higher. I had each of my children at an upscale private hospital and my last surgery came up to $11,000!!! Imagine, to have a baby? Granted we did pay for extras like a single room, but Good Lord, back in my native West Africa, could you imagine so much being charged so much to deliver a baby.?What’s up with the mark up?
2. Your belly does not go down immediately. You have a sizeable pouch about as big as you were at 6 months. That bump does not go down easily . Some women use belly bands to encourage it to go down. As the uterus shrinks back to its original size before you became pregnant, it will help it along as well. The only folks who have flat tummies after giving birth are celebrities that get tummy tucks right after giving birth (ethical or not, it happens!)