The Down (There) and Dirty

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been creepily lurking on…er, I mean, looking for information on…mom forums where brand-new-spankin’ mothers expressed their outrage about being clueless and unprepared when it came to the, um, after-effects of childbirth.  That’s because some of those effects are unpleasant, embarrassing and, to be honest, totally forgotten within minutes, which is how the human race continues to live on.  I mean, if most women clearly remembered how they looked in those mesh panties…well, let’s just say chimpanzees would be ruling this world (if they don’t already).

I’ve alluded to some of the unpleasantness here and there on this site, but I thought it might be helpful for the pregnant ladies out there to have a comprehensive list of all the strange things that may occur — the things they won’t find in What to Expect When You’re Expecting, that’s for sure.  I know I would have appreciated a heads up.  So, to all the expectant mamas out there whose baby showers I can’t attend:  This list is my gift to you.  Just keep in mind that every woman’s experience is different, of course — my observations are based on two smooth, epidural-enhanced vaginal deliveries.

With that verbose introduction, here they are:

    1. What does childbirth feel like? Will I be able to handle the pain?  all nervous pregnant women wonder.  Yes, ALL.  How can you not look down at your vagina and wonder how it can possibly accommodate your baby’s monster head?  In my experience, it didn’t really hurt.  (Don’t give me that look.  I’m serious.)  I had a highly effective epidural — in fact, I wish we’d dialed it back during my second delivery because I could barely feel what was going on down there — plus, there is an amazing rush of adrenaline you get that supersedes any discomfort.  I just felt pressure, which was my baby making his/her way out, and then another huge surge of adrenaline when my doctor suggested reaching down and touching the baby’s head.  I was initially uncertain about touching my daughter WHILE SHE WAS STILL INSIDE OF ME — afraid that I might, like, faint or something — and am SO glad that I changed my mind.  The second time ’round, I didn’t even hesitate.
    2. What does an epidural feel like?  It made me feel relaxed, numb and loopy — a good thing, because I was becoming rather cranky the second time ’round, what with having to induce (because of my monster-sized kid) and worrying about how my 23-month-old would react to her new baby brother.  I also shivered like a dog on crack, I kid you not.  That was something for which I was unprepared:  the shivering and the shaking.  A common side effect, apparently.  Can’t say I enjoyed that.  But totally worth the relatively pain-free deliveries, that’s fo’ sho’.
    3. Will I poop on the delivery table?  Many of my friends did.  I did not — either time.  And if you do…?  The nurses are clean-up pros.  Really, anticipating it happening is much worse than when it actually does happen, from what I’ve been told.  So just get over the poop thing already.
    4. For those who are considering the natural childbirth route, my cousin, who is a labor and delivery nurse, said the part that often shocks natural childbirthers the most is the pain they feel afterward…when they have to get stitched up with no pain relievers or adrenaline rush.
    5. And what about getting stitched up, anyway?  Again, this is only my experience:  no tearing the first time and only a miniscule tear the second time ’round, which my OB still stitched up with a wink of sorts.  Being, you know, a little loopy and all from JUST HAVING PUSHED A 9 LB., 12-OZ. KID OUT OF MY VAGINA, I didn’t think much about it — until later on, when Mr. Candy crowed about the “husband stitch” she gave to him, er… to me.  Uh, what?  Turns out, for naive women such as myself, “husband stitch” is slightly insulting slang for an extra stitch to make the vagina tighter — and I’ll be damned if it didn’t do exactly that.  Yes!  Complimentary vaginal rejuvenation!  After my first pregnancy, I always peed when I laughed.  True story.  After my second…?  Not a single drop.  As far as sex went at first… all I can say is, ouch.  My hymen was all, I’M BACK, BABY.   So maybe ask your OB about that if you’re interested in pee-free laughter and a hymen that can suddenly talk.
    6. Even though you’re holding your beautiful, wrinkled baby in your arms — it’s not over yet.  You will still have to push and deliver your placenta.  (Good eatin’ for later, according to January Jones!)  It’s not painful, just an inconvenience because all you will want to do is focus your attention on the baby.  Kind of anti-climactic.  Maybe it would make the moment more exciting if the doctor announced its arrival:  Congratulations!  It’s a gooey one-and-a-half pounder!
    7. I mentioned how the epidural made me shiver and shake uncontrollably — that continued for hours after having the baby.  It sucked.
    8. After you have the baby, and they weigh the baby, and you Tweet and Facebook and text the world about the baby, the nurse will ask you to try to pee — just to get things goin’ again.  The first time I had a baby, this experience was accompanied by a nurse who squirted warm water on my vagina (to alleviate discomfort) before I did so.  Let me repeat:  I have had a woman use a water bottle to squirt my vagina.  Although I had shed most of my modesty by that point (you kind of have to), that remains one of my most bizarre memories of post-childbirth.  The second time around, I did it myself.  (I’m talented like that.)  Although, I should mention, it took me a long time before I was able to pee after the second birth, whereas I was able to do so immediately after my first baby.  So perhaps nurses really do wield some magic when it comes to the vaginal squirt bottle.
    9. This may be the most important thing to know:  YOU WILL BLEED A LOT.  For a long time.  Like, for weeks.  My husband assumed the vagina was like-new as soon as you were done giving birth.  Foolish, foolish man.  At first you will have to wear a maxi-pad approximately the size of Texas, covered by the aforementioned mesh panties (sex-ay!)  because you will not want to stain your own underpants with the endless stream of blood.  (Side note:  This also makes lovely dinner conversation!)  Whenever I see pictures of new moms in the hospital, wearing their silk pajamas from home, I’m like, Oh yeah, THAT’s a good idea.  And did I mention the blood?  Yeah, lots of it.
    10. After my first birth, I wore an ice pack on my vagina overnight because it stung.  It really, really stung.  The second time, I barely used it.
    11. You may be constipated afterward, so you will likely get laxatives in the hospital.  When I did my first post-birth poop, the nurses cheered as if I had just crossed the finish line of a 10K marathon.
    12. That lovely catheter they inserted into your bladder in the delivery room?  It may cause urinary tract infections later on.  I got them the second time around, some of my friends got them… weeks afterward.  So if you notice a pinch when you’re peeing, cloudy urine, etc., don’t hesitate to call your doctor and say, THAT DAMN CATHETER!
    13. In my personal experience, sex was uncomfortable for nine months after giving birth.  Both times.  Breastfeeding makes it particularly uncomfortable because your usual lubrication goes toward the production of milk.  Your husband may or may not pretend to care about your discomfort.
    14. Breastfeeding may also make your breasts veiny (because the hormone surge increases blood volume). As if pumping didn’t make you feel sexy enough.
    15. You probably know this, but having a baby often makes your feet bigger.  Permanently bigger.  I went up a half-size — just what I needed, already being a size 9 1/2 and all.  So you may want to start saying your tearful good-byes to your favorite pair of Stuart Weitzmans.
    16. Because of the postpartum drop in estrogen (even more so if you’re breastfeeding), I would shake and shiver whenever I would emerge from a hot shower or bath — to the point I could barely move.  It was actually debilitating.  This lasted for a couple of weeks.
    17. I still have nighttime sweats from breastfeeding — and my baby is 10 months old.  My OB/GYN said it could last the duration of our nursing relationship.
    18. Postpartum hemorrhoids.  Enough said.

If you are like many women, the memory of this will eventually fade and you will willingly suffer through the craziness AGAIN — all for a whiff of that yummy newborn smell. Suckas!

Have I forgotten something?  Wouldn’t be the first time.  Feel free to add your two cents’ in the comments section.

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Candy

Candy Kirby is the founder of The Laughing Stork and a professional fun-maker who will never stop chasing her lifelong dream: to find the Pomeranian or porn star after whom her parents must have named her. She also used to be a staff writer for the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful, where she penned many scripts featuring prolonged heated stares and countless “Who’s the Daddy?” story lines. Candy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young kids and three rescue Persian cats who enjoy blanketing every inch of the house in kitty fur.

For more of Candy's nonsense, check out her personal Twitter, The Laughing Stork's Twitter and The Laughing Stork's Facebook page.

29 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Re #9: the Doctor asked me if, since I´d had an epidural and was still numb, I wanted him to use a suction thingy (technical term) to aspirate some of the blood so I wouldn´t bleed as much. OM Git was awesome, no doubt the BEST decision I have ever made while loopy on drugs. It was like having a regular period, 5 days and it was gone!

  • Thanks for writing this out! I put something together like this and shared it with my girlfriends who were just going into the experience. Wish someone told me this stuff!

    My feet grew 1/2 size. EACH TIME. So after I replaced all my shoes between kids, I had to do it all over again after my second was born.

  • Good to know! I looked for info like this forever before I had my son. My top few:

    1. If you’re having problems that result in an early induction, giant flashing lights and sirens should go off if your doctor offers to start the induction on Thursday night. You think you’ll have a baby on Friday. What you might actually get is a doctor who takes off for the weekend, 84 hours of labor, and a c-section on Monday afternoon.

    2. After 84 hours of labor, you will effusively thank the anesthesiologists who did your spinal even as you are dying on the table (heart rate 16, y’all!).

    3. If you have a c-section, people will tell you you were lucky you didn’t have to deliver vaginally “because you didn’t get all wrecked up down there”. Reality: They’re severing nerves. You may never feel parts of your abdomen again. Like, ever.
    Bonus: Even if you can’t feel the area around your scar externally, you can still get pains from the scar if your internal organs adhere to it. You’ll feel a tugging or a pulling from deep inside.

    4. You may think that you’ll bleed less if you have a c-section than if you had a vaginal delivery, because they can see in there to clean things up. You will still pour blood for weeks. No avoiding it.

    5. The nurses will tell you that the more you get up and walk around after the c-section, the faster and better you will heal. They won’t tell you that you can overdo it.

    6. My biggest surprise, since I delivered at a hospital more than 200 miles from my home, was that you’re not allowed to drive yourself home after a c-section.
    Bonus: If you’re the type who gets car sick when you’re the passenger, the vomitfest of a ride home may be worse than the labor and delivery combined.

  • Holy cow, sounds like you had quite a time! Your son owes you one heck of a Mother’s Day gift. ;-)

    Thanks for adding your insights. I was hoping that somebody who’d had a c-section would share her experience.

  • One thing no one told me was that the epidural might not take and you might have to get a second one and that one won’t take either! Plus, you’ll have to pay for two epidurals.

  • Thanks for this – you had me giggling. I’m expecting #2 in July and I had forgotten a few of these things.

  • 1.- When you are breastfeeding, you may or may not loose a lot of hair.
    2.- The first three months after your baby is born you will feel like you are at you own “groundhog day”… same day over and over again.
    3.- Some Doctors are nice and some othes are not. In my case, my Doctor told me: “Well if you want to feel labor pains I can induce you, you’ll spend about 10-15 hours in labor and then have a C section anyway because a)you are tiny b)your baby is huge c)the umbilical cord is somewhere around her neck and d)you never had any kind of contractions which means the baby is not ready to come out… or we can have a C section now and save you from all the pain and afterbirth exhaustion”. No brainer there if you ask me. Although I do wonder sometimes if having a natural birth would actually make me a better mom or have a “special bond” with my daughter, all I can say is: My daughter is two and a half and she says to me “I love you” all the time.
    4.- I my experience, breastfeeding sucked, literally, every aspect of it hurted and I got too caught up in the “you have to breastfeed thing” that I felt bad for alternating breasfeeding with formula like I was a bad mother or something. I wish someone had explained me that what seems very natural in all of those first parents magazines can be very hard to accomplish by some women, like me. I did learn that not nursing all the time doesn’t make you a bad mother either and that if you give formula to your baby at night before bed time, can actually be more satisfying for your baby and keep him/her sleep for at least 5 to 7 hours.
    5.- Happy parents translate into happy babies. If you feel like your significant other can do more around the house to help you, do not hesitate to communicate that thought because it is important to let you partner also bond with the baby. I have all these friends who are always complaining about not getting help but then they won’t let the baby alone with the father because he “can properly take care of a baby for two hours”. Men are totally capable of taking care of their babies, in their own way of course… you just have to give them a chance, althought do not expect them to ask for it, because they won’t. Just go the salon to do your nails or something and leave him with his/her kid and a bottle, he’ll manage. But give the man a chance! And will give you the opportunity to also have some “me” time.

  • Okay, I’m 5.5 months away from delievering #2 and this is my list of “crap I wish I had known….”

    1. Inductions are so awesome. I was induced the day before my due date with my daughter. I was in a lot of pain and had been having contractions since 26 weeks and walked around dialated at 3 for 6 weeks. I was a little upset that I would miss the whole spontanious labor experience. But no way. I want to be induced again (esp since contractions this time started at 14 weeks!). I got a whole nights rest before spending 9 hours in labor and 3 hours pushing. I don’t think labor pains were any worse than they would be?! I didn’t get the epidural until I was 8.5 cm and not even for the labor pains. It was wonderful…. I got my own doctor who I love, the nurse she recommends, my mom, husband, and best friend were able to be there to help. It was great! Everyone tried to scare me and I heard so many horror stories, you don’t hear the good experiences.
    2. Take your wedding rings off before you go into labor – infact take them off before you start to swell, period. Windex and pulling worked with my engagement ring at 7 months pregnant… but I refused to look like the un-wed mother and insisted on keeping my wedding ring on. After 6 hours of saline drip I had swollen up like a sumo wrestler and my doctor at that point noticed my ring… and it had to come off she said. So they pulled on it for an hour and my finger was as big as a bratwurst weaner… and when that didn’t work they tried a string trick… and when they didn’t work they tried the ring cutter… and I’m sobbing at this point… and no joke – when all else failed the maintence man cut it off with bolt cutters. We have it all on video. It was so traumatic… and that was the reason I got the epidural.
    3. When they say your baby is “OP” it means it’s going to take forever and hurt like hell to push it out. I pretty much refused to have a C-section unless it was life/death. And my doctor had delievered one of her children OP and knew I could do it… OP by the way means face up or sunny side up as I found out after my daughter who they call “unicorn baby” was born with a big bruised up knot on her head from banging into my pelvis for HOURS. 3 hours of pushing and every muscle in my back pulled = baby who they thought had down syndrome because of the way the knot made her face draw up.
    4. Do not ever, ever, agree to Skype with your inlaws until the stiches have had time to settle. They will screen shot pictures of your swollen face and body while still in the birthing room and email them to family and friends… same goes with cell phone photos..
    5. The bleeding sucks… it’s really hard to take a shower and dry off and get your clothes back on without bleeding all over everything.
    6. Pregnancy can cause kidney stones… and kidney stones are by far worse than labor. Trust me. Drink lots of water.
    7. Breastfeeding was awsome, atleast for me. And it gave me an excuse to escape from people or take my kid back from my mother in law for a feeding.
    8. Epidural made my legs twitch for 30 minutes, that was creepy and I hated not having control. And trying to stand up while the epi is wearing off made me sick.
    9. Heartburn during labor was the worst… it made me throw up which in turn made my husband throw up.
    10. Touching the head while pushing is a GREAT experience – both my husband and I did it.
    11. The icepack they put on your woohoo after feels pretty damn good. Tuck pads are wonderful for the hemmorhoids you’ll have for the rest of your life.
    12. I pooped… noone made it into a big deal… except my husband who told me it stunk so bad infront of everyone… this, the man, who’ll fart in an aisle in Target and think it’s funny. Idiot.
    13. There is a reason the doctor doesn’t tell you that the chord was wrapped around the neck like 5 times until the next day….
    14. Giving birth is what you make it – if you go into it wanting a good experience you’ll have it – with the outcome being a beautiful baby… and that’s all you can ask for!

  • I had a c-section the first time, and a vaginal birth (VBAC) the second time… I knew that there could be tearing with a vaginal birth, but I didn’t expect it to be my labia that tore almost completely off. The good news? I have to wait a year before the doctor will even consider doing a repair. Until then, it’s just flapping around.

    At my hospital, they give you “ice diapers” to put on your lady bits post delivery. It’s a size 1 baby diaper that they cut open, insert crushed ice, and then tape it all back together. As the ice melts, it gets absorbed by the diaper – GENIUS!!!!

  • LOVED this! ALthouh, with my first I didn’t have the same experience with the epidural. I’m a believer in natural childbirth and while my first was a nightmare involving pitocin, epidural, and like, a thousand monitoring devices my second and third were awesome without epidural. Here’s what I’d put on the list, given my experience:
    1. Babies come when they are ready. Pitocin is evil when not administered correctly. My first induction was a nightmare. If it’s dripping from a bag you may end up with one contraction on top of the other with no break in between. Baby #3 was induced beautifully. If it’s administered through a machine that gradually increases your dose over a period of time you will likely labor as naturally as you would have without it.
    2. The epidural may make you completely zoned out, drop your blood pressure so low a crash team is called in and you will spend the rest of your labor feeling nothing — not in a good way.
    3. Your baby may come out coverd in poop (meconium). This will result in a team of doctors rushing into your room, whisking your baby away as soon as it’s out of your vag, leaving you in a fog of what-the-hell-just-happend disarray while the doctor pulls (painfully) on your umbilical cord in an attempt to hurry out the poop-covered placenta.
    4. Natural childbirth left me feeling FANTASTIC after giving birth. I felt completely fine with very little pain. Not so much with the epirural.
    5. Breastfeeding is a pain in the boobs. Don’t stress yourself out trying to breastfeed your baby. If you get it, great. If not, move on. It’s more important that your baby eats and grows. It wasn’t until I had my third that I was “successful” at breastfeeding. I use the term “successful” loosely. My milk supply has always been low. He’s had formula in between feedings since birth AND THAT’S OK!
    6. Even after natural birth I shook like crazy.
    7. It is impossible to “do nothing” for two or three weeks after giving birth, even though your discharge orders will be to do just that. This is especially true if you have other children at home and a husband who turned out to be more of a sperm doner than husband/father.
    8. I peed while in labor. Twice. Couldn’t control it. No biggie.
    9. It’s surprisingly not that awkward if your friend’s mom is your L&D nurse. She’ll take better care of you than anyone else.
    10. Do not bring in a video camera or allow anyone to take pictures. Seriously, you DO NOT want to remember this.

  • I’m an OB RN (I work triage, L&D, and Mother/Baby at my hospital) and I have a few comments/notes.

    #3 – Everyone get anxiety about pooping while delivering. It may be embarrassing to you, the patient, but it’s all in a days work for us, the nursing staff. We don’t even think twice about cleaning you up. Most women don’t even realize they’ve pooped unless their support person tells them they did.

    #6 – If you have a good midwife/obstetrician, you won’t have to push out your placenta, they will just massage your fundus and tug gently on the cord. It IS possible for you to have a retained placenta, in which case, your provider will give you TONS of IV fentanyl (or dose up your epidural) and stick their entire arm inside of your uterus to manually extract it. This doesn’t always work. In rare cases, women have to be taken to the operating room and have a D&C to remove the placenta.

    #8 – If you can’t pee, we WILL put another catheter inside of you. The best thing to do when trying, is to just relax. The warm water squirted on your vagina not only makes it less painful to pee, but it also helps stimulate your flow if you’re having trouble.

    #9 – Possibly the most important thing to remember is that if you have a blood clot the size of an egg or larger, call your nurse for help immediately and DO NOT FLUSH the toilet! If you bleed more than a heavy period, call your nurse immediately! A good nurse will massage your fundus quite often for the first 2-4 hours post delivery/repair. The following 24 hours you should have a fundal massage every four hours or so. This prevents your blood from pulling in your uterus which can cause you to hemorrhage.

    #11 – You will NOT get a laxative, you will get a stool softener. The two are very different. A laxative makes you poop, a stool softener makes your poop softer and a less uncomfortable experience.

    #14 – As far as breast feeding is concerned, it’s an amazing experience and definitely the best start you can give your new bundle of joy however it’s not for everyone. If you do not want to breast feed, don’t let any of the hospital staff make you feel bad about your decision. This is YOUR baby. You will be the one who takes care of said child when you leave the hospital. They won’t be there to wake you every two hours and remind you to shove your nipple in your child’s mouth. If any nurse makes you feel bad for not wanting to breast feed, you have the right to ask for another nurse. If your request is refused, ask to speak to the charge nurse, the nursing director of OB, or even the hospitals house nursing supervisor. All that said, if you DO choose to breast feed, my advice is to not give your baby a pacifier or a nipple until at least 3 months of age. Muscle memory needs to start early and if you gave your baby a bottle or pacifier, it’s a possibility that “nipple confusion” can occur. If you choose to breast feed and your baby seems like he/she is not satisfied, you can still supplement with formula without using a nipple. Ask your nurse about a “supplemental nursing system” (often called an SNS by nursing staff) or about syringe or spoon feeding.

    Lastly, I would like to reiterate that if at any point during your hospital stay you feel uncomfortable with any of your caregivers, politely ask them to leave and to have their direct supervisor come to your room. You have the right to advocate for your care and to have a positive triage/labor/delivery/post partum experience. You’ll only ever birth this baby once, make it as positive as can be!

  • I love that you wrote this down…I have 4 kids, three of which I gave birth to…the last one only 5 months ago and I wish I read this first..because you do forget – I am sure it is the hormones. I have had three natural births although they were all induced due my utter lack of contractions after my waters broke. I don’t know what normal contractions are like, but induced ones are hell!

  • The post birth bleeding is bad enough, but try doing it while on blood thinners (mandatory for me for 6 weeks after the birth). FUN!!!!

    I remember, immediately after being done, asking why ANYONE would do that more than once, heh.

  • Dear god. I think you just freaked me out for life- hemorrhages? Your feet growing in size? “Stitched up”? Permanent things? BLEEDING?
    As a 16 year old girl whose “biological clock” has been ticking for years over the need of a baby, I can happily say I managed to hit the snooze button for awhile.
    I think I’ll wait a good couple of years then experience this simultaneously glorious/traumatizing event.
    Err..but what are hemorrhages? How can you prevent them? Are they painful? Is this really worth it? Is there a magical way of simply teleporting your baby out of your womb?
    All very good questions I’m sure I’ll forget as soon as I hit the “submit” button and come to suddenly remember 8 years later as I’m sprawled across a hospital bed wondering what the hell went wrong.
    Anyway, I’m absolutely sure I want a baby and I’m ready to go through hell or high water to birth one of my own. I almost recommend you sending this to various Sex Ed teachers as I’m sure it would deter those less stubborn than I.

    -Love, future mother, Evelyn

  • You forgot to mention the lil ol tearing of the pelvic floor muscles. Good times to feel like you’ve been kicked down there by an elephant. You can’t walk, you can’t sit, you can’t stand. I seriously thought I broke my tailbone it hurt to much. I had to go through 6 months of physical therapy (which also involved inserting a finger in the poopshoot to feel how bad the damage was—good times). The therapy worked but no one told me how bad the stretched/ripped pelvic floor muscles would hurt. Enjoy sitting on a donut.

  • One last piece of advice.

    Never
    Ever
    EVER

    take a mirror down there 3 weeks post partum to see how things are healing up. I never want to see that horror again.

  • Here are my suggestions:

    1. If you think it’s time, go to the hospital. That’s what they’re there for! (Especially if you’ve been on bed rest since 34 weeks and had four “scares” already)

    I had four “scares” before my son finally came. I was so embarrassed by this that I hesitated the fifth time. After finally decided this was definitely it, I was half way to the hospital before I thought to call them and tell them I was coming.

    Of course, my regular OB wasn’t available (and actually never visited me in the hospital… called three weeks later to ask how I delivered). The on-call midwife who answered the phone at one point said, “You sound distressed, are you okay?” Of COURSE I wasn’t.

    She then said to go back home and take a warm bath and to drink some warm water. Yes, that’s right… I even had her repeat herself because I thought that I was hearing things between the contractions.

    It’s a good thing that I didn’t. When they (not the same lady – she had gone home) checked me before giving me the epidural twenty minutes later, I was at seven. That’s right, seven out of ten.

    2. If you ever hear the anesthesiologist say “Oops” while they’re administering your epidural, you might need to be a bit worried. Mine did, but she did such a dang good job of it the second time (boy, was I loopy!) that I didn’t feel my legs for over two hours. Though, I did feel my right heel for a short time.

    I ended up getting a spinal headache. Google it, seriously. Did I mention that the lady doing the epidural didn’t record that she missed the first time and the nurse tried to tell me that I hadn’t heard the anesthesiologist say that?

    Had to get a spinal block done three days later because I finally called the hospital and said that I couldn’t take the pain anymore… I was crying on my baby as I was trying to nurse him.

    Would I have another baby? Oh yes, I would love to at some point in the future.

    Would I get an epidural again? You bet! But, I would definitely be aware of what “Oops” means when an anesthesiologist says it.

  • I’m one of those women who had very easy deliveries (pushed 10 minutes with the first, only pushed twice with the second) and no damage to the lady bits. I credit this to my OB.

    The very worst for me was after pains when breastfeeding my younger son. I wish I had an epidural every time I breast fed or pumped for the first two weeks.

    One thing you didn’t mention is that after the initial bleeding stops, you may not have a period for several months to a year. When you do have that first period, WHOA NELLY! My period was so heavy, I bled through a super sized tampon, maxi pad and down to my knees in 40 minutes… in the car wouldn’t you know. My OB/GYN thought I was hemorrhaging and sent me to the ER, but it was just a REALLY heavy period.

  • So true! I was SHOCKED at home much bleeding was involved afterwards, no one ever clued me in on that one. However, I did do natural birth and both hospitals I delivered in game me a numbing shot ahem, down there before stitching me up afterwards between that and the endorphins your body kicks out to chill you out during labor the after part was no big deal.

  • three c-sections and only one planned. My first was an emergancy.. the whole thing happened so fast it was nuts. No one told me how much blood would come out later and how big your boobs get and what to do if you’re not breastfeeding( very sad story there and I won’t go there for now). My second one was great.. water broke, labor seven hours and then slice and dice. spinal went well and I walked around the room hours after he came out. It’s really hard to pee and poop after and take a shower but I wasn’t in any pain at all. Taking the staples out was easy too.. like having your eyebrows waxed. I did all sorts of stuff after my first two c-sections and didn’t have any problems like my friends did with a regular delievery. My Yaa-Yaa is in great shape. My third one was the best and easiest of them all. I still bleed for a month so they dont’ do anything special really there. I was able to have my tubes tied just like that.. and the proof in a jar.My milk came in easy too and I didn’t have any problems nuring any of my kids. My C-sections were not my choice.. I would have gone a different route if at all possible. I’m alive and so are two of my four kids and we’re thank ful for that.

  • I am currently 34 weeks pregnant with my 5th. I loved reading this, thanks for the reminder of the epidural. So scared of needles but more scared of pain!!

    • I, too, am TERRIFIED of needles — to the point I have almost passed out at the very sight of them — but, somehow, I didn’t even care about getting the epidural. Definitely some sort of super-adrenaline flowing when you’re in labor. And SO worth it.

      Good luck with #5!

  • Thanks for the reminder, I am 22 weeks with the 2nd one, and I forgot the joy of mesh panties and the warm water squirt bottle lol!

    We induced on the first one and it was awful. I started vomiting on the first dose of pitocin and never really stopped, through the next 12 hours. Plus the little one was face up inside me, grinding her spine against mine. They put a big yoga ball between my legs for an hour or so and she turned herself, thank goodness.

    The epidural was the greatest thing ever. Once they gave it to me, my daughter practically slid out on her own, within an hour or so. I love modern medicine! SO hoping we don’t have to induce this time around, though. That was the worst!

    • They really are a joy, aren’t they?

      I will keep my fingers crossed that you won’t have to induce this time ’round — though, if it’s any consolation, I had to induce with my second baby and it went as smoothly as can be. Each experience is so unique.

      Best of luck!

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