As soon as I started showing a baby bump and realising that I was going to have to somehow get that baby out of me I started becoming a serial researcher on what giving birth was “really” like. I focused all my research and prep on the actual labour and delivery itself and it didn’t even cross my mind of what was to follow after giving birth! So here I am ready to prepare you for what is to come AFTER GIVING BIRTH. Now, if you feel sick by hearing the words vagina & blood I would just click out now.
1. Delivering the placenta
Okay, so you know the general size of your vagina and you also know how big babies are. It’s hard work getting that baby even down and ready to be pushed out, let alone squeezing them out of their comfy homes. After all that work you then have to deliver the placenta. Now I opted for the Syntocinon shot in my leg which caused my uterus to contract again and deliver it pretty much for me. I had just birthed a baby and I personally didn’t want to have to go through more pain and deliver the placenta. This part for me wasn’t that bad, I didn’t even feel the needle as I was focused on my new squishy bubba. The thing that sucks is that they push so hard on your uterus that you feel like someone is running over your abdomen over and over again.
Unfortunately 95% of first-time mums experience some sort of tearing ranging from 1st degree to 4th degree, You can look it up in more depth (if you’re not feeling sick yet). As you can imagine your downstairs region will be extremely tender. You then have someone let you know they are about to stitch you up and I’m going to be honest, It HURTS!! They luckily numb you, but those needles sting!! I guess in my experience I just wanted to cuddle my baby and not have any more people prodding and poking me down there; it was making me angry. I think this was the one time I yelled at the doctor to get away from me – I was over it! But those midwives and doctors are truly amazing and I do thank them for making me into one piece again, hah!
3. It’s a bloody mess (literally)
For some reason it didn’t occur to me that you bleed a lot after giving birth. I remember my midwife helping me up to go have a shower and she made me hold the massive gauze pad that you lay on the bed like a nappy as I walked to the shower. The whole time I walked to the shower it was like a flood, blood everywhere! When you go to pee – I don’t even want to explain how much flows out, I was just glad the toilet flushed! You also have blood clots. I’m not talking about the ones you sometimes get when you have a period, these are ginormous! Be prepared with those massive maternity pads or I know some women who swear by those adult diapers; honestly, you will need them. Be prepared that when you stand up from sitting or lying down you may leave a stain; here’s a handy tip: When you stand up have something handy to cover it up, so visitors don’t get a fright!
4. Extreme Exhaustion
The first few hours after giving birth you will most likely be extremely exhausted! For me I had been awake for over 24 hours, and then also, you know, given birth to a human!! However I have heard of some magical humans who feel energetic and on a natural high and procede to go home within a few hours, so this could be you. If however you are like me this is something you could experience. I literally felt like I had been run over by a monster truck. I ached everywhere, My insides felt like they were going to fall out of my vagina or bum or both, I couldn’t stand up without help and felt like I couldn’t breathe properly. I also had to have help washing in the shower as I literally felt like I was going to faint.
5. Peeing & pooing will be nerve-wracking
If you have torn, it will sting a lot when you pee. I was told to do my first pee in the shower; trust me, do this it’s a life saver. When you build up the courage to pee in the toilet I suggest bringing a water bottle or water jug in with you and pouring it over your tender area, and afterwards DO NOT WIPE, Pat dry. As for pooing; I was so extremely nervous, I think I held it in for a week until I got told the handy hint of drinking pear juice and eating a fibre rich diet. In the end though, it wasn’t as near bad as I thought it would be. Oh, I forgot to mention- You can’t go home until you fart. Are you wondering if you read that correctly? Yes, yes you did. It may sound like an easy task but there’s a lot of pressure put on you by what feels like a hundred people asking you if you have passed wind every bloomin hour!! Let us push that gentle gush of wind out when we are ready please, gosh!! When thinking back now, I do thank the hospital staff for checking everything is in correct working order.
6. After birth pains
Contractions continue after birth- they are called after birth pains and feel similar to mild contractions. They happen so that your uterus can shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size. The pains intensify when breastfeeding because your baby’s sucking triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin, which causes contractions (how clever are our bodies!) Apparently with each subsequent pregnancy they get worse, yipee! So if you plan on having 6 kids, look out!! To manage the pain ask for painkillers & those instant hot packs the hospital stocks.
7. Dignity out the window
Say goodbye to your dignity! Every man and his dog in that delivery room has just seen your hooha from a pretty terrible angle, and it doesn’t stop there. If you had stitches be prepared for a few more hundred people to check on that stitched up, swollen mess. If your breastfeeding and having some issues with latch (get use to that word, you will hear it a trillion times) be prepared for someone to milk you like a cow, and I literally mean grab your boob, squeeze a bit of that magic liquid gold out and then face plant your newborn baby’s head onto your tender breast. So yeah, forget the days of caring for a little nip slip or a slight flash of your pre-pregnancy pretty undies, those days are well and truly gone my friend…at least for now.
You made it!
Kudos to you if you got this far! You might be a little scarred and slightly worried about what you just read, but try not to be!! It’s all part of the Mama Bear experience and who knows, you might be one of those magical humans that feel just dandy and fine. Thankfully you will be so focused on your deliciously smelling tiny bundle of joy and that miracle far outweighs all the messy stuff.
Please feel free to share this if you have any friends who you think might like to know the truth before the lovely event arrives.
Love Miky xo