MOMS TELL ALL: GIVING BIRTH OUT OF THE VA-JAY
Birth. The (incredibly gory) magic of life. Mamas have been bringing babes into the world for millennia, squeezing them right out of the va-jay and into the world. But for some of us not-yet-moms, the mystery of life is just that: a mystery. What goes on in the delivery room? What the living hell is an afterbirth? And most importantly, does it hurt?
We went straight to the source on this and interviewed a brand new mom. She was brutally honest. We are scarred, but we are enlightened.
Let's start at the beginning. Water breaking...?
I felt a big POP inside my body, followed by a gush of fluid and the start of legit contractions. Something they don't tell you: every time you have a contraction, more fluid gushes out. So you're in pain but you're also leaking.
Labor, right. So that hurts, or so I've heard. What does it feel like?
People say: "you can't compare it to anything." And they're right. Labor is such an odd feeling. Contractions are like cramps but way more intense. There's a lot of pain. There's tightening. I was literally on the ground because contractions make you double over in pain.
I labored at home for about 5 hours before going to the hospital...and after about 8 hours of hard labor I said, "Hey I'll take an epidural even though I said I wouldn't need one." Amen for anesthesiologists. I ended up laboring for 28 hours so the epidural saved me.
And the whole pushing thing... tell me more about that. Does that hurt more? Hurt less? Does it give you an ab workout?
Apparently, most people push 20 minutes but, I pushed for three hours!
The nurse has you grabbing your thighs. I had one person on each side holding my legs up.
When the contraction comes, you pull your legs towards your chest, tuck your chin and hold your breath while someone counts to ten. This is made extra challenging because you have a giant belly in the way.
They say push like you're pooping which is terrifying because no one wants to poop...but you poop...it's a thing.
Oh my Beyonce that's intense.
Uh, yeah. I had to be put on oxygen because I was pushing for so long. Towards the end, my doctor had to use his hands to stretch me out. There are a few words you don't normally want to associate with your vagina, like stretching and tearing. Both happened to me. My epidural had worn off towards the end so I felt the baby coming out and it was painful!
So Baby comes into the world and you're like yass! But then there's a part two right? Does the "after birth" hurt? Also what's "after birth"?
So baby came, my husband announced that it was a boy and I was like...holy crap I'm exhausted. They put the baby on my stomach but I knew it wasn't over...after a little skin-to-skin contact, they took the baby to the scale and made me push again to get the placenta out—that's the afterbirth. They use the umbilical cord to help pull it out.
I made my husband look at the placenta because it was so cool and so gross. The doctor put his hands inside it and stretched it out with his fingers like he was doing cats cradle. After the placenta, it was time for...the STITCHES.
Yup. Remember the tearing? By this time, I had the baby on my chest trying to breastfeed, so I really didn't feel the stitches. Crazy huh? I only got two or three stitches because my tear wasn't too bad.
Did it take a long time for things to heal down there? Did you wear those crazy tight underpants?
The healing is very interesting. They say 6 weeks before exercise and sex. They give you pain meds and stool softener—TAKE BOTH! The pain isn't terrible but pooping after giving birth is straight up terrifying. You don't want to rip out the stitches or get an infection or worse: have hemorrhoids! I had a squatty potty from when I was pregnant (ugh, pregnancy constipation!) so that was really helpful after having the baby. I wore the big underwear in the hospital with a bulky pad and ice pack, but I only wore them for a few days at home. Then I just switched to overnight pads with witch hazel on them. I lucked out and my bleeding was only bad for about a week and I was taking walks when baby was 5 days old.
Any other colorful moments or "UM I totally didn't know this ahead of time"-isms?
Now sex after having a baby...oh boy. That's a whole other issue. You'd think, okay I pushed out an almost 8 pound baby. Surely I can have sex—nope. I'm like, uhh did they sew it tighter because NOTHING is getting in there. Also, people ask you if you want another baby WAY TOO SOON. Shut up. My stitches haven't even dissolved. Please go away. And see above.
Okay, okay, okay. But was it worth it?
Oh hell yes.
HOT MAMAS GET THAT ((305))!
Moms, c'mon now! It's time to get that ((305)), babe. We all deserve some time for self-care. Remember (!!) exercise produces endorphins. And endorphins make you happy. And happy people don’t kill their partners in their sleep.
Sign up for a class here.