By now you are probably showing and so everybody and their mother is telling you their birth stories…and perhaps more traumatising their recovery from birth stories. So I am here to set the record straight.
I should reiterate that I am a nurse and so therefore what other people consider completely disgusting and generally unmentionable I deal with on a day to day basis. So I apologise if this post is a bit frank. Feel free to cover your eyes while reading it!
I personally thought the contraction part of giving birth was completely manageable. The pushing part sucked. But by that point I was exhausted and just wanted to finally hold Baby C and I honestly didn’t really care anymore about feeling uncomfortable or being in pain. So while the pushing was arduous at least there was an end goal…and I think that made it more tolerable. What was really the pits was getting sewn up afterwards. I just wanted to relax and admire Baby C but I felt like I couldn’t fully concentrate because people were still working down below…jabbing me with local anaesthetic and stabbing me with sutures. Of course that probably lasted for all of five minutes and then I felt fine…elated actually since Baby C was finally here! And then the next morning it hit me…I felt like I had been in a car accident…sore all over…especially all over my lady bits.
Wondering what you have gotten yourself into? Crossing your legs already? Fear not! You can get your tender lady bits feeling fine in no time! Here is a list of tips on how to care for your hoo hoo after you have squeezed something the size of a watermelon out of a hole the size of a lemon.
1. At the hospital the midwives will give you a condom filled with cold, slushy ice. Wrap that bad boy up in the towelette things they will also give you and put it in your pants. Bliss!
2. Take the ibuprofen and acetaminophen that the midwives offer you. There is no sense suffering…you have a delicious baby to coo over…and these drugs are considered safe for breastfeeding mothers.
3. Salt water baths. Instant relief! I took at least two salt water baths a day for about two weeks after Baby C was born. Water restrictions be damned! I filled my tub up, dumped in some salt and relaxed. Not only does a salt water bath make your lady bits feel better it is also a great way to have some you time…get a bath pillow and a gossip mag and hope that the baby stays asleep for a while. While perhaps not as relaxing, a stiz bath will have the same beneficial effect on your lady bits.
4. If going number one is painful or stings then do it man style and go in the shower.
5. Number twos are a bit more complicated. Everybody poops. But you will realise after delivery that not everybody wants to poop. Nature is kind in that you completely empty your bowels before the baby comes and so for those first few days you don’t have anything in you to come out. But you know that eventually something will have to come out. And you know that when it does it is going to hurt. So take the stool softeners that the midwives offer you…if you are at home be careful that what you are taking will not pass into your baby’s system…you do not want your baby to have a laxative…you are changing enough diapers already…Normacol fibre granules are great. And drink plenty of water. And drink some pear or prune juice…both are natural stool softeners. And study that poop position diagram that the hospital so conveniently posts next to the toilet. If after all your stool softeners and pear juice and proper poop position going number two still hurts you can hold a clean pad against your bits for additional support.
6. Maternity pads are huge. And while they are necessary for the first few days by the time you leave the hospital you can probably transition to just a regular pad. Not having something the size of your baby’s diaper between your legs will make you feel much more human.
I know I have probably scared you into begging your baby never to come out! It sounds awful but after a week or two of being sore you will be fine. And during those few weeks you have your adorable baby to distract you! And if you are breastfeeding you likely have sore boobs to contend with as well! Having a new born is really fun and games for your whole body! Seriously though, you have your postpartum check up at six weeks…so your doctor expects you to be fully recovered and as good as new by then…and indeed if you take care of yourself you will be!