Creating human life is a trip, am I right? You and your spouse literally experience the miracle of conception and watch as you generate a life out of nothing but love [and the act of it!].
And then you’re pregnant for the first time. And holy smokes, did you look at every Mama different from that point forward. You thought becoming a Mama was amazing, but then it’s a million times more magical than you ever thought possible once you’re growing this life inside you.
And then you’re approaching your due date. And you’ve read some books about What to Expect when You’re Expecting… but your labor and delivery story is different than you thought it would be… Or maybe it went exactly as planned. Mine was shockingly different both times and neither time what I expected.
And then you have the baby. And the weird stuff just keeps coming. You thought it was smooth sailing from here forward and your body was just going to bounce back to normal. And then it doesn’t. It’s now a jelly blob where your tiny miracle was hanging out for 9 months. Oh and your cute belly button ring you got when you were 18? It now looks like an upside-down smiley face.
It’s all just one giant learning experience and the wildest ride you’ve ever been on and the end is nowhere in sight. I had to reflect on some of the insanity that occurred with my journey, so here is a list of 10 things that I learned from [my] Pregnancy, Labor/Delivery, and the Aftermath. Make sure you pee before you read it! And… please NO judging. However, if you look at me differently or laugh when you see me, I’ll know why.
- You’ve heard of swelling. But did you know that your vagina can actually swell, too? I laughed when my coworker told me she had [for lack of a technical, medical term] “Cheeseburger Crotch,” but then I had it when I was pregnant with Brooks… and it feels like you’ve rammed your va-jay into a bicycle bar. Or your hands? Did you know your hands can swell up and cause tendinitis that can literally throb up your entire arm and with this, your hands are completely numb day in and day out until weeks after you have the baby? Yes. It can happen. And when you get farther along you might also experience “Lightning Crotch” where it feels as if daggers are stabbing your lady parts while you’re doing practically anything.
- Oh! And did you know that your body may create extra skin tags? Like anywhere? And by anywhere I mean everywhere. Armpits: Check. Under the boob? Check. I got one on my butt[hole]. That’s right, Mamas. The HOLE. At my 30-week appointment my doctor grabbed a mirror so I could see, and then made sure to point it out to Ross. They were both down there just looking at it. My OB said he could remove it when the baby came out because the epidural would numb the area. Please, please, get rid of it.
- AND! Did you know that when you’re pregnant your body can cause your salivary glands to work in overdrive and cause you to drool more? I know this because I drooled in my husbands eyeball while we were [ahem!] having fun together in the bedroom. Typing this is as embarrassing as when it happened. I Googled it and sure enough, it’s a super fun thing that can happen during pregnancy.
4. Before the baby comes, some women lose their mucus plug; it might fall out on to the floor, and you might be so disgusted when you see it. I was utterly shocked at the alien baby that fell out on to the rug when I stepped out of the shower.
5. Johnny Cash sang about the Burning Ring of Fire, but did you know that there is something called “The Ring of Fire” when you’re delivering your babe? It’s when the head is crowning and it feels as if someone has taken a blow torch to your pelvic bones. The epidural is localized to relieve the pain of contractions but not the pain associated with delivery. I had no idea how badly this would hurt.
6. While you’re laboring, many hospitals encourage and offer massage and acupuncture. That’s right! You can get these things included to help breathe through the pain of your labor.
7. Did you know that with a vaginal birth, the doctor may not be able to remove [above] said skin tag because you’ve developed hemorrhoids so badly that they have completely engulfed the skin tag? So now you not only have loose skin from a skin tag that got stretched out, but also golf ball sized ‘roids on your butt[hole]. Yep. That can happen! And yes. It’s still there. The doctor suggested I wait until we were for sure done having kids. Until then…
8. After you’ve had the baby, did you know that the nurses will push on your uterus numerous times a day, and that it hurts really badly? They’ll sweeten their jabs with an 800 mg dose of Ibuprofen–take it. It’s like when your brother stabs a bruise on your leg while saying, “Is that a bruise?” Ouch.
9. After you’ve had a baby, you will continue to bleed and shed clots for some time afterward. Totally normal. And gross. Buy pads of all sizes, and make sure to take the really huge ones from the hospital! I asked the nurse for a few extra pairs of the disposable undies, too. They are gigantic but I’d rather mess those ones up than my nice ones!
10. And finally… all of these things are so monumentally worth it that you forget about the pain almost immediately. That’s right. The pains with pregnancy shift to labor pains, and then labor pains shift to delivery pains, and then delivery pains shift to postpartum pains, and so on! And then eventually all those pains are then somehow morphed into the emotional work that comes into raising tiny humans. It’s glorious. God had a plan to help Mamas forget the pain of child birth so we could put all of our newfound energy into shaping children.
I knew that this blog would open up doors for sharing, and hopefully this wasn’t too much! But hey, it’s like, if you can’t share this stuff with the Internet, who can you share it with? 😉 You’ll always find me trying to find the positive in most situations, even if it’s for a good laugh (at my expense).
And on a final note, if you aren’t in on the Band of Mamas Facebook group or don’t like/follow the blog on social media… please, please make this a priority! It’s such an amazing community of women and in particular, amazing Mamas who have gone through this type of stuff.
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