Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What To Expect..After The Fact

(This entry is gross, and will talk about vagina. Fair warning to the faint of heart.)

We recently added another number to our small family. My first child, Beans, is six years old. This means it's been six years since I've had to think about what happens AFTER you have the baby.
And trust me, in that amount of time, there are some things you forget. And then, there are those people that love to remind you of their own post partum horror stories.
So, here's what to expect after you've delivered your wonderful little bundle ( or bundles!).

1: Immediately after a vaginal birth, you have to get rid of the 'afterbirth' or 'placenta'. This is going to feel weird as hell. You will notice your stomach shrinking considerably after this is gone. (Good riddance, then)

2: If you didn't receive a catheter, be prepared to either pee yourself, our hold it until you are allowed to walk/ get escorted to the bathroom.
Or, you'll pee without realizing it when they do the dreaded massage.

3: The uterus massage. It's fucking painful, and it's very, very necessary. The massage helps to push out the excess blood and tissue, while stimulating your uterus to shrink back down to it's normal size.

4: Sorry, but you're probably going to end up with stitches. Sometimes, you just stretch to fit that head through, and sometimes you rip. And sometimes, they have to cut you.
Either way, you're not going to recognize your lady parts for at lest a week after you've given birth.

5: DO NOT LOOK AT YOUR LADY PARTS! Seriously, even if you're curious to know what sort of damage your little angel did to you, you really, really, really don't want to look at yourself. (This is especially true if you have multiple stitches)

6: Make sure you stock up on items for -you- before the big day comes. Actually, do it like a month in advance. That way, if the little one comes early, you are prepared. These items include-
*Pads. I'm talking about the giant pads that you aren't sure will even fit in your panties. You will wasn't something that is overnight, and preferably something with wings. The closest thing to what you get in the hospital is the Walgreens brand Overnight sanitary pads. Get two packages. No, make that three.
(side note: do not but any scented or special pads. You could irritate your tender nethers, or worse, give yourself a yeast infection. Stick to the giant, regular pads)
*Dibucaine 1% ointment. You'll find it by the Preparation H, and yes, you will love it. It has the analgesic effect, as well as helps to reduce swelling. Smear that all over some gauze and put it right where it hurts.
*Mild Soap. Let's face it, you're going to want to shower. Giving birth is dirty work! But how can you clean yourself if you're not technically allowed to touch your newly razed lady parts? Have a mild soap on hand, girls. Dove is pretty good. Unscented soaps are best. If you're really that worried, then just wash your hair, and make sure the shampoo is rinsed from you very, very well. Take that peri-clean bottle with you and squirt yourself gently, too.
*Witch Hazel &Witch Hazel pads.
Well, after you've been home a couple of days, you will probably do a few things on your trips to the bathroom. You may finally poop! You may feel like someone lit a match to your lady parts. You may even feel like you're going to die because you have a tingling, throbbing, itching that you don't know how to handle.
Witch Hazel will help! It's natural, first of all, and it helps to relieve the irritations almost immediately. After using your peri-clean bottle, pour some onto a piece of gauze, or take the wipe, and gently pat yourself. It is going to be cold. It is also going to sting the first time you use it. After a good, gentle pat, gently wipe your bum, because you've probably developed hemorrhoids without realizing. My suggestion would be to only do this after a BM, because even witch hazel can irritate your lady parts if you overuse it.

7: Take your pillow with you to the hospital. Usually, you're in the hospital for 24-48 hours after giving birth. The hospital beds kind of such, but there isn't much you can do to help that. You can, however, try to make yourself comfortable by bringing your favorite pillow.

8:Your birthing partner needs a blow-up mattress and pillow. The pull-out/fold-out models that the hospital gives for our dear ones to sleep on are awful, usually. They're a hospital, not a hotel, after all. Be prepared, and bring you're own bed to sleep on.

9: Sleep when the baby sleeps. Unless you have a houseful of kids, or there is something else significant that keeps you from sleeping, you're going to want to take this old line to heart. I even make Beans cuddle up on the couch to watch Disney movies as I snooze away with little Bel passed out in the next room.

10: The first couple of days will be the hardest, even if you've had kids before. But remember that you can make it! Do what you can to relax at least 20 minutes a day. Send the kids to their rooms. Take a shower. Eat something, even if it's just toast. Drink some tea or cocoa. And remember to breathe.

11: Don't get rid of those PJ and Yoga pants. You will need them if you have to leave the house. Stay away from blue jeans!! That seam in your seat rubs in all the wrong places, and you will be sorry!!

I consider myself to be very lucky, having generally fast labors. My first born only gave me a couple complications, but we overcame them. I learned a few of these lessons the hard way, but here's hoping I can make someone's life a little easier by imparting some knowledge.

Oh, and congratulations. You've done a great job. :) Now enjoy your little one!