You heard a million times how becoming a mother is the most beautiful experience in the world (so true!). And you were also warned that childbirth hurts like a monster trucker blazing out of your vajayjay (again, so true!). But there are also some particularly gross and downright disgusting details that friends, doctors and midwives neglect to mention. So we’re doing our sisterhood duty and sharing the techiest birth stuff we went through. (And we pinky swear it’s all true!) Dear mamas-to-be: Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
I had no idea how much postpartum bleeding and guck would be coming out of my hoo-ha after giving birth. I had to shuffle to the hospital bathroom every hour or so to change the big monster pad and clean everything off my sore bits. I was also surprised when the nurse gave me a numbing spray to spritz on myself and even maxi-pad-shaped ice packs to stick inside the disposable mesh underwear. Gross, but soothing!
Vomiting During Labor Transition
I was at a steak house having a lovely “babymoon” dinner when I went into labor. Hours later while I was in the transition period of labor, I threw up that fancy steak, creamed spinach, and creme brulee right into one of those plastic hospital bins. It was pretty gross, and I guess that’s why they don’t give you any food at the hospital until the baby is out!
Pooping During Labor
You just might poop during labor, but the best part is that you won't even care! That’s what happened to me during pushing in my first delivery and I didn’t even know that I had pooped until I was told by my husband … TWO YEARS later! Kind of embarrassing, but he still loves me!
After my baby was born, my midwife found that my placenta wasn’t going to come out without them “going in after it.” It’s called a retained placenta, which is apparently common … but I have to say “ouch!”
Peeing During Labor
I peed during the big pushing of labor. My doula was holding one of my feet, my boyfriend the other, and every time I gave a big push and speed. I was so embarrassed. The funny thing is though that every time I peed, the doula would congratulate me and say, “Good job!” Ha ha ha.
Vernix on Baby
I loved that when you give birth vaginally you can hold your newborn in your arms right away! But I thought seeing blood and slime all over the baby was just nasty! I told the doctors and nurses, “Don’t give me that baby or lay her on me until she is cleaned from head to toe!” They looked at me like I was crazy.
Water Breaking Embarrassment
One thing I didn’t bring to the hospital but wished I had, was a change of clothes for my boyfriend. He was leaning on the bed when my water broke, and his shirt got soaked with the fluid. Gross!
Catheter During Labor … or Not
I loved having an epidural for my induction but I was terrified of having a catheter to pee. I am all about a tube in my spine to take away the pain, but not one stuck up my girly parts! So I swore to the nurse that I could will that pee out into a bedpan, even with my pelvis all numb. And I did it! I had a big huge pee while the nurse, OB, and my husband all looked on. Talk about an audience!
The grossest thing I wish someone had told me about birth were little things like about how when peeing postpartum, you can’t wipe with toilet paper and have to squirt warm water down there with a peri bottle. I thought maybe when talking to my friends, this would have come up!
The doctors and nurses checked on all my postpartum lady parts every few hours during the recovery days in the hospital. I wish I had brought a robe to the hospital because so it was way too painful and too much trouble to dress and undress constantly. So I just wore the hospital gown, which I hated, but it was handy I guess since I didn’t want to get any blood or suck on my nice pajamas or nightgowns.
Episiotomy and Tearing
I tore during delivery and also had to get an episiotomy and it was a BIG cut. So afterward I had to get stitches. My cotton underwear rubbed right where my staples were, so I wore the disposable underwear they give you at the hospital for over a week. I also had to sit on a donut pillow. My poor hooey.