Monday, February 24, 2014

Mommy Mondays: The Things People REALLY Don't Tell You

L&O were having a discussion the other day and somehow came around to the fact that we still have some...side effects left over from the birth of our sons.  It reminded me about the hush hush world that is post-partum recovery.  The real secrets that no one ever talks about.  This is not going to be a pretty post.  In fact, if you're a little squeamish, you may want to skip it.  But if you want the harsh realities of what life is like AFTER labor, here are the secrets.

1) There Will Be Blood - This one wasn't a factor for me. And this is actually one I had heard about.  Someone described their first post-partum shower - the one in the hospital - as being a scene from some slasher pic with the amount of blood they found pooling around their ankles.  Yum!  I didn't have the same experience, but it could be because I shot blood across the room following the birth of my son.  I might have been tapped out by the first shower.  But as a word of warning, there is bleeding.  Weeks of bleeding.  And this holds true even if you have a C-Section, which makes sense when you think about it, but most don't.

2) #2 - I remember that before I left the hospital, one of the things on my "recovery checklist" was having a bowel movement.  I had 3 days.  If I hadn't had one at that time, I was supposed to consult my doctor.  I didn't want to consult my doctor to tell her I wasn't...regular.  But at the same time, I was terrified of going.  Stitches, tearing, the irrational fear that my entire uterus would come out.  And talking to other new moms I quickly discovered I wasn't the only one.  The first bowel movement following birth is traumatic.

3)  What goes up - This is another one that wasn't a huge issue for me, but you know how your uterus grows when you're pregnant?  Over 9 months?  Well it has to shrink back down to normal size.  In a much shorter time.  Know how it does that?  Contractions.  Yup - you still have contractions even after you have a baby!  I don't know if it's because I breastfed, or because I'm part unicorn, but for me, the contractions were almost like little tickles.  But for a coworker of mine, they were really painful. 

4)  Snissing and Cossing - I don't think it's a secret that pregnant ladies sometimes have trouble with their bladders when they sneeze.  I mean, you have a small human resting right on your bladder.  Well ladies, the problem does not go away when the tiny human is no longer taking up residence inside of you.  I remember sitting on the couch a couple weeks after giving birth, eating rice.  A kernel hit me in the back of the throat and I started coughing - and completely lost control of my bladder.  A few weeks after that I tripped while walking outside, and once again needed a change of pants.  Even now, 2+ years after giving birth these terrible coughing episodes with the bronchitis are wrecking havoc with my bladder control.

5) Sex - There's a 6 week window following birth in which you're supposed to refrain from sexual intercourse.  But once that 6 week window is up, all bets are off.  Except that same irrational fear that you're going to rip or tear something, or your whole uterus will fall out.  And the truth people don't tell you?  The first time you have sex after giving birth?  Not so great.  Same holds true of the second time.  Maybe even the third.  You see - especially if you're breastfeeding, your hormones are concentrating on producing milk - not any sort of sexual fluids.  Which means you're dry.  Which makes sex more uncomfortable that it might have been before you pushed a small human out of that same area.  But it gets better.  Promise.  Practice makes perfect.


  1. "practice makes perfect" - ha! I probably wont' be telling the.boy that one after I (someday) give birth...otherwise he'll probably try to say it daily. But I do thank you for being honest! i feel like it must be so scary to go through all the post-birth stuff without knowing it's going to be happening and that it happens to everyone!

  2. I, for one, still pee in my pants when I have a bad cough. My bladder control also is weakened generally. I now understand my grandmas insistence on bathroom stops. She had 4 kids!

  3. Agreed. After E was born, I was pretty sure I would use a peri bottle while peeing for the rest of my life. Also didn't help that I got a bad cough two days post-partum. Totally sucked with stitches. I don't recall much about #2 & 3...either suppressed the experience or it wasn't too bad for me. No one told me that many babies cry at night from 6 weeks - 3 months.