Holy cow. I’m a mother. I had a baby via emergency c-section. I’m still getting my head around that.
Now yes, I could be writing the usual “babies are amazing” posts, and I’m sure they will come at some point in the future. So far, the closest I’ve gotten so far is my week one recap. However I thought I would focus on something a little left of field instead of the predicted emotional post.
Let’s talk about gross stuff.
Since having a baby, there are so many gross things that I have come to really freaking love. We need to talk about these things, celebrate them, cheer them on for the amazingness they really are!
So without further ado, here’s a list of all the gross things that I now love since having a baby.
Adult pull-ups and gigantic pads
Ok, let’s call them for what they are. Adult nappies. But here’s the thing:
Once I gave birth I wore adult nappies for three days and they became my new favourite thing ever.
Lots of people had warned me that after giving birth there would be a lot of bleeding. Not just like a heavy period. It was a heavy period on steroids. I was told stories of people having to wear multiple pads at a time, literally layered on top of each other, or changing them nearly every hour. That just sounded insane.
However that first day I was so out of it, and couldn’t move my legs for the first few hours while the epidural wore off. During that time my body was bleeding out in crazy proportions. The hospital staff had temporarily put one of the gigantic pads between my legs so that it would catch it all. Once I was able to move, they supplied me with adult pulls up and more gigantic pads to use.
Initially I was hesitant, and embarrassed. Couldn’t I just make do with swapping normal-sized pads regularly? It didn’t help that they needed to inspect the pads frequently just to keep an eye on my bleeding level too.
I made fun of the pull ups to Mario, and I’m pretty sure on one occasion I shook my bottom at him. However once I saw how much I was bleeding, I understood just how essential they were. Those nappies kept me comfortable and made things easy.
So just how big are these pads anyway?
- Take a regular sized pad and double it, that’s a super pad
- Double a super pad and you have a regular maternity pad
- Take a regular maternity pad and double it
- Now go and find a paper towel factory, take their entire inventory and shove it between your legs. That’s a hospital pad.
- Go to an adult store and find a dress up nappy for parties, that’s your hospital nappy
- Combine your hospital nappy with your industrial Amazonian-forest-clearing-paper-towel-factory pad, and that’s your winning combination
- Now bleed on it. All over it. Everywhere. Then replace it with another and do the same thing.
To really put things in perspective, I got a bit lazy with my second one and didn’t change it in time. I actually leaked through – that’s how much bleeding there was. I didn’t think leaking through that big a pad was actually possible, but apparently it is. I’m not sure there’s a trophy for that accomplishment by the way, but even if there was, I’m not sure it’s one you’d brag about.
Anyway, hospital pads and adult pull ups are amazing. End of story.
The sheer awesomeness of easy pooping
I’m not talking about the baby taking a poo here. I’m talking about my own ability to take a poo.
If you have never given birth before, you just won’t be able to comprehend this. But please just trust me on this. Next time you go do to a poo, and that log just slides on out without any trumpet or fanfare, you should fist pump the air. For you, my friend, have just experienced a poo so incredible that all newly postpartum women are jealous of you.
If you google “post labour poo”, you will see results like “how to survive your first post-labour poo” and “I’m scared of doing my first poo”.
Regardless of whether you’ve had a c-section or a vaginal birth it’s equally terrifying. I didn’t have to worry about the strain of my bits against any stitches or anything like that, which was nice. I did have to worry about pushing too hard and the pressure on my incision on the front of my pubic area where bubs was removed “from the sunroof” so to speak. They actually provided me with a guide on how to go to the toilet after a c-section, which includes holding that area for additional support (so imagine just holding your tummy really).
The thing is that regardless of what method of birth you gave, you’re going to be constipated. Really constipated.
In preparation I had taken some Metamucil and drunk some pear juice in the hospital. Only on one occasion though. Then I forgot all about it, which would be my undoing. Every day my OB checked if I was passing wind and if I’d had a movement yet, but it still didn’t make me think to pay attention. I confirmed I was passing wind, but the elusive poo had not yet made its appearance. Suddenly, day 4 loomed and I needed to go.
40 minutes later in the bathroom I gave up. I felt like I was trying to give birth all over again, except this time to a paperbark forest. That shit was dry (see what I did there? The pun? Yeah ok I’m not quitting my day job).
I spoke to the midwives, and took some Lactulose. I suddenly worried I would have an explosive movement overnight, but I wasn’t so lucky. The night passed and morning came, and nothing. I had more Lactulose, still I worried. That afternoon I felt a rumble, and went to the toilet
It hurt. It really, really hurt. But it came out. Some of it anyway.
It still took nearly half an hour and a newfound religious belief that if I pooped there was a god. I tried not to push, and then had flashbacks to being in labour and nearly had a postnatal break down right there.
Seriously, I almost cried over pooping.
Unlike labour, when I resorted to painkillers and then surgery, I got through doing a poo.
The next day the rest of my bowels cleared the rest, and the storm had passed. It still hurt, but nowhere near like the day earlier.
I had never felt SO proud. I even messaged my sister in law with an excited “I POOED!” text. Thankfully she understood (having given birth 7 months earlier), and returned a verbal high five through text message.
It still remains my most traumatic poo experience to date. I will never take doing a poop for granted ever again. I am now forever grateful for the easy poo.
The functional capabilities of my nipples
I had already written about collecting colostrum. In the past I would have found talking about stuff coming out of my nipples extremely disgusting. Now, all of that has changed.
Every time I express breast milk with the pump, or simply squeeze my boobs and start leaking, I feel a sense of pride.
My hubby is Italian, and we have a running joke about his need to provide for people through his cooking, as well as it being in excess. Now it’s my turn to try and provide, and it’s from my body! We’re working on building up my supply and trying to store some in the freezer so that it’s there for any unexpected reasons. I’m sure if hubby could control it we would have a freezer full by now.
In the past I was so awkward around people who were breastfeeding. I didn’t know where to look, and the sucking sound grossed me out. I’ve never been anti-breastfeeding mind you, I just didn’t know how to deal with it. So I ignored it! Now I totally get it, and I’m slowly just whipping boob out in front of people. It’s so much more convenient. Yesterday I went for a slow walk around the block with baby and hubby, and bub decided he was hungry. I can thankfully say I’ve now mastered breast feeding while walking, even with a sore rib. Hence the really shitty facials – I was in pain.
Anyway, yay boobs! Their ability to weep white milky goodness is growing our son – that’s amazing!
I asked one of my facebook groups for their most loved gross things, and combined with my other loves these are the honourable mentions:
- Their child’s epic farts and poo explosions – I totally agree with this one! When Luca let’s rip it makes me laugh every time, and it’s proof that our bub has a healthy working digestive system
- Regular periods – I will never complain about a period lasting 3 – 5 days
- Picking booger’s out of baby’s nose (I haven’t had to do this yet, I’ma bit nervous about this one actually)
- Granny knickers that go up to your boobs (OMG yes, after a c section, I love anything that’s not rubbing on my incision line)
- Ice packs between your legs after a vaginal birth
- Big boobs courtesy of milk that desperately needs pumping/delivering to baby (engorged breasts)
- The ability to squirt milk across the shower (I hope I reach this stage, it would be hilarious)
- Pulling your boobs out in front of anyone and not caring in the slightest
It’s quite a comprehensive list, is there anything else we’ve missed?