If you could see past the Trojan horse that is pregnancy and labor and did any amount of reading on what happens after the OB spotlights fade, you know that tummy deflation and the regroup of body parts is far creepier than anything having to do with carrying or expelling a fetus. Think of your vagina as a dam. When the dam bursts, the reservoir fills but water continues to flow through the broken walls bringing with it, the trees, fish and small boats that washed up along the way. Note, that some of these items are so far "up river" that they won't even make the appearance until weeks after it bursts. If you've gotten lost here; A BUNCH OF JUNK COMES OUT OF YOUR VAGINA AND OTHER WEIRD SHIT HAPPENS TO YOUR BODY FOR A GOOD WHILE AFTER THAT BUNDLE OF JOY MAKES THEIR APPEARANCE!!!
Let’s start from the beginning. You’ve welcomed your sweet, bluish offspring into the world and while you are awestruck and trying to convince yourself that a human just came out of your body, you are forced to push something else out. The placenta! That magical, life sustaining organ that resembles a blood filled jellyfish. It’s worth getting your doctor to let you have a good look at this thing as it, hopefully, is the only time you’ll get to look at one of your organs on the outside of your body while conscious. Take advantage. Check that horror show off your list and let’s move on to the next Discovery Channel experience.
You’ve no doubt heard of lochia. Otherwise known as YUCK! This mass of blood, mucus and uterine tissue will unexpectedly gush out of you from time to time postpartum. The biggest gushes hit when you are nursing or when that girl you never really liked from high school swings by to say hello and check to see if you’ve lost your baby weight. Luckily, the hospital or your midwife will equip you with pads the size of a life jacket. When you first see them you can never imagine actually utilizing their full capacity of Lake Michigan level absorbency, but you will. Cramps are a sweet warning signal that will let you know the flood gates are opening.
While one orifice is free flowing, another is setting up a barricade. The stool softeners they give you in the hospital are not a suggestion and you will need to make sure you are fully stocked when you return home to get you through the next few weeks. This is where Amazon Prime pays for itself in spades. You are saved from having to endure the shifty eyes of the cashier at check out and you can get relief in 48 hours without having to leave the comfort of your donut pillow. If you’re not up for the pills, there’s some great tea, Smooth Move, that really delivers ;)
Next up!! Night sweats. If you’ve never had the pleasure of sweating profusely without any exertion, get ready for the good times. These usually hit a week or so postpartum when your hormones decide to jump ship without a care for the havoc that will be wrecked on your body. Night sweats yield bed wetting level moisture so best to prepare your spouse and the rubber sheets. The hormone rampage doesn’t stop there. Did you enjoy the full mane that pregnancy provided? Along with your sex drive, so goes your hair. This side effect sneaks up on you just when you feel like life is getting back to normal and you’ve planned a girls’ night out. You take a look in the mirror when getting ready and realize that you have a bald spot that will require a Trump level comb over to disguise.
With the hormone party that hits postpartum, it’s a wonder that schools feel the need to teach kids sex education at all. Your really just need to tell teenage girls that they will lose their hair and their stomachs will look like their great grandmother’s if they get pregnant and tell boys that unprotected sex puts them at risk of not having sex again for at least another year, two if the baby never sleeps.
Written by: Alice