I’m sure that, as a pregnant woman, you have looked up dozens of articles wondering about how labor is going to go. You want to know the pain that’s coming, the time frame that you could be looking at, and the many ways your delivery could go; you want to know it all. And that’s fantastic, it truly is! You need to know as much as possible, because it will help knowing you’ve left nothing to chance, or as little as possible to chance.
But, what about the ‘other’ questions...
You know the ones. The questions that you’re too embarrassed to even type into Google. You don’t want your partner catching you looking up, “What happens when I poop on the delivery bed,” after all.
But you still want to know, right? I know you do! We all do! So, without further ado, here’s some of the more embarrassing facts about labor and delivery (and after) that you were too embarrassed to ask!
15 Diva in Delivery
Surprisingly, we’re not talking about your husband, or you! Actually, this diva gets full quickly and, when in labor, wants to leak everywhere... I’m talking about your bladder. When it’s full, you normally move as fast as possible to empty it, right?
Well, imagine the reaction your bladder has when it’s not center stage, but your uterus is. What happens? Well... If it’s just a little grumpy, you’ll likely just piddle paddle a bit. Just a dribble. And consider yourself lucky if that it.
If it’s full, ready to burst, and angry though? Duck and take cover, because you’re about to hose down the doctor like you’re putting out a fire.
No matter what, you can’t let it get to you, it’s natural and they’re used to it, but it’s seriously annoying.
14 Fourth of Poo-ly
Childbirth is one of life’s greatest mysteries; how so, you ask? Well, you’re figuring out how to get a watermelon pushed through a hole the size of a lemon. That right there is magical. That magic trick requires you to do a serious amount of pushing, just like other bodily functions require. And that's why when baby’s coming out, other stuff may start coming out too.
You probably won’t even notice it, to be honest. Nurses are awesome at being discreet and cleaning you up. Let’s give them a round of applause for how awesome they are in general. And honestly, what are you going to do? Stop pushing? No. Not happening.
Just don’t worry about it, and if you get teased by Mr. Sensitive there, just let him know that you have every intention of telling the world all about how he couldn’t hold his cookies when your darling little one was crowning and looking like a horror movie. That should shut him up.
13 *Sniff... Sniff*
Hey, we all know how amusing a good poot can be. And it’s totally natural, even when you’re not in labor, for you to be farting at random. We all have days where we sound like a fog horn and we smell like a cow pasture. It’s even more common, during labor, for your internal organs to decide to strike up a conversation and let the whole delivery room know just how indignant they are.
Prepare, my friend, because I’m not talking about little toots here. No, I’m talking about a big brass band making noise from just about every oriface that can make noise. Your whole body wants to participate in the miracle of life! Isn’t that sweet?No? Well too bad. Your body says it is, and so, it is! Prepare to amaze the room with the wondrous smells of your bowels!
12 Oh My God I Am Hungry
Yeah, so I’m just going to put this out there...Once you get to the hospital, chances are, you’re going to be on a strict diet of ice chips until your baby is born. ‘Why?!” you ask incredulously, clinging to your Whopper with fries like it’s a lifeline. The answer is simple: If you need a C-Section, they want your stomach empty so that you’re less likely to vomit during or after the procedure. Unless you’re like me, where the anesthesia meds make you vomit even with an empty stomach.
Anyhow, your stomach is going to, at some point, rumble, and it’s going to be loud. It’s going to sound like Thor is in the room, demanding some more ale or something. You’re going to be tempted to BEG your spouse, who is not under the same Machiavellian rules as you are, to bring you anything...one little taco can’t hurt, right? WRONG. Aspiration is a real thing, and you could be one of those lucky people (like yours truly...) who are sensitive to anesthesia and get sick very easily. Avoid the temptation! A few hours, in the grand scheme of things, without food is a small price to pay for a healthy baby! You’ll get dinner after the birth is over, I promise!
11 Welcome to the Show!
Ok, so, prepare to not be shy about random medical people seeing your vagina after this is all said and done. Because whether you have a C-Section or Vaginal birth, your vagina is going to be the star attraction at this 3-ring circus. It’s only natural, after all. You’re pushing a baby out from your internal organs. Your body is performing better than a Ford truck will EVER run! You are Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Black Widow all rolled into one, strong bundle!
And everyone and their mother is going to see it.
I realize that the thought of having literally everyone all into your business is a bit daunting, and you’re going to want them out, FAST, believe me. Try to focus on the bigger picture... When it’s all said and done, you’ll have a sweet little baby. That is the real showstopper right there.
10 I dub thee... Carrie!
So. Blood. Lots of blood. Really not much more to say about it. You’re going to look like a horror movie down there, and I don’t mean due to damage... I mean you’re going to drop so much blood that you’re going to feel like the world’s biggest horror flick. And not just blood, but clots. Blood Jello the size of half dollars.
Are you gagging yet?
There’s a reason that the nurses give you those pillow-sized maxi pads. Prepare yourself, the Time of the Eternal Period is upon you! Ok, so it’s only for about 3-6 weeks, usually, but it feels like forever. Oh, and C-Section sisters? You’re not exempt, you’re looking at 3-6 weeks too. Everyone shares in the blood rites equally!
9 Emotional Overload!
You are going to be a bubbling vat of swirling emotions right after delivery. The slightest thing may make you giggle or cry, or bounce between those two reactions as if you’re on some magical, emotional trampoline of feelings. Your favorite TV show may now make you sob.
This is normal, but that doesn’t mean that you’re going to like it.
Many women deal with these raging emotions in a variety of ways. Having good emotional support is a big, huge help. And even though your friends are going to probably see you like this, and you’re going to want to hide when you realize they just saw you as a blubbering mess, remember, this is a time where you’re going to need your friends more than you know.Please note, that some women end up with a far more serious form of this, and it’s called Post Partum Depression. It can be very serious, and can cause a mother to harm herself or her child. If you suspect you have PPD, please seek medical attention immediately.
8 Howling Pain
Giving birth hurts, a lot. And while, for some, it’s not this screaming, agonizing pain, for others this pain makes you belt out some of the most guttural, primitive sounds that you feel like your throat is on fire for a good week afterwards. When you look back, you may think to yourself... ‘Man...I can’t believe I did that... I was even screaming for them to just pull her on out... I sounded ridiculous...’
You’re not alone, mama!
Many, many women scream during childbirth, and while nurses and doctors may shush you, well... You’re the one pushing something the size of a watermelon out of a hole the size of a lemon. Let’s see how hot they’d look or sound after that.
What definitely helps with this, though, is going in there prepared to be in pain, and prepared to vocalize in some way that helps you through the pain. Many childbirth classes have useful techniques that will get you through the throes of labor faster than you can say ‘Push!’
7 False Alarm... Again
Yeah, have you ever heard of a story where a mom is in and out of the hospital like a dozen times before her baby comes, especially if she’s a first time mom? She feels like this could be labor, but it’s not making her dilate or isn’t that painful?
She’s not out of her mind, although I’m sure she feels pretty embarrassed about making all those trips for no reason. (Even though she shouldn’t.)
Nope, instead, she’s just experiencing ‘False Labor’. You’re probably like... ‘Whaaat? You can have labor pains that aren’t labor?’ Why yes, you can! They’re called Braxton Hicks contractions, and in the later months they can feel very close to the real thing. The best way to tell the difference is usually all in the timing. False labor is often irregular and the contractions don’t get closer together. Real labor is the opposite, the contractions come at regular intervals and get closer together as time goes on.
Really not much else to say about this one... It’s a glob of snot that comes out of your vagina. It can happen a bit before you deliver, and it’s usually a sign that things are starting to move along. It’s thick, globby, and stringy, and it may make you gag when you see it. It usually looks like your nose has literally just sneezed in your hand.
Eh, to those who may want a bit more info about the mucus plug... It’s literally this glob of stringy mucus (I feel like I’ve said that before...) that comes out of cervix and is discharged through the vagina when labor is close to beginning. It can be clear, pink, or even slightly bloody. And labor can start soon after that, or even weeks later. Oh, and it can come out in chunks and not always all at a time.
5 Let Me Sleep!
After hours and hours of continuous pushing, your body will hit the wall of exhaustion. And once baby is here, you very well may feel like “Oh, she’s beautiful... Can I sleep now?” If you’re not feeling as enthusiastic as you had anticipated, have no fear, it’s totally normal.
Bonding takes time, and it never happens the same way twice. Besides that, you just pushed out a baby through your vagina. Let that sink in... You pushed out a tiny human from your love hole... You have every right to want some rest. And you have every right to give nasty looks and demand that rest time from people in the room.
Feed your little snookums, love her, hold her, and then give her to someone else to hold so you can curl up and get some much needed sleep. Your baby will appreciate you taking the time to rest up.
4 Go the F Away...
The worst part about being in the hospital is that, for the whole time you're there, you have no privacy, and the nurses (who are AMAZING and awesome about making you comfortable) are in your room every few hours, maybe more.
“Oh, hi there... What? You need to check my vitals again, for the millionth time? Sure... I can’t really say no, can I? Are you ever going to leave me to sleep? Yes? Oh, only for about 2 hours... Alrighty then...”
They will come in all the time, and their favorite question is going to be asking you whether or not you’ve pooped or farted after having the baby. I kid you not. It’s not a race, people! I’ll poop when I feel like it! And obviously, I had not yet, because...
3 And now I want to Poo...
But I can’t!
All of your internals have a hissy fit when it comes to not being the center of the universe during labor and delivery. After all of them racing to be the first organ to leave a specimen on the delivery table, the intestines decide to go on strike. Imagine a long, rope-like picket line, with little signs saying ‘No Poo!’ It feels like that.
Expect some cramping while your internals get readjusted to their places. Unfortunately, while your uterus adjusts and your body goes back to normal, cramps will happen regularly. You can deal with that part of it easily enough. Either ask for a pain killer from your doctor, or take some over the counter Tylenol, along with a heating pad.
You can put a stop to the mutiny by taking Colace or some other kind of gentle laxative that your nurse may offer. You do NOT want to be constipated after having an episiotomy or a C-Section.
And no, I’m not talking about stuff from Victoria’s Secret.
When it’s finally time to head home, you’re (often) going to be given a gift bag of goodies, and you’re going to be tilting your head to the side wondering what all these things could possibly be for. You will likely get:
- Mesh Undies: Fits sizes 0 to 40. Not even kidding, they stretch that much.
- Pillow Maxi Pads: Always has got nothing on these babies! And they’re almost the size of your baby.
- Antiseptic Numbing Spray: Heavenly Numbing Bliss...
- Tucks Pads: These are magical, and they are needed.
- Lanolin: Use this often or pay the price. The struggle is real for those nipples.
- Squirt Bottle: This is not a toy, and you’re going to use it all the time, so guard it like you guard your child. It’s either the warm, comforting water that this bottle offers, or sandpaper toilet tissue on your vagina. The choice is yours.
You will end up cherishing these items as if they were the holy grail of gift bags. Each item has a purpose, and you will be clinging to them, not wanting them to run out, so much so that you will be sad when you inevitably run out of something. Mainly the comfy mesh panties. Those things are surprisingly comfy.
1 What is that hook for?
Most people think of this dramatic scene when the water breaks. You picture yourself doing something, your partner in the other room, and SPLASH! This gush of water flows to the floor, and you rush to the hospital! It rarely happens like that. In fact, often it’s far less dramatic.
Sometimes, your water won’t even break at all. Instead, the doctor will break it...with a hook. A long hook contraption that he sticks up your hoo-ha. You may look at it and think you’ve entered into the Saw movies. You’re good, just breathe! Most women say it’s not painful, just uncomfortable. Breathe and it’ll be over before you know it!
While these little occurrences can be super embarrassing, you really shouldn’t fret. The doctors and nurses have seen it all. Generally speaking, they’ll duck or dodge, clean you up, and move on. No harm, no foul. So relax, mama! Enjoy (as much as you can anyhow) the miracle that is birth and life, and enjoy the time with your new baby!