The After Birth

What to expect, when you’re done with the expecting…

So, you’re knocked up. Congrats. No doubt you’ll have shelled out a small fortune for NCT classes to help you prepare (or so you can find like-minded local mums to get post-natally pissed with) and you’re now feeling a little more informed about childbirth.

But this post isn’t to terrifying you about labour – that’s a well documented fright-fest that, I’m sure, already has your water-retained knees knocking. No, I’m here to give you a little head’s up about the lesser known ‘After Birth’ (and I don’t mean placenta). I’m on about the glossed over, emotional, undignified and exhausting days after you’ve expelled that cute squatter from your uterus.

So, here’s what to expect when you’re done with the expecting…

1. If you’re lucky, you’ve shelled that pea in about four hours; unlucky – around 40. Either way, you’re knackered – so what seems like the next logical step? An eight hour snooze perhaps? Fat chance. You now have to stay awake all night to look after a screaming baby who seems, given the circumstances,  unreasonably furious at you. My pelvic floor will never be the same. You’re welcome

2. Your partner does one. That’s right. You’ve just birthed their child, can’t see straight out of tiredness and trauma and THEY go home for a well earned sleep. Leaving you, half off your head on hospital strength narcotics, to look after a newborn. Oh sorry, have I NOT DONE ENOUGH? Apparently not. It’s 9pm and a stern looking midwife has just rung a bell. Out they go

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3. “Excuse me, would you mind hand-milking me like a cow?” Stop press. Breastfeeding is hard. Really hard. So, when it’s 3am and your new bundle is dicking around on your boobs – it’s literally time to call the midwife so they can manhandle two drops of off looking milk out of you while you quietly sob. Annnnnd sleep…

4. For five minutes that is. If you’re on a ward with other new mums and your baby is asleep, you can guarantee the other five or so in the same room are WIDE awake. You’ll all too soon be understanding how sleep derivation works as a torture technique. I was willing to admit to ANYTHING for an hour of sleep

5. These:

pad

Dog owners will recognise them as puppy training pads. Mothers will recognise them as leaky vagina pads. I personally love the rustling sound they make whilst you’re trying to have a conversation with your father-in-law

6. “How’s your loss?” This is not a question regarding a departed grandparent. NO ONE tells you about the post-birth bleeding. I can’t have been listening at this point in the NCT class, or was too busy setting up a post-labour drinking session, but literally every time you move it’s like a scene from horror movie unfolding in your knickers

960Image courtesy of The AV Club

“For the love of god – Just bring me the most absorbent ones they have!”

My first was a section and I think I just presumed they’d just hoover it all out or something. I was mistaken. It goes on for weeks – invest in bath-sheet sized sanitary towels or just shove the above puppy pads into your pants. Rustle-tastic

7. The first shower. Can’t go home until you’ve proven you’re capable of personal hygiene (ironic considering you’ll never have time for a shower ever again…). A precious memory you and your partner will cherish forever – you propped up against a prison-esque shower wall while he seductively peels off your blood-stained surgical stockings. 50 Shades of Dismay

44d3211b559ca0a124403c1a71d22044-2Image courtesy of The Daily Dot

8. The three day sob. Something weird happens with your hormones on day three and you’ll find yourself uncontrollably wailing over something trivial. In my case, my husband had bought the wrong nipple cream. IDIOT. Be prepared for your partner’s reaction to be as follows:

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9. The going home sob. Could coincide with the three day sob. Once you’ve located your dignity at the hospital door – it’s time to take you baby into the big wide world for the first time and it’s just TOO. DAMN. MUCH

10. The getting home sob. There’s a baby in your house and it’s your responsibility to keep it alive. Shit just got real

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11. The first poo fear. Whether you’ve done it naturally or through the sun roof, the first poo fear is very real. Who knows what’s going to happen when you push..And if you’ve taken iron tablets, it’s very possible you’re about to pass something akin to Thor’s Hammer. Little pushes ladies, little pushes

12. Your boobs are hot property. No seriously, hot – they burn. If you’ve chosen to breast feed, then the sensation of your milk ‘coming in’ is a quite a thing. Side note – be prepared for your boobs to acquire more blue veins than an old lady’s legs, and for them to be as hard as a Mitchell brother’s head

Also – they will be THE topic of awkward conversations for the foreseeable future. “How are your nipples doing?”, “How’s your supply?”, “Getting a lot when you express?”

“Yeah everything’s fine…Thanks Dad.”

13. Moo. Moooooooooo. Moooooooooooooooo. You are feeding that baby so much there is no point communicating in actual words anymore. May as well find a herd, chow down on some grass and be done with it

calf1Image courtesy of thepioneerwoman.com

14. Clexane injections. If you’ve had a section – the fun isn’t over yet… These self administered injections stop blood clots and unless you are well hard (or diabetic and used to needles) – the responsibility is entrusted to your partner. To clarify, I don’t trust my husband to turn on the grill, or Virgin box – so being stabbed in the arm by him was a pretty tense time for our marriage

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15. GO TO SLEEP. Seriously. Your reward for bringing them into the world is interrupted sleep until they become teenagers. Lamp the next person who says “Sleep when they sleep.” They NEVER sleep.

So there you go. Good luck with it all. Labour’s the easy bit…

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One thought on “The After Birth

  1. Perm says:

    I was really amused with the humour here! As you know I like the comedy read. Not sure how you manage to write between a screaming baby, toddler and child three, the husband. But love the descriptive untold, be told love of parenting glory!

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