Having a baby is beautiful and a miracle and all that, but anyone who has gone through it knows it’s also awkward AF. There’s nothing quite like your mom texting the whole extended family about how many centimeters dilated you are to make you realize that fact. There are a lot of unspoken questions about birth that expecting moms might be too embarrassed to ask their friend, sister, mom, or even their OBGYN. We’re going to do every first-time mom a favor and dive right in to some of the most awkward birth questions that you’ve been dying to know.
1. Will I Poop During Labor?
So this is probably an obvious one that we’re all just in denial about—understandably, because who enjoys pooping in front of someone else? Pushing a baby out is literally exactly like pushing the biggest poop of your life out, and you will be using every muscle imaginable to get that baby out. So yes, most women do poop while giving birth.
If this automatically makes you sweaty and uncomfortable, know that it’s incredibly common. Nurses are completely unfazed by it and clean it up so fast that you’ll have no clue anyway.
2. Will I Be Able to Cover Up And Not Be Totally Naked?
The short answer is not really. However, it’s very important to note that even the most modest mom will give approximately zero f*cks about being naked mid-contraction. You’ll have a hospital gown on, but it’s pretty difficult to keep anything below the waist covered when it’s time to push. If you’re having a C-section, you’ll likely be naked from the waist down. You’ll have a sheet between you and the surgery, so at least you don’t have to watch.
Either way, you are singlehandedly (with the help of your nurses and doctors) bringing life into this world, which is pretty incredible. Not a single person in that room will care about you being naked, including yourself.
3. Will My Partner See Everything And Will It Affect Our Relationship?
See above about the fact that it’s pretty impossible not to be totally naked from the waist down, so unless your partner stares intensely at your face the entire time (which is definitely even more awkward), they will see some stuff during a vaginal delivery. That is, of course, unless they’re a fainter.
If your partner thinks any differently of you or your body after bringing his/her baby into the world, it better be positive. That’s all I have to say about that. Generally, though, there tends to be a resounding sense of amazement from partners. Choose the person or people that will be in the room with you wisely, because they will be your biggest cheerleaders throughout—not to mention, they may be cussed at a lot.
4. How Long Will I Bleed For?
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This is a case-by-case basis, but typically up to six weeks, even if you’ve had a C-section. Unfortunately, you do still bleed if you have a C-section (although usually not for as long). It doesn’t seem right or fair since C-sections are invasive enough as is, but if all of this were fair, then men would have to give birth and humanity probably wouldn’t survive.
You may also be a bit sore and swollen, which might come as a surprise the first time you take a look down there postpartum. Remember that the ice packs provided by the hospital are your best friend. The good news is that the bleeding and swelling will eventually subside, and you then get to look forward to your first postpartum period. Isn’t being a woman fun?
5. Should I Shave/Wax?
The least of your doctor’s concerns are your unshaved vagina, and WHO recommends not shaving prior to labor to minimize your risk for infection. It’s ultimately up to you, but if you’re tempted to, you may want to run it by your doctor first. If you are having a C-section, they’ll shave around the incision site, but they may have more specific instructions for you to prep for your surgery.
If you’re modest and feeling a bit anxious about all this, remember that the doctors and nurses are very, very used to anything weird that happens during labor and don’t actually think any of it is embarrassing at all. You also absolutely won’t be thinking about any of this when the big day comes.
Image: Ömürden Cengiz / Unsplash; betchesmoms (2) / Instagram
Obviously we aren’t watching TV shows for their accuracy, right? Even reality shows are completely absurd. I’m sorry, but am I really expected to believe that 25 women are all truly enthused to make out with the same clown for three months and actually be in love and get engaged at the end of it? They don’t even know who the Bachelor will be when they sign up to be on the show, for f*ck’s sake! I digress. My point is that television shows are supposed to be a pleasant escape from our own hellish lives, which I appreciate—especially right now. However, some shows completely miss so many cues from real life that I can’t help but wonder how these writers managed to keep their jobs. I’m talking specifically about Desperate Housewives, a show from the early 2000s that I’m rewatching because I just got a Hulu account and all of the seasons just so happen to be available.
It’s one of those shows whose first two or three seasons are absolute fire, but then it goes downhill really fast. However, I’m so far in that I feel like I can’t stop. As Jack Twist would say, “I wish I knew how to quit you!” One of the funniest things of Desperate Housewives, aside from the fact that there is as much murder as there is on The Sopranos, is that it’s just so painfully unrealistic for very specific reasons. And I don’t mean the obvious, like how none of the legit plot points would ever happen IRL. Here are some petty things that have been bothering me about this show.
Sex Always Lasts Five Seconds
The first time I realized this was in the third season premiere, when our favorite Flamin’ Hot Cheeto-haired Christian experienced her first orgasm at 44. Congrats, Bree! Just how far into her and Trey MacDougal’s foreplay did Bree become a woman, you may ask? Approximately five seconds. I’m sorry, but seriously? I know we are watching a television show, which means that there’s a fine line between a steamy sex scene and straight-up porn, but come on, ABC.
Gabrielle, too, always manages to climax in less time that I take to turn my vibrator on. When Carlos is messing with her birth control to try to get her pregnant, ABC plays a cute compilation of them having sex from start to finish (wink, wink), and each time, they’re both orgasming at the exact same time and after a few seconds. The same thing happens with her and the gardener (remember, the one she was statutorily raping?). They’d be doing it in his garage (ew) and she’d finish instantly. Are these dudes just incredible at sex? Probably not.
All of the Housewives are guilty of aggressively short sex sessions, not just Bree and Gabby. Edie, who is perhaps the most experienced in the bedroom, also starts moaning and screaming within seconds of mounting her latest victim. Why, ABC, why?
Trauma Doesn’t Affect Them
As described by Rotten Tomatoes, DH is as follows: “Behind the facade of a postcard-perfect subdivision live four women whose lives are anything but idyllic.” In other words, a lot of f*cked up sh*t happens to this group of seemingly normal women. To be honest, that’s a great plot and leaves a lot of room for some crazy things to happen. I’m in. However, a lot of legit traumatizing events happen to these women who literally do not react at all to said trauma. They kind of just carry on living their suburban lives as if everything is fine. For instance, remember when Susan’s husband was in not one, but three massive car accidents? The first landed him in a coma, the second killed a young mother and her child, and the third was the work of Major Creep Dave Williams. Why do the women not talk about this literally all the time? I got in a fender bender when I was 18 and still have nightmares about it.
Susan isn’t the only one who brushes death under the rug! Let us not forget when Bree’s psycho boyfriend faked his suicide because he expected her to come to his rescue, but instead she just sat there and let him die. Also, remember when her son was in a little hit-and-run that killed Gabby’s mother-in-law? Of course, we can’t forget about that time when she found a bag of her husband’s mistress’s teeth in his ex-wife’s pantry! Ah, just fun, suburban things!
Having Kids Is NBD
If I had a kid, I would turn into Rachel Green in the episode of Friends where she calls her pediatrician every time the baby does anything aside from sleep. The ladies of Wisteria Lane, however, have kids and then just kind of go back to accidentally shooting people (classic Susan!), going to fancy soirees at their country clubs, and plotting against the new neighbor. Guys, no! I know this absurd show isn’t meant to be a really accurate portrayal of the harsh realities of parenting, but come on! They seem to be pregnant for years at a time and then once they pop out the kid, we never see it!
Their lives don’t really seem to change after having children, and we never really see them taking care of said children. Yes, the kiddos are in a scene here and there, but they’re never having a good ol’ family meal, doing their homework or really anything with their parents. Are these kids just really self-sufficient in the face of absentee parenting?
They Never Repeat Outfits
I respect Lizzie McGuire for boldly repeating her middle school graduation outfit, because that is what people do: they buy a shirt knowing that they will wear it more than once. Like, I have a Rent the Runway membership, which essentially means I never have to wear the same thing twice, but I still rewear outfits. That is like, the point? The Desperate Housewives’ clothes are pretty normal, so I’m confused as to why they can’t wear them more than once. Is there something so offensive about Bree donning her magenta sweater set in more than one episode?
Also, Susan is low-key a lingerie queen and she never wears the same bustier twice. I don’t understand this! Lingerie is f*cking expensive and her whole identifier, aside from being a total f*cking idiot, is that she’s broke, so how is she affording all of the matching sets she breaks out literally every time she has sex? I have one piece of lingerie that I purchased at a La Perla sample sale and have lost count of how many times I’ve worn it. That’s normal!
Their Makeup Is Always On Point
Sex and the City is in my top three least relatable shows, but I found myself actually clapping at my tv during a specific Carrie moment that was the truest scene in the whole show. She’s standing over Big in one of her weird little crop top outfits and says, “I don’t wake up looking like this. I actually need stuff to look like this.” Girl, preach. The women in Desperate Housewives, on the other hand, wake up after what I can only imagine was a nine-hour snooze fest with perfectly rouged cheeks, long lashes, and a glossy lip. Wrong! Are they Mrs. Maisel-ing themselves and secretly waking up at an obscene hour to do their faces, so they wake up looking pretty for bae? How is this happening?
There you have it, the most annoying aspects of one of the best shows on television. Even though I love to sh*t on these women, I really do love them. Did I miss anything?
Images: carrie-nelson / Shutterstock.com; Giphy
As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, the questions, concerns, excitement, and complete overwhelming emotion sets in. “What the f*ck do I do? Where do I go? What do I need to buy? Who should I call? Am I ready for this sh*t? LOL I have NO idea what I’m doing.” Because being pregnant is a highly hormonal and emotional rollercoaster (and I can say that, because I’m pregnant and my life is an emotional fairground atm), expectant women can often fall into the trap of reading the work of mommy and pregnancy bloggers. If you live in a hole, bloggers are people who sit behind computers telling you which products you can’t live without, the birth route you MUST go, and how you should start saving up for a team of doulas / the dolphin water birth you have to have the second you see a positive on your pregnancy test. They also tend to overshare in hopes of “inspiring” other moms and moms-to-be to take their advice since, after all, they’re now experts on pregnancy and parenting.
Bring on the mommy blog hate in the comments. Go ahead and @ me from the safety of your computer. I’ll be drinking this virgin martini and laughing. Here are all the reasons you need to turn off your phone/computer and stop reading pregnancy blogs.
They Have No Medical Background
I am sure there are some mommy/pregnancy bloggers who went to med school or have some form of medical degree. However, the vast majority of people sitting behind their computers advising you on what drugs to take and how to approach your pregnancy and labor have no medical training or health background whatsoever. They have their own experience to lean on and, more than likely, not much else. Listening to a non-medical professional preach about how Pitocin will kill you or how an epidural will cause your baby to go into seizure mode is basically the same as listening to someone yell at you from a street corner. It’s the same as any unsolicited advice you’d get from someone face-to-face. Spouting your opinions is all fine and well, except the scary part about bloggers is that they present themselves as some kind of expert, which they’re not. If your doctor talks to you about medications, pregnancy complications, concerns, and other legitimate issues, then, yes, ask questions and listen, because your doctor IS an actual expert. But taking the advice of an internet stranger as truth isn’t doing you (or your baby) any favors.
Bottom line: Do any of these bloggers have a distinct knowledge of your particular pregnancy? Your body? Your soon-to-be born baby? That’s a no, buddy.
Is This An Ad?
Some bloggers are better these days about coming clean in regards to which posts are ads and which are not. The key word there is “some”. You will never know 100% what a blogger has been paid to promote. It could be something as “basic” as a $1,300 SNOO which they’ll INSIST you need for your sanity and to put your baby to sleep for you. It could be doula services because you NEED a friend and advocate in the delivery room. It could be a particular brand of vitamin that claims to up your milk production because it contains a miraculous plant that our evil federal government has banned. I could go on, but I’m tired and my feet are swollen.
Unless you’re BFFs with said blogger, how do you know you aren’t just reading an advertisement? How do you think bloggers make money? Trust no one. On top of not knowing what’s being sponsored and what isn’t, many bloggers are timid about being truly honest regarding product reviews because they want to continue working with companies that pay them. I can’t blame a sister for gettin’ that money, honey, but I can blame them for not being fully transparent about any kickbacks they might be getting from a product or brand.
The takeaway: Do your own research and stop relying on Mindy and her amazing pregnancy adventure blog to tell you all about the bottles, pacifiers, and crib sheets you can’t live without.
You’re Missing Out On Your Own Pregnancy
When you’re constantly scrolling through pregnancy and mommy blogs looking for information, you’re probably going to start playing the comparison game.
“This says my boobs should be up to a C by now and they’re only an A.”
“OMG apparently I’m supposed to have the nursery built by now.”
“Oh sh*t, I guess I need to sign up for that mommy yoga class.”
“This says my dog will bite the baby if I don’t introduce him in the northwest corner of the backyard during a full moon!”
A quick Google search of mommy blogs is f*cking frightening. Look what comes up as soon as you start peeking around into the dark corners of the internet:
That’s a ton of sh*t about what not to do, what you’re potentially doing wrong, and fear-mongering language that can send an already emotional person into a tailspin. Imagine the anxiety reading “100 things about pregnancy.” Imagine how inadequate you could feel reading about someone’s rainbow and butterflies pregnancy while you’re throwing up every three hours. My sister-in-law told me at one point that she thought she had to go to the hospital because her anxiety got so bad from falling into a pregnancy blog hole. Take some advice from Kris Jenner: “You’re doing amazing, sweetie.” Try to sit back and enjoy your own pregnancy and first few weeks postpartum instead of insanely consuming strangers’ anecdotes about their own experiences.
It’s Your Body And Baby
Being pregnant myself, I can’t even count how many times I’ve been asked if I’m going to breastfeed, if I’m going to go all natural, if I’m going to get an epidural, or if I’m going to hire a midwife or doula. Those are all really personal decisions, yet everyone has an opinion about how I should go about my particular labor and pregnancy. Mommy and pregnancy bloggers do the exact same sh*t on an insane level. They can spin situations and personal anecdotes to ridiculous proportions. Take this excerpt from a blogger’s labor story. I’m not going to share the name of the blogger or blog because I refuse to give these people more readers. First, she talks about how she felt relief from the pressure of pushing, then says, “I was filled with the most intense surge of emotion. I can personally attest to the fact that this emotion is much stronger and more instant with an unmedicated birth than even one with an epidural. I instantly bonded…”
Imagine reading that and either having already given birth using an epidural, having a C-section, or being unsure how your birth will go. It sits a bit heavy, doesn’t it? Like, of course you want to instantly bond with your baby. But now it sounds like if I choose to have an epidural, I’ll lose that chance. See what you’re doing? Now you’re going to read up on epidurals and how bad they are. Or how natural birth is the ONLY way to go. Or how there’s fluoride in the water and it’s hurting your baby’s chances of getting into an Ivy League school later.
None of these bloggers know you or your personal medical history. Maybe you were “cursed” with narrow hips, and a C-section is the only way to go. Maybe you’re all about that formula life. Whatever it is, the most important part of pregnancy and birth is listening to yourself and your doctor. At the end of the day, you two (or three) know your body and pregnancy better than any internet rando.
All in all, however you choose to approach your pregnancy—do you. Don’t give in to pressure from friends, family, or bloggers about how you “should” deliver or how your baby “should” be developing. That’s for you and your doctor to discuss. Pregnancy is a super neat and sometimes scary time. Try to put down the phone (or laptop), relax, and enjoy being punched and kicked from the inside out.
Images: Kaitlyn Baker, Unsplash;
“Oh, he definitely could have fit through that tiny vagina, he’s so small.” Words I feel like I have strangely heard before. However, this time it’s coming from the most low-key hilarious doctors a girl could have as they rip my son out of my bleeding stomach during my planned C-section. Drugged up and awaiting my baby’s arrival, I’ve listened to the two of them talk about sushi, beer, my tidy, hairless lady parts, and the Mets—all entertaining, but not as wonderful as the sound of my son’s first cries. There’s nothing in the world like it. I know he’s going to be worth every bit of the hell my body is going to experience in the days, weeks, months, and years to come, and he is.
As pregnant women, we tend to think the relief from an alien invasion of our body is over the second that baby is out of us. It’s the end of running home from the grocery store to puke in the driveway, sneaking hotdogs and Italian combo grinders on the DL, and praying every time you get on the scale that this is the last pound you’re going to gain.
Suddenly, all that is over and you can drink a Bud heavy and have sex like you just got out of prison without worrying you are going to injure the baby, and yasss you can see and touch your toes. Time to start modeling. We think our body is our own again. Think again. It may be our own, but it will never be the same.
There are so many changes in store post-delivering a baby that women don’t talk about or realize until it happens to them and they’re on WebMD and an internet chat at 4am where fake doctors respond to desperate mothers’ questions 9 months later with the reassuring answer “Sounds like you should contact your doctor”. No sh*t.
That’s clearly not going to help you, so here are a few things to expect post-giving birth that you don’t need to call your doctor about or check a stagnant postpartum forum for.
1. Boob Issues
You’re going to have boob issues; just know that. People always talk about the joys and pains of nursing and their nipple problems, especially when you don’t want or need to hear those details. But they rarely talk about the pain of not nursing right out the gate.
The second I got pregnant I knew I wasn’t going to nurse because I was fantasizing about having a glass of wine as soon as the baby crowned. And I also knew I was too selfish to be bothered with pumping anything aside from my fist while watching Jersey Shore with that wine that I waited nine months for.
While I totally advocate for and support breastfeeding, it was never in my motherhood plans. However, if someone had told me that the pain of my breast milk coming in and not being released would be the only reason for me to take the Percocet prescribed to me—that I refused to take even for my C-section pain—I would have probably nursed everyone in the neighborhood’s kids along with mine.
It was some of the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. For about 10 days, there was no relief in sight. My doctor suggested that I induce a day’s worth of diarrhea by drinking magnesium citrate, which would dehydrate me and dry up my milk. While dropping a quick five pounds in a day sounded tempting, instead, I suffered the pain, iced my chest, wrapped them up in tape, drugged myself, and waited it out. Lesson learned: the pain from not nursing is your body’s primitive way of saying get your sh*t together, this kid needs your milk.
2. Blood And Discharge
Blood, blood and more blood. Oh, the good old lochia—the vaginal discharge after giving birth—containing blood, mucus, and uterine tissue, aka, the delivery of the second twin you didn’t know was sharing your uterus with your newborn. I seriously could have named and christened mine and got more money and gifts. What my body passed in the weeks after my baby was traumatizing.
My desire and hope to feel sexy again was shattered not only by this, but also by the adult diaper that I needed to wear for 4 weeks postpartum. However, the silver lining I found in that nonstop hemorrhaging was that the king sized pads I came home from the hospital with came in handy down the road when my period became a regular massacre every month post-baby (and still is 9 years later). And when I ran out of them, I hit up my sister after her baby’s birth. It was like finding gold in her bathroom closet. These elephant pads also are useful for long car trips and situations where you might not be able to pee for a long time, can’t hold it, or might pee your pants if you cough—which yes, are post-baby consolation prizes as well.
3. Your Body Parts Will Grow
No one tells you that when your body parts grow during pregnancy, there’s a good chance that some of them never go back to pre-baby size. Thankfully, I can’t speak about this in relation to the havoc wreaked on vaginas during childbirth, but I am pretty sure stitching mine back together isn’t on my bucket list with the other things involving my vagina.
Hopefully, your stomach will be something that does eventually go back to size, but that doesn’t mean your swollen feet will. My petite size 5’s went up to a 5.5/6, which I don’t really mind because now I can find shoes at Marshall’s, an impossible feat for anyone under a size 7. However, if you’re already a size 9 and are moving on up to a 10, blame the baby. I was lucky to now not only love my son for everything he is, but because he gave me a good shoe size, and more importantly, an ass that celebrities pay for.
During my pregnancy, I was concerned that I started to grow out back rather than the front, which happens for some due to all the sitting on your ass on the couch eating ice cream watching Bravo, but I learned post-delivery that this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I took that gain and added some squats, then bam, there was the butt that luckily became trendy the year my son was born thanks to the Kardashians.
4. Your Hair May Not
While some body parts may get bigger and possibly better, like your boobs and your butt, expect that some do not. One of these is your hair. You may have to say goodbye to the long luscious locks that prenatals gave you as your hormones go haywire. You’ll start collecting your old friends out of the shower drain, talking to them, and analyzing them as you decide to play the game of lining up only washing your hair when you have actual plans and which days of the week you could compromise losing 85 more strands for a good blowout.
All in all, remember that hormones don’t just affect your hair, they run your life. So most importantly, be aware of that and that everything you are experiencing post-baby is a result of what your body just endured sharing it with your little
monster ball of sunshine for nine months. God made women responsible for giving birth because he knows we can handle it and don’t call out over a head cold like men.
So when your C-section scar has a stomach of its own (in addition to your stomach’s stomach), and your hemorrhoids prevent you from doing the really good type of sex, look at your baby and remember that they’re worth all of it. The best you can do is drink the bottle of wine that it takes to go to sleep some nights and cherish every moment with them because they grow so fast and chances are you would do it all over again just to share this crazy life with them.
Images: Ignacio Campo / Unsplash; Giphy (4)