Five things that will (ok, might) happen after you’ve given birth. Now look, I’ve had two c-sections and so I’m no expert on things that happen to the female form after a vaginal birth, but I’ve read (and heard) enough stories to know that the below occur on an almost universal basis, no matter how the baby emerges. I suppose, when you think about it, that most people will be sore somewhere. Here are a few things that might (will probably/almost definitely) happen post-birth.
- You will realise that you have even less wardrobe options than you did when you were 9 months pregnant. This is because a) you have to wear a sanitary pad the size of a single mattress and massive pants to contain it and b) you will, for ages, have a gut the size of a 5/6 month-ish pregnancy, but instead of it being all taut and rounded, it will be flabby like a punctured bagpipe. Try making that look good! All of the stripey stuff that was so cute when you were pregnant now seems like the worst ever practical joke.
- Things will continuously fall out of your vagina, including weird pale blood (lochia) and mucus-y stringy stuff and small clots. Even if you’ve had a c-section. With my first baby I bled heavily for weeks – this time it has been very light, but stop-starting when I least expect it. It’s such a joy!
- You will cough/sneeze/do a poo and feel as though all of your intestines and bladder and womb are about to fall out of your body. Through whichever exit your baby took. Now I don’t know what would be worse: this feeling happening in your vagina, or this feeling happening at the front of your stomach: either way it’s not pleasant. I can only offer some advice for c-section recoverers, and that’s to press a pillow to your scar before coughing/sneezing/pooing. Granted, taking a cushion in with you when you drop the kids off at the pool isn’t the most enticing idea, but: needs must, etc etc.
- Your face will look like a peeled, misshapen potato. Don’t worry – all new mums have a face like a raw potato. Or a lump of unbaked dough with two currants stuck in for eyes. If you try to put makeup on, it won’t work. It’ll be like trying to put makeup on a waxwork figure – your skin will reject all types of foundation and your eyelashes will have retreated into the puffy depths of your red and swollen lids. Don’t even attempt to use bronzer or blush on foundation-less skin, either, as a “quick emergency fix”: for some reason it clings to post-partum skin most unbecomingly. It’s probably the sweat and tears keeping everything moist.
- People will tell you to “let the air” get to your scars, stitches and (potentially) bleeding nipples. Mainly health visitors and midwives will say this, but also people on Google. These people must live in completely wipe-clean houses, or have somehow escaped the indignity of post-partum breast-and-vag leakages. “Lie on the bed naked after a shower,” they say, “and it’ll let the air get to your wound”. In the meantime you’ll have dispensed about three litres of lochia into your Hypnos mattress and shot breast milk at the ceiling. Idiots.
I’m sure I can think of more things but that’s enough horror for now. I am exaggerating all of this, of course, so don’t be scared if you’ve got it all to come…