Craig, the sweet fellow that he is, IM’d me that question today and unwittingly opened a huge can of worms that he most likely would rather have left closed. So to his question I offer the following:
I feel really frustrated and annoyed. You see, when a woman becomes pregnant she watches her body, mind and soul take on a dramatic transformation over a slow period of time at which she expects to end at a designated period. Like signing a contract with your cellular phone company.
But pregnancy and due dates are these fluid things that change and fluctuate and in my case NEVER FLIPPING MATERIALIZE. I went to the doctor yesterday and he said “Oh look, you’ve made progress you are 3 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced. I am just sure you will go into labor by Thursday.”
Well, what he doesn’t know is that my body doesn’t like change and it is content for me to remain pregnant forever, until such time the medical community gets it’s claws in me and starts pumping me up with a bunch of crap that will make me feel like climbing the walls and killing people.
So then Craig asked, “Well isn’t there some kind of relief period after birth, like say a couple of days after, when you feel much better?”
Feeling compelled to set him straight, I gave him the real story of what happens AFTER you give birth.
If you are lucky enough to have a vaginal delivery what you have to look forward to right after birth is the overwhelming fatigue and exhaustion of just running a marathon. Your body has dramatically shifted in a short period of time and you have used muscles that you typically never use. Your uterus is sore and bruised from hours of cramping and pushing out a large object. Your cervix is temporarily damaged from stretching and opening to ten times its normal size, your vaginal cavity is stretched beyond comprehension and your pelvic bones have been displaced and forced to retreat to their original position. Your once full abdominal cavity is now empty and your organs are floating around trying to find their proper place. The bladder, which has had tremendous pressure exerted on it for months, as well as extremely hard pushing in the last few hours expands and releases urine at will.
Then there’s the episiotomy, which is a common procedure in most vaginal deliveries. It’s a cut they make between your vagina and anus to make room for the baby’s head. You don’t really feel it during labor and delivery because of all the pressure, but once the pressure is gone and you are stitched up, it swells, itches and burns, especially when you pee, which is all the time since your bladder doesn’t work anymore.
They give you these huge pads to absorb all the blood your uterus is pumping out and they have a tendency to stick to the stitches and you are constantly changing them as you bleed for another two to three weeks. The pain in your pelvic area is constant and throbbing and you are forced to sit in hot baths for your crotch area just to relieve the swelling and pain and keep yourself cleansed and sane.
And, on top of that joy, you get the pleasure of your breastmilk coming in and engorging your breasts. For those who don’t know what that’s like imagine (if you are a woman) your breasts swelling to three times their normal size and feeling like burning orbs on your chest, with the only relief being breastfeeding, which you do round the clock and your nipples become cracked and sore because a moist little mouth is constantly sucking and gnawing on them.
For men, imagine your testicles being backed up, blocked and congested after watching three weeks worth of porno videos and receiving a lap dance-an-hour while force-feeding yourself viagra pills – all while being physically restrained from relieving yourself. It’s mildly uncomfortable to say the least.
Then there is the fatigue from being up all the time looking after a newborn around the clock. You look and feel like shit and your crotch is burning. The fatigue can only be compared to soldiers in battle who are forced to remain alert all the time while wearing soaking wet boots, filthy garments and lugging heavy equipment around in the dark while nursing some gaping wound that causes constant discomfort.
God forbid if you have other children or people who depend on you, because the surge of hormones and emotions will cause you to strike out and bite everyone’s head off and threaten to kill anyone who comes near you.
This my friends, is motherhood, stay tuned as I LOSE MY DAMN MIND.