Thursday, February 25, 2010

TMI Thursday: Things no one tells you about labor and delivery.

I haven't done TMI Thursday in awhile, so I thought I would follow up Things no one tells you about being pregnant with a closer look at labor and delivery. Be sure to visit Lilu, the originator of TMI Thursday!

First of all, as predicted, my last TMI Thursday garnered my blog lots of hits from people searching for things like "sniffing panties" and "smells like pee." I am definitely proud. Secondly, I want to warn you that this one is gross, particularly if you have never had a baby. Like, for real, it's gross. So you may want to stop right here if you don't want to be scared away from giving birth.

Ok, if you're still with me, let me set the scene. I have just given birth to The Peanut, and I am both excited he's here and relieved I can stop pushing. Yay! After you pop your kid out, they set him on your tummy for a minute, but then they steal him back. They have to weigh him and do all kinds of invasive things to him. Oh, but they have a plan for you, too, mommy.

I was laying on the bed, trying in vain to see if my kid had all of his fingers and toes, when my doctor informs me he needs to stitch me up. Uh, what? I didn't have a C-section! My doctor explained that I had vaginal tearing that he needed to stitch up. I hadn't felt the tears because of my (sweet, sweet) epidural.

There are few things more embarrassing than lying on a table while someone puts stitches in your hoo-ha. While I am lying there trying to ignore what is going on, I look across the room. What's that big red thing on that table over there? Oh! THAT'S MY PLACENTA. Great. Someone is poking my girl junk with a needle while I stare at my own placenta. Nasty.

So the stitches are done, and my nurse tells me she needs to clean me up. That's more like it! I am pretty sweaty and gross after going through labor. She's not talking about scrubbing my pits, though. She proceeds to "clean up" my cha cha, doing God knows what down there, and I am so mortified. This is your job? To clean up beavs after women have given birth? I would be talking to my union or something.

So now that eighteen people have had fun with my girly parts, I finally get to hold my son. It's wonderful and magical and all the things you would expect. They take us up to our room, where I look forward to bonding with my son and maybe even getting some sleep!

Aha. Aha. Ahahahaha. I get up to the room and my new nurse informs me that I have to go pee. Into a cup that attaches to the toilet, so the nurse can measure my pee. Apparently I have to hit the magic pee number. Great. Awesome.

Here's the thing. I just had stitches. Down there. Drugs are wearing off. Pee is salty. I try to go, but my body just won't pee. It's like my bladder is saying, "Are you kidding? That is going to hurt!" I squeeze out a little bit of urine, but my nurse is not pleased.

To top it all off? I can't wipe. Instead, I have to use a squirt bottle full of warm water to clean off my stuff. Then, I have to spray my junk with a pain-relieving solution (I'm not really complaining about the spray; it was awesome. But it's still weird to spray what looks like a bottle of aerosol deodorant on your crotch). Finally, the nurse gave me some weird panties with a cool-pak to put in them.

After all of this, a nurse comes by every couple of hours to CHECK ON MY VAGINA. I have to lay on my side while she pulls down my gauze granny panties and checks my stitches and such. Again, this is your job? To inspect my damaged labia? Nurses, I don't care how much you make. You are underpaid and under appreciated.

Seriously, though, my nurses were the best and they took great care of me. I could not have asked for better. I felt so bad that they had to do things like measure my pee and check my stitches (and a bunch of other things I would never do), and they acted like it was no big deal and made me feel so comfortable. If you are a maternity nurse, you have my utmost respect. You people are angels from heaven.

As embarrassing and gross as all of this was, I had a great experience giving birth, and I can't wait to do it again. Crazy, isn't it?


Tracy said...

I'd forgotten about the little squirty bottle...and the ice filled granny panties. But I will never forget a nurse named Helga trying to shove her fist through my abdomen, then denying me my Vicodin because my pain level was not an "8". Give birth and I'm suddenly a drug addict.
Ah, memories.
Thanks for the comments over on my guest posts! I feel like such a fashion poser and it's cool to see a nice comment! :)

michelle said...

super gross! lol but if i want babies, i guess i better get over my squeamy tummy. im glad you had wonderful people taking care of you, even if it was a little weird at first :)

Masala Chica said...

OMG. First of all - let me tell you - my first delivery very much made me feel the way you described - by the second - I was kind of numb to it all. Like - oh everybody can look at my hoo hoo. What? Your cousin is visiting? Oh - tell him to come on in! And the first time I delivered, I could NOT pee. But I kept trying. Because I did not want them to put a catheter in me. And I had to go - but I just couldn't. So i felt like I was going to explode. So then they were like - no we have to catheterize you - but I was so inflamed by this point they couldn't find where to put the catheter in. So i had four nurses standing over me - being like "oh is that iT?" and "Gosh - I have never seen anything like this!"

Definitely more traumatic than actuially giving birth!

nikki said...

Ahhh.....this takes me back. I had an episiotomy, so I needed the stitches too. That pain relief spray was magical though, wasn't it? I remember on the day I was discharged they told me to stop using the ice packs and spray and gave me a sitz bath. I hated it. I was like, I wanna go back to the cold packs!

Another thing no one tells you about L&D. The blood. There is so much blood. My husband just about crapped himself the first time I stood up after delivering G. I had a bad time recovering from my epidural so I was laying down for a good three hours. Then I stood up and all that blood that had pooled in my vag went GUSH! The hospital room looked like fucking Scarface was filmed there.

Oh the memories. Tell me again why we're trying so hard for number two?

Sadako said...


I'm never giving birth.

You have my utmost respect for going through that.

LiLu said...

"As embarrassing and gross as all of this was, I had a great experience giving birth, and I can't wait to do it again. Crazy, isn't it?"


But also, pretty awesome. ;-)

BigSis said...

You nailed it. The only part I'd add was that I couldn't pee, so I got the catheter - ew!

Great post!

Jane Marie said...

To all of you who have done this before - It's comforting to know your experiences were similar to mine.

Kiran - Hopefully I will be numb to all of this the second time as well. And hopefully I will be numb from the waist down (thank you mr. anesthesiologist!).

nikki - I didn't have nearly that much bleeding. I mean, there was a lot (hence those Cadillac-sized maxi pads), but I had nothing like what you described! You poor thing (and your poor Hubby!).

Ladies who haven't given birth yet - I hope I haven't scared you away. Trust me, if I made it through the experience, you can too, should you choose that path for your life. My tip: ask for the drugs!

Sadako said...

I'll give birth if you put the mother of all epidural needles straight into my back. I feel oogy from a pelvic exam!

nikki said...

Sadako - the epidural is a girl's best friend. Even though I had a tough time recovering from it immediately post-birth, it was so fucking worth it!

Amber said...

I'm starting to think that your blog should be one of the required texts for all high school human sexuality/sex-ed classes.

Ashley said...

Thank you for making me crack up laughing!

I am 3 months pregnant with my first child - and I'm a little bit nervous about all of this - but mostly looking forward to experiencing it. Does that make me totally crazy?


Jane Marie said...

Sadako - What nikki said is right on. I was set on a natural childbirth until the contractions started coming fast and furious. I admire those who can go without, but for me...i <3 epidurals.

Amber - Thanks! I remember watching a video in health where this lady just quietly pushed out her baby. Yeah right.

Ashley - Congratulations! If you are crazy, I am too. As much as I can get gruesome on my blog, I loved being pregnant, and even loved giving birth. I am expecting my second and looking forward to doing it again.

Cecilia said...

It's taken me this long to catch up on all the blogs I love...but I'm so glad I got to this one!
Gah! I've seriously been waiting to know what REALLY happens after birth. I mean, I know the placenta comes out after, I know about the tearing...but all that stuff after? Stuff they can't really glorify, I guess?
Still, I personally look forward to having children of my own one day :) Thanks for the early prep!

lemeh said...

"to clean up beavs" cannot stop laughing! I am such an adolescent. Love the blog!

lemeh said...

I just gave you an award on my blog :)

Jen said...

I'd much rather give birth than be pregnant.

Seriously, what got to me wasn't the clean up, it was how many people check your cervix before the baby comes.

Every 5 minutes someone walking into the room, "let's see how far we are along now..." and its like what the crap? WHO are you again and you want to put your hand where? Want to introduce yourself first?

I felt like, "Who is going to check me next, the janitor?"

(I had NO tearing and no episiotomy with my second baby, and my perineum was completely painless after birth & during recovery. I attribute it to the copious amounts of Red Raspberry leaf tea I was drinking. Her birth was super easy.)

Alison said...

My fallopian tubes have just tied themselves.
I have a whole new respect for the birthing process. Why didn't anybody mention vaginal tearing in health class?

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