“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”-Elizabeth Stone
I’m going to give you the low down and dirty of giving birth vaginally. Yea, sure its a glorious, beautiful process blah blah blah but it hurts like hell and its a big fucking mess! I had a completely natural birth: No epidural and No C-section. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that’s the right way. The right way is what works best for you and depends on your situation. This is my story and what I experienced. What I hope to accomplish by writing this is giving some insight into vaginal delivery. I can only share what I know and experienced. Also every woman is different and every baby and delivery is different. That being said here are my pointers…
1. Pack your bags ahead of time.
I’m a freak and was so excited that I packed my bags like a month in advance. A few things I had in my bag were fresh jammies (night gowns, I didn’t want anything on my lower half), Granny panties, socks with the non-slip bottoms, laptop, electronic chargers, going home outfit for Westie, going home outfit for myself A.K.A Jammies that were acceptable for the public to see. and whatever will help you feel at home while you’re at the hospital. Because NOBODY likes hospitals.
2. Ask for an ICE diaper – or make your own
The hospital I chose was amazing. I swear it could double as a resort (minus the monitors and nurses checking in every few hours). One thing that I LOVED was that they made these ice diapers for me. Its as simple as ripping one side of a diaper and pouring ice inside and just ice your vagina. I had a pretty bad rip and oh man was I sore..that ice diaper felt like heaven! It works out because as the ice melts the diaper absorbs the water.
3. You’re going to bleed. A LOT.
Every time I went to the bathroom it looked like murder scene, tissue and blood and more tissue and blood. I obviously couldn’t wipe so they gave me a squirt bottle and numbing spray (my second favorite next to the ice diapers). It felt so good to use that squirt bottle. I had stitches and it would be itchy because it was healing. I would make sure that the water bottle was filled with warm/hot water to scratch that itch I couldn’t get to. My hospital gave me these gigantic orange pads that were seriously as long as my arm, but they got the job done. I had brought some of my own but honestly in the first few days you want those big seat cushions in between your legs to catch the massacre that is falling out of you. And also to apply some pressure to your poor sore vag. I cant even remember how long I bled for but it was longer than a month I know that. and it gradually gets better and more like your regular period.
4. The nurses are going to come in and massage your belly. and its going to hurt.
A few times a day the nurses came in to check on me, my stitches, and my belly. They massage your belly and check to make sure your uterus is going back to where its supposed to be. This is not pleasant. At least it wasn’t for me. Thankfully my nurses were nice and apologized profusely as they kneaded my belly like they would bread. they were quick about it though so my discomfort level only lasted a minimal amount of time.
5. Ask for painkillers.
Now just because I didn’t get an epidural doesn’t mean I’m against pain killers. The truth about why I didn’t get epidural was I was more afraid of an epidural then giving birth, so I opted out ( I had other reasons too, but I’ll leave it for a different post). I was given percocet and it was amazing. It really took the edge off of my throbbing belly and vagina. and don’t worry breastfeeding mommies, I could still breastfeed.
6. Your hormones are going to go NUTS!
I remember a few days after getting released from the hospital, I took Westie to his first check up. It went well. Westie was healthy. But I was hysterically crying in my car. I couldn’t help myself. I bawled like a baby until my mom came out and found me. You are going to be filled with so many emotions: Fear, hope, pride,and most of all LOVE. So when you feel like your going crazy and you can’t control your emotions… blame the hormones. IT will go away soon.
7. Don’t be afraid to poop. during labor and after
One of my biggest fears (it seems silly now) was that I was going to poop on the delivery table. I may have, I may not have, honestly I don’t even know. When you’re in labor it feels like you are going to take the biggest shit of your life. seriously. Not only that but so many things are coming out of your vagina and you’re in so much pain that you wont know what is coming out of what hole. I had a third degree rip, I believe the full rip is a 4th degree (full rip= straight through from your vagina to you butt hole) So I had a pretty decent rip. I was so scared to poop. But when I finally did, it didn’t hurt. at all. I was really surprised, and relieved.
8. your vagina doesn’t get ruined. It actually improves.
I was really really really reaaaally scared to take a mirror down there to see what shape I was in after giving birth. I waited as long as I possibly could, probably about month or 2 after. And when I finally did , I was pleasantly surprised. It looked even better then before. So don’t worry ladies, think of it as vagina face lift 😉
9. If you’re breastfeeding utilize the lactation consultant.
Westie was really sleepy the first couples days and I had trouble getting him to stay awake long enough to get fed. It actually delayed us getting released. That and he was a little jaundice. The lactation consultant came by and gave me some tips and helped me learn how to get a latch and then followed up with me. It was really helpful.
10. The nurses practically take care of your baby.
I totally abused this. My nurses were very helpful and taught me how to change Westie and practically did everything for me. I may or may not have played a little dumb so I could take a step back and let them do all the dirty work. Hey! I was gonna be on my own once I left.. whats a few days of no diaper changing. On the same note of taking advantage of the hospitals- take every kind of supply they supply you with: diapers, baby hats and onsies, wipes, baby soap, and the snot sucker thingy… I stole it all. Like I said before the hospital I gave birth in was amazing.
OK, That’s all I got. I hope I was helpful. When I was pregnant I read everything I could. I would watch vaginal deliveries to prepare but to be honest nothing you can do will prepare you for whats about to happen to your body. Its awesomely gross. But the end result makes it all worth it. and to be honest… you forget. You forget about the pain and details. It will be 10 months tomorrow (HAPPY 10 MONTHS WESTIE!!!) and I really struggled to remember what happened during and after giving birth.
If you’re expecting don’t worry, its really scarey but you are meant to do this. Our bodies were made to do this. So trust in nature and also your medical professionals and you’ll get through it. The most important thing having a baby did for me was show me that I am so much stronger than I ever thought I was. and I respect myself so much more. And of course the love you feel for that little tiny shitting, puking, peeing human is something that you have never ever felt before.