There’s a lot of things people just don’t tell you about having a baby. It’s like everyone focuses on the it-fucking-hurts part— because what’s more fun than scaring the shit out of a new mom right? However, having had four vagina-destroying miracles myself, I feel inclined to offer a few you-should-knows about just after labor for new moms.
First, after you have your baby (assuming you are at a hospital) those nice nurses will eventually take that goo-covered angel off you to go clean him or her up and advise you that you may get up to shower and such. Now, you’ll probably be excited about that. If you’re like I was you might just stand right up and head for the bathroom to get ‘er done—and then you’ll end up standing there in a puddle of your own blood like some B-grade reenactment of Carrie, which leads me to tip one: when you stand up after your labor grab the absorbent pad underneath you and pinch it between your legs as you waddle to the bathroom. You’ll feel so pretty, I promise.
So, now you are in the privacy of the bathroom and it’s time to get down to business. Never mind the awkwardness of attempting to wash with plastic wrist bands, an IV which may or may not still have a drip going, and if your labor is like mine, possibly a urine collection bag, and a catheter shoved up your mhmm. OK, so you can’t not mind that, it’s really in the fucking way. You can’t even wash your hands effectively. Tip two: just skip the soap. Seriously, it’s not worth it. Rinse the sweat, blood and tears away for now and call it good. On the plus side, it’s quicker that way so you don’t freeze your tits off (somehow inexplicably hospital rooms are always too hot, but their bathrooms are always freezing).
Now feeling like a prisoners that’s just been sprayed with a cold hose, you can make your way to the toilet to diaper up. Chances are next to the toilet there is a bag full of goodies for you to use. In that bag you’ll find fashionable net undies—which have really become more comfortable since my first baby in 2008 I must say—pads the size of your head, and this weird little squirt bottle. That last item is not for hydration. Tip three: This is called a cleansing bottle, and it is your new best friend. As you can imagine, your downstairs as seen better days. It’s stretched, torn, sore and dripping what looks like alien ectoplasm in massive proportions. You fill this handy bottle with room-temp water and use it to rinse yourself like a hand-held bidet to avoid upsetting stitches or having to really wipe. You just rinse, and pat, pat, pat.
Finally, you can return dignified to your bed. Except, eventually, your bathroom gambit will continue with the dreaded after-labor poop, which leaves me with a final and fourth tip: ask for a stool softener right away. You might also consider “the bomb”: a sprite mixed half and half with prune juice followed by a stool softener. An ancient nurse with my second child served me up this not-so-delicious contraption, and my ass-area admittedly was thankful for the soft-serve effect. Oh, and hey, congratulations and welcome to motherhood.