Saturday, November 6, 2010

Eww, gross

I'm enjoying a rare moment of solitude with nothing to do (thanks to all of my really fabulous help around the house from visiting family), a sleeping baby and things returning to my groggy mind to write about.

So I had delusions about writing a book this month as a part of NaNoWriMo. Ha! I did it last year, I will do it again in the future, but a few weeks after giving birth is not the right time to write the book. However, I do think I will turn the contents of this blog and other pregnancy writings I have done into a book someday, so I figured I should write about this stuff while it's still on my mind.

I warn you, it's kinda gross. Stop reading if you don't want to read about gross stuff I went through during and after birth. Really, I'm assuming you will stop reading now if you are squeamish.

You've been warned.

Lots of things about labor were surprising. For one, I didn't know it could go on for 50 hours with only 2cm of dilation. That was unpleasant. It was also surprising to me that I "lost my mucus plug"... and then kept losing more and more. And Mucus Plug and Bloody Show are both really nice terms for what is basically a giant ball of bloody snot. You know that kind of stringy white/clear mucus you get when you're really congested? That's kind of what it was like, but with blood. All in all, I probably noticed about an oranges worth of that stuff over a 30 hour period. I expected the first tablespoon of it to be the bulk, but it just kept coming! Odd.

Oh, and then there was the matter of my "water breaking". I have friends who had it break to start labor. And in birth class they told me that it would probably not break until I was in the hospital already, around 4-5cm dilated. And of course there was always the possibility that it would be broken to progress labor. But I wasn't really prepared for what did happen. It didn't break. At all. In fact, when Scott's head first started to crown, the doctor and nurse were both a little confused at how odd it looked. Not enough to tell me at the time, but it was odd. Finally my doctor figured out that all my membranes were still in tact and she cut them. If she hadn't done that, Scott probably would have come out in a fully intact bag of fluid. That's super odd. So my water never broke.

After you give birth, they sew you up. I think I got one stitch, but I didn't ask. I'll try and find out at my follow up doctor visit. Afterwards, I sat on the bed for a while, and eventually when enough feeling had returned to my legs, they told me to try and stand. I had my catheter removed a little while before that, so first order of business was to go to the bathroom. Let me tell you, you have no shame in the moments after birth, but it's still a little odd to have someone walk you into the bathroom. Ah, but then you see why. You have zero control of your bladder after giving birth. I didn't really pee until I got to the toilet, but it just sorta went. And boy was it gross. So much blood. And then I had a very nice nurse explain to me how to clean myself up with a squirt bottle because wiping was going to be too painful. These things they don't tell you when you are pregnant. Labor, sure, you learn about. But losing all bladder control after birth for a good day was odd. I didn't pee myself, but but still.

Finally, it's now 3.5 weeks later and things still hurt. I am still bleeding bright red blood with some clots, although a very small amount of it at this point. No fun. My dining room chairs are uncomfortable for extended periods of time. At least Scott won't let me sit down and eat for more than 10 minutes, he just knows when I'm ready to eat... or done. I'd like to be healed, but I guess that's why they say 6 weeks healing time.

Ok, that's the update for now. Not so much of an update, but things I didn't want to forget, because it's all this gross and uncomfortable stuff that you forget about in order to talk yourself into having more children.


  1. I thought pre/early labor could last for a week, but I just looked it up and saw that it could be a month! Eep! Don't think most are as painful as yours were though. I'm exhausted just thinking about the 2+ days of frequent contractions you went through.

  2. I just ran across this and thought your other readers might like the info about some of the gross stuff people don't talk about. :)