Woah. Posting a week late? Not cool, Fulghum Family, not cool.
I haven’t even been at this for very long, but missing a week felt so wrong. Listen, I had my stepdaughter, nephew, and the baby, my parents were in town, plus MY SISTER GOT MARRIED. For sure the most fun wedding I have ever been to. Also the one I cried the most at? Anyway, I’m back in action and I promise not to make you wait any longer.
My last couple of posts have been revealing the truth about having a baby – you know, the things that people don’t typically talk about. If you haven’t read parts 1 and 2, go read those and then come back here!
Without further ado.. Having A Baby: Things I Didn’t Know Part 3!
- It’s a pain in the butt. Literally. Many small children are under the impression that when a baby is born, it comes out of mommy’s butt. Now, we all know that’s not the case – But if recovery pain was all I had to base my ASSumptions off of, I’d totally agree. I’m not sure if it’s pain displacement because all of the nerves in the area are shocked and appalled by what just went down a few hours prior. All I know is that it felt like someone had punched me in the behind about 1 million times. I couldn’t even get up out of the bed without help because my butt hurt SO BAD. The nurses kept trying to encourage me to walk around by bribing me with a shower. If I got up 3 times by myself, I could bathe. I decided right then and there I’d just never shower again. You couldn’t have paid me all the money in the world. I’ve never been so aware of my bum. Never. Dermoplast spray saved my life. I even sent my left over spray in the mail to a friend who was about to have her baby. If you don’t have some, get some.
- Peeing is scary. With the miracle of life comes the miracle of no longer being in a constant state of having to pee. Due to the absolute trauma that your downstairs has just endured, nothing is scarier than having the urge to pee (or worse). Hold it as long as you want but the time will come. You will have to go. And guess what? A lady you’ve never met will have to go with you and watch. Being pee shy (or any kind of shy for that matter) really doesn’t fair well postpartum. After I finally managed to do the deed in front of my judging audience, I reached for the toilet paper. The nurse supervising me SLAPPED my hand away. “NO! You use the squirt bottle.” That’s right, you literally have to hose yourself off when you finish up. Toilet paper would have been horrendous, so although she could have used her words sooner, I do appreciate Nurse Slappy intervening before I made a terrible mistake. Here are some pro tips: 1) Use warm water. You’ll have to hold it longer while the water heats up, but trust me, cold water shocks you, causing you to tense up, and thus, more pain. 2) Fill it allllll the way up, and hose while you pee. It will water it down and ease the searing pain that will follow just a little. 3) Air dry for as long as you can. 4) It’s okay to cry or curse your husband a little, no one has to know.
- You may become narcoleptic. Okay maybe not legitimately, but you will show the symptoms. I wasn’t able to sleep at all during my labor because of nerves, excitement, and constantly beeping monitors. I was so tired after having my baby that I would fall asleep mid conversation no matter who was talking to me. I’d also fall asleep every time I’d try to nurse the baby and almost drop on the floor. Oops. As a result of that extreme exhaustion, you won’t remember a lot of things either. Like advice the nurses are giving you about bathing the baby or yelling “I need your help,” at your unsuspecting husband at 4 am. But guess what? Babies don’t sleep, so neither will you! It’s a vicious cycle and it may not end for a very, very long time. Just get used to being tired because I’m 7 months in and there’s no end in sight.
- You may not like your baby. And that’s okay. I bonded fast (a little too fast) and hard (a little too hard) with Evelyn. To the point where I couldn’t stand if we weren’t touching or if I couldn’t see her (It has a name – postpartum anxiety). However, I’ve realized in talking with other women, not everyone bonds immediately. I’ve spoken with women for whom it took a few days, weeks, and even months to feel that undying love for their child. It’s understandable. This tiny person terrorizes your body for hours until it finally busts out of you, leaves you to deal with the wreckage, and then yells at you constantly to meet its needs even when you are meeting its needs. Don’t feel bad if you want the nurses to take your baby away and never come back. It’ll pass.
- There is no manual. During your hospital stay, nurses are coming in around the clock to monitor you and your baby. Then all of a sudden, they kick you out the door and leave you on your own with this very tiny, and very loud stranger. The feeling is overwhelming and you may want to look for a return slot to stick your baby in before you leave the parking lot, but as you get to know your baby, things get easier (give it 2 or so months). The biggest lesson I had to learn was that no one expects a new mother to have it together (except of course that new mother). I tried so hard to act like I was fine, my baby was fine, my house was fine, my husband was fine. Eventually it all came crashing down and reality set in. I had no idea what I was doing and neither does any other mother out there. If someone tells you they do, they’re lying.
- There will be so much poop. Enough said.
- Anything goes. I feel like I’m repeating myself.. Haven’t I said this before? Of course I have but I can’t drive it home enough – Dealing with a newborn will test your survival instincts. It will tap dance right on top of your will to live. Our first night home, my husband and I had NO clue what we were doing. My boobs didn’t work, my baby was hungry, everyone was crying. He ended up going to Walmart at 3 am for swaddles and formula. I didn’t even find out it was 3 am until days later. From that night on for about two months, I lived in a time warp. You may do some things that make you question your ability to parent or even take care of yourself. Your baby may pee on your bed, you may feed her formula instead of breastmilk, she may sleep in your bed instead of her own. At the end of the day, as long as you’re all still alive, I’d consider it a job well done.
I could honestly go on and on about things I never knew about having a baby, but I’ll cut it off here. That’s allllll for today folks! Once again, I’m super excited for next week’s blog post because I have such a funny story to share.
Thanks for tuning in and as always, feedback is always welcomed and appreciated!