Friday, August 31, 2012

The History of My Stretchmarks And Other Important Crap



When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, Abby, it was at 2 o'clock in the morning on March 6, 2006.
 I was sitting on the toilet in my tiny bathroom, wearing my VW bug houseshoes and holding three pregnancy tests.
 
All of them were positive.

Now, I knew a little bit about being pregnant at that point. I knew nothing about actually bringing a child into the world via my vagina, but I knew about pregnancy. (At least, I thought I did.)  The fact is, folks, there isn't a book, sage motherly advice, documentary or "Idiot's Guide To Anything" that can prepare you for what is going to happen to you over the next nine months, and then the subsequent year of your life with a baby.
 
Thus, I've compiled a list of "The Top 12 Things I wish I would have known about pregnancy, labor and delivery".
The dirty truth.
The cold hard facts.
The things that people tend to forget happen after they've birthed their children.
 
(Thank  you, Kim, for suggesting this topic! Let's see if we can't gross out some men-folk, and terrify some women who have yet to pop out a baby!)

 
 
12.) Morning Sickness That Lasts All Day, or what I like to call: "Wow, this fucking sucks...I'm pregnant and I can eat nothing."So this one is interesting. Most women will experience a bit of morning sickness during their pregnancies, and it is often a key identifier among symptoms when women suspect they are pregnant. Now, most women that have a bit of morning sickness can: lay in the bed in their natal-glow, eat crackers, drink ginger ale and just be ready to take on the day.
 Then, there is a smaller portion of pregnant women that we sometimes hear about. The pregnant women who can't get out of bed because everytime their horizontal bodies become vertical ones...they puke. These are severe cases, but they happen. I once saw a pregnant woman whose "morning sickness" lasted so long, and she puked so frequently that she busted the blood vessels in her eyes. It was really fuckin' scary. Things like this can also lead to dehydration, low blood sugar and malnutrition for the mother and the baby. Most women think morning sickness only last 9-12 weeks, but Au Contraire!
 
Sometimes, that shit stays with you until the end.                                                   




 
 
 
11.) Your belly button will never be the same. -
Before I had my children, I had the most beautiful belly button. It was of average depth, width and had a nice "innie" appearance. At around the 20th week of gestation, your growing baby will begin to transform anything that was once flat or concave on your abdomen: this includes your belly button.
 I hate to break it to you, but...your belly button will look gross. It will look gross, and after you have your baby...It will never be cute again. Unless you're one of those women that has magic belly button syndrome, and in that case...90% of the women reading this post that have birthed children, and have weird looking belly buttons because of it... secretly hate you.
 
 Just so you know.
 
 



 
10.) Let's talk about discharge! - Okay, so the female reproductive system is a miraculous thing. Basically, your uterine health and general vaginal happiness can be gauged by what kind of discharge you have.
 
Yes, I said discharge...ewwwwww...gross!
What are we, two years old?
Grow up.
 
  • Clear discharge- Normal vagina
  • Thick, clear discharge - Ovulating (this is also a signal of a high sex drive...woot!woot!)
  • Yellow discharge - Ermm...get that bidniss checked out.
  • Greenish yellow discharge- Whoa! GO SEE YOUR LADY DOCTOR!!
  • Grey Discharge- Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!! (I was unaware that grey discharge was even an option until I looked it up)
 When a woman is pregnant they develop something called a "mucous plug". This is basically something your body creates to help stop up the cervix until it's time for your unborn child to make their exit. Now, I'd heard all about the  "mucous plug":

"A mucousy substance, sometimes tinged red with blood; otherwise known as, bloody show"

Okie dokie...I could do that.

You guys, it's like snot. If a pregnant woman's vagina had a runny nose: that's what the "mucous plug" is like.
It's not horrifying, but you should know...it's a helluva lot more disgusting than they make it out to be.

 Gah-ross.







 
9.) Hey, I'm pregnant...I should enjoy relaxin'. - During your entire pregnancy, your body is changing. It is readying itself for the single most painful and exhausting thing a human body can endure. Thus, in order for a woman's pubic area to accomodate something the size of a medium-sized melon passing through it, our bodies produce a protein horomone called "Relaxin".
 
Relaxin works by giving the pubic bones the ability to move and accomodate your bundle of joy through the birth canal without breaking your hips. It also keeps your uterus from involuntarily contracting while your fetus is developing, thereby preventing your body from naturally aborting the baby. (Thanks for looking out, Autonomic Functions of My Body!)
 
 Now, all of this is great and really functional and everything, BUT...what they don't tell you is while the bones in your pelvis are able to expand because of relaxed ligaments...so are the bones in your feet.
 
I used to wear a size 6 shoe. Mother Nature is a big ole giant bitch, sometimes.
 







 

8.) Lots of sex...sometimes....and then never. - Great news! Sometime after the morning sickness subsides, and before you feel like an enormous sea cow in a muumuu...you will, for about a month or two, feel extremely sexy.
The pressure to get pregnant is off.
The nausea is gone.
Your breasts are bigger.
You're glowing and you will want sex...ALL OF THE TIME.
This is normally something that is eagerly recieved by the partner to the pregnant woman, but it should also be viewed as this:

It will be the last time you will have complete access to as much sex as you can stand for around...5 months.
After this eight week window passes...sex will no longer be something that is at the forefront of the pregnant lady's mind. Plus, positioning becomes tricky.
My advice? Jump on the sex train while it's there, people, because before you know it...the station will close down.








 
7.) Glossy, shiny, beautiful hair...on my nipples? - One benefit of pregnancy is...the hair. The glorious, bouncy, shiny hair that we all hear about. Pregnant women have the most beautiful hair. This is due to the excess of nutrients flowing through our bodies during this time. While women hear tale of the lustrous manes of their mothers and grandmothers...those mothers and grandmothers always forget to leave one bit of hair-growth story telling out: A pregnant woman's hair becomes glorious, bouncy and extra shiny...EVERYWHERE.

Every woman who has carried another human being in her uterus...will have hair on her nipples. It happens.
 I have hair on my nipples.
The woman sitting next to me at the beauty shop probably has hair on her's.
 We pluck them, we Nair them...we schedule some laser hair removal, but it doesn't change the fact that they were there.


Gone, but not forgotten!
 








6.) Every other pregnant woman is better at everything than you are. -
There will come a time during pregnancy when you can no longer shave your Possible. You have no clothes that fit. Your nose has expanded, and you look down to see that your ankles have been replaced by two tree trunks.
It is at this moment, you will see pregnant women everywhere who seem to have it all together. They are barely showing, they don't have stretch marks...they're still wearing clothes that aren't sweatpants or muumuus.

It is okay to hate these women, because it just is. Applaud their good fortune on lack of stretch marks while they are boasting to your face, and then flip them a stiff-middle finger the moment they walk away.

 It is perfectly normal and okay to hate them.
 








 
 
5.) Contractions hurt... a lot...almost like if you stabbed yourself in the vagina with an ice pick. -
We've all scene cinematic presentations of childbirth. The water breaks in the most inconvenient of locations (an elevator, in the car),the women are screaming and the men are fainting.
It's not like that.
 Anymore, the doctors are scheduling births because it is more convenient. Don't get me wrong, women go into labor all of the time on their own, but as a general rule of thumb...doctors are trying to take the inconvenience out of labor and delivery.

The one thing that doctors can't change, and the movies did have correct are: the contractions.

They really, really, really fucking hurt.

The pain wraps around your body, and you're trying to breathe but you can't and someone is telling you, "Breathe, honey."....and you just want to poke their eyeballs out.

It's a nightmare.

 No feeling is as wonderful as those first few moments right after your epidural kicks in.
Also, if you're one of those women that battled through the pain and didn't need an epidural:


1.) Props to you and your ability to tolerate pain comparable to having your body being torn into two separate pieces, at the crotch... by a Decepticon.

2.) There are women who secretly hate you, and your high pain tolerance.







 
4.) Sometimes...EPIDURALS DON'T WORK. -

 Women operate under this grand illusion of, "No big deal...I will only contract for a little bit, but then...I will get my epidural!" Yeah, well...here's some really shitty news:
Sometimes, even though you really want them to, epidurals don't work. I found this out during my second experience with labor and delivery. My beautiful son ,Sammy, was brought into this world only to be greeted by my torturous screams because...my epidural didn't work. I wish they did. Trust me, being on the shitty end of that whole "sometimes-they-work-sometimes-they-don't" stick...I want them to work all of the time more than anyone.

But KNOW....sometimes....they...don't.
 





 
 
3.) Everybody poops. - This is all very self explanatory. There is a very real possibility that while you are pushing, with all of your might, to get your sweet little baby into this world...you might poop. Right on the delivery room table.

No worries, though.

 This isn't the first time you've pooped and this isn't the first time these nurses have seen it. I was prepared for the possibility of defecation during delivery because I read about it in "What To Expect".

What I wasn't prepared for was the tar-like poop that my new, tiny baby would produce.
You wanna talk about something gross?! Let's talk about those first baby poops.
Imagine the La Brea tar pits. Think about enormous dinosaurs getting trapped in the sludge, unable to escape, and that's what your baby's first poop is like. The more you wipe, the more there is. Scary, dinosaur trapping, tar poopies.

The joys of Motherhood. 
 





 
2.) Boobs are now a functional item and breastfeeding hurts.Before having children, my breasts were a recreational item. It isn't until the first time you nurse your child you realize, "Ohhh...they do have a purpose!" Breastfeeding is also the fastest way to completely eviscerate cinematic views on those first few moments of trying to nurse your child. If it's your first time to nurse a baby, and it's your baby's first time to breastfeed...it can be the most frustrating and painful thing you've experienced. The first feeding isn't the bad part...it's the second and third...

Imagine the worst case of chapped lips you've ever had.

Now...imagine someone touching them. Repeatedly. On purpose.
The first few days of breastfeeding was like a red-hot poker through my soul. I don't think I need to repeat it, but I will...If you were one of those women that had a glorious and easy breastfeeding experience, and never shed a tear through the entire process:


There are women who secretly hate you.
 



 
1.) Episiotomies and...beyond. - If you have a vaginal birth, you can almost expect one of two things to happen:

1.) Episiotomies and Stitches
2.) Tearing and Stitches

 
 While the vagina is remarkably elastic...sometimes, it just isn't elastic enough. Fortunately, for women who recieve an epidural...they don't feel any of the cutting/tearing and stitching of their most delicate areas. However, epidurals don't last forever and when the feeling slowly begins to come back to you... it comes back in a whole new kind of pain you have yet to experience in your life.

The stitches go away, but it does take quite a while before you can even wipe your butt and not cringe.



 
  • In closing, I would like to say, everything I've said is true. It happens. It isn't all that happens, but it's the stuff you don't often hear about. This is the point where I feel obligated to tell you that having my children is the best decision I have ever made in my life, and nothing I can do...ever...will top that accomplishment. They are beautiful, hysterical, amazing human-beings, BUT... none of that changes the fact that I have stretch marks on my ankles. 
 

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