Guest Post: Bodily Functions After Baby

Wasssuuppp That Wife readers! My name is Mandy, but some of you may know me as Mrs. Dumpling from WeddingBee or as theOMGmom, my internet persona post-wedding.

Jenna asked me to guest blog for her and OMG I am beyond excited. But before we go any further, I should warn you: my writing style is very different from Jenna’s and I tend to throw all common descency out the window. I’ll try to limit my foul language for everyone =)

Today we are going to talk about your vagina. HELLO!

When I was pregnant, I didn’t read about any of this in those stupid “What to Expect….” books, so I’m here today to talk about it so you wont have to hear it from your friends.

This is just one of many new bodily functions you will experience in the days after you give birth. Now, this is how it usually goes for regular/normal vaginal hospital births in the US, so sorry C-section and home birth/water birth friends. Can’t help you, cause I have no freaking idea what the heck happened during your birth in the tub or afterwards when it was time for you to make poo. All of this can also probably be attributed to my episiotomy (where they cut your woo-woo to get your baby’s big head out of your ginatown), because I’m serious when I tell you I felt the doctor slice my big girl area.

Almost immediately after you give birth- and deliver placenta, get stitched back up- you are transferred from your labor/delivery room to a recovery room. I was lucky enough to get a private recovery room thanks to my insurance carrier, but I really REALLY feel for those of you who were not so fortunate. And to the ladies that haven’t had their babies yet (and you non-preggos too), I seriously recommend finding out a) if your insurance pays for a private room and b) how much extra it will cost you to get a private room. TIP: If your insurance only pays for semi-private (read: shared), find a hospital that only has private rooms and give birth there. Your insurance will have no choice but to pay. SUCK IT, HEALTHCARE!

You might be wondering why the whole private room thing is a big deal anyways if you’re just gonna be in there to sleep and recover. HAHA, I say to you! You must not be familiar with something I like to refer to as “burning, bleeding vagina because you just squeezed a watermelon out of a keyhole syndrome.”

After you move to your recovery room, you’re basically laid up in your bed bleeding buckets and getting your diaper changed every couple of hours. Not only does the nurse change your diaper , but she is required to write down your bowl movements on your chart. THE CHART IS ON THE WALL for everyone’s viewing pleasure. You have a diaper on because you’re bleeding and its VERY very difficult to walk your ass 3 feet to the bathroom to do it yourself. If you are able to walk to the toilet (in your room, hopefully), you have to unhook yourself from the machines or drag them with you, hold your gown shut while simultaneously trying to hold your vagina in place because the damn thing is literally about to fall off, and then figure out how you are supposed to get up from the toilet once you’re done. You’ll most likely be doing this in front of all of your relatives and well wishers who just. wont. leave. The diapers are good, man. You just lay there while the nurse does it.

My hospital required my nurse to go to the bathroom with me and monitor my bowel movements. TWO MAIN REASONS TO GET PRIVATE ROOM!!! Very humiliating. I can’t imagine sharing a room with someone while that’s going on…curtain separator thingy or not…no thanks. Plus, I do not share a bathroom. At home, hubby and I have separate bathrooms. Can. Not. Share.

The nurse helped me to the toilet (which was in my room) where she showed me how to clean myself. Here’s where the goodies (and a photo tour!) come in.

This is your diaper. What the hell kind of panties will these fit into? Uh- the big gauzey ones from the hospital, that’s what kind. Make sure you steal ALL of these from your goodie closet in your room. Also remember to steal the extra sets of big, gauzy undies. You’ll thank me later when you’re at home and don’t have to figure out how to stuff one of these into your VS boy shorts. I went through about 4 of these per day, if that tells you anything.

That brings me to these: Bed liners. You should also make sure these get stolen from your room. My husband made me sleep on these for a good 2 weeks so I wouldn’t get our white sheets dirty. He also made me sleep on a plastic bed liner when I was pregnant in case my water broke at night…but that’s another story for another time with a very horrifying ending.

When you do go to the bathroom, you need these items: a squirt bottle, hemorrhoid pads (I recommend Tucks or the generic version from Target), and Dermoplast. I know what you’re thinking….hemorrhoids? I wont get those. HAHAHAHA. You are stupid. You need to listen to theOMGmom and get these pads. Even if you don’t get hemorrhoid’s, your lady bits are going to be swollen from pushing out a human and/or the episiotomy (or from tearing naturally without the epi) and these nice little medicated pads will make you feel nice. They sort of cool you off down there and make you a little numb. And honestly, you will want to be numb. The hospital supplied us with one box of Tucks, but I made hubby go ask for 3 more boxes. I went through all 4 boxes in 2 weeks and had to get more. Also in the photo is a bag of thick maxi-pads, like the kind you wore when you were 13. After a week (give or take) you’ll stop bleeding so much and will no longer need the diaper. Don’t be an idiot and think “I can’t wear kotex! I’ll just buy tampons.” Are you serious? You wanna put a stick up there? *****Shudder….*****

So the steps are: Walk to potty
Sit on potty
Switch diapers
Go potty, use TP
Squirt yourself with warm water from squirt bottle (i just used warm water from the sink, use entire bottle)
Pat yourself with Tucks pads
Put 2 tucks pads inside diaper so that they are sitting in there cooling you off for a while- place them accordingly….(sorry! I know! But you need to know what you’re in for, ok?)
Spray your lady bits with Dermoplast. Go ahead and give yourself a good spray so you’re nice and numb.
Pull up big gauzy panties, keeping those Tucks pads in place
Continue to be humiliated

Bathroom time is not fun for a while, but it gets easier. Please remember what I told you about stealing stuff from the hospital. You won’t want to hobble it over to Target for adult diapers, squirt bottles, hemorrhoid pads, crotch spray and bed liners post delivery. For starters, you cant go to Target- you wont be able to. Also, they don’t sell the liners or the hospital diapers and it’s not so much fun trying to explain to your dad exactly which hemrorrhoid pads to get for you. Plus, how embarrassing would it be to put that stuff on the counter to pay?

My husband and I are the king and queen of free stuff. We stole everything from the hospital that wasn’t bolted down! There really is a goodie closet that is filled with personal hygiene stuff just for you, so its not exactly stealing. We left with a box filled with toothpaste, kleenex boxes, all of the stuff mentioned above, toilet paper, shampoo, soap, hand sanitizer….everything. In addition, the hospital gives you a box of newborn diapers and wipes as a free gift- which is bullshit. ONE box of diapers and wipes? My husband, dad, step-mom and MIL all asked different nurses for a box of diapers and we ended up leaving there with 7 boxes. SCORE. We also took the big blue bulb boogie snatcher, baby comb, and a months worth of Enfamil pre-made bottles. TAKE EVERYTHING FROM THE HOSPITAL. Even if you dont plan on using formula or disposable diapers, take it. You can always send it to me. I’ll use it for sure.

Still not convinced that we’re cheap? Did I tell you that the hubs wore his scrubs (our friend Jared is a doctor and gave him some scrubs) to the hospital when I was giving birth? Oh yes. Not only did he look cool, but he also got a discount in the cafeteria.

So there you have it. I’m so glad I’m past the ouchy-in-the-bathroom stage and I hope you can learn something from this post. The bottom line is: potty time no fun, very embarrassing to get diaper changed and poo in front of nurse, get a private room and take everything you can from hospital.

Oh, by the way, nice to meet everyone! If you are interested in reading more about the real stuff that happens during/after pregnancy, including peeing your pants in public, getting drunk at a baby shower when I was 9 months pregnant and what it’s really like to have date night with a newborn, visit my blog.

62 thoughts on “Guest Post: Bodily Functions After Baby

  1. I wanted to marry that little squirty bottle after my baby was born, but my husband had a problem with it. And then my dog chewed it up right after my 6 week check up… like, literally ATE it. I only ever found the little white bit at the top with teeth marks that gave me an inkling to its fate.

    But yes, you speak the truth. It ain’t no picnic down there afterwards.

    Evelyn Reply:

    I somehow managed to take 2 home and although I think one bit the dust, I still keep the other around. Those things are awesome… even 2 years after you have the baby! =)

  2. Just wanted to say that I love OMGmom’s guest blog. I read her blog daily as I do That Wife. I’m expecting my first in September and kinda nervous, but super excited. Love your gal’s honesty about what you’ve done to prepare, what it was like and what to expect. Way more educational value than you get from any of the What to Expect books. 🙂

  3. I have no idea why anyone would not think to put this in a baby book? 😛 It doesn’t sound scary or horrible at all.

    My husband and I have been talking about starting a family. And being the planner I am, I’ve already spent a great deal of time reviewing my employer insurance options. My insurance only pays for semi-private rooms. And they included a clause that if the hospital only has private rooms, they will work out what a semi-private room would cost, cover that, and you are responsible for the difference. I, too, thought that I could get away with a private room at certain hospitals. No such luck.

    So ladies, I recommend reading your insurance policy, calling your provider to see what all that mumbo-jumbo means and/or talking to a co-worker who has been through all this. You can never be too educated!

  4. As the nurse who has had to watch her patient “go poo,” please know that we don’t exactly enjoy that part of the job!

    Also, the bed liners are commonly referred to as “chux”, which (unfortunately) are basically the same as the piddle pads you can get for your puppy at the local pet store (if indeed, you are that desperate for them!)

    Thanks for the real deal!

  5. I LOVED those huge diaper things. I remembered loving them from my first birth, so after the second, I stocked up! Thankfully, with this second birth, they just asked about the bowel movement thing – and I lied. I told them I went when I didn’t because I’m a big girl and I knew I could handle *that* whole situation when I got home. (and it went fine…TMI?)

    And I remember loving those tuck pads and the squirt bottle – it was heaven every time i went to the bathroom and got to replace those – heaven. The worst part of all that recovery is wondering if it will ever end. I swear the second time I thought the pain and soreness would NEVER go away, then magically you wake up and it’s gone.

    Thanks for the funny reminder of the not-at-all glamorous side of childbirth!

  6. I am not preggers and I haven’t heard of any of this stuff before and I am now completely a humorous way of course!

    Life of a Doctor's Wife Reply:

    I thought the post was hilarious too… And I’ve read other posts about post-baby body ravages… But I am TERRIFIED. Makes me all woozy just thinking about it!

  7. This post was hilarious. I love your comedy spin on an oh-so-sensitive issue. I must admit, I’m actually not looking forward to post-baby (I’m probably only looking forward to the practice of making one when I get married) but KNOWING what to expect is half the battle. Thanks for this wisdom.

  8. THANK YOU for your honesty. People aren’t honest enough about this and it leaves me wondering and curious when they hint to it!

  9. I really enjoyed this post for it’s blunt humor, but I have to say, I read the drunk post and I loved it! Well, ok, first I was furious that ANYONE would give an obviously pregnant woman spiked punch, but after *that* initial thought I laughed out loud 🙂

  10. Hurray for a Mandy post!!!! 🙂
    Love all the info
    I cringe but am SO thankful that someone is giving me the real-deal scoop of what I will be in for 🙂

  11. Hmmm…maybe the husband and I should rethink the whole baby thing?? lol, j/k 🙂

    “SUCK IT, HEALTHCARE!” Love it!! You crack me up girl!

  12. Aaaagckkkk. Gross. Thanks for this extra ‘dose’ of birth control 🙂

    I love your blog btw. I know i never comment, but i read

  13. The show 16 and Pregnant should really think about hiring you as an interventionist!

    Katy Reply:

    Love that idea! 🙂

    Although hopefully we can get them before the 16 & Pregnant show and share stories on the show titled: “15 & Think I’m Old Enough to Have Sex and Deal with the Consequences but I’m Really Not”

    LeiLani Reply:

    Haha! This is great! I third this idea. That’s enough to get MTV’s attention, right? Heck, I’m almost 26 and reading Mandy’s blogs has me thinking I’m still not ready!

  14. Um. OMG. It’s a good thing your daughter is so cute, because seriously, reading this, I was like, why why why would ANYONE put themselves through that? And then I remembered how cute your daughter is.

  15. Please, please, please let me have a home birth! Jenna – if you don’t tear, don’t need stitches, etc. – do you still bleed all the time? Mandy – is the bleeding from the tear/cut/stitches – or from your uterus continuing to shed post birth? Oh the non-glamorous side of birth (makes me wonder if there is a glamorous side!).

    Evelyn Reply:

    The bleeding is like a six week period that you get to have after giving birth. (For some its shorter, I don’t know that I’ve heard of longer, but I’m sure it can happen.)

    It happens regardless of the presence of a tear. Since tears & cuts are usually repaired I don’t think they should cause much if any additional bleeding. Will tears & cuts cause added tenderness, soreness, swollen-ness??–ABSOLUTELY!!!

    I don’t know that there really is a “glamorous” side to birth… but from my own experience and those I’ve been told about, if you do it naturally you feel almost superhuman afterward. (This could be for everyone, but I’ve only heard it said of those who don’t get pain meds.)

  16. i peed my pants i was laughing so hard..seriously!
    not funny but ya know. I am soo excited to push out a watermelon ::insert sarcasm here::

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  18. Love this post Mandy! And out of curiosity, why is the pooing thing such a big deal…like why do they need to know if you poo?

    Em Reply:

    THANK YOU! I was *just* going to ask this, but you beat me to it. I’m curious, too!

    Linda Reply:

    LOL, I was curious and figured if I didn’t ask someone else might not!

    Coasting anon Reply:

    Let’s just say that pooing is not something you look forward to after giving birth. Having just pushed out a baby, your va-jay-jay is very sensitive and just the act of having to poo can be difficult enough (either because it is painful or because those muscles are shot or both) that some women don’t ever get around to doing it and then you get backed up and then you have all SORTS of problems.

    I finally figured out to lean into the toilet seat a bit with my inner but cheek to create enough pressure to squeeze out the poo.

    I know…CRAZY TMI here…but you asked!!

  19. i wanted to MARRY THAT SQUIRT BOTTLE. i looked at it suspiciously at first, then — we got married.

    as well as those tucks. that weird witch hazel smell will always bring a warm tear to my eye.

    totally accurate portrayal of the post-birth experience! love it.

    Katy Reply:

    That witch hazel smell the second time totally took me back to my first birth – *tear*!

    Funny how those things stay with us.

  20. Lol! This post made me laugh so much. I’m not even pregnant yet, but I appreciate the honesty of the whole situation. I can’t imagine what sugar coated version the books tell you! Thanks for sharing Mandy. Will be checking out your blog.

  21. It’s funny because I think even in conversations when women “tell” each other about this kind of stuff to prep them they leave all the important stuff out. Like TUCKS. Those babies are heaven-sent. A girls best friend, for sure!

  22. Because you asked, yes, you do bleed no matter what. For like, 6 weeks. It gets better. Until you think you’re done and then it comes back all sneaky-like. On and off. For 100 years.

  23. Thanks for this post…I love your humor! Although I don’t plan on having children for another year or so I’m a new fan and have been trying to steal moments at work today to catch up on your blog.

  24. Besides pushing me closer to avoiding childbirth altogether, this post made me laugh REALLY hard! Thanks for keepin’ it real!

  25. oh. my. gawsh. great post. I’m due in August and am totally stoked to get some honest information! Great job. (and thanks for the giggles!) 🙂

  26. This post so made me think of just how damn hard it was to keep the tucks pads tucked while putting my giant padded underwear back on after going to the bathroom. More than once they fell off of me mid-redressing until I figured out how to put them on the pad strategically.

    Oh..and for you ladies who haven’t done this yet, if you are anything bigger than a size 10, the gauze panties at the hospital won’t actually fit you. You can combat this by bringing scissors to cut a bit up the sides to allow your thighs through the holes.

    Yeah…and the squeeze bottle was sooooooo totally my BFF!

  27. Freakin’ FUNNY, Mrs. Dumpling! Although, I had NO idea you had to poo in front of someone in the hospital! One more reason on my list of reasons for home birthing, lol. My midwife asked me when she came for the 24-hour postpartum visit if I had had a BM yet, I said no, she told me that if I didn’t soon to try eating some raisins or prunes, and chase them with a cup of hot tea. Worked like a charm. I was never afraid of that BM- it was peeing that hurt like, well, a lot. Even though I had no tears or stitches, was just stretched good and proper.

  28. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been wondering about this for a long time, but had no idea who to ask for the gory details. Thanks for telling it straight up in a humorous way!

  29. Yikes! And yet very interesting (as in informative). Thanks for telling the blunt truth of it.
    I went on your blog, I think I’ve been there before though but I’m now going to add it to my blogroll.
    Your how much a baby cost post, well I just sent it to mu husband because we’re talking about when we’ll have kids and part of it includes straightening up our finances and figuring out how much we’ll need to plan to spend for it. So thank you thank you thank you.

    Will you share you experience, compare to Mandy’s hospital one. As in do they give you anything to prepare for all the post partum thing? (Adivce, material thing and more). I’m more interested in a home birth if at all possible when we get to the baby stage so I’m curious.

  30. I think you have thoroughly scared the living crap out of me. I thought I had heard it all, but why oh why do people keep these things from us?

  31. jajaja..I gave birth on December 15 to a baby girl and I also had an episiotomy and I was in pain for a while. I didn’t even want to cough, laugh or sneeze because I felt that my stitches would come undone. It was scary. Thanks for the memories, hopefully next time I won’t have an episiotomy.

  32. Hahaha. Mandy I LOVE your frankness!!!
    I read this before on Mandy’s blog when she first posted it- and now I am reading it again and can’t help but think that one commenter from TW’s “Prepping body for baby” post [BarbieGirl] if she just had a friggin heart attack. Hahahahahaha. Love it!

    anyhow- THIS is my kind of humor. But people say it’s because I am a Registered Nurse and that is why I am so frank with my off the hand little remarks on the down-and-dirty stuff. But seriously, there is no reason to sugar coat the info because it IS what it IS. People handle the truth better than being culturally shocked in the long run. THANKS MANDY! Good job!

  33. I used to work in the Perinatal department at a big, fancy-pants, private hospital with “delivery suites”. Unfortunately, some people did steal literally everything that was not bolted down, including the ipod stereo players, the TV remotes, the heating pads, even the mobiles above the cribs.

    Everyone asked for extra “mesh-panties” (we found this particularly hilarious when the dads would ask many different people to build up a stock pile ~ kinky!), pads, diapers, squeeze bottles, etc. some were more pushy than others. I never understood that. If you were admitted to the hospital for a heart attack or an elective operation, would you ask the staff for extra blood pressure medications, or gauze to dress your surgical wound? It all comes at a cost (the collective pocket), and telling HEALTHCARE to suck it is kinda all coming back to haunt us, isn’t it?

    Sorry for the buzzkill reply.

    Hannah Reply:

    I think her point is more that insurance companies can suck it, not the healthcare system in general.

    Given that health is so exorbitantly expensive in the US, I hardly find it surprising that people feel inclined to take as much as they can get for their $20k two night stay and birth experience.

  34. I had a horrible episiotomy with my first and recovery was hard. I could barely move; when I realized I had to go to the bathroom it would take me so long to get there that sometimes it would come too soon! I was very tender- the squirt bottles are amazing. You don’t want to push a thing out, for fear that it will all rip open again. It’s rough. I noticed a huge difference after my 2nd and only a couple of stitches. But- the bleeding is not that bad. I was out of the big diapers after one day and wearing pantyliners after two. Staying intact down there is the way to go.

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