I’ve been dumbfounded at what has happened to my body after having my daughter. No one prepares you for the shit that happens to you in the weeks and months after giving birth. I hear everyone talk about enjoying the time with the baby! And sleep when the baby sleeps! But the reality is that you are not only dealing with a new role in your life, as a mother, you are also dealing with the very real physical changes that come along with motherhood. Those that say that you’ll be back in your jeans in no time or that breastfeeding melts the pounds away – fuck you, you goddamn liars!
I feel the need to preface this for any men that may read this post. If you have a significant other, and she hasn’t given birth yet, you may want to cruise on past this post. A ‘read at your own risk’ kind of warning. I’m going to describe things that are: embarrassing, horrifying, ugly, and generally unpleasant. This shit is frightening and I think my husband still hasn’t recovered from all the trauma yet.
My birth was pretty traumatic and to make a long story short, there were forceps involved. I had had an epidural but I felt everything! I was pretty much a wreck downstairs for several months postpartum. I am pretty sure that I had some type of nerve damage from the forceps, because initially during sex I had a huge loss in sensation (some has since returned). Honest to God, I had times during sex where I was tempted to ask my husband, “Is it in yet?” because I didn’t feel ANY. THING. And this had nothing to do with the size of my husband’s junk. Some positions were better than others, but overall it was a devastating feeling not to feel much of anything. Even now, 15 months later, I still feel as though I have decreased sensation. And it takes me much longer to physically be ready for sex. All in all, sex has not been that enjoyable for me post-baby.
The return home with baby was memorable. I had a 9 lb. baby and when I came home 2 days later, I only weighed 4 lbs. less. You do the math on that one. I was so swollen from all of the IV fluids that I’d had that it took weeks for me to lose any significant amount of weight. The night we came home, I walked into the house and felt this warm sensation running down the inside of my thigh and down my leg. I thought it might have been some type of bleeding, and went immediately to the bathroom. It wasn’t blood….I had pissed my pants. With zero warning or signal from my body!
It got better when a few days later, while wearing my sexy adult diaper and putting dishes in the dishwasher, I felt something down below and before I knew it, it was already too late. I was crapping myself. Again, no warning! Nothing! Not even an SOS that a code brown was coming!!!! I remember whispering to my husband, who was next to me, “I am shitting my pants…” and he grabbed me by the elbow, and in a rush, tried to escort me to the bathroom. I just shook my head and said quietly, “Just leave me here.” The damage had already been done. The moment of humiliation happened. I cried so hard that night. It’s so frustrating to feel like you have no control over your bodily functions!
I distinctly remember going for my first run after getting cleared at my 6 week check-up. During my run I had full on pissed my pants. Not just a tinkle. Not just a little pee pee. I had fucking soaked my pants. I walked in the door, and the hubs excitedly asked how my run had went and I burst into tears! It took several minutes to even get the words out to tell him what had happened. It was that kind of ugly cry.
When I’m not dealing with physical issues from my birth battle wounds, there are the emotional ones that are just as tough. The hubs and I had been talking about sex, and things that we like, and I bravely confessed that I’m sad he hasn’t gone down on me since before I was pregnant. That’s like over 2 years!
He had explained, that with my issue with certain bodily functions, that he may get peed on during the deed. That’s why he’d been hesitant to go down on me. In his defense, I totally get his hesitation. On Sunday, while our daughter was sleeping, we were in the middle of getting it on, and my husband started to do what I had missed for 2 years – he went down on me!
I wish I could tell you that I enjoyed it. But I didn’t. At all. I was afraid to enjoy it. I was afraid that I would indeed pee on him, even though the whole pissing myself thing rarely happens any longer. I partially credit hoo-ha therapy (Yes! I went to hoo-ha therapy…or pelvic floor therapy) and getting back into workout routine with the decrease. I was afraid to climax because what if I did pee on him? And then there was the whole thought process of what my vagina looks like after pushing out a baby and tearing during the process…and well, yeah, Operation Downtown was a big fucking flop.
I sit here thinking, “Why are you writing all this embarrassing shit about yourself, Robin? What’s the fucking point of all this?” And honestly, maybe this will help someone. This is stuff that I wished I had known about before becoming a mother. So I wouldn’t feel so emotionally jarred when these things occurred. Had I known, then I would have been able to tell myself, “Hey buddy girl, this is a part of the process. This happens to other moms.” Instead of feeling alone. And dysfunctional. And abnormal.
What I have realized out of all of this is that I am grateful for my husband for helping me find my new normal. And our new normal as a couple. I’ve also realized the need to be compassionate with myself. That it takes time for your body (and your mind) to recover from giving birth. I look at my little pooch on my stomach, and I’m not embarrassed, but I think incredulously, “I grew my daughter in there!” And there’s a strength that comes from having gone through this whole process. I approach things differently, because if I can grow and birth a human being, what else can I do? What else am I capable of?