Happy not to be pregnant anymore? We bet! But there is a major thing women almost always fail to mention when it comes to having a baby: the actual process of having a baby. Romantic comedies and lifetime TV dramas show us that directly following labor, when a woman gazes into her precious baby's eyes for the first time, the previous nine months of discomfort and hours or days of intense labor just magically erase themselves.
But some of us never forget.
No matter if labor is planned, scheduled, or pretty in and out, it is surely a time worth cataloging for the books. And no matter how much planning and research a mom can do, the preparedness is minimal, at best, when it comes to actually pushing a human out of our bodies.
When the epidural wears off and the glow from being a true goddess warrior fades away, reality finally sets in. That really happened! To add to the ongoing list of things to do feel free to tack on taking care of a human. If you need a pick me up or are just walking down memory lane, check out this one mom's list of 20 sarcastic thoughts she had after labor. Brace yourself, it gets seriously funny.
20 Size Is Everything
"So that's what it's like to squeeze a softball out of a straw?"
The human body is truly amazing. Think about this, the cervix is usually about the size of a pinhole, then the three stages of labor stretch that pinhole to 10 centimeters.
Think: transforming a blueberry into a bagel.
The only thing is babies shoulders are often a bit larger than the circumference of a bagel so it may feel quite literally like squeezing a softball out of a straw. But hey, at least you have that wonderful bundle of joy to look at now. Take it all in.
19 On Display
"Well, I guess I'll just lay here, wide open, for everyone to see."
Directly after labor, it's not like you get your baby, get dressed and go home. Instead, you are usually subjected to lay there, wide open, stirrups and all, waiting for the afterbirth or just to get checked out and make sure everything is still in place.
The same goes for if you've had a c-section and don't even get me started if you had a perineal tear -- talk about your lady parts saying hello to the world! The good thing is that you at least have a cute baby to distract you from the feeling of being so on display.
18 Can You Hear Me Now?
Especially if you gave birth naturally and are very aware of just how open things got down there you may find yourself wondering, "Is there echo down there?"
It can be hard to imagine that your body really transitioned and stretched that much to facilitate the birth of your little one but you will certainly feel the effects.
Think of it like this, at least you have your own little grotto. Talk about being fancy. But not to worry your cervix and uterus will shrink back down to their normal size in about six to ten weeks, depending on if you breastfeed, with the most active shrinking happening in the first few days after birth.
17 Great, I Gave Birth Twice.
The afterbirth is exactly what it sounds like: giving birth after already having given birth. If you have a traditional birth once your baby is born you will have to deliver the placenta afterward. The placenta is the large sac that attaches to the inside of the uterus that gives your little baby the nutrients and comfort he or she needs while inside the womb.
Delivering the placenta is easier than it seems, though, according to BabyCenter. Most moms experience mild contractions for about a minute each which will help separate the placenta and help you push it out.
16 Uh, No. Seriously?!
You may be asked if you want to save your placenta, which might also lead you to wonder, "Why would I want to save that? Seriously!"
But keeping and wait for it... eating your placenta (yeah we know how it sounds) is actually supposed to be very nutritious for moms, especially later in life as you go through menopause.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, other benefits include, "increased release of the hormone oxytocin, which helps the uterus return to normal size and encourages bonding with the infant, an increase in CRH, a stress-reducing hormone, a decrease in post-partum depression levels, restoration of iron levels in the blood, and an increase in milk production."
15 Is It Supposed To Be Like That?
If your first look at your little one after giving birth makes you recall the popular 90s film ConeHeads try not to worry. Thinking, "I guess if I rub your head it will go into the shape it’s supposed to be," is a pretty normal post labor thought.
But according to Technology in Motion, this is normal and will even out eventually, "At birth, your baby’s head shape may appear pointy or cone-shaped, this is due to the amount of time spent squeezing through the birth canal and a result of a longer delivery. Cone shapes tend to round out after a few days as the birth trauma settles."
14 Good Night
Just had a baby? Tired? Yeah, you just had a baby. Most women will experience extreme fatigue following birth once the endorphins wear off. Although you did all the physical work you may hear your birth partner say he or she is tired.
"I did all the work and he said he's tired," may be your next thought. But being a support for a mom in labor is no easy task. So don't rip his head off if he says he's tired once the baby is there, just hand the baby off to the nurse and take a much needed nap.
13 Stop Probing Me!
One thing most people fail to mention about labor is that once the baby is out, the doctors don't just go away.
You continue to get monitored, tested, and examined for DAYS after the baby is born. And then again six weeks or so following.
Talk about exhausting! After something that intense you’d think the nurses would let you sleep it off. I actually screamed, "Stop probing me," to my nurse as she was taking my blood pressure for the 11th time during her rounds at 4 am. It was then that I understood why so many moms are starting to opt for home births.
12 Get In My Belly!
Now that the baby's out, it's time for food. "Get me something to eat, now," is the first thought many women have when holding their newborns. Maybe because you're deprived of food for so many hours, or because labor burns so many calories, or maybe it's because your little one is just so delicious, but food after labor is a must.
And several women have said its the best meal they've ever had. For mom Chaunie Brusie, "It was a Guinness-glazed chicken and bacon sandwich bigger than my head with a plate of broccoli."
Who wouldn't want a sandwich as big as their head after pushing a watermelon out of a buttonhole?
11 So What Do We Do Now?
After labor, you may find yourself wondering what to do next. Aside from sleeping and resting there's not much to do for those first two days, thank goodness since you will need time to heal and get acquainted with your little one.
All in all, having a baby can be somewhat anticlimactic. After you deliver him or her and the initial shock of delivery wears off, you look at your new little baby and ask, "So what do we do now?"
They won't respond of course, but that's okay. Just be glad you get to see his or her cute baby face.
10 Can I Wear Real Clothes Yet?
When you're pregnant, the thought of being in an open airy hospital gown sounds amazing, but when you actually have the baby, the idea of staying in a hospital gown for several days can be really annoying.
As soon as you can somewhat comfortably stand up you may ask, "Can I wear real clothes yet?" Just as in pregnancy, yoga pants and light t-shirts will now be your best friend.
Consider nursing camisoles if you're nursing, and lots of comfortable house pants. I had a front opening camisole for the hospital, it was a life saver.
9 Not The Best Idea
Why did I even think standing would be a good idea after all those hours of labor? If you did not get an epidural and you go to stand up after labor, don't. If you did get an epidural and you think standing will not be so bad once it wears off because that lovely nurse just came with the pain meds, it will be.
Trust us, there is no need to further prove how tough you are. You did just give birth to a human, after all!
Lay down for a while, relax and enjoy asking others to get that for you because now that your name is Mom you'll be doing pretty much everything from here on out for at least the next 18 years.
8 Thanks, I Guess, For Visiting
After all those hours of pushing, sweating and some other things that are strictly between you and your doctor, the worst thing is to see your first visitor bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when you have not even had a second to wipe the sweat off your brow and put on a bit of foundation so you can stop looking like the ghost you feel you are.
Labor takes a lot out of you. There are several moments where all you want is to pull the covers over your eyes once it's all said and done. But visitors are good they bring you gifts for your newest addition, and occasionally, food.
7 And Me?
One other really unpleasant thing about having early visitors or visitors at all after giving birth is the fact that you can sometimes feel completely forgotten about. Everyone comes in all smiles with a stuffed animal, saying "hi", and immediately asking for the baby.
Oh thanks yeah, I'm here too, you know the one who brought that baby into the world. *Sighs*
That transformation from pregnant lady to new mom is hard, there's a lot less attention people give you as it now all goes to the baby. Which could also be nice since you feel like a train wreck anyway and if your baby is super cute most everyone will be distracted by the you that's left after birth.
6 Can We Go Home Now?
After a long arduous labor, one of the only things you may want to do is take a nice long bath and to just lay down in your own bed. Unfortunately, if you did not have a home birth, that desire may be far from being a possibility.
"Can we go home now?" may also be your response to staying under fluorescent lights in your hospital room and seeing nurses every few hours on the hour. Not to worry, according to Business Insider, most women on average only stay in the hospital for two days following birth.
You will be back home before you know it.
5 Thanks For The Awesome Memories, Doc.
Having a baby is an experience like no other. And it is one that you will surely not forget simply or quickly. After labor, you may think or look to your doctor and say thank you.
Sarcastic or not, it is nice to know that you and your little one are safe and in the world together after all the pain and astonishing endurance.
After all, your doctor sees you at your worst and at your most joyous, there will probably never be another time in your life–except for baby number 2–where you will be as primal or as excited to meet the newest member of your family. So, thanks, doc.
4 Connect The Dots
"You put everything back where its supposed to be, right?" is quite possibly the most hilarious, but probably the most common question doctors hear after delivering a baby.
But can you blame us for asking?
Things can feel pretty messed up down there after delivering your little wonder. So it never hurts to ask whether things are still intact. Did you know that when you are full-term your uterus actually pushes your other organs out of the way to make way for your baby?! The human body is truly miraculous, and yes, they will eventually go back into place too.
3 So Much For Losing It After The Baby Comes
After labor when the baby is finally out, you will hate the expression, 'baby weight.' Those initial minutes following labor and maybe even days after you will still feel like a blimp, unfortunately. For some moms, it can take almost a year for her body to get back to the pre-pregnancy weight.
In some cases, things never really go back to "normal." Considering that it took your body 9 months to make room for the baby, you need to give your body some time to get back down to normal size again. According to the American Pregnancy Association, women who breastfeed are more likely to lose weight quickly.
2 Don’t I Look Amazing?
Want to make everyone really uncomfortable when they come to visit you and your new addition in the hospital?
When they are oohing and ahhing over how tiny his or her little hands are clear your throat and ask in your most stern voice, 'Don't I look amazing after just giving birth?'
Try not to laugh. For those rare leprechaun women who look great after birth, consider yourselves excluded, and for the majority of us who look like something that got stuck in the gutter, asking this obvious practical joke out loud will be sure to make you chuckle on the inside.
1 Baby Genius
And for the best note one could write after labor, "My baby is brilliant she’s only an hour old and she already found my nipple, you could barely find the hospital room," said from the new mom to her partner. Seriously we know the maternity wing is large, but we've been here for a tour and you left the room every time you felt queasy" so you would think that by now you could get back here without a GPS. Guess my baby gets her brains from me. According to Verywell family, newborns can find their mother's nipples within seconds after being born. It's a natural reflex they are born with.
References: Americanpregnancy.org, personal experiences, Romper, Whattoexpect, VeryWell Family