‘My body began unexpectedly… leaking’ The things NOBODY tells you will happen after giving birth

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  • Lucy from This Mum’s Life was selected by our BISS September panel and in her guest blog shares some of the more, shall we say, ‘surprising’ things nobody tells you will happen just after giving birth…

    Being handed my baby for the first time, I was in a state of confusion. Mainly because I’d been sucking on gas and air in a way I imagined an astronaut lost in space would be sucking on a canister of oxygen – like it was the only thing standing between them, and certain death. I treated it like it was the only life force that was going to keep me alive.

    The effect had been like downing 10 tequilas in under a minute. But losing my inhibitions, along with some memories of what had actually happened during the last 24 hours, and the subsequent onset of an exhaustion/gas and air hangover, weren’t the only post-birth surprises!

    It might have been the hangover from my gas and air binge, or the enormity of what my body had just done hitting me harder, but I was surprised my first thought when it was all over, was to wonder why the heck there wasn’t police tape covering the door to my hospital room – it had clearly been the scene of a terrible massacre.

    Did someone mention episiotomy, or had a madman attacked with a machete? Walking like John Wayne may confirm nor deny either. I didn’t look for a few weeks…!

    I was poked and prodded in surprising places – in the name of checking that future bodily waste exited via the correct, ahem, tunnel, checks needed to be made that no unseen tearing had taken place. But by this time, I felt as though everyone from the consultant to the cleaning lady had taken a look at me, what’s a check of one more orifice between friends?

    The first feed wasn’t the latch-drink-snuggle that I expected. The midwife milking my nipple like a stress ball, and repeatedly throwing my baby’s tiny new head at it, came as a bit of a surprise. However, the fact that my nipples weren’t producing was offset by the rest of my body just unexpectedly… leaking.

    Big fat tears of joy (possibly also relief that it was all over,) accompanied by snot that would rival my future toddler’s running shamelessly down my chin, and there was wee (really should’ve done more pelvic floor exercises). I was adding extra points if my ears joined in.

    Someone wanted to upload a photo of me to Facebook, to accompany the obligatory glowing new mum photos that are a rite of passage for all new mums.

    I wasn’t feeling glowy at all – I didn’t want it. I now realise this is ok. I was out of my mind with exhaustion, numb, in shock, and wondering what the heck just happened. This is all fine. Nobody told me that these physical indignities might happen, but I wrap myself in the warm hug of knowledge that there was a time I never thought I would laugh at these things. Three years down the line, they make for some excellent pick me up hilarity with others who’ve gone through them, and also come out crying with laughter on the other side.

    Lucy was selected as a BISS guest blogger after entering our September linky. For your chance to write for GoodtoKnow, check out our Because I Said So platform.