I’ll never stop being astounded by the miracle of pregnancy. The mere fact that women can create people while they go about their days conquering the world amazes me. And that we then go on to bring these homemade humans into the world WITH THE POWER OF OUR BODIES — all of it is wild beyond belief. I adore the concept.
Childbirth, though… it’s a real trip. It’s hard work, and just when you thought it was over, deep within you begins to grow a sneaking suspicion that perhaps it isn’t whatsoever — because surprise! It’s actually the gift that just keeps on giving!
Childbirth isn’t kidding around. Here are eight special gifts that your blessed body bestows upon you to say thanks for turning it into a baby-making machine.
1. Leaky boobs.
Before I had my baby, I had no idea that milk wouldn’t come out of my nipple in one straight stream. But as it turns out, our nipples are like showerheads — milk drips and sprays everywhere. All you have to do is think about your baby, think about someone else’s baby, or lay eyes on a picture of a baby in a Sears catalog and the next thing you know, you’re leaking through your nursing pads, your bra, and the four shirts you were wearing in order to prevent this mess in the first place.
2. Empty boobs. Gone boobs. Bye, boobs.
While phase one bestows upon you the biggest boobs you’ve ever had the pleasure of owning in your life, and phase two briefly gives you back some semblance of what you had before you were pregnant, phase three has another way about it altogether. Phase three is the deflated, gravity-surrendering shadows of what your breasts once were. They’ll still be there, but, you know, not totally.
3. Diastasis recti.
Boy oh boy did I wish somebody had told me to check this sooner. But it wasn’t until I was two-and-a-half years postpartum that I realized I could still fit two fingers in between my abdominal muscles. Yes, after you give birth, the onus is on you to ensure that your insides get properly put back together. (Cool. Thanks.)
4. Phantom kicks.
You’ll have given birth years ago, and still you’ll swear that there’s a mystery baby holding the place where your baby once was, fluttering and kicking away. It’s off-putting, it’s sometimes sweet, and it’s incredibly bizarre.
5. Hair loss and regrowth.
This isn’t fun. A few months into your postpartum life, just as you’re finally starting to feel kind-of-sort-of-maybe-possibly somewhat sane again, you’ll swear you’re suddenly dealing with male pattern baldness. Your hair will fall out in horrifically large clumps. And then, later on, it’ll come back as teeny, tiny little hair sprouts! You’ll have flyaway hairs abounding, and no amount of hair gel will help you. (Not that you need gel, anyway. Put the Dippity-Do down, woman.)
6. Body odor.
It’ll only take you half a second to realize that the person in the room who smells like BO is actually you. Because not only are your wild postpartum hormones responsible for all that uncontrollable crying, but they’re also up to no good in your armpits. So you can just sit there and do literally nothing and still end up smelling like a teenage boy who just got home from hockey practice.
There will come a day when you’ll feel like yourself again, but not before you’ve spent your fair share of time in those delightfully comfortable mesh undies you get at the hospital — and into them and every other pair of underwear you own, you will bleed and bleed and bleed, forever and ever, amen.
Oh, what’s that? Hemorrhoids can last forever and never really go away? Once you have them you have them for life? And they make you feel like your insides are falling out of your butt? Cool. Well, it’s a damn good thing that Metamucil tastes so good.
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