While I was envisioning this post in my head, I had so many ideas of things I wanted to say, and how I wanted to say them. But it’s 8:00pm, and my words seem to be fleeting at the moment. Maybe walking my toddler back to her room 18 times tonight is partly to blame? Or the cluster feeding baby? Who knows. So I’m just going to dive right in. The story behind my ‘Motherhood Uncensored’ picture, and what led me to post it.
Let’s hop in the DeLorean and gun it to 88mph as we go back to the year 2012. November 2012, to be exact. I was expecting my first child, a little girl, and I was ready. I had done everything right; exercised the entire pregnancy, ate well, followed all the ‘rules’. I was told at every appointment that delivery would be easy peasy for someone young and healthy like me. I read all the books, and consulted my online mommy group more times than I could count. Bags were packed, car seat installed and I was as giddy as a race horse. Sound familiar? Were you the same way with your first?
November 22nd. Go time.
I’ll spare you all the details of my labor for another day, but it’s safe to say it did not go as I had naively envisioned. One emergency cesarean later, my daughter Kaelyn was born at a healthy 8lbs 1oz. We were smitten, as most new parents are.
I remember feeling so relieved that the hard part was behind us. That we could relax, sit back, enjoy visitors and finally be the family of three we had been waiting to be for nine long months. Boy was I mistaken. *WHAM* Reality hit hard in the form of a nurse giving a uterine massage only inches away from my fresh cesarean scar. And why were the flood gates of hell flowing from my vagina especially since I didn’t have a vaginal birth? Why didn’t any of my books tell me about the mesh panties, let alone the folded pee pads shoved in them? And the diaper ice packs that you come to have a love/hate relationship? Squirt bottle, numbing spray, how terrifying shitting before you leave the hospital really is, and rock hard, extremely painful breasts. The list seems endless. My books had failed me, to say the least. And from the comments I’ve read on my post, it seems like and lot of y’all were in the same boat; completely shocked by the aftermath of having a child
When Ken snapped that picture of myself standing in all of my mesh diaper glory, I had no clue he took it. I was too busy shoving Fudge Rounds in my mouth to even notice, or care (all my fellow Gestational Diabetes mama’s, y’all know how good that first bite of sweets is after childbirth!). I was also too busy basking in the glory that was alone time; sweet alone time with my family that we didn’t really get the first time.
I didn’t see the picture until a month or so later. When I saw it, I immediately burst into laughter; it’s hilarious! Classic Ken. Sneaking pictures of me doing weird crap and making hilarious faces while doing so (Y’all should see some of the pictures he took of me during Kaelyn’s birth!). After a second or so, a wave of uncomfortableness overtook me, and I quickly closed out of the picture and left it at that. I spent the next few days randomly pulling the picture back up, and each time having the same reaction; laughter followed by awkwardness. Maybe it was my postpartum hormones or lack or sleep, or non-stop threenager playing into it, but my feelings towards that picture started pissing me off! Why? Why was I feeling so awkward over it? Does it make you feel uncomfortable? C-section or vaginal birth, we’ve all been there.
I was really hesitant to post it, but figured what the hell. I think my insecurities in posting something that’s natural and something that every woman who gives birth goes through was enough of a reason to go ahead and do it. Why feel ashamed over something that’s normal? Why the hell not post it? If I can make a difference in someone else’s journey into motherhood, then I’d be happy. If one less woman feels ashamed, or embarrassed or nervous about what happens after they give birth, then that’s a frickin win! No one talks about the dictionary size pad, the mesh panties, the postpartum bleeding, but we should. I wanted to give new moms a low down of what’s to come, and let other moms know to remember to smile, and enjoy every aspect of child birth. As Scary Mommy perfectly said, “New motherhood can be seriously hilarious, and moms sharing those funny (and sometimes embarrassing) moments can be a great thing for all of us.”
It’s so important to share the real, raw moments with other moms. The unknown, especially related to childbirth and childrearing, is really scary. I had high hopes that my post would open up pandoras box, so to speak. To let everyone know it’s life! It’s natural, it’s beautiful, it’s part of the process and it happens to all of us who give birth. Don’t take yourself too seriously, laugh about it and enjoy every second of the experience. It’s unlike anything else you’ll ever go through again in life; the good, bad and ugly combined. It’s all beautiful.
I would absolutely love to see some uncensored, raw photographs of yourself during childbirth, postpartum, nursing your little, hanging with your toddler – whatever!
Shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a small write up if you’d like. And if you don’t mind me featuring your picture in a future post, mention that as well! I’d love to share more of these moments with our followers.