Becoming a parent and, more so, a mother is an experience like no other. The joy of motherhood is incomparable to anything else, but let’s not kid ourselves.
There really is nothing miraculous about childbearing – after all, there are around 34 of these miracles taking place every minute in India! That in itself contradicts the very definition of the word ‘miracle’.
Nevertheless, most of us do want to have kids of our own, but it’s something we need to put more thought into. Raising a child is a huge responsibility and it certainly deserves more planning than buying a house or choosing a career.
The very process of childbearing is something that most women seem to know little about. Somehow, we gloss over the details and skip ahead to the part where you joyously hold your newborn for the first time!
If you fall into this category, you need to know that giving birth to a child isn’t all hunky dory. It’s painful, uncomfortable, and did we mention, it can be pretty gross.
Here are some facts about childbirth that you won’t come across in books with titles like ‘The Joy Of Natural Childbirth’ or ‘Waiting in Wonder’.
Disgusting Facts About Giving Birth
1. Mucus Plug
Yes, it’s like a drain plug that keeps the placental fluid in, so that the fetus can live and grow. Unlike a drain plug that is made from rubber or plastic, this is like a giant booger of mucus that blocks the cervix.
So, as your body prepares for labor, the plug dislodges and you start to ooze mucus from your vagina. This can happen days before childbirth and you’ll just have to live with that disgusting oozing mucus for a bit longer.
2. Shit Yourself
Yes, you will literally shit yourself in all probability, and while the thought mortifies you right now, you really won’t care when it’s happening.
During labor, the more instinctive and primal parts of your brain will light up, which means that you won’t be horrified at the idea of passing a watermelon through a key hole, least of all about pooping in front of people!
Your brain in labor is only focused on survival and there’s really no room for embarrassment or social awkwardness.
3. Post Labor Poop
Passing a stool post-delivery is an experience that most mothers would gladly forget, the very mention of which will them shudder.
Understandably, your nether region will be sore and tender following childbirth, but it starts to return to normal pretty swiftly.
The internal organs also start to return to their normal positions, after having been distended and squashed for close to nine months. Then comes the shocker when you give in to the urge to poop.
You will feel as if you’re going to be ripped open all over again and may also experience bleeding. It can get so bad that you’ll be unsure if you’re passing more blood or stools.
We’ve all seen ads for hemorrhoids or piles treatment plastered over walls and in our local trains, but it’s a problem that most of us, fortunately, know little about. After childbirth, you’re unlikely to be so lucky.
Many women experience severe hemorrhoid problems during or soon after pregnancy, wherein the veins around the anus get inflamed, distended, and swollen, causing severe pain. Unfortunately, there’s no escaping the pain, as you can’t not poop!
5. The Placenta
Everyone knows it’s what keeps the fetus alive, but have you ever considered what happens to this protective sack after childbirth?
Turns out, you don’t just have to squeeze a whole baby out of your vagina, but the placenta as well… and that’s immediately after delivering the baby!
Yes, after the baby’s out and you lean your head back to breathe in a sigh of sweet relief, you’ll feel enormous pressure on your stomach, as your health care providers will prod your tummy and pull at the placenta to get it all out.
This is unavoidable, as leaving even a bit of the placenta in the uterus can cause serious complications.
6. The Leftovers
Your ordeal doesn’t end with childbirth. Yes, for a few days or weeks following the delivery, you can expect to pass some clots and tissues, which basically means that your uterus is flushing out the leftovers from the pregnancy.
What most books won’t tell you is that some of these clots can be the size of a potato. Yes, it may seem like no big deal after you’ve passed a fully formed baby, but it still feels just as painful and horrifying.
As disgusting as some of those experiences may be, there’s lots that we’ve left out. Don’t believe us? How does eating your placenta sound? It’s a common practice in the animal kingdom and it’s great for your health, which is why many women do it too.
Of course, that’s a matter of personal choice, so if the very thought of it makes you throw up, it would be best avoided. If everything about childbirth sounds terrifying, horrifying, and disgustingly gross, then you should probably avoid childbirth itself and consider alternatives like adoption or surrogacy.