posted in Parenting
“It looks like a crime scene in my pants,” I screamed to my husband upon exiting the bathroom. I’d just started my first postpartum period and it wasn’t what I expected. It was worse. Much, much worse.
Yes, by “worse” I specifically mean heavier, more bloody and painful. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you, the headline begins with “TMI.”)
Before my son was born I’d heard rumblings about the postpartum period. “It’s heavy. The cramps are painful. You’ll need an industrial-size supply of pads and tampons,” were among the warnings I heard from friends. Sure, it didn’t sound pleasant. But beyond making a mental note that I’d need extra strength Midol and heavy flow pads I never gave it a second thought.
I’d had many visits from my proverbial Aunt Flo over the years. While she was never a pleasant houseguest I’d learned how to survive her stays relatively unscathed, minus a night or two on the couch with a heating pad and a pint of ice cream. But this time was different. She meant business.
Perhaps she was making up for lost time. After all, I’d been able to keep her away for 700+ days thanks to pregnancy and breastfeeding. Whatever the reason, she was intent upon making her presence known. To better prepare other moms, here’s the truth behind my first postpartum period:
- Baby tears. Do you remember being especially sensitive while pregnant? It’s like that. Emotional on the verge of irrational. I should have known doom was on the horizon when my husband left a banana peel on the counter and I cried. He looked at me like I sprouted horns and asked, “are you pregnant again?”
- Fruit cramps. This is what I call them. Because it feels like someone is taking a melon baller to your uterus.
- Double diapers. It won’t just be your baby wearing diapers. You may as well grab yourself a pack of adult-sized ones as well. And I’m only slightly joking. I tried a tampon, but it filled so quickly that it felt like it was about to fall out of my vagina. Pads were next, which weren’t much better. I leaked and ruined two pairs of underwear, and my favorite jeans will never be quite the same. Learn from my mistake and buy the biggest pad available.
- Toilet time. It’s like tummy time for your baby. Except it’s you. On the toilet because so much menstrual blood is leaving your body, why bother moving. Grab a book, charge your phone and head in there prepared. I sat for 20 minutes once waiting for the flow to subside.
- Coin toss. There are many strange things I’ve said since having a child. “Honey, can you look at this blood clot and tell me if you think its the size of a nickel or quarter?” Is among the strangest. Yes, I had a lot of clots along with that heavy flow. And no, my husband didn’t look.
I suppose I had a good run. Two glorious, period-free years. I knew it couldn’t last forever, I just didn’t expect it to feel like my insides were slowly dying then leaking out my vagina.
For more mom moments, follow me on Instagram at Witty Otter.
When did you have your first postpartum period? Was it worse than you expected?
Images by Becky Vieira