Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Goodbye dignity, hello motherhood- part 2

I was fortunate to receive good medical care after delivering my daughter, with a great doctor and kind, attentive nurses. Of course, they regularly checked my vitals and how I was feeling. However, there was one thing I wasn't quite prepared for them to check. Obviously, I expected them to take a little peek down there to check my stiches now and then, so I was prepared when that happened. But one day, I'm chilling in my room, minding my own business when the nurse came in to check on me. She took my blood pressure and pulse, checked the swelling in my hands and feet, asked what my pain level was, you know, the usual. As she's chatting with me she's lowering the bed and I'm thinking, "This is unusual...". She keeps chatting and begins to roll me on my side away from her and moving my hospital gown. At some point in all this I vaugely remembering hearing her murmur, "Ok dear, let's check for hemorroids real quick..". It didn't register. Check for what? Check for-- HELLO!! Did she just look at what I think she looked at?

Oh. My. Gosh.

Seriously, why does no one warn you about this stuff?

I felt so violated.

Monday, May 18, 2009

What's that going out the window? My dignity?

So the other day I was talking to hubby about something funny that had happened with the baby and how becoming a mom means that you really lose a lot of your dignity on so many levels. Seriously, talk about being humbled. While pregnant you barf in public, have to go to work with swollen hands and feet and face, you suddenly get all big and fat, you can't tie your own shoes, you're gassy, your skin breaks out (I thought your skin was supposed to glow!)...Oh, and did I mention your hooha is regularly on display for all sorts of strangers? Nice!

Then, once you have the baby strange people are touching your boobies to show you how to nurse, strange people might see those boobies while attempting to nurse in public, you always smell like baby barf, you have to pretend to not be humiliated while your child screams in the middle of Wal-Mart. Yes, you can kiss your dignity goodbye.

So I started thinking of my most undignified moment ever, and maybe this wasn't truly my most undignified moment because in all honesty the whole pushing part of labor is kind of a blur and I'm sure plenty of unlady-like things happened during that hour and a half. But, according to memory my most undiginifed moment was a few hours after I delivered my sweet little girl. From what I understand the nurses think that the sooner you get up and moving the better, so the CNA came in and told me I should try to go to the bathroom. What? On my own? Did she not realize I had just pushed a baby out of my hooha a few hours ago? Shouldn't I be able to lie in bed for days now? Ugh. So I figured what the heck, I'll give it a shot, even though my legs still feel a little goofy. Now how to get out of bed? Hubby on one side, CNA on the other...move oh so slowly...holy crap, did I deliver a baby or get hit by a train? I mean, the obvious areas hurt, but I didn't expect my back, biceps, triceps, neck, and everything else to hurt! Ok, finally managed to get out of bed and discovered that my right leg was still pretty much numb. So I proceed to drag my right leg and limp on my left one to the bathroom, at which point the hubby abandoned me because I didn't want him to witness what came next. I managed to stumble to the porcelin throne with the help of nice little CNA girl whose name I didn't know or maybe I just can't remember it. I go to sit down but ooh wow! Sitting hurts! Maybe I'll just oh-so-gingerly perch on the edge...except my right leg is still numb and can't support me. So I grip the metal helper bar to the side and decide how best to maneauver my giant hospital gown as to not dunk it in the toilet. Hmm, I can't seem to support myself and hold my hospital gown in a way that still covers me, so I basically just fling it off me except for one small part still clinging to my shoulder as I awkwardly support myself and do my business. However, I am not alone in this awkwardness, the sweet little 19 year old CNA is observing this whole thing. I realize she's seen it a million times, but heck, I haven't done it in front of a stranger before! Plus, as I look around I realize how truly horrific the whole scene is. There's blood everywhere- the floor, my legs, the toilet. Gross. I don't even recognize my body. I still look pregnant, but now my stomach is like rising bread dough and jiggling all over the place as I hunch over trying to grip the bar and the toilet seat. I have nice purple stretch marks decorating my skin. I remember looking up at the CNA and giving her a feeble smile and saying "sorry!", hoping she would understand that if I had a choice I would not put her in this situation. Then, as if it wasn't humiliating enough, she handed me a squirt bottle in place of toilet paper. Ugh.

Looking back now it seems like a different person going through all this, and it is kinda funny. Oddly enough, even though it was completely undignified I'm not really embarrassed. It's just part of being a mom- the super messy part the no one tells you about! And really, I know I'll do it again someday. At least this time I'll know what's coming!