So, one of the things that I either overlooked or was not mentioned in any of those prepare-you-for-birth books was the care and feeding of your postpartum vagina.
I'm kidding about the feeding.
Also, you may have guessed from the title, but if not, I should mention that this post contains a lot of the vagina word. And maybe a bunch of details.
In case it makes you twitchy. You've been warned.
It turns out that you bleed for weeks after giving birth. As I understand it, as your uterus contracts, it gradually squeezes all the post-pregnancy stuff out.
And so you need to wear these gigantor maxi pads. These of course are held in place by underwear.
Hospital underwear. Which is not like any underwear you've seen before.
They're a very soft, these hospital undies. They're made of white, fishnet-y mesh, trimmed in the same green stripes as many dishtowels. In fact, they look like something you'd use in the kitchen.
They are disposable. They are shaped like boy shorts. They are fairly hideous.
Actually, like many things, once you get used to them, you might start to think they have a certain charm.
I am in the extreme minority in this opinion.
Mainly, they are remarkably comfortable, even with a C-section scar. I might wear them for the rest of my life.
So when they get you up to pee for the first time, they introduce you to these underwear. You have a large stash of them in a bag on your bathroom door. Along with aforementioned enormous pads.
They also give you a squirt bottle.
On a side bar, the nurse who conducted the departure class from the hospital was Filipina, with strongly accented English. And pronounced it "squarch bottle" - which is now how I think of it.
So the squarch bottle.
You fill it up with warm water before using the toilet. So that you can squarch your vagina clean when you're done.
And every time you bleed, you're supposed to change the pad. As you may assume, you go through a tremendous number of pads.
And you spend a lot of time getting tap water hot, filling the bottle, and squarching your vagina.
Although, truth be told, it's kind of like a bidet - which is something I never actually got the hang of overseas, but it really is cleansing. I kind of like the whole idea.
It's not particularly practical for when you're out of the house. And if you wanted to squarch yourself off regularly, you'd have to carry a big enough purse for the bottle. And then I suppose a Ziploc bag to carry it in. And a cloth to wipe it off...
You see what I mean?
Plus the idea of filling it up in public bathrooms is kind of icky.
And then, at work, you know there would be a whole lot of "what the fuck?" with all the squarching noise coming from your stall.
I'd have to be all, "Don't mind me! I'm just squarching my vagina!"
Yes, somebody is all crashed out and mama got some sleep last night. Hi!