When I was 36 weeks pregnant with my youngest, I had the brilliant idea to get my first ever Brazilian bikini wax. I could not see my 70’s style porn bush, but I knew it was there. It was July, and I was desperate to feel anything less than disgusting. I was also, for some reason oddly concerned with esthetics and not visually accosting my midwife. It’s important to note: I delivered my second child at a teaching hospital, and apparently welcomed a slew of medical students to come watch me shit into a bucket while expelling a tiny human from my body. Maybe (obviously) that previous experience had me extra self-conscious, but I’ve since learned irrational fear in action during pregnancy is not unique.
A year later, a friend called me to her home after being treated for a vaginal abscess. Ouch, right? She had bravely and blindly taken a razor downtown and there had been “complications.” At one point, she grabbed a mirror assess the damages, and (abscess aside) did not recognize her own girly bits. If I remember correctly her exact words were,
“What the fuck, Julie? What happened to my pretty, pink vagina?”
She was very distressed over the fact that I hadn’t warned her; as if as simple as a heads up about traffic on the freeway. It had been my duty to prepare her, and I had failed. After a bout of hysterical laughter, I agreed she made good points. No one had warned me of all the ways my body would turn on me during the incubation period. I mean, let’s face it. If we were all armed with these hard facts before conception, over-population would likely not be an issue.
However, because she asked so nicely, I promised to dig deep into my subconscious, assess my own damages, and make her a thorough list of possibilities. Here’s what I came up with.
1. Say goodbye to your pretty, pink vagina.
I’m not sure we’re meant to fully understand all the ways Mother Nature insists on messing with all our junk during pregnancy. Perhaps she is concerned the glorious light pink tint of our lady parts may blind the OB under the fluorescent lights of a delivery room. Maybe it’s just all the blood rushing for the door without consideration for vadge-vanity. I do not know. For whatever dumb reason, during some stage in pregnancy, expect your sweet stuff to darken a few shades.
2. Say hello to your “happy trail.”
Do not be fooled by the word “happy” in this phrase. Whomever coined the phrase should be fired.
How happy can a trail of new and unwelcomed hair growth between your boobs and vagina be? The only reasoning I can ascertain is to provide a road map for the baby straight to lunch. Why it arrives months before the baby does, I may never understand. What I do know is that is nothing “happy” about it.
Something else no one tells you (because it should be somewhat obvious)? DO NOT – under any circumstances – SHAVE OR WAX THAT SHIT. It may take forever for it to go away, and for some it may never fully go, but shaving it will almost surely result in some level of “happiness” forever.
3. Prepare for stretch marks.
Some women get them, and some women don’t. I think it’s supposed to depend on genes and luck or maybe karma. In any event, it may help to keep your belly lathered with Vaseline for nine months.
I was lucky enough not to get any on my belly, but the marks on my boobs provide a GPS route straight to my nips. That’s what happens when you go from an A cup to a D cup and then down to a B. Which leads us to. the next item on the list.
4. Those giant-ass boobs you always thought you wanted?
This might be a pleasant side effect for some, but the fun may be short-lived and not-so-fun for all.
My partner loved them, and I won’t lie – having actual cleavage for a minute felt kinda sexy. Sadly for everyone, however, they were often just for show. For most of my pregnancy my funbags felt like they were filled with shards of glass. After I gave birth, they were mostly targeted as both a major food source and chew toy, so…yeah.
If you are lucky enough to enjoy your post baby hooters, make sure you really do because it may make the after effects somewhat worth the literal weight.
5. Perky boobs, cute bras, and human-sized areolas may become a distant memory.
I suppose Mother Nature gets another point for preparation here. Apparently, when babies are born they don’t have the greatest eyesight. For this reason, our areolas (and nipples) darken and become larger to direct traffic. Not to brag, but after three kids I could easily land a 757 from 100,000 ft.
6. Where we’re going, we don’t need no stinkin’ sexy shoes.
Do not fret over the possibility that the gravity of a big belly may result in a top-heavy tumble. Mother Nature, once again, has your back). My feet grew a half size with each of my pregnancies. When I had my daughter I was a size 8, and I’m currently rocking a 9.5 shoe. If you are, or plan to become pregnant, and have a cute collection of red bottoms, you might consider creating a Poshmark account real quick.
7. “Child bearing” hips
Need I say more? After three kids, my hips are primed for delivery at any moment. The days of shopping in the junior’s department for pants that don’t button below my belly button are over. I have vague memories of enjoying the hunt for jeans, but now I have to go before or after therapy so I don’t jump a bridge.
If you have made it this far, you should consider yourself officially warned about the dangers of ignorance surrounding pregnancy and childbirth. The rest is up to you.
If you liked this post, and appreciate my tendency to over-share, you may also enjoy reading the top 10 reasons I’m probably not having sex tonight.