All Vaginas Are Not Created Equal
I am always astounded to hear of a mom who arrives at her 6 week postpartum doctor/midwife appointment… PREGNANT!
My vagina was terrified after childbirth.
20 years ago, having a baby and having an episiotomy went hand in hand.
Or should I say, hand in scissor in hand, in vagina…. Afterward, it required a tremendous amount of patience, understanding and TLC.
I walked gently.
I sat GENTLY-ER!
I diluted my urine with warm water (with that uhh-mayy-zing peri-bottle), I softly patted it dry and I sprayed it with soothing aloe spray every chance I got. I nurtured my anatomy as tenderly as I nurtured my new baby. When I wasn’t focused on one, I was focused on the other.
All vaginas are not created equal.
I remember being taken to my postpartum room after delivery. It took me about a half hour to ease myself into bed and nudge an inch at a time into a comfortable position, ooh-ing and ahh-ing while wincing in pain with each nudge. Once I was settled, I planned on staying put for as long as possible. I was laying completely still and staring deep into the eyes of 6 hour old Erica Patterson when my roommate arrived. She barreled into the room with the nurse, dropped her things on top of the dresser, flopped onto the bed, picked up the phone and ordered a pizza for delivery!
I couldn’t believe she could move like that! I said, “did you just have a baby?” She said, “yea, ya want some pizza?” It was a bizarre encounter. I said, “No” and asked the nurse to close the curtain that divided our beds….
Within a few weeks, talk of sexual activity started to arise (no pun intended, lol) in our home.
I can assure you, it was just talk…
I was terrified! I was still tender and still sore and the idea of touching that thing with anything other than warm water or a soft tissue seemed insane to me.
My bleeding had started to slow down and the uterine cramps were settling but that vagina was a whole different story.
There was some excitement around my 6 week check-up, as we both knew that that would be when I would receive the “green light” to get back in the “groove”.
The morning of that appointment, I got myself dressed. I chose the most perfect outfit I could pick for our sweet 6 week old, Erica.
I over packed my diaper bag.
Put her in her car seat and off we went.
Sure enough, I had healed perfectly and been given the “green light”.
When Jerry got home that evening, he looked lovingly into my eyes and said, “How did it go at your doctors appointment? What did she say?” I looked just as lovingly, into his eyes and said, “she said we should wait 2 more weeks…”
We all handle pain differently and recovery varies from woman to woman. Asking our friends how they handled vaginal recovery from birth and re-introduction of sexual activity is useless. It should always be based on the individual and your experience can vary dramatically from your friends. Try not to have expectations, nurture yourself physically and emotionally and allow yourself the time YOU need to heal.
And lastly, keep in mind that vaginas are meant to have babies and sex and eventually all will feel normal (your interpretation of normal) again!
Authored by: The Rock n’ Roll Doula