Courtesy of Kimmie Fink

10 Things No One Tells You About Those Damn Pregnancy Hemorrhoids, But I Will

By
Share
Ad failed to load

When you're pregnant, you'll hear plenty about the common discomforts of pregnancy like nausea, fatigue, and heartburn. You'll be reassured that it's OK to be scared about labor and delivery because everything will be fine. One thing you won't hear about? Hemorrhoids, also known as a Pain Worse Than Death. (Dramatic? Me?) Maybe it's because most people are too prim and proper to talk about buttholes. Fortunately for you (arguably), I'm not most people. I'm here to tell you all the things no one tells you about pregnancy hemorrhoids. You're welcome.

For the blessedly uninformed, hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins in the rectum or anus that can cause discomfort, pain, itching, and bleeding. They're also called piles, because apparently we needed a heaping side of heinous mental images in order to completely understand the situation. A case of the "hemmies" is quite common during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester. Think about it: there's pressure from your growing uterus, increased blood flow to the area, and constipation (also typical when you're expecting). It's a recipe for an angry rectum. (Angry Rectum, by the way, would be a wonderful band name, in case you're looking.)

If you've had hemorrhoids before, you're more likely to get them during pregnancy, too. I had my first bout right after I moved home from living abroad and started a new job. I thought that was bad, but I had no idea of the fresh hell that was awaiting me two years later. On my final day of work before maternity leave, I felt a familiar, unwelcome itching in the backdoor of my nether regions. By the next day, the biggest one was dark purple and the size of a newborn's fist. Within 24 hours, I was in urgent care getting the things surgically excised (that's about as fun as it sounds). Unfortunately, that didn't fix it, and I found myself in general surgery again three days later. I went into labor that weekend. You know what feels awesome? Pushing out a baby over a surgical site.

Ad failed to load

I had nausea for 20 weeks, vomited my entire pregnancy, and was in labor for 29 hours. However, out of everything pregnancy so lovingly provided, hemorrhoids were the absolute worst. You better believe that if I do form that marvelous band, Angry Rectum, there will be songs about it.

Ad failed to load

They Look F*cking Disgusting

GIPHY

Do. Not. Google. Hemorrhoids. Trust me when I say they are essentially anal tortellini. Here's a helpful emoticon: ( @ ) *trademark pending.

If you're brave, you might take a hand mirror down there, but be warned that you can't un-see that sh*t. It's also quite effective to sit on your iPhone so you can send an "I need sympathy" picture to your sister. (What? Normal people don't do that? Whatever. We literally have no boundaries. You're talking to the women who played "How Bouncy Is Your Eyeball Meat?" for funsies.)

They Can Get Yuuuuuuuge

There are four types of hemorrhoids: internal, external, prolapsed, and thrombosed. I had thrombosis, so my hemorrhoids protruded from my body (you could actually see the f*cker from between my cheeks) and had formed a blood clot. It was so big I was worried my baby would come out and think it was her mommy. When something's that significant, it deserves a name. My sister dubbed it Eloise. (I told you we were weirdos.)

The Treatment Options Suck

GIPHY

If your case isn't that severe, you can use home remedies like creams, witch hazel, petroleum, or a cold pack to soothe pain and relieve itching. However, if they don't get better or you have an acute case, you're looking at the following delightful options:

1) Injection to close off an internal hemorrhoid. Nothing like a shot to the anus, Amirite?

2) Rubber band ligation to cut off blood supply. Kind of like castrating a sheep.

3) Cauterizing. Mom says if a doctor says this word, you should run the other way.

4) Surgery. A hemhorroidectomy! Whee!

Ad failed to load

You'll Need To Make Some New Friends

Friend #1: Glycerine suppositories. I used to be grossed out by the mere concept of suppositories. I got over it because damned if they don't provide a ton of relief.

Friend #2: Stool softeners. I know they say "geriatric" on them, but it's a small price to pay if it gets you going.

Friend #3: Prunes. They're a natural laxative, and they're not so bad if you get them individually wrapped.

Friend #4: Doughnut-shaped pillow. I have no shame and carried mine everywhere. Anything to take some pressure off my poor, long-suffering bumbum.

Friend #5: Sitz bath. It takes a hot minute to figure out, but the warm water is both soothing and cleansing. You'll want one postpartum anyway.

Your Partner May Never Look At You The Same

GIPHY

My husband is of the opinion that I am a "delicate snowflake" who exaggerates her symptoms, so I made him look at my hemorrhoids. That was nothing. After my surgery, I peed all over my dressings. My partner had to fashion me a sumo diaper as I lay spread-eagle on our marriage bed.

In other words, your body may be changed permanently. After the excision, I was left with skin tags. Skin tags, you guys. On the bright side, the hubs has seen me at my absolute worst, and he's still here.

You Might Bleed

Rectal bleeding is a common symptom of hemorrhoids. Even when you know that, it's disconcerting to wipe away bright red blood. No one told me that I could also develop anal fissures. These are tears along the rectum, and they sting like a bitch when you poop. When I hear "fissures," I think about a crevasse or a chasm but you know, in my butt.

Ad failed to load

You Dread Pooping

GIPHY

I'm willing to bet there was a time in your life when there was nothing quite so satisfying as a good, old-fashioned bowel movement to start your day off right. Those days are gone, dear reader. I swear to God, sometimes it feels like I am trying to pass an everlasting gobstopper. When you know you're going to get internally shredded, you'll avoid the bathroom at all costs (which doesn't help your situation in the least).

The Pain Can Be Worse Than Birth

Let's add a big old "in my opinion" caveat to that. Granted, I had a medicated birth, but I still felt it. I would give birth ten times in exchange for never experiencing hemorrhoids again. At least when you're in labor, you know it's going to be over in a matter of hours. Hemorrhoids, on the other hand...

They Might Not Go Away After Birth

GIPHY

The books assured me that my hemorrhoids would likely go away postpartum, although they might be exacerbated by the birthing process itself. (Makes sense. Pushing out a baby is a lot like straining during a BM.) Well, my kid is a year and a half old, and I still have them. That's right, Eloise may be a shadow of her former self, but her legacy lives on through her illegitimate progeny, Francois and Jean-Raphael.

Ad failed to load

You Could Be Afraid To Get Pregnant Again

I want nothing more than to have another baby, but I am terrified for what another pregnancy might mean for my rear end. I'm not trying to scare you, although I realize I may have that effect. In fact, my doctor has assured me that we will get my "situation" taken care of before I conceive again. I just want you to be prepared. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go eat some prunes.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

6 Early Signs You're Going To Have A Short Labor, According To Experts

As far as I'm concerned, a short labor is right up there with winning the lottery in terms of lucky life events. (And when I was actually in labor, I would absolutely have traded a bucketful of lottery winnings for a speedier birth.) While some women…
By Kelly Mullen-McWilliams

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In March

You can always count on Netflix to keep it fresh: though there are already so many movies and shows to choose from, every month there's an influx of new content to keep your entire family entertained. As February enters its final weeks, it's time to …
By Megan Walsh

Here Are 10 Ways To Boost Your Baby's Immunity To The Flu

As I'm sure you've read in the thousands upon thousands of articles written about it this winter, the flu is spreading like wildfire and it's bad. Really bad. This strand of flu is the worst we've had in a very long time and it's the most widespread,…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Khloé Kardashian Asked Twitter About Her Bump, & Moms Totally Delivered

Like her younger sister Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian managed to keep most of her pregnancy a sort-of secret. But unlike Jenner, Kardashian chose to publicly announce her pregnancy several months before the baby's due date. While there's no wrong wa…
By Sophie Hirsh

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack