In my experience, giving birth is like running a marathon. It's long, hot, sweaty, messy, you may poop or pee yourself, and you feel like a total badass when you cross the finish line. Another thing they have in common? The first shower. It's glorious, but you're totally shaky and weak at the same time. You'll probably have to sit down, but chances are high you might not get up again. Honestly, there's some things, both good and bad, that will definitely happen during your first postpartum shower. So, you know, prepare yourself.
My first postpartum shower was both wonderful and exhausting, painful and pleasurable. I may not have been the most glamorous or comfortable setting, and I definitely didn't want to even remotely think about whether or not I would get toe fungus from the tile floor of the hospital bathroom, but I seriously didn't want it to end. Alas, I knew I couldn't hide in there forever (and I really didn't want to after the hot water ran out). After calling for my husband to help me back to bed, I felt like a new person; or at least a better smelling, cleaner, and smooth-legged person, ready (or at least readier) to take on the challenges of new motherhood.
So, with that in mind and because it's smart to make preparation the name of your parenting game, here are a few things that may happen the first time you take a shower after having your baby:
I remember thinking that my first postpartum shower was the most wonderful experience of my life, or at least the most pleasurable experience in the past day. I was a bit shaky from my epidural and exhausted, but that warm water flowing over my body created euphoria that was (in some ways) way better than sex.
Be sure to let someone know you are taking a shower (or even standing on your own), because I got seriously dizzy both times I took my first postpartum shower after having babies. They made me wait until I could stand and walk by myself, but it turns out that standing and walking to the bathroom doesn't mean you are able to stand and take a 30 minute shower. Who knew? Get help if you need it.
The Hot Water Runs Out
You would think that hospital would have unlimited hot water. Mine never got quite as hot as I wanted (probably liability settings on their water heaters), and the hot stream of wonder and joy was too short.
I totally peed in the shower after giving birth. Go ahead, judge me. Postpartum peeing is horrible. New moms get a pass for doing whatever they need to get through the experience.
You Shave Your Legs
It was so awesome to shave my legs and actually be able to see what I was doing. It made me feel like me again.
What if I am a terrible mother? What if I can't do this? I'm not ready. Gah.
I admit, I cried a bit. Birth is overwhelming and being alone after birth can be both wonderful and scary at the same time. Pretty much describes motherhood in general. However,, considering that this may be the last time you shower alone in a long time, try to enjoy it.
You Don't Want To Get Out
A nurse came to take my vitals, while I was in my postpartum shower the first time. She politely asked me to come out. Nope. I don't wanna. I've had people poking me and telling me what to do for the past 24 hours and a baby literally coming out of my vagina. Leave me alone.
A Pep Talk
You can do this thing. It's time to rip off the Band aid and go start your life as a new mom. A better-smelling, refreshed new mom who is ready to take on these challenges. For your next trick, order something yummy from the kitchen or send your partner out for cheese cake and wine. You totally deserve it!