I wouldn't really consider myself someone who scares easily. I love horror movies, I enjoy a good haunted house every now and then, and can handle my own when staying in a dark, creepy apartment by myself. However, I definitely had some pre-baby fears about my postpartum vagina that scared the you-freakin'-know-what out of me. I mean, I was trembling. There wasn't a set of covers I could hide under fast enough, that could keep that terror at bay. When I was pregnant, and while I was so excited to meet my son, I was absolutely petrified of my postpartum vagina.
Turns out, that wasn't necessary. At all. Vaginas are pretty awesome, you guys. They're made to expand and contract. They're durable. They're reliable. They can handle childbirth, and a slew of other things, so what had me running for the hills like some idiotic, soon-to-be-dead character in a slasher movie, wasn't really worth a second thought. I took advantage of some clutch kegel exercises, I pushed during labor in a way that minimized any tearing (to the point I didn't tear at all), and my vagina went back to normal.
So if you're pregnant or thinking about being pregnant or just contemplating how in the hell a human being can come out of your body, have no fear. While being afraid of the unknown is really normal, I promise your vagina can handle it. She's a badass like that.
That My Vagina Would Be "Ruined"
Honestly, I'm pretty bummed out that I let a misogynistic viewpoint impact what I initially thought of my postpartum vagina. I mean, "ruined?" What in the hell does that even mean? That, because I chose to procreate, my vagina couldn't be used for pleasure anymore? That I was somehow less desirable as a human being, because I chose to use my body in a specific way?
Ugh. My vagina isn't ruined, and neither is any other mother's. Just, no.
That I Would Never Be Able To Enjoy Sex
OK, I think this fear is pretty valid, only because I really enjoy sex and want to make sure it continues to be a pretty fun freakin' thing to do. However, it turned out that after some healing and a lot of lube, sex was just as fun (in fact, even more so) than it was before I had a baby. It just takes some time, dear reader.
That My Vagina Would Tear
Also valid, because severe tearing can (and sometimes does) happen.
However, there are also things you can do to help prevent vaginal tearing during childbirth. Whether you take pre-emptive measures, or you push a certain way, your vagina doesn't have to tear in order to bring your kid into the world. (Mine didn't.)
That My Vagina Would Never Look The Same
I'm not one to speak for other women, so I'm not sure if everyone can say the following. However, my vagina looks pretty much the same way she always had. Childbirth didn't drastically change her, even though my lady bits sure did look differently postpartum. I mean, my hot pocket was the portal in which my son entered the world, so it was tender and swollen and red and it hurt. However, my vagina's postpartum look wasn't permanent, and after a while she went back to, you know, "normal."
That My Vagina Would Be "Loose"
Again with the misogynist crap, right? Ugh.
This isn't a thing, you guys. It's just not. My vagina isn't "loose" now that a child has been pushed through it. You can do kegels and other exercises to tighten your muscles, which is what I did (and have been doing since I discovered that amazing below-the-belt workout). Enough with this sexist bullsh*t, OK?
That Peeing Would Always Be Different
Peeing when you're postpartum is the absolute worst thing ever OMG why?! However, it won't always be that way. Just give your body time to heal.
That It Would Hurt So Bad I Couldn't Stand It
To be fair, it will hurt for a while. If you have a vaginal birth, it will hurt to sit or pee or even walk, and depending on the tear you may or may not have endured, that pain will vary.
However, I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that my postpartum vagina didn't hurt as bad as I had feared. Was it uncomfortable? You bet, but I've had tattoos that hurt worse.
Basically, That My Vagina Wasn't Capable Of Doing Everything It's Built To Do
Our patriarchal society has convinced us women that we should downplay our power and the power of our bodies. It's sad, it sucks, and it's something I bought into for way too long. It's also why I had these really unnecessary fears regarding my postpartum body and my postpartum vagina.
It turns out, my vagina is magic (as is yours, dear reader) and is capable of a boatload of really awesome things.