For my first birth (OB-attended elective induction w/ epidural @ hosp.) I couldn't believe NO ONE had mentioned the fact that when the baby is coming, it feels like a bowling ball is lodged in that little opening of the pelvis. C'mon ladies, stick your hands under your sit bones, and THINK ABOUT THAT...that yep, a head was just hangin' out there, about to be born. Profound.
I was shocked at my immidiate post-partum pain....a strange, deep, hollow gnawingness in the core of my being--turns out I was just outragiously hungry, having been NPO for the past 20 hours. And there was no "dinner" for me, what with my child born at 7:02 p.m. I ate my breakfast the next am though, you can belive that! (And THAT is another example of why I think hopsitals are sub-optimum locations to give birth.)
After my second birth (mw-attended homebirth) I wish my mws would've told me that I'd be sequestered upstairs, in my room, for a week. I know they made that "rule" to help my perineal tear heal, and probably really to keep me away from my kitchen, my 2-year-old, the laundry, etc. But it was a suprise at the time (yet a babymoon I shall always cherish!!!!!!!)
This was mentioned before, and I did learn this during my second post-partum, but if a woman relaxes, rests, and allows the interior of the womb to heal, lochia time is greatly reduced. The womb has a big ol' soft scab going on inside of it, and all that bending, dishwasher-loading, picking something up off the floor, etc. (let alone crazy things like grocery shopping! For shame, mamas!) will cause that scab to loosen, and ta da, more blood, and yes, sure, you can make that last 6 weeks, not relaxing the way you should (and indeed I am aware of the American Lifestyle and lack of proper post-partum support in the form of mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunties, neighbors, etc. that should be available to allow for a leisurely recovory.)
This thread isn't scary, in my opinion--it's a testimony to the amazing power and capacity of a woman's body. We are warriors, and we have been to the peak of the summit, and we have given everything, emotionally and physically, because we had a baby. And it's so easy to forget these 'negative' elements, when we look at our kiddos, running around.
If we were soldiers, just think--we'd have cool ribbons and insignia and stuff pinned to our uniforms. Like, we'd see the purple ribbon with the stripe and know, hey, you had hellish backlabor, or a blue-red ribbon signifiying VBAC or whatever. That'd be cool. Instead of hangin' at the VFW we'd be at the VHB (Veterans of Hosptial Births) patting each other on the back.