21 Things Only Moms Who Have Had Vaginal Births Know

The miracle of childbirth is a beautiful experience—minus the part where it kinda sorta ravages your vag a bit but HA HA HA it’s not that bad, right? Okay, I’m lying, but we can at least laugh about it, can’t we?

Here are 21 things anyone who has pushed a person through her pretty little pipe knows for sure:

1. The adorable optimism of believing a vaginal birth can’t be that bad if women have been doing it forever.

2. How quickly modesty can fly out the window once labor really kicks in.

3. The sensation of being both wide open and clogged up like a carnival porta-potty at the same time.

4. That you can be pushing hard enough to poop out a hippo, yet the baby will still somehow travel the wrong way.

5. That episiotomies must be the devil’s way of making a bigger foxhole.

6. That “The Ring of Fire” is a charming way to describe being branded like a cow but on the inside and while someone is kicking you in the spine.

7. That your bits and pieces can be so distracted by the writhing beast that just elbowed its way through it, that they barely register the massive purple fanny pack of blood following closely behind.

8. How in only a matter of minutes your coin purse can feel like a duffel bag.

9. What it’s like to peek at your pink bubblegum by the bum and see what appears to be a pint of raspberries somebody took their frustrations out on.

10. Feeling confident that as of this moment, you’ll ever let anyone near your cookie again. EVER.

11. The trail of red, blob-like tears you leave in your wake each time you head to the bathroom to pee for a good 24 to 48 hours.

12. The glorious, unending love one can have for warm water in a peri bottle perched by the toilet.

13. That it’s less of a “stream of urine” and more of a “sprinkler system gone haywire” once you get going.

14. That nothing is scarier than the thought of sneezing…

15. …except for the thought of pooping.

16. The value of befriending a nurse who has no problem stashing extra mesh underwear and those foot-long maxi-pad ice packs into your bag before you go home.

17. The gasp-squeal sound you emit each time you try to sit down when you have so much as a single stitch downstairs.

18. The weirdness of explaining to someone why you’re making a gasp-squeal sound in public.

19. That you asked your ob-gyn to give you a couple extra no-sex weeks in your instructions because your tunnel of love has no interest in any more visitors traveling in either direction for quite some time.

20. How often you look at your sweet baby’s enormous head then down at your lady parts and back again wondering, logistically speaking, how the HELL did that even HAPPEN?

21. How amazed you are when you finally put your cute chute back to work and it still operates quite nicely, thankyouverymuch.