Charlotte Hobgood is back on the blog today to discuss the REAL DEAL, raw, down & dirty details on birth & labor. Just a little refresh on Charlotte:
Not only is she an entrepreneur & total badass, she’s also married to professional surfer Damien Hobgood. “He is known for having once held the highest two-wave grand final score in pro surfing by scoring 19.9 out of 20”- no big deal. They just came out with an documentary called And Two if by Sea.
Charlotte is a mom of 3 & one of those moms who you see running around town & you think ‘how the fuck does she do it.’ Every time I talk to her I’m incredibly impressed with how she juggles it all.
One thing I love about Charlotte is she’s a ‘no bullshit’ kinda girl who doesn’t sugar coat anything. Personally, I love this post she wrote because it’s very real. Charlotte is talking about all the things that happen after birth like wearing diapers ( you, not your baby ), sex & marriage, vagina swelling & sore nipples- really, she covers it all.
Without further adieu, let’s welcome Charlotte back to The Skinny Confidential.
So, let’s face it, as women most of us all have a desire at some point in our lives to be moms. Whether it comes to us when we are 5 or when all our friends start growing mini humans in their bodies, this is what we “were meant to do”…blahhhhhh.
Reality is, not all of us can, & yes that fucking sucks. However, you want to know what is more fucked up than that? The fucking lies that we tell “our friends” about growing a human. More importantly, what happens after. I am not talking about the “right after” when you bring the baby home, but the minutes, hours—lets face it, it sometimes feels like years—in the hospital.
You just had a head come out of your vagina that was, most likely, bigger than what you dilated to. WTF!!!!! How is that possible?? How? Because us woman are the first fucking super heroes that ever existed! That’s how…
So, here I am & I want to be completely real with you all. Tell you my experience. Who the fuck am I? Good question. I am not an expert, but I have experience, I also know each & every mom has her own stories as well.
I’m 38 years old now & I have 3 children, a 13-year-old girl ( Savannah ), 10-year-old boy ( Colt ), & 5-year-old girl ( Cheyenne ). I was the crazy person who did natural childbirth without drugs. Not because it was better for the baby, if I am going to be honest, but because I knew that this was the one thing that my husband could never do. He was a professional athlete, & I am as competitive as it gets. So I gave “natural” birth to prove to MYSELF ( keyword here, to ‘me’ ) that I was a badass.
Let me give you a little insight to my back-story. I have been married to the same man for fifteen years now. His name is Damien Hobgood & for the majority of our relationship he surfed on the World Championship tour of surfing. He & his identical twin brother ( CJ ) both did. They also both just released a biographical documentary film on their lives entitled And Two if by Sea.
Even though it has its funny moments & is narrated by comedian Daniel Tosh of Comedy Central’s Tosh.0, it’s a raw honest look into our lives & what it’s like to be an identical twin competing for your identity. We’re all in the film & it covers our family & relationship ups & downs. The film really reveals the fact that I have been through & seen a lot of shit too.
I was the stay at home mom, the traveling mom who traveled with her kids, alone sometimes, to the tour stops around the world where Damien would have to compete. Getting to go to Fiji, Hawaii, Australia, France, etc. on the surface seems like “the dream life.” Well, the grass may look greener on the other side, but it still has to be mowed.
Traveling nine months out of the year is tough. Throw in babies, passports, pacifiers & food in foreign countries & those Instagramable images have a dark filter. We made a lot of money, we lost a lot of money, we have almost divorced a few times to be honest. We’ve been to counseling, but as of today, we are still “happily” married ( let’s face it marriage is not a Disney movie ). We both currently work full time & are trying our best to make shit happen.
Five years ago, I started my own business & then walked away from it last year in May to try & find another new path, a new adventure, a new purpose. I’ve hustled & I have been taken care of. I have been in mommy groups ( yuk ) & have been excluded from mommy groups. My kids have hated me & loved me. I have fucked up more times than I can count with both my husband & kids, but I’ve also done some good things. At least I would like to think that I have. I have traveled the world, & also been my kids’ Uber driver at home. I have worked the “9 to 9”, & have also been the mom who got to stay home with my kids.
Point being, I can be empathic to both the working mom as well as the stay at home mom. I couldn’t tell you which one is better, because at times they both fucking sucked & at times they both were amazing. So now that you know a little about me, let’s talk about you & what you will, or have, gone through from my crazy perspective. What I really want to do is what I wish someone had done for me & that is write down a few nuggets of truth about child birth, child raising, & life in general as a parent. Warning: these are all from my perspective so buckle up.
Women are superheroes.
I had all three of my children naturally, but let me be clear, by natural, I was still in a hospital because, putting my ego aside, if anything went wrong during labor, personally I wanted to make sure that my kids were in a place where I could give them the best chance to live. That’s just how I personally felt.
I still find it a complete wonder that we grow a human in our body, we birth a human from our body, & then we can feed a human FROM OUR BODY. What fucking superhero can do that??? Captain Marvel can’t! Well, I guess technically any superhero who’s a woman could. Not because of her super powers, but because she is a woman.
Let me paint a “pretty” picture. You have just given birth to an alien. Yes, a fucking alien! When each of them came out, I immediately thought, “I hope that you grow out of this phase.” Mind you, filters can make any newborn look cute. I mean, look at how they make us look amazing. Luckily a few hours DO make a difference & the baby-alien will start to look a little more “normal.”
BUT….when that little shit comes straight from your vagina to your chest, I promise, you will be thinking “WTF?!?!” Few will admit that, & yes I am sure that some babies may come popping out of the water bath like sparkling angels from God after they have been in for 10 months ( yes ladies, it is not 9, but 10, do the math 9 x 4 is 36, 9 x 10 is 40, full term is….fucking 40 weeks ).
After the baby comes out of your vag.
Next, while your legs are shaking, & every muscle in your body is trying to breathe again, guess what the nurses do? They fucking ask you to push again to evict the house that your bubba has been inhabiting for the past 10 months. It’s the last thing I wanted to do.
So, you have just extracted a human from your vagina, & just when you think that the pushing & pain is done, you get side swiped by reality. You then push a few times & its house extracts its bloody self from your body. This is not the worse part of it though. What is then? It’s the fucking nurses now have to push on your stomach like they are kneading pizza dough to make sure that all the “extra” shit that was left in comes out.
You’d think that you should be bonding with this baby, but you have Miss Non-sympathetic Nurse extracting—what feels like Niagara Falls—gushing enormous amounts of blood & clots onto a “hospital pad” which is equivalent to a pee pad that you would use to train your puppy.
This really, to me, was insult to injury. Your insides feel like a battlefield & then this nurse is “pushing” & extracting all of your internal organs. This doesn’t just happen once, but multiple times. Think of the worse period cramps that you have ever had. Now picture someone coming along & socking you in the stomach multiple times while you are supposed to be bonding with your newborn.
Oh, here’s a fun side story…immediately after giving birth to my third child, my two older children, who were 8 & 5 at the time walked right into the hospital room ( thanks grandparents ). They saw me in the bed with the covers over me, I was just trying to hide the bloody war that was underneath the sheets. But, as kids do, they just wanted to cuddle with me. Holy shit I wasn’t expecting them to pull back the covers but they did. Savanna uncovered me, gasped, & said, “Mom are you dying?” That’s how much shit comes out of you.
Uterus contractions are not fun!
By the time my third offspring emerged from my body, my uterus was like “THAT’S IT. THE BABY STORE IS CLOSED”. She was so done with childbearing, so she taught me a lesson that grounded me to the floor, literally. I was changing my youngest child’s diaper at home & fell to the floor crying, holding my belly & praying that I was not dying &/or birthing a human that the doctors missed. After all, I mentioned earlier my husband is a twin. I thought that after I had the kid this pain was done, but boy was I wrong. This uterus contracting lasted several days for me & was worse than giving birth because there was no outside gain from the pain. So just you know, we are fucking superheroes because I guarantee that no man could ever do this….at least not more than once.
Did you know that you get to wear a diaper again?
Well, you do! Yay for trying to feel good about yourself! Not only do you get to wear a diaper, but in order to keep this massive diaper in tact, you have to wear mesh “panties” that are ONLY found in hospitals ( pro tip: STEAL as many as you can! ) You can’t find them on Amazon, at least you couldn’t when I had my last baby, & they didn’t send you off with more than one extra pair.
Are they fucking kidding? You are bleeding for maybe up to six weeks & they only sent me off with 2 pairs of those amazing, only available in hospital, mesh panties & diapers. They’re the only things to keep you from leaving stains everywhere like a 6th grader who just started their period & didn’t know how to put a pad on correctly.
Here’s a fun phrase: ‘vag swelling.’
Yup that’s a thing too. As you get closer to birthing this bubba, your vagina lips start to look like a chick who decided to put 15 vials of Juvéderm down there. In fact, when I had my last, my oldest daughter asked me why my “gi-gi” ( what we call it ) looked like a boy’s…super comforting to my already deflated ego & swollen “baby body.” Now my oldest child is complimenting me on my penis.
Also ladies, guess what? After these aliens push themselves through your foreign body, those cute virgin ( ok probably not ) lips look like the Grand Canyon. I remember looking in the mirror 5 days after birth, loose skin-belly & still looking 6 months pregnant ( yup the flat stomach is nowhere to be found ), praying to God that my vagina lips would want to reunite again. That they would not be like divorced parents avoiding each other at their kid’s dance recital. They eventually did “get back together,” so that was the good news, but there are not enough pelvic squeezes you could ever do that would equal what nature does when she is ready.
That’s a fun word, but what isn’t fun is when they turn into pepperoni that has escaped the pizza that you just inhaled. They say that they turn darker & bigger so that the baby can “see” them & latch on. Fuck me. This is why I say we are the first superheroes. Our bodies naturally accommodate our offspring, both inside & out. And it does this without us having to do a damn thing. That is how bad ass we are, bitches.
I was not the biggest human producing cow on the planet, but I did have the “pleasure” of experiencing these baby suction cups. Some love breast feeding, & yes I thought that it was ok, but I just felt like a cow. Again, save your opinion, we all have our story.
My experience with breastfeeding with all three of my “angels” was that it was a job that literally sucked the life out of me. Part of our job description as a mom is that we are at the beck & call to these mini versions of us. They do not give a shit what time of day or night it is or where you are, they call the shots & because of this, we give up most of our conveniences to them, in trade for a few moments of sanity. Also FYI…when you have sex again there is a chance you may spray your partner in the face with grade A human milk. Try & play that one off….
Where was I? Oh, let’s bring it back to moments after birth & the baby trying to latch on. Not only does your body feel like a battlefield at that point from the waist down, now this little fucker has suction cup lips that could unclog a drain…ouch is right!
Maybe others have had a different experience, but for me, the boobs that could once arouse me, now were so sensitive that feeding my offspring felt like a form of torture. You will get through it.
I just want to let you know that if you can or cannot breastfeed, it does not define what a great mom you will be.
Society has this stigma that us moms must breastfeed, but yet they still aren’t ready for us to do it in public. My advice is to tell everyone to fuck off & you do you. Cliché, I know, but seriously there is not one single person who knows your body & no one can define your relationship with your child except YOU!!!
Another thing I learned that I never knew was that I would be afraid to take a shit again. Between the burning pee pain, having to sit on frozen condoms to help with the swelling ( another tip for ya ), & the fact that you then squirt lots of water on your vag every time you pee “to cleanse” your swollen-flapping-labia lips, at some point you have to shit.
Why is this so scary? For me, it was because when you shit, you push, when you push, everything down under contracts & it hurts. I won’t go into much more detail, but just know that your ass—even if it ripped—was meant to do this. Our bodies are really so fucking amazing that they take care of themselves without us really having to think too much about it. Also, take stool softeners ( another tip )!
Let’s talk about sex baby…like the first time you are allowed to have that penis enter your body again, it is scary as fuck. I did not care if I got off, I just wanted to get past it. Even though your vagina looks now like a baby turtle coming out of it’s shell instead of the pretty flower that it once was, somehow the boys still want it. Like Nike says, “Just do it.”
The truth is, females usually do not like to talk about this stuff with each other, but now, lucky you, can feel free to share this & your own advice with others. That is why, we woman, are so powerful & amazing. Be honest with your feelings with each other, know that it is ok to not “feel connected” to your newborn at first, it is ok to be sad & scared, & happy all at the same time.
Ladies, we all have a story, we all have been down different paths, & really, we need to embrace others’ journeys & join each other in feeling empowered. Because if we don’t, who does? Maybe our husbands, but they really cannot begin to comprehend what we just went through. In fact, my husband was more in awe of me after every birth. I honestly would like to believe that he did not even know that he could feel this way until he went through it with me. He cried after every birth, & it brought us closer & further away from each other at the same time. It’s what being married & having kids can do & what you have to fight through.
Parenthood to me is the perfect definition of a love-hate relationship. You love these little versions of you so much at times, & then there will be moments that you kind of hate them too, but still in a loving manner & that’s okay. Remember, we are humans with feelings & we do not always have to be “perfect.”
Fail, fall, & make mistakes. It really is important for our babies, & man-children, to know that we are humans as well. Your kids will always love you so much because you are their mom. They just want you to be vulnerable with them- don’t be perfect, be honest.
Final Thought…. Marriage.
My last final thought is about marriage. It is that it’s so easy for us as women to devalue our partner. Meaning, from our perspective when daddy goes to work we think that he gets to escape being a parent or if you both work, when you both come home from your job & he doesn’t have the bandwidth to cook dinner, clean up, &/or give the kids a bath, & you do because as a mom you know no other way.
It is easy to be angry & resentful in these moments, trust me I know—watch our documentary “And Two If By Sea” & you will see him leaving for weeks, surfing in beautiful spots on beaches, girls in bikinis, parties, & everyone wanting a piece of him, while I stayed at home & “did it all.” What I have learned though, is that we cannot under value our spouses’ position, the pair of you are making sacrifices, one not bigger than the other. Remember that you need him as much as he needs you. Enough of the mushy shit, there is no perfect relationship, no perfect mother, we are all just doing the fucking best that we can with what we have.
+ why I fuck with a belly binding.
++ check out Charlotte’s other post all about balancing business & motherhood.