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Chrissy Teigen's 'Butthole' Tweet Has Moms Everywhere Saying 'Yes!'

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Amy Sussman/REX/Shutterstock (9641673t)
Chrissy Teigen
City Harvest Gala, New York, USA - 24 Apr 2018
Photograph by Amy Sussman/REX/Shutterstock

Preparing to become a first-time mom was a lot like cramming for an exam in a nightmare. I’d read all the subject matter I could get my hands on, confident an easy A was in my future, only to arrive the day-of and discover I'd been reading Shakespeare when I should have been studying calculus.

It's actually a good lesson to learn as a parent because, from that day forward, very few things will go the way you think they will. For example, during my reading, I had learned all about the differences between a tear and an episiotomy. I foolishly believed you could only have one or the other. Instead, I experienced both simultaneously. I’ll never forget the sensation of the scissors cutting through my perineum, and then the feeling of my butthole ripping open.

Our Beloved Lady of Brutal Truths, Chrissy Teigen, recently tweeted about ripping during childbirth, too. And what she said was so real.

Like her, I was torn up, from the pelvic floor up.

The first few weeks of recovery, I was a mess. Thanks to symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), I could hardly stand upright without feeling like someone was holding me by my ankles and pulling me apart like a wishbone. Not that I wanted to do much public standing. Every time I’d rise, comically loud farts would escape my tender behind.

The hemorrhoids, which I had been certain were going to vanish as soon as my body had adjusted to its new shape, had remained. Sitting down to feed my daughter felt like perching atop a fruit salad where the melon balls had somehow slipped between my butt cheeks. That sensation only made cluster feeding worse. My writhing, screaming baby didn't really care about the state of my swollen bottom. All she cared about was her next meal.

I wish Ross and Rachel had spent less time singing Sir Mix-a-Lot to Emma in "Friends," and more time talking about two-hour-long nursing sessions that end approximately 10 minutes before the next one begins. And speaking of ravenous newborns, people argue passionately about formula feeding versus breastfeeding, but nobody ever mentions that your baby will also have an opinion.

I could hardly stand upright without feeling like someone was holding me by my ankles and pulling me apart like a wishbone.

Mine was like, “Heck yeah, I’d like to be breastfed! Just not with those boobs. Cover those things up with something ... like the plastic nipple on those baby bottles over there! Good lord, don't actually give me a bottle! Are you trying to kill me?! Help! This red-faced sweaty lady is trying to kill me with a baby bottle!”

In the beginning, my daughter would only nurse while using a nipple shield—which, by the way, wasn’t a thing that anyone had prepared me for. The nurse in the delivery room handed it to me without any fanfare. I wasn’t aware my breasts were going into battle, but thanks for the protection, I guess! Eventually, I felt up to being around people again. As soon as I saw my friends, I told them everything.

It was surprising—and comforting—to find out that I wasn't alone. Urinary incontinence may be the gold standard of postpartum complaints, but moms are so much more than just being people who pee when we sneeze. One of my friends told me how she had struggled with nursing because she had inverted nipples. Another was sure she’d never enjoy sex with her husband again because of how large her hemorrhoids were. A lot of them were constipated ALL THE TIME.

If Chrissy Teigen's tweet (and the response to it) is any indication, there’s a lot more need for honest conversations about what comes after childbirth. Speaking up about the ugly truths can only serve to help moms in the trenches feel less alone and less ashamed. If Chrissy can tell her millions of followers about her torn-up butthole, then by god, I can tell you guys. Not just so that someone else out there knows that they aren’t alone, but also so that more people aren’t completely blindsided when it happens to them.

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