The very first thing I did after I gave birth was adore my baby. But a few minutes later, I wanted to shower. No, I needed to shower.
You see, during labor, I sweated like I'd been trekking across the desert in a snowsuit. Also, TMI alert, but I pooped on myself during birth. And bled a lot. Then there was the added joy of my new baby having his first poop on my belly. All of this to justify that I was in such desperate need of a shower, it was literally all I could think about. Other than how cute my baby was, obviously.
"I fantasized about showering bodily fluids off of my person. The warm water. The suds. I had to get in the shower ASAP."
It was about a minute after my doctor left the delivery room when I turned to my labor nurse and asked her if I could shower yet. She laughed and said I'd need to wait at least an hour before I got up. OK. Longest hour of my life. While I cuddled with my son and listened to my husband read out responses to his group text announcing the birth, I fantasized about showering bodily fluids off of my person. The warm water. The suds. I had to get in the shower ASAP.
Once my nurse gave me the green light, I couldn't hand my son over to the hubs and hightail it to the bathroom fast enough. I stripped off my blood-covered hospital gown right in front of the nurse like she wasn't even there. Modesty was out the window when I got under the water stream and let out an orgasmic sound. A few minutes in the shower and I was a new woman! Then I took my damn time applying lotion and detangling my hair. After, the nurse helped me put on those awful half-pantyhose things and a maxi pad the size of a couch cushion.
Look, maybe I shouldn't have cared how I looked, sweaty hair and all, after giving birth. But I cared. I also wanted to not smell. Sure, my shower took some time away from bonding with my newborn. But I knew it was something I needed to do for myself and my sanity. One thing I've learned through motherhood is that self-care is important, and since I knew my baby would be safe and happy with my husband (and that my husband would appreciate the bonding time!), it was a perfect chance to take care of myself in a very tangible way. Besides, I'd like to think my son was pleasantly surprised when his mommy came back to bed fresh and clean. He probably didn't care; I mean, he sits around in a dirty diaper and doesn't even seem to notice. So in all honesty, yes, the shower was for me and me alone, but I would never change having taken that time for myself because I know it put me in a better frame of mind to coo over my delicious baby. And spoiler alert: now that we are home, me time is nonexistent, and showers are even harder to come by!