On Motherhood: I Never Asked for the Third Degree

This time last year, I was was pining for the trip to Kefalonia I’d just cancelled, almost as much as I was looking forward to meeting the baby that meant I was too pregnant to fly.

Having a baby is a wonderful thing, but I must confess that the last twelve months haven’t been easy, and all too often the effect that childbirth had on me just didn’t seem fair.

But you know that thing they say about time and all wounds? Well, it’s absolutely true. So I’m posting this for any new mum who still cries in the dark, wondering if there’ll ever be light at the end of the tunnel. Believe me, it’s there and it’s brighter than you can imagine. I know because I soared right into it on a flight bound for Menorca, my little baby strapped to my knee.

A couple of months ago, when Spain was just a dream and I was delirious from lack of sleep, I started writing a poem on my phone in bed. It’s my story. And it’s for you, new mum. Whoever you are. It might make you cringe, or laugh, or maybe cry. Then again, perhaps you’ll do all three. I know I have.

Holiday Baby and Me

In Spain. A long way from my living room.


The Third Degree

There are secrets that many new mums keep,
About the parts of motherhood that make us weep.

I’ll tell you my story if you want to read on,
Because I know I’m not the only one.

Childbirth is painful, as everyone knows.
But that was just the beginning. The rest? Well here goes.

I thought I was ready to be a mum,
But I never knew I’d end up with stitches in my bum.

When the baby was born, we were settled in bed.
Then the doctor appeared; this is what she said,

“You’ve a third degree tear. It’s called a 3C.
Incontinence is a definite possibility.”

So I lay there in shock for the rest of the day.
Would a C section have been a better way?

I told myself I’d be fine. Perhaps just a bit sore.
But I’d get straight to work on my pelvic floor.

At home I was smitten with baby poo,
But I couldn’t stand the torture when I went to the loo.

Sitting on the toilet saw me screaming in pain,
And being hemmed up at home sent me slightly insane.

You see, it didn’t get better – something felt wrong for sure.
And then my nether regions got sewn up once more.

Just leaving the house became such a mission,
And I’m sure other mums view me with suspicion.

I haven’t joined baby groups ’cause they’d seem like a farce,
If I couldn’t discuss my stitched up arse.

So many doctors have seen me down below,
I could probably sell tickets for a medical porn show.

Oh when will this birth injury run its course?
When will I stop walking like I’ve climbed off a horse?

I’m laughing now, though I’ve shed many a tear.
Wouldn’t you if you couldn’t wipe your bum for half a year?

But I’m glad to say that I’m now on the mend,
That finally I’m at the beginning of the end.

All bodily functions are working just fine,
And I’m overwhelmed with love for this baby of mine.

So when you see a new mum, please wish her well,
Because she may be suffering in a way you can’t tell.

And if reading my tale has made your womb take fright,
Remember a baby is a ray of pure light.

Life will never be the same, but one thing is true,
You’ll still be the same unstoppable you.

Giving birth was the best thing to happen to me,
I just never asked for the third degree.

By Clare

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