Most of what I’ve been posting to Facebook and Instagram about life with a newborn and three year old has been pretty much rainbows and sunshine. And, truth be told, with Jim off work and the support we’ve had from family and friends, things have been pretty breezy. Especially compared to the chaos that was Luella’s postpartum period.
So I thought I’d share the story of the epic disaster that was our first outing as a family of four, and easily my most embarrassing postpartum moment to date.
It was Monday and I was getting a bit of cabin fever so we decided to go out for lunch. Lu really wanted to go to Newtown, and I’m always keen for that. So after an hour and a half of getting ready, including multiple nappie changes, we loaded up into the car.
Nikolas fell asleep straight away – so far, so good. We got a good parking spot on Enmore Road, and I decided I’d wear him in a stretchy wrap – my first time using it with him. Like muscle memory, I tied it all up and tucked him in perfectly and he stayed asleep.
So there we are, walking down Enmore Road. I’m wearing my 6 day old baby and holding hands with my big girl and basically feeling like a rockstar mama. We’re heading to the sushi shop and I tell Lu that after lunch we can stop into Gelato Blue for some vegan ice cream.
Then, I can feel it starting to happen.
At first there’s just a trickle of blood – like you might have during a heavy period. But I’m wearing my jumbo maternity pads so I should be fine, right?
And then, the floodgates open. Suddenly, I am gushing, as if my waters had just broken. I tell Jim we need to stop and he looks down and yells “Oh shit!” That’s when I see the puddle of blood forming around my feet.
There’s blood all over my brand new wrap, my white Cotton On dress, down my legs and feet.
My first thought is “oh my god, I’m haemorrhaging!” and then “what if I pass out while I’m wearing my baby?” I don’t feeling light-headed at all though, so Jim calls Sheryl (my midwife) and I explain the situation as I stand there, still bleeding on the footpath.
She’s, of course, not fazed at all and tells me it’s totally normal to have a big bleed a few days postpartum. Heavy activity (like wearing your baby and walking) can cause a uterine blood vessel to pop. By the time I hung up the bleeding had stopped, so Sheryl advised I just get home and put my feet up.
What I haven’t mentioned is that, Lu has put together that mum bleeding out on the sidewalk = no ice cream. So she has, at this point, completely lost her shit. So Jim picks her up, screaming her head off and hightails it to the car.
And then, it’s just me and my baby strapped to me, standing on Enmore Road in a pool of my own uterus blood, as 22 year old hipsters walk past me on their way home from brunch. I can see their eyes travel from the bloody sidewalk to my bloody dress to my newborn and I can practically hear them mentally vowing to a childfree life.
Also, a few feet from me, there’s a pile of dog poop. Because, of course there is.
Anyway, as usual Jim saved the day, scoring some raspberry sorbet for Lu and sacrificing a jumper for me to sit on in the car. I came home and took the best shower ever and cleaned up the crime scene in my bathroom. Everything has been normal in my underwear since then.
So yeah, moral of the story: just when you think you’re winning at this parenting thing, life will kick you in the uterus and make you bleed out in front of hipsters.
We haven’t gone out since.