When you think of sexy underwear, you may think of pretty lace or delicate thongs. When you think of the underwear in your dresser drawer, regular, everyday undies may come to mind. (Some in better shape than others if I'm being honest…)
But when you think back on giving birth, you think of those beautiful, also delicate (but not quite thong-delicate), thin, but somehow also very supportive mesh underwear don't you?
I mean, I do.
They are amazing. They sort of look like a hair net at first, but then you open them up and boom! They're underwear. And not just any underwear. They are life-changing underwear.
They are going to be there for you those first few days of postpartum life like no one else—not your partner, not your nurses, not your baby. It's you and those mesh underwear—taking on motherhood—one pair at a time.
To me, I think they're symbolic of the fourth trimester itself.
They provide help with recovery.
In each of my three fourth trimester experiences I was being held together by a safety net of sorts—just like my situation was held together by the star of the show: my mesh undies. But instead of sanitary pads and Tucks pads and ice packs—my supporting actors were my husband, my parents, my in-laws, my siblings, my friends. The meals made for me, the muffins that were dropped off, the showers I got to take when someone else was holding my baby. This is a time for support, and whether that comes in the form of mesh underwear or people or food—accept it, mama.
They keep it real.
They aren't pretty. And honestly, postpartum life isn't always either. It can be raw and tiring and foggy. You're figuring it all out and learning as you go. But just like beauty can be found in these unattractive undies, it can also be found in this wild yet wonderful moment in time. The hibernation of newborn life? Glorious. The newness of it all? Exhilarating. The excuse to sit on the couch and hold a cute baby while you binge watch something on Netflix? Pretty flipping awesome, if you ask me.
They are a normal part of this postpartum period.
Motherhood is a "new normal" of sorts. You're shedding the skin of who you were before you met your baby and stepping into the same, yet somehow transformed version of yourself. Feeling unhinged is normal. Feeling an overwhelming sense of joy and love is normal. Baby blues is normal. Postpartum depression (PPD) is normal. Not everyone will experience PPD of course, but a lot of women do. Please know that getting help is also normal and necessary.
I remember hearing about these "granny panites" pre-childbirth, but I never Googled them or asked much more about them because I think I was scared terrified at the sound of them. But little did I know, I had nothing to worry about. Because I love them. And I am grateful for them.
To be honest, I love them so much that anytime I see a pregnant mama post on Facebook asking what she should pack in her hospital bag I comment: "Get an extra long phone charger, a good water bottle, chapstick—oh and don't forget to steal all the mesh underwear possible. Good luck! Thinking of you!"
So seriously—if you are pregnant, make sure you make friends with the nurses assigned to you. You will need them to ask them questions, to get any pain meds you may need—and to sweet talk them into giving you all the mesh underwear.
Good luck! Thinking of you! (In your mesh underwear.)
Jk. But seriously—Ask. For. More.