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The Pain of Kids Waaaaay After Birth

By Madeline Holler |

badbabySo there’s the stretching cervix, the contracting uterus, the post-op recovery, the general fatigue. But as anyone with a toddler knows, the physical pain of becoming a parent doesn’t end in the hospital or during those first few weeks resting comfortably at home.

For a lot of us, birth pain is just a teaser. The big stuff — head butts, biting, deep, deep lacerations caused by fingernails — make the hours of labor and recovery seem like a day at the spa.

MSNBC talks to moms and dads in When Babies Attack and gives us the worst of the worst. Scratched corneas, broken noses and bitten-off nipples. Yowza!

All three of my babies have been precocious teethers — the first four teeth coming in before they reached five months old. And all of them went through a biting phase. But my son — my youngest — has elicited the most and loudest screams from me, which sometimes cause him to cry … and other times to laugh. At me. Screaming. (Next post: are babies inherently evil?)

He’s also way into head-butting his father. And when not chewing on my nipples, he likes grabbing this jowly bit below my chin. Such delicate fingers. Such a tight grip!

He pinches his sisters arms in the back seat of the car.

My middle child, a tank since birth who loved to be carried, is responsible for destroying the cartilige in the joint of a toe on my right foot. I’m now an ibuprofen addict.

My oldest once thought screaming instead of whispering while her lips were right next to my ear would be hilarious! I regained most of my hearing a few hours later.

But the MSNBC article talks of far worse — one mom thought she’d need reconstructive surgery. Which makes me wonder about you? How have your little ones beat the crap out of you?

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Photo: MSNBC

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About Madeline Holler


Madeline Holler

Madeline Holler is a writer, journalist, and blogger. She has written for Babble since the site launched in 2006. Her writing has appeared in various other publications both online and in print, including Salon and True/Slant (now Forbes). A native of the Midwest, Madeline lives, writes, and parents in Southern California, where she's raising two daughters and a son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Madeline's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “The Pain of Kids Waaaaay After Birth

  1. jeannesager says:

    My daughter has split my lip wide open, leaving me looking like Mickey Rourke. For awhile, she had a habit of sitting on my lip and then throwing her head back super hard when she was pissy about something. I had to hold my hand between her head and my face lest I suffer the blow.

  2. Manjari says:

    Everything changed again?

  3. Hang in there, Manjari. It’s freaking me out too! But since I have your attention, surely those twins of yours have tagged teamed you with some beat downs, no?

  4. leahsmom says:

    I can’t read this – but is the ruptured eardrum in this article? Because it should be.

  5. ChiLaura says:

    I stopped reading this post after “bitten off nipple.” Seriously, I couldn’t take anymore.

  6. Manjari says:

    Yes, the twins have abused me plenty. I feel bad when my son comes running to give me a hug and bangs his hard head into my mouth or something. It’s hard to get upset with someone that’s so excited to hug you. Once he banged his head into my ear and it hurt for about 5 days. I’ve always wondered about this, whether people sustain actual injuries from their babies. I guess the answer is yes!

  7. GP says:

    I think this article is a little Onion-esque. I know accidents can happen, but come on. Some of the things it talks about require a bit of discipline. I’m all for spirited children, but some of these kids sound like they are allowed to be a little too wild. When my 2 year old girl does wacky shit that even hurts me a little bit I very sternly hold her tightly and tell her “cool it”!

  8. Sheri says:

    That nipple thing almost makes me glad I couldn’t breastfeed!!!
    I’ve had my share of beat downs from my boys. The best is when my oldest threw a fit and almost pushed me down a flight of stairs.

  9. PlumbLucky says:

    Yeah, but I can’t “discipline” an eight month old for accidentally head butting me so hard in the nose that it causes a nose bleed. (Now hair pulling…that’s a firm “No.” and a put-down that usually does the trick)

  10. GP says:

    I see what you mean, Plumb.
    Those breastfeeding stories are probably rare…or maybe it just depends on the kid. My girl never bit. Sometime there’d be a light clampdown when she fell asleep and lost control of herself, but nothing to take the nipple off. Geesh! I guess I should feel lucky…

  11. Shana says:

    A little girl I used to babysit did the yelling in the ear thing to my sister. It was after my mother had a discussion with her about how the F-word (she picked that one up from one of her grandfather’s friends) was not a good word to use. She immediately went over to my sister (who was eleven at the time) to whisper in her ear and instead yelled f*ck as loud as possible.

  12. [...] The Pain of Kids Waaaaay After Birth [...]

  13. Sparks62 says:

    Having been a nanny for over 30 years I am concerned about the report from MSNBC. Most child accidents are just that. If a child’s behavior is worse than for pete’s sake get a shrink! I think MSNBC needs to pull this show. I guess the corporate hoo haws need the money for their kids expensive colleges!

  14. [...] The Pain of Kids Waaaaay After Birth [...]

  15. JB says:

    My daughter when she was learning to walk fell on my ankle while I was sitting on the floor. It damaged it so bad I was on crutches for six weeks. I still have problems 3 years later if I stand too long without shoes on. Of course, it was just an accident… just like all the bruised noses and fat lips. I still have a scar (white mark) on my nipple because her suck reflex was so strong during breastfeeding. And yes, I had a correct latch.

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