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Thank You Granny Knickers

by Ashleigh Wood

I’m a thong lady, naturally..

I have been for as long as I can remember, probably as early as secondary school. You know what it’s like, you’re out with your Mam on a shopping trip and she reminds you you’re in need of new underwear which, of course you’re already aware of. She reaches for the ‘lady boxers’ and you are quickly reminded of the knicker line visible in your new tight fit school pants.

It’s time, you think. Now or never. 

You pluck up the courage to ask for grown up knickers. No, not mini briefs Mam, we’re talking all out tiny little thongs because, after all, I’m old enough to bleed from the inside out so why shouldn’t I have the privilege of wearing a bloody thong. A few multi-packs of Primark everydays which moved to smaller-sized, sexier and more expensive brands as the years progressed and I haven’t looked back since, until giving birth.

So I find myself back in the Primark underwear section, braving another new style much like that time so long ago only this time, I feel like I’m about to downgrade MASSIVELY. I’d done my pre-labour research and I was well aware that they were a necessity but actually buying those high-waist granny pants made my cheeks go rather rosy when I reached the till, throwing a packet of gummy sweets on top of them casually to try and divert attention and make myself seem marginally younger than my choice of lingerie. I was acting so suspicious that I probably convinced the cashier that I was about to go and cut some holes into them and wear them over my head in a planned robbery which, if anyone is contemplating partaking in such an activity give it a shot, I’m sure they’d be pretty fit for purpose!

When it came to packing my hospital bag, I’d spent so much money and time on the contents that the little four pack of knickers in question and a box of disposable meshy maternity knickers from boots were thrown into one of the compartments, dismissed and forgotten about amidst the fancy nighties and other pointless items I was so adamant would be essential in hospital.

The big day came around and by this point I had been demoted from g-string back to young teenage boxer knickers because when it reaches a certain point in your pregnant body transformation your vagina changes in the most unusual ways; it just does’t feel right. In my case, Carl kindly pointed out that I had developed a ‘mound’ from my tummy pushing on my down-belows so I guess I had already had a minor taste of undignified underwear changes before labour.

After having my waters broken, I realised it was high-time to whack out the big boys and twas then that I had my first maternity pad cushioned granny knicker encounter- bouncing on a birthing ball which was covered in doggy pads. Not my finest hour but all dignity goes out the window when your baby decides they’re ready to start packing up and making their way down and out. If I didn’t know that Carl loved me unconditionally before that experience, I certainly do not that’s for sure. There were a few remarks and jokes thrown at me but he still admired me in all my leaky glory.

If I thought that was bad I clearly hadn’t anticipated what the Midwife had in store for me in the hospital room toilet after my first post labour wee. The stories are so true, there I was being helped into what can only be described as a giant meshed nappy lined with a king sized mattress.

This was to be my norm for at least the next forty eight hours before I could even think of going back to the black pants in my bag which now seemed like an absolute dream because I can assure you that when people say ‘there will be blood’ they mean there will be blood, so much blood. Take the worst period of your entire life and quadruple it then maybe times it by ten and you will only be imagining a fraction of the horror scene that is to come. Okay, so maybe I’m being a little dramatic but it really feels that way and makes you question how you’re still alive with such substantial blood loss.

Once I’d used the disposable meshed Boots knickers, I moved onto those dreaded Primark ones which were to become my absolute saviour throughout not only my hospital stay but my time at home also. Four pairs was absolutely not enough and I had to request that my visitors brought me more during my stay. I grew to adore them. Not only are they soft and stretchy, perfect for covering up this strange saggy area that is now to be my new tummy but there was room enough for the many many maternity pads that I worked my way through over the weeks following, the weeks to which I was convinced I was going to bleed for the rest of my life.

Alas, the bleeding did eventually suffice and slowly but surely my vagina began to return to it’s normal state.

This is wear I must confess to you all that over three months on I am still wearing those old faithful knickers. Not every single day, I swear, but a lot of the time I can be found in the comfort of my own home wearing nothing BUT the granny pants and a nursing bra armed with two breast pads.

Convenient, reliable and above all comfy.

Some of them are a little worse for wear, threads coming undone and entangling themselves throughout my wash loads and others could well be stained from my ordeal I admit but that’s the beauty of black pants: what you can’t see won’t hurt you.

Chilling in my pants during the first weeks at home

What I do know, however is that without these knickers I would have had a pretty rough time of things when it comes to all things lady-part related. I really did not expect to fall in love with something I once deemed to be so hideous but this is just another prime example of how we change as we become Mothers and not all changes are as obvious as others, some lie hidden beneath our jeans that we just fit back into, for only us to know about.

I do hope to graduate back into the hundreds of sexy knickers that have now been shunned to the back of my underwear drawer but for right now my Granny pants suit me just fine!

Written by Ashleigh for her blog, The Mammy Diaries.

Follow her on Instagram and Facebook!

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