I decided to write this blog post after having had my first child a few days ago. I feel like as much as I read, went to classes, talked to people, and did research, it still never prepared me for the actual labor part and the pain which follows.
Having a baby is the best thing in the world, but some moments can be difficult, especially when you don’t fully know if what is happening to you is normal.I don’t want to discourage you by any means, just want to make you aware!
I didn’t write this post to come off as an expert now that I became a mother and I didn’t intend to scare anyone with it at all! I think it’s important to understand the things that nobody tells you…or at least nobody told me!
Going through labor varies tremendously for everyone. Mine lasted 7 hours whereas some women are in labor for 20! It was the most painful and beautiful experience I’ve ever gone through and I would do it again in a heartbeat for my peanut.
Let’s Get To Business:
1. Your water doesn’t break all at once. Your water might break or it might not. When it does break on its own, it is like going pee in your pants but it doesn’t really stop. It slows down but it is continuously flowing until your baby arrives. It’s definitely an uncomfortable feeling to have. The water is actually the amniotic fluid that holds your baby and cushions it during pregnancy. After my water broke, I started contracting every two minutes. My stomach became hard because it was full of just the baby!
2. If your water breaks, you still have time. You don’t have to hurry up and run to the hospital like you see in movies. Just don’t wait too long or else you and the baby can get an infection. I went right away because I thought the baby was literally going to come out soon after that. I was extremely uncomfortable and didn’t want to risk anything since it was my first baby.
3. Contractions are the most painful thing you will experience! The contractions were more painful than having to push the baby out. I was not prepared for the type of pain. There’s really no way to explain what it feels like… The closest would be that it feels like heavy bowling balls rolling around in your tummy. I was able to stand 3 hours of it without medication, but then it became excruciatingly painful and had to be alone in my room.
4. The epidural might not numb everything or it might numb you too much. My epidural numbed my legs so much that I felt paralyzed. It also didn’t numb my lower abdomen and my contractions too much. I was under the impression of the epidural being a shot, but it is almost like a big IV that goes into your back and pumps throughout the entire process. You can start receiving it any time you’d like. I started mine after 3 hours of labor, but it only numbs you from the waste down which is still very helpful!
5. Your doctor will not come into the room until the head of your baby is almost going to pop out. You will have a wonderful nurse that will be with you the entire time and will inform your doctor as soon as she can see the head of your baby. My doctor arrived an hour late. It was a challenge to hold the baby in for an extra hour….still mad about that one!
6. You will most likely have stitches from an episiotomy. They are pretty common but healing is painful. My doctor asked me if she could do it while I was pushing and I was in so much pain that I told her to do whatever she needs to do. Ha Ha! You will also go home in diapers.
7. Your epidural might not make you feel the need to push. Too much numbing made me feel clueless about what was happening below. I didn’t know the strength of my pushing. You will also want to make sure that you save some energy for the last part because pushing really tires you out!
8. You will wear a diaper and have your period for six weeks following. The first time you pee will be the most painful but it gets easier! I didn’t think I would be able to take care of my baby after being in so much pain after labor, but it gets easier and after day 3 I was walking and good to go!
9. You will not get sleep from the moment you go into labor to the time leaving the hospital. Your baby sleeps in your room with you so you can get used to their habits and schedule. You will also have a nurse/team of people popping in periodically throughout the days and nights. This was actually very helpful and got us used to her cries and schedule.
10. You won’t get to eat during labor. This will make your medicine kick in faster. I went into labor as soon as I was going to eat dinner. I had gone 15 hours without having food…make sure you eat afterwards!
11. Pushing can take hours or it can be super quick. Mine took an hour. The hardest part is getting the head out and then the rest is easy!
12. Breastfeeding ouch! Cluster feeding happens when your milk supply is still coming in. The baby has to work harder to get the colostrum so it becomes more painful and more frequent feedings because of this. It doesn’t last forever! My baby was born with a short frenulum o the tongue so feeding her has been a battle for the first week and a half!
13. Be prepared to be interrupted and bothered by nurses 24/7 while you are staying at the hospital. You will also be there at least 2 nights. I really wanted to go home after the first night, but if you try to leave early then your insurance may refuse to cover your bill.
Kids are the best thing you can have in the world and I would do it all over again for my little Penelope. Just be prepared!! Having a baby is truly life changing and wonderful. I wish I listened to people who told me to get as much rest and sleep as possible before baby comes!