I’ll start by saying that I definitely didn’t think labor would be a walk in the park but there were things that no one told me. Here are five pretty big things that surprised me the most.
LABOR IS INSANELY PAINFUL
When I was pregnant and asked mothers about their birthing experiences it was like no one wanted to tell me the real gross, horrible truth about their labor.
"It was painful but so worth it in the end" is what they all said. Is this some type of universal response that I don't know about? Is it because mothers don't want to scare moms to be? Or perhaps, it's to convince yourself that it wasn't that bad so you will do it again? Maybe it’s just a super personal moment that women don't want to share? I don't know but today, I will share what no one else shared with me.
Labor is not only painful, its scary. The unknown of how you will deliver is nerve racking. Well, it was to me. Unless you plan to go straight into a C-section, take your birth plan and throw it out the window! Sure, you MAY follow some of your plan but you cannot control how your body will respond to labor, which way the doctors will advise you go based on how you and the baby progress and what your mind will tell you (because its a whole new mindset once you feel that pain!).
There are so many variables that will happen or not. Will your water break on its own or will they have to do it for you? Will you dilate on your own or will you need to be induced? Will the baby be face up or down? Breech? Can you handle the pain or will you need an epidural? C-section or vaginal delivery? Will you tear?
You can’t control how labor will go down so birth plans, in my opinion, are really just a way to get your mind off of all the other ways your body might respond.
You won't be wearing your cute thongs for a long time. In fact, you won't even be wearing your ugliest period underwear. You'll be wearing these mommy diapers they give you in the hospital because you bleed for up to 6 weeks and very heavily for the first two postpartum. Awesome.
YOU WILL CRY - A LOT!
The hormonal changes in your body are so intense that you become very emotional after having a baby. For me, I cried because I was happy and nervous, not because I had the postpartum blues, which some women do get.
I remember feeding Richie in the nursery and just crying because I loved him so much. My husband came into the room and was like, "What's wrong?" I had to explain that they were tears of happiness. I cried when someone told me not to pick up my baby every time he cries. I thought, what type of monster would do that to a newborn. I want to attend to every single one of his needs. I also cried (a lot!) when my husband had to go back to work. He got one lousy week off to spend with us. It flew by and I was so sad. I wasn't only sad that he wouldn't be there to help but that he would miss those very first moments of his son's life. I can cry right now as I type this. Anyway, my point is. You will cry. And that's ok.
THE SHAKES & SWEATS
The drenching night sweats after childbirth will be a shock. They were for me. I will never forget, in the hospital, being completely drenched and shaking so violently that my teeth were chattering. I buzzed the nurse and she just gave me an extra blanket. Like no big deal, it’s just your hormones going haywire. Yikes. This continued for about two weeks.
SITTING WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE
I had a vaginal birth and was so completely sore down there that I needed strong pain medicine. The worst part was that I was breastfeeding and needed to sit to feed my baby. Those first two weeks were BRUTAL. One of my closest girlfriends had a C-section and sitting for her was just as painful because of all the stitches. My recommendation – ice packs!
In the end, I got through being uncomfortable and in pain. I did what I had to do to take care of my baby just like everyone else. I never knew I could endure this much and take care of another human being. Cliché as it sounds; women are strong and amazing! We have a strength that cannot be measured. You really realized this when you birth a baby. It's such a beautiful thing and I feel proud to have gotten through it although I am pretty sure this thing called motherhood is just getting started...
natalie ferro aurigema
Sharing all the things that make me happy through this blog.
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