Diary of a First Time Mom: The Sh*t No One Tells You About Labor, Delivery, & Recovery
So I never had any intention of turning my blog into a "mom" blog but since my life is all things baby and motherhood right now I can't help share my authentic experiences. My life went from thinking about what cute outfit I'm going to wear each day to how much sleep am I going to get each night REAL FAST. With that being said I wanted to write a post about the sh*t no one tells you about labor, delivery, and recovery because there is A LOT. I feel like women don't talk about it much because during the postpartum phase you kind of just block it all out. It's like a crazy weird dream you woke up from but with a cute new human that relies on you 24/7. I wouldn't change it for the world though, everything is worth it when you have your child in your arms. I would go through pregnancy, labor, delivery, & recovery over again even though it was one of the most challenging times of my life.
....However, I would have liked to go into it knowing some of the sh*t no one tells you. So here I am paying it forward, you're welcome.
- Labor doesn't always happen the way you think it will sometimes it's dramatic and sometimes it's very subtle like mine. I had the reaction of "Um what just happened" instead of "It's happening". So when in doubt call your doctor!
- If your doctor breaks your water please be aware that it's actually A LOT OF WATER (technically amniotic fluid) that comes out and does not stop for hours. So If you think you broke your water at home (like me), chances are you didn't.
- Everyone tells you that contractions hurt. The sh*t no one tells you is that it's like a slow and steady climb to pain. You go through phases of "Oh I can handle this, this isn't bad" to "NURSE, EPIDURAL ASAP"!!!
- I used to roll my eyes at the idea of writing a birth plan, like who has time for that? Well I'm glad my doctor encouraged it because contrary to my belief, birth plans are actually taken pretty seriously in the hospital. So make sure you take the time to write one!
- Resident students will most likely play a part in your labor and delivery process, but they don't have to. I requested in my birth plan to have no residents be involved in my delivery (see I'm glad I wrote one). I wasn't entirely comfortable having my body become a teaching instrument, sorry not sorry!
- You will need to request your epidural and no one will remind you to do it. There is a very sensitive window of opportunity that will allow you to actually receive one, so make sure you DON'T MISS IT!
- If you have an epidural you will get a catheter (SURPRISE) and you can't move from your hospital bed. Thankfully you won't feel the procedure happening or anything happening down there for that matter.
- You can't eat anything during labor and it's super annoying so if you think you're in labor eat a hearty meal. Or be a rebel like me and sneak a few crumbs of food!
- You will feel contractions / pressure through your epidural when it's time to push but they aren't painful. It's just your 8lb baby trying to escape, nbd.
- If you think your significant other won't look down there, he probably will because the doctor's and nurses encourage it (insert eye roll). However chances are you DGAF because you're focused on getting that baby out!
- After you deliver your baby you will have to deliver the after birth (aka the placenta) and you'll mostlikely be too consumed with having your beautiful baby on your chest to notice that weirdness happening. Oh and no it doesn't hurt, thank you epidural.
- The likelihood of stitches happening down there are real (SO SORRY) but you most likely won't feel them (maybe you will? Sorry again). You can do what I did and just not ask questions or even attempt to look, ignorance is bliss.
- Once you finish delivering, your epidural will be removed and you will start to feel your legs again. Unfortunately, you may end up with pretty bad back pain and restless legs after (which no one tells you about). THANK GOD I threw a heating pad in my bag last minute.
- Your stomach will look weird and feel weird after delivery (I compare it to jello). Just find peace knowing that in a week or so it'll look much more normal.
- Getting up for the first time to use the rest room post-delivery will be one of the most challenging things you do. The hospital will not let you get up without help of a nurse because no matter how much of super woman you feel after delivery, chances are you might pass out the second you stand up (I did).
- Speaking of using the rest room, for a while it'll feel like a part-time job when prior to delivery it used to be so easy. Using a peri bottle, giant pads, and stocking up on the hospital's super cute disposable underwear will make your life A LOT easier.
- You might cry a lot postpartum due to hormones (I did) and it's totally normal and okay. However, If you feel that your emotions are getting very intense, reach out and speak to someone!
- Contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding for most women is actually VERY challenging in the first few weeks. I thought it would be so simple and magical but they don't tell you that it's extremely demanding and could be painful as all hell. For me, it felt like my baby was born with razor sharp teeth and I didn't think I would be able to stick it through AT ALL. Through all of the tears, I made it a point to learn as much as I could from the lactation consultants and nurses because I didn't want to give up on breastfeeding and google is not a reliable source.
- Most hospitals are pro breastfeeding but If you want to formula feed don't let the doctors, nurses, or anyone make you feel bad about it. When we were having latching issues I requested formula because I didn't think she was getting anything from breastfeeding and I was so scared I was starving my child. I felt like I was being shamed for wanting to supplement. Although I now exclusively breastfeed, I just remember crying and feeling like such a failure those first few days. Moral of the story is feed your baby no matter which way you choose because it's YOUR choice (#TeamClapBack).
- Walking, climbing stairs, taking a shower, or simply getting into your car will be a serious challenge but it WILL get better. Even though you may feel intensely vulnerable please lean on your significant other and family for support! Don't be stubborn, your body just went through a traumatic (and beautiful) experience!
- If you need space from visitors speak up! Don't expect yourself to be able to smile and host people 24/7 because it's not possible. I knew that I wanted and NEEDED space for two days after we got home from the hospital, so we didn't have any visitors over during that timeframe. You and baby need to REST!
- Most importantly, don't forget to give yourself GRACE! It took 9 months to bring that beautiful bundle of joy into the world and it will take awhile to get into the swing of this new chapter of your life.
Leave a comment and share your experiences to help moms-to-be!