5 Things They Never Told You About Labor and Delivery
Posted December 10, 2014 by Prairie Wife - 2 comments
Warning: Do not read this post if you are thinking about being pregnant but are not yet pregnant, if you are embarrassed easily by hearing people talk about bodily functions, or if you are male.
One of the fun things about this pregnancy is that I get to enjoy being pregnant along with my close friend and frequent contributor on this site TallGirlJ. While we are 6 weeks apart it’s still been fun to experience all this together. Last month we shared with you 5 Things They Never Told You About Pregnancy. As our due dates draw nearer we’ve found ourselves chatting more and more about the realities of pushing a baby out of your girl parts. Yet again we both felt that the experts have let us down by glossing over details or simply not mentioning things at all. While we could have come up with a much longer list of things to know about labor and delivery we stuck to our top five. Before we start ladies, I just want to tell you three things.
- Giving birth hurts and it’s messy and it will change you physically and mentally forever.
- Everyone’s birth experience and expectations are different and I truly hope yours is exactly what you want.
- In the end all that matters is that first moment when you hold your baby!
So without further delay in the spirit of true Prairie Wife sisterhood, here are five things those books never told us about labor and delivery.
If you have a birth plan, be prepared to never use it.
Prairie Wife: I had this great birth plan for my first baby. It was typed out and everything you could imagine was on it. From the music I wanted to listen to and positions I wanted to try, to what outfit I wanted to wear in pictures. When I handed it to my veteran OB she laughed and said “good luck”. I was really upset, but still printed copies to give to nurses in the room and have next to The Cowboy and I in the delivery room. When I ended up being induced rather than the natural childbirth experience I had planned I should have given up then and there…but I still insisted on keeping it next to me. Flash forward 12 hours later and I was shaking and throwing up and The Cowboy was tearfully pleading with me to get an epidural. Needless to say the only thing that happened as planned was I had a baby! Since then I’ve had a mental birth plan of what I want to happen (and it has hardly ever gone the way I envisioned) and made clear a few points with The Cowboy that we must stick to. In the end I’ve learned that both God and OB’s laugh at birth plans…
TallGirlJ: I never had a birth plan…see my answer to the next question lol!
It’s never too early to pack your hospital bag.
Prairie Wife: As I sort of said above, babies are going to do what they want when they want, and you just never know when they will decide to be born. I am a planner and by now I’ve got this hospital bag thing down pat, see my list here for what you really need. As I was unpacking from our trip to Florida today I almost just went ahead and packed my bag for the hospital…after all Cowbaby5’s due date is only 10 weeks away, and you just never know…
TallGirlJ: I apparently am not a planner like the Prairie Wife. I am now officially 3 weeks or less from having a baby, and just last night I thought to myself… maybe I should think about packing my bags in case this baby does decide to come on his own? With my first two kids I was induced both times because my blood pressure was high. This meant I had a day to go home get my stuff together for my journey to the hospital. I wonder what kind of things would be left behind in an urgent pack?! Now I’m feeling that I better go home and pack so I don’t have to find out lol!
Nothing is more exciting than those first few contractions, and then it’s not exciting at all….it just hurts!
Prairie Wife: With all the Cowkids I’ve walked miles to help get things going. When finally those first few contractions hit and get regular I am always so excited because it means that I’ll be meeting my baby soon. It’s exhilarating and my adrenaline gets pumping. Then shit gets real and it’s not exciting at all it just hurts…a lot!
TallGirlJ: I have always been induced so when my contractions hit, they hit hard! But, I feel the same way heading into my induction. I am always super excited and can’t wait to get started, but once it gets started it’s started…and there is NO going back! Let the pain begin!
You ARE going to poop but trust us you won’t care.
Prairie Wife: The books kind of breeze over this part but most first time mom’s I know latch right onto this little tidbit of information and proceed to fret and fuss about it. I whole heartedly admit that I was one of those moms. But in the end when it happened I wasn’t even aware of it because A. I was in so much pain and B. I was trying to push a baby out. As far as your husband’s reaction…I asked The Cowboy about it one time and his response was something like “There was so much terrible stuff happening down there I didn’t really notice it…” That’s reassuring right?
TallGirlJ: I was so scared about this before my first baby, and I must have done it, because as the famous potty training book says “everyone poops”…but no one ever brought it up or said anything to me. So as far as I know it never happened. With my second baby I didn’t even think about it!
You will forget how much it hurts…until you’re in the middle of it and then there is no turning back.
Prairie Wife: I’ve had an epidural with one of the Cowkids and gone au natural with the other three. Each time I feel totally prepared and mentally ready to handle the pain and then I’m in the middle of it and I literally say “How on Earth did I forget this?!” It hurts, it hurts a ton. Giving birth is scary and stressful, and painful. Seriously though, you eventually will forget exactly what it feels like, and I promise you the second the baby is out it will feel so much better!
TallGirlJ: For me I think I forget until about 36-37 weeks. Then I start feeling super uncomfortable and to be honest I feel like my hips, pelvis and nether regions are separating. That’s when it all starts coming back… but by this point it is way too late to change it! So my advice it just roll with it and get and epidural if you want one! As Prairie Wife says it’s all worth it once you are holding that baby in your arms!
What do you wish you knew about labor and delivery? Tell us, we want to hear it!
Here are a few more supportive posts about pregnancy and babies that may be helpful.
Prairie Wife of the Week August, 29, 2014 (interview with a postpartum nurse)
Prairie Wife of the Week May 23, 2014 (interview with an OB resident)