Hello Readers! Last week I shared with you some of the things that surprised me about pregnancy. If you haven’t read that post, check there first, then come back here!
Disclaimer: Before you start reading, and assuming that I’m completely insensitive to the plight of women who have babies, I want to let you know that this post is based solely on my experience having a baby. That would make sense, seeing as I’ve only ever had my own labor and delivery experience. That being said – I’ll say it: I had a pretty easy labor. I don’t know if I just labor well, or Evelyn went easy on me, but overall, 10 out of 10 would do it again.
Alright let’s get started.
The time has come! Whether your water broke or contractions have been pillaging your body every 5 or so minutes, your baby has started the long, epic journey to our world.
Below I have listed some things that I had no idea would happen during labor & delivery.
- You might not know. In the movies, you always see a tidal wave whoosh of a woman’s water breaking all over an aisle at the grocery store. This is not always the case. If you’re anything like me, you may have a slow trickle all day long and not realize what’s going on until your jeans are soaked to your knees. Go ahead and tie that sweatshirt around your waist, honey. You’re not hiding anything. I had one big contraction that about broke me in half, then felt nothing else until the nurses pumped me full of Pitocin hours later.
- Pitocin. Oh my lanta. I was having a great time until the nurses started me on Pitocin. That brings your labor pains from 0 to 100,000 in minutes. Like I mentioned above, I really had no idea that I was in labor. Once I was totally soaked, I called the nurse’s line and was told to come on in. They confirmed that I had, indeed, been leaking amniotic fluid all over the park, car, and apartment, and began monitoring the contractions I didn’t know I was having. The nurse who strapped me in was surprised that I wasn’t feeling any of the party happening in my uterus. It was pretty smooth sailing with occasional minor discomfort. Once that Pitocin started circulating, I was lit up like the fourth of freakin July.
- Contractions. I thought they would feel like super intense period cramps. Color me surprised when they actually felt like being sawed down the middle by a flaming chainsaw. That’s not to scare you – but I’m here to be honest. It felt like being stabbed with hot pokers, while someone was also squeezing my stomach as hard as they could. The good news is that contractions peak which means as soon as they’re at their worst, they’re already getting better!
- There might be barfing. Okay – this is something I was completely unaware of and very unprepared for. Since the Pitocin made me feel like my internal organs had all spontaneously combusted while being crushed by a hydraulic press, I requested an epidural sooner rather than later. One uncommon side effect of the epidural is the plummet of your blood pressure within seconds which, for lack of a better term, leaves you feeling like complete ass. My nurse warned me this might happen, and handed me a little bag in case things went south. Things indeed went south, and after putting something in my IV to help bring my BP back up, she left the room. At the same moment, my husband went to use the restroom. I was alone. The only problem with that was I set my little barf bag on a table which was rolled just out of my reach, and what little was left in my stomach was trying to make a reappearance. Spoiler: I didn’t reach the bag in time. How pleasant.
- You won’t care. About anything, really. I’m a pretty private, modest person and have always felt uncomfortable bearing all for any type of doctor. One of my biggest concerns was feeling awkward or shy during labor. And the big one – what if I poop? Was my relationship with my husband really at the point where he could watch me poop and we could just…move on with life? Let me tell you – it won’t matter. I’m not going to tell you it won’t cross your mind; it might. It definitely crossed my mind. I found myself thinking, “I could be pooping right now. I’d have no idea.” But in that moment, my legs situated as far apart from each other as east is from west, with strangers whose names I didn’t even know peering into (or touching) the most sacred and secret part of my body, I can honestly say I did not give a flip. Do what you gotta do doc, I’ll just be doin’ me up here. You get to a certain point where you’re just tired of being in the same room, tired of waiting, tired of laying in the same bed with nurses inspecting all your goodies. You have one goal: Get that baby out. (Full disclosure: I did ask John later about the pooping situation. It was good news.)
The best part of having a baby (besides the baby) is feeling like a goddess among mere mortals when all is said and done. Even though I didn’t have an all-natural birth, I still felt stronger than Wonder Woman. I created life, guys. What is cooler than that? And women who get c-sections? Even stronger than I. Mentally and physically. You go, mamas.
Alright folks, this is where I end Having A Baby: Things I Didn’t Know Part 2. I could honestly go on for days, but you all have lives and may have even stopped reading halfway through this post.
Tune in next week for Part 3 which will dive into actually HAVING the baby after you leave the hospital. What an adventure that was. Can’t wait to share!