life, love, and maybe babies

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Birth Story: Part 2

The other day, I shared with you all the story of how my little buddy came into this world. It was long, tiring and scary but we made it through and Hubs and I left the hospital with a perfect baby in our arms government approved car seat.

I was amazed about how my expectations of the birth were absolutely nothing like the reality, and I had a sneaking suspicion the "after baby" experience would yield the same results.

I was right.

Rather than tell you the long version of what happened after baby, I'll use one of my trusty lists to tell you about the post production of having a baby.

(I realize there are already a ton of lists out there on the internet, but they're all things like "you have to wear giant maxi pads after giving birth." I mean, duh. But I, dear friends, am going to tell you the real stuff.)

Things No One Tells You About Birthing a Baby:

1. You will have no modesty left

Like I mentioned yesterday, there's no need to cross your legs like a lady and try and hold your hospital gown closed. You will have more people up in your lady business than you ever thought possible. A few times Hubs even said, "the nurses are getting more action from you than I've seen in weeks." They've got to check your cervix, adjust really annoying monitors on your belly and after delivery, and take out your catheter. They don't care if you've shaved and they don't care if you fart. Do what they say and it will be over a lot faster than if you fight it.

2. You will forget how to pee 

I can't speak to vaginal delivery because I had a c-section, but I can tell you that after it was all said and done and my catheter came out, my nurse took me into the bathroom to pee. But I couldn't go. It was like my bladder had shut down and gone on strike. The nurse gave me a little bottle to spray warm water on my lady bits (like I said earlier, they see it all) to trick my body into peeing, but it didn't really work. Ultimately, there's one way to make sure it finally happens. (Brace yourselves.) When you take your first shower and the water hits you, your bladder will go "OH! I remember what to do!" and you will pee in the shower.

Gross, but you will be so, so happy.

3. You'll Heart Stool Softeners

If the doc and nurses don't offer you a stool softener as part of your postpartum care, ASK FOR IT. Constipation is a legit phenomenon after birth. I realize it's TMI, but I went almost a week after delivery without a BM. And don't think you can just tough it out, because you will regret it when you're pooping out what feels like glass mixed with sand paper and a splash of bleach. TAKE THE STOOL SOFTENER.

4. Your stitches aren't going to rip open- but it will feel like it

This is for you c-section gals. The first time you cough/sneeze/laugh, you will be positive you ripped open your incision and your guts have trickled into your lap. They aren't. Your stitches will withstand just about anything. If you're so lucky as to accidentally choke on some Jell-O like I did, you will experience a large coughing fit and get to feel your incision on a catastrophic level. It isn't fun and it doesn't feel good, but rest assured your stitches are going to hold. Also, be sure to check out your incision in the's pretty bad ass.

5. Your first shower will be better than sex

A lot of things happen to your body while and after you giving birth. You sweat, maybe throw up, and leak various fluids out of every hole your body has. So it should be no surprise that you, stink. A shower is necessary (if your doc okays it). Grab yourself a chair for the shower if your bathroom allows for it, and let the warm water do its thing. You will feel like a new woman. Oh, and you'll probably look down at some point and see a lot of blood going down the drain. That's normal and it will probably continue to happen for another few weeks. Yay.

6. It's open season on your boobies

Breast feeding? Lactation consultants will be your BFF...and they will touch your boobs. A lot. This sort of goes back to #1, where being modest is just not going to get you anywhere. When you first try to breastfeed, it will feel weird and foreign and you'll be afraid that you'll break your baby. Let the consultant help you. I didn't realize my milk wouldn't come in right away and freaked out. The consultant explained that my breasts would only produce yellow, gooey looking stuff called colostrum at first, and it is super good for my babe. But, there's a chance it might not come out without some coercing. When my colostrum wasn't showing up on its own, my lactation consultant massaged my boobies with both hands for a good 10 minutes. And I so didn't care. If it means your baby is going to get what he needs, you won't care either. It got to the point where I would have both of my girls out in the open when nurses would come in to check on me. No one blinked twice. They see it every day.

Not wanting to breast feed? I won't lie, you might catch some flack for it. Try not to take it personally; lactation consultants know the benefits of nursing and they want you to recognize it, too. But hey, it isn't for everyone and some women don't produce milk enough to sustain their baby. Don't be afraid to tell your nurse firmly (but nicely) that you have made the choice not to nurse and to please respect that.

7. Your nipples will be on fire

It's the truth. You will probably dread feeding baby the first few weeks. But trust gets easier! Your nips will toughen up. If you're in total misery, it could be your baby has a bad latch. Don't be too stubborn to call the lactation consultant and ask for help. That is what they're there for. They want to help and they want you to succeed at breast feeding. Hang in there, champ. You're doing fine.

8. You'll want to leave...I mean stay...I mean leave

Leaving the hospital might be harder than you think. One would imagine that getting away from that sterile smell and uncomfortable furniture would be welcome, but you have to remember that once you've left, you're on your own. And that can be pretty scary. Be prepared to have mixed feelings about saying goodbye to your room and the staff who have taken such great care of you and been with you every step of your delivery. I was surprised at how choked up I got when we left. I knew we had to go, but a big part of me wanted to stay and continue to get help on demand. But alas, the time came, and it was time to move on.

9. You will experience love for your spouse/partner like never before

You already love your spouse. They've been with you for the entire pregnancy, dealing with your mood swings, cravings, and heartburn. But now? They are your rock. Your sanity. Your partner in every sense of the word. This little person that just entered your life will require more work, effort and attention than you ever thought possible, and sometimes you just won't have what they need. Your spouse will be there to make up the difference (and vice versa). They will scratch your foot when you can't reach it because your stomach (or vagina) is still on fire from delivery. They will move your water glass 2 inches to the left so you can reach it. They will wake up with you when baby screams and comfort you when you feel like you're going to lose your mind. They will be your third and fourth arm because I promise you, two arms aren't enough for all the things you need to do for a newborn.

Lean on your spouse, because otherwise you are going to fall over. Let him help you in your darkest moments. Shower him with "thank you's" because chances are, he's feeling as helpless and lost as you are. Together, you've got this.

There are many other surprises and pleasantries that you will experience after your delivery, but the most important thing is to stay positive and realize all of it will pass eventually. Being in the moment can be stressful, so call on friends and family to help you out. No one should go it alone.

Love to all my mamas and hopefully-soon-to-be mamas out there!


No comments:

Theme by: Pish and Posh Designs