Before I Gave Birth I Wish I'd Known….

posted 2 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 16
Member
14 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2012

C section is not the end of the world. Only the first 3 days suck pain wise, so make sure to get lots of help. After that just make sure you wear a girdle and don’t overdo it physically and recovery will be a breeze. 

Breastfeeing is a learned skill both on your part and on the part of the baby. Next time I will plan on getting an IBCLC to come over as soon as we’re home, rather than waiting for an issue to come up. They can be so helpful and provide lots of emotional support as well. 

You may not get a sleepy newborn. He/she may be a needy crying thing from the get go, but I promise it will pass and you’ll survive. 

Post # 17
Member
3176 posts
Sugar bee

Don’t come in with your mind set on a birth plan. Things change, and they change fast. My birth plan was a healthy mom and a healthy baby. Both my sisters had c-sections so I was prepared to have one, but it was still a surprise after 30 hours of labor and getting to 10 cm. The first few days are rough, but it gets better. Also, in case you have a c-section, eat a good meal beforehand. I didn’t eat for 46 hours! 

Post # 18
Member
777 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

After you had your baby, it’s not over. You still have to deliver the placenta and that hurts just as bad. Everytime you breastfeed your baby (if you do) your uterus will contract and that hurt a lot too, or at least that was in my case, for a week. You could get a fever when your milk comes in and that can take a couple of days. Breastfeeding is hard, especially when your nipples hurt in the beginning but trying to latch the baby is better than a pump.

Post # 19
Member
9397 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

That PP blues can turn you into a blissfully happy excited swoony preggo lady to a blubbering mess wondering wtf did I do with my life in an instant.

Post # 20
Member
8747 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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cblank181 :  that giving birth is the easy part! The first few weeks with a newborn SUCK. Like….a lot. And that you might not fall instantly in love with your baby the second you see him/her and that is ok. It is a major adjustment to have this stranger come out of your body, take over your house, and demand to suck on your tits every two hours. 

Post # 21
Member
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

Breastfeeding is NOT easy (for everyone) and despite best efforts it may not work for you, and that’s OK!

If you have no clue what you’re doing/don’t feel connected to your baby, that’s OK too!

I had so much swelling after my (unplanned) section. I had to wear flip flops home from the hospital in the middle of the winter in Canada, it was all that would fit. It took weeks or the swelling to go down. 

 

Post # 22
Member
7634 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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Beth7210 :  I’m glad you shared your experience – I think it’s a really helpful perspective. I’ve been reading up on non-epidural birth and want to try it myself, although like you I’m trying not to be “hung up” on a birth plan cause I have no clue what my pain tolerance will be. I asked my OB about this and she said the hospital is supportive of women who try without an epidural and that they do skin to skin and delayed clamping as a matter of course. That made me feel better…although who knows how it will actually go when the time comes! I’m also planning to hire a doula as I’ve heard women who have doulas have much lower rates of intervention. 

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pinkglasses :  +1000

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cblank181 :  Thanks for starting this thread! I’m 5 months along and currently obsessed with reading birth stories. I want to know all the possible things that could happen and brace myself for every contingency lol.

For people who share my curiosity and don’t mind graphic pics and videos, I really recommend following the instagram accounts @badassmotherbirther and @stopcensoringmotherhood. They post birth videos and stories and cover a wide range of birth types, from natural home births to hospital epidural births, to csections. They’re def on the crunchier side, but I like that they cover it all without judgment.

Post # 23
Member
245 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I have no kids myself (and have never been pregnant), but wanted to share another story about being open to birth plans changing.

A family friend, young but having her second child, decided to have an at-home birth with a doula. Something went wrong, but she had a plan, a photographer, and was confident in her doula, so she chose not to go to the hospital.

I don’t know exactly what happened, but the poor baby has some development problems now from oxygen deprivation during birth. If they had gone to a hospital, the baby would have been fine. The mom is now an advocate for really doing your research before home births and not being afraid to go to the hospital if needed.

I don’t have a dog in this fight, but since someone else shared their hospital-gone-wrong story, wanted to show that it can go both ways!

Post # 24
Member
62 posts
Worker bee

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cblank181 :  

i wish i had known that when you give birth, the hormonal swings you go through as you lose the hormones the placenta was making can be very, very intense. 

I wish i had had known that anxiety is a very normal thing to be feeling in the first days and weeks home, and your health care provider can provide recommendations for help!

and that even with a textbook birth, with pain relief, it is still incredibly tiring and painful to give birth, and you will need a lot of rest and adjustment. 

And that you may not have “newborn bliss” or be “head over heels” or on “cloud nine” immediately and that doesn’t make you weird. 

I say all this as someone with short lived “baby blues”, a textbook birth with respectful providers and great care, who still really really struggled the first few months. 

Post # 25
Member
7634 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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bellathefox :  Yikes…did she have a midwife or just a doula? Doulas are not medically trained – they’re primarily there for emotional support but are not a replacement for a doctor or midwife. I would never do a home birth because I’m too paranoid about something going wrong, but statistics show that if you have a home birth with an experienced, properly trained midwife and are low risk, it can be just as safe as a hospital birth. The problem is that in the U.S., there aren’t many regulations about midwives/home births, so it’s not as safe as in other countries like Holland, where I think something like 1 in 3 women give birth at home and the rates of baby loss during home birth (about 2 in 1000) are about the same as in the hospital.

Post # 26
Member
728 posts
Busy bee

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bellathefox :  this was the reason I wanted a hospital birth in the first place, and if I wasn’t ignored and forced into and epidural I didn’t want and strapped to the bed I probably wouldn’t mind so much. But I felt my choices were taken away from me and that upset me! To be fair I think a happy medium is a birthing unit, unfortunately I won’t be able to have that next time due the complications of my labour

Post # 27
Member
9717 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

No one can force you to do anything at the hospital. “I do not consent” goes a long way. Advocate for yourself, or have a support person do it if you are unable.

I personally had a really great hospital experience other than one nurse I didn’t like. If I had stayed another day and had her again I would have requested a different nurse (which again, you can do!).

I honestly felt like I was pretty prepared for most things. I would highly suggest taking Colace at like 36 weeks to make sure things are moving lol.

Post # 28
Member
376 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: Aspen, CO

I’ll chime in as I gave birth a little less than 3 weeks ago…

Don’t get attached to your birth plan. Things change very, very quickly and don’t always go the way you expect. 

Advocate for yourself and your baby. 

Hire a Doula if you can afford one. They can be great advocates when you are exhausted or it mentally in a place to understand what is happening. Mine was also awesome in taking care of me when things got rough and my husband started freaking out (he had a very hard time seeing me in pain.)

Contractions hurt like all hell, as does pushing the baby out. Contractions (at least for me) were the worst pain I’ve ever felt.

The epidural was amazing for the contraction pain and didn’t hurt at all. I had a “walking epidural” so could still get around just didn’t have the intense insane pain. I recommend the walking epidural very much. 

Be patient… I was in labor for 28 hours and pushed for 5. 

Be prepared for physical and emotional complete exhaustion beyond what you can imagine. 

Your vagina will likely tear, this does not feel good and takes a long time to heal. There is a lot of bleeding and swelling. 

Even if you don’t tear you’ll bleed for weeks and weeks as your uterus shrinks. Depends are helpful for the first while. 

Youre body won’t snap back. You’ll leave the hospital looking 5/6 months pregnant. 

Your hands and feet will swell like crazy for about a week postpartum. 

Its OK to be overwhelmed and feel like you have no idea what you are doing, things will get better. 

Breast feeding and pumping are hard. Really hard. You will feel like feeding is all you do and that you are no longer a woman but a prize milk cow. 

Take notes of what people tell you at the hospital. You’ll be so exhausted you’ll likely not remember anything they tell you and it’s a ton of information. 

Dont be afraid to ask for help, it takes a village.  

Somedays you’ll ask yourself “why the hell did I do this!?” 

Do tons of skin in skin, really helps with bonding. 

Understand your husband does not know the baby like you do and it can be frustrating when he doesn’t “get it.”

Your baby will teach you more in a week than you’ve ever learned in your life. 

If you bond early or later with your baby, you will learn a love you never knew could exist. 

It’s all worth it.

 

Post # 29
Member
245 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

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tiffanybruiser :  hmm good question. I went back and looked at her old post. It was actually a midwife! The midwife ignored some warning signs during birth. My friend did go to the hospital eventually (maybe after birth?), but it was too late. The midwife ended up giving up her license.

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Beth7210 :  yeah I think that was her second complaint. When she finally did get to the hospital, the staff was judgey and kind of implied it was her fault for choosing a home birth. But I guess you just have to make the best choices you can with the knowledge you’re given!

On the bright side, now that her kid is older, they know the effects of the birth aren’t as bad as they could have been.

Post # 30
Member
7634 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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bellathefox :  Ugh that is awful! So sorry for your friend but glad that her kid is doing better than expected now.

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