- 4 years ago
I always loved reading birth stories when I was pregnant so I thought I would share mine. I also wanted to add in my recovery story because as another post so greatly pointed out, nobody talks about it! I was certainly blindsided by how hard it really is….so here goes.
I was due mid December and went into labor at home on my due date. Just after midnight the next day, my water broke and it was exactly how it’s described….pop and then gush! Because I had tested positive for group b strep I had to head right to the hospital to get antibiotics. This was perfect as I was still not in a lot of pain. However, the second I got checked in at the hospital, the contractions became unbearable very quickly. I was fortunate that I was able to get an epidural very fast…best…thing…ever. I highly recommend it!
At this point it was 2AM and I was feeling great. By 9AM I was f ully effaced and at 10 cm, ready to push. I pushed for close to three hours and wasn’t getting anywhere. The nurse hinted that I may be heading toward a c-section. I had no birth plan and was fully trusting of the doctors so if that was what they felt was best, I was fine with it.
The doctor had me push a few more times but things got very scary when the baby’s heart rate would drop dramatically every time I pushed. At that point, I was terrified and done pushing. Everyone agreed a c-section was best option. About an hour later, our healthy baby boy was born via c-section! The cord was wrapped around his neck and he would not have been able to be delivered any other way so it was a good decision.
Now…recovery. Since the c-section was not planned, I had no idea what to expect. It was so much harder than I ever would have thought. I was in a tremendous amount of pain for the first 4 days in the hospital. It hurt to move at all and I really thought that it would never get better. But slowly it did…very slowly. I’m only 5 weeks out and finally I am not in any pain anymore. My biggest suggestion is take it slow and get people to help. I definitely did more than I should have the first week primarily because it was the holidays and we were just so busy visiting relatives.
Physically things got better somewhat quickly but what I did not expect was the emotional issues I would have. The nurses told me that I would be crying by the end of the first week but I was so on cloud 9 that I did not think it would happen to me. Plus, nobody ever talked about feeling blue after having a baby. All I had ever heard was how wonderful it was…and I’m in my mid 30’s with a lot of friends who have had babies. I WISH someone had warned me of how hard emotionally it can be.
By the 3rd day home, the tears came. Randomly at first and I would feel better after a good cry. It was so overwhelming having this little baby home with us and not having any idea what to do. Everyone kept telling me I was doing a great job but I felt like everything I did was wrong. There was no rationality for this thinking but it was how I felt. Every day seemed to get a little harder and I would cry a little more. By the third week of this, I was also having daily anxiety and nausea. No matter what I did or said to myself, it would not go away. My husband had to go back to work and the thought of being alone terrified me. Thankfully I had family around to help me out….which leads to the next very important thing. ASK FOR HELP! I felt guilty doing this. I thought that I had to do everything myself. That was what a mom did right? Wrong….ask for help and don’t feel guilty about it. Having a newborn is hard. Probably the hardest thing I have ever done.
Many people make it seem like you will just stare at this sleeping baby all day and be blissfully happy. There are moments like that but more often than not, you will be running around trying to get stuff done while you have a free minute. The life that you once knew is gone and that takes a lot of adjustment. It’s not easy dealing with your new reality. It’s not a bad new reality but it’s different and it takes getting used to. At about the 4 week mark, it started to get better and now at 5 weeks I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s still hard but my reality of what it “should” be like has changed. I no longer have anxiety but I do get stressed. The best thing for me was realizing that what I was feeling was normal and that getting help from others was a necessity. Also, sleep….even if I could get an hour nap during the day, it helped.
I hope that this helps someone else out there who ends up going through the emotional part of having a baby. I wish I had heard more stories and at least knew what could be coming. It won’t be like this for everyone, but if it does happen to you, know you aren’t alone!!! And in your darkest times, know that it DOES get better. Talking to my husband was one of the best things I did. He had no idea how I was feeling and just talking about it with him, made me feel better. In the end, I have the most beautiful baby boy and I wouldn’t trade him for anything but it’s not easy!!