One word of caution, this post has some raw (and somewhat embarrassing details) on the realities of childbirth based on my personal experiences. The actual birth of my first son was challenging to say the least. S
Sidenote – if you are in the process of packing for the hospital definitely check the top ten items you must pack.
For context, I had my first baby in the hospital. I had an epidural, long labor and four hours of pushing. Due to some high-risk signals we also needed a team of pediatric doctors at delivery as to ensure the baby was alright (luckily he was). Some of these items might seem obvious (I never took a birth class or experienced being with someone having a baby before so was a total noob). All this said everything I went through was absolutely worth it and I went back for a second round two years later.
Now that I feel like a fair warning has been given, here’s the list:
- Barforama – I didn’t realize that in addition to being in labor you also might hurl during the process. I threw up a lot through the entire delivery. I guess the silver lining is the second time around I never threw-up so possibly it was the luck of the draw on this one.
- So. Much. Sweat – Waking up the morning after having my son I felt like I walked out of a monsoon. Seriously drenched all the way through everything I was wearing and my sheets. Your body has a lot of fluid during pregnancy and after baby, there’s a major purge.
- Ice, Ice diapers – Yup the nurses make ice diapers for you. These help with swelling and you will likely need a lot of help with that as well.
- You = walking biohazard – Seriously, the first time I went in the shower felt like the scene from psycho. There was so much blood. This plus the sweat fest are good reasons to rock your hospital gown and not your own clothes at the hospital. You also need to be prepared for the longest period of your life. You can bleed up to a month after giving birth. Never in my life did I think giant maxi pads would become a staple on my grocery list. The good news is it will end.
- Tear, down there – When you are squeezing ahead out a tiny space there is a chance you will tear. If that does happen and it’s more than a minor one they will likely need to give you stitches. They do this right after you deliver the placenta.
- Not a whiz kid – It was hard to pee after an epidural and giving birth. You might end up constipated as well. It took me a week even on laxatives to have my first BM which is terrifying after being put back together like Frankenstein down there (I was scared but it didn’t end up being that bad).
- Unicorns and epidurals – I love epidurals and think they are one of the most magical advancements of modern medicine. Honestly, I never questioned if I wanted an epidural and after having the worst labor pains for 12 hours (my first labor pain was much worse than when I went without the second time). Getting an epidural was the best feeling ever. Not long after getting it I actually fell asleep through the worst of my labor. When it came time to push I was terrified that it would hurt, but it didn’t hurt (until later). I didn’t fully understand I wouldn’t feel anything at all, just pressure.
- You’ll get a
massage– unfortunately, they aren’t sending in a swedishmasseuse. The nurses will come to massage your uterus. For me, this was less painful, more uncomfortable pressure.
- You’re taking my baby? – There is a chance might not get to hold your baby right away. Knowing hospitals encourage immediate skin to skin contact I was excited for that moment when my son was born and they’d place him on my chest. He had meconium in the amniotic fluid so instead, a team of pediatric doctors took him immediately after birth (they were still in the room, but I couldn’t see him). He also didn’t cry so I was scared, but it ended up he was fine. I asked if he was ok and the doctors actually said, “he’s perfectly fine, just not very impressed with doctors.” With my second son, the delivery was much smoother and I got to hold him right away.
- Bonding – Honestly after such a long labor and traumatic delivery I was beyond exhausted physically and mentally, in pain and just wanting to sleep. I didn’t want to hold my baby. I didn’t want to do anything but rest. After finally getting a break I fell immediately in love and started bonding with him.
That’s my list – I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences as well. Thanks for stopping by.