There are so many things I wish I would’ve known before I went into labor with Cade…you’ll hear a lot of women say, there’s no way to prepare yourself for labor and delivery…you have to experience it for yourself! It’s very true that every delivery, and every woman’s postpartum experience is COMPLETELY different. Some women go into labor and within a few hours, it’s all over and they’re back to normal within a couple weeks, wearing their pre-baby clothes within a month. Some women have an extensive, painful delivery and don’t recover for a few weeks and it might take a year or more to get back to feeling normal. When it comes to all things baby-related, whether it’s Trying to Conceive, Pregnancy, Labor and Delivery, and Postpartum, there are so many variables and so many unique stories and different outcomes. If you pull up Google and type in “What I need to know about ____ (fill in the blank: TTC, Pregnancy, Labor, Postpartum) you’re going to get a MILLION different articles telling you every story under the sun! This not an all-encompassing list of what you need to know about labor and postpartum. This is just MY experience and information that I feel would’ve helped me…and hopefully it’ll be helpful for you too! Just know your experience may be completely different. That’s the crazy thing about a woman’s body…everyone’s story and journey is completely unique to them!
Just because you water breaks, doesn’t mean you’ll have the baby in the next hour… or the next 20 hours…
When I was pregnant with Cade my water broke at 36 weeks.
Bryan was working at our store by himself, and when I called to tell him my water broke, oh my goodness you would’ve thought I told him I was giving birth right then and there in our bedroom. He raced home closing our store in the middle of the day, and was at our house within 5 minutes.
We jumped in his truck and headed for the hospital, passing our store on the way…
He told me he closed without putting a note on the door, and for some reason I was so concerned with shoppers being upset that we were unexpectedly closed in the middle of the day.
I wanted him to stop so we could put something on the door saying I had gone into labor and we were closing for the day! Bryan thought I was crazy, and kept on driving 90+ miles an hour to the hospital.
Little did we know that 27 hours later I would still be in labor…seems funny now that stopping to put that note on the door wouldn’t have made much of a difference…
And that just because your water breaks doesn’t mean your any closer to your delivery!
The epidural hurts worse than labor
This might just be my experience…but my epidural was WAY more painful than the contractions.
Maybe it’s because the epidural was what I was most scared of…
I played it up in my head so much leading up to that moment, that it had no chance of NOT hurting.
Or maybe it’s because it didn’t work for me and 10 hours into labor I had to get it taken out and re-done!
Maybe I’m completely alone in this.
But I wanted to mention it because when I was Googling “epidurals” and “do epidurals hurt?” when I was pregnant with Cade, everything that I read online said “the epidural didn’t hurt at all!” or “I didn’t even feel it!”
So just in case… 🙂
You have to deliver the placenta
Why isn’t this talked about more?!?
I don’t know about ya’ll, but my doctor never mentioned this to me…not once.
I feel like this is a pretty important factor of the delivery process to leave out!
I’ve mentioned that my delivery with Cade was pretty long…after spending the last three hours pushing and finally getting him out, I was exhausted…and extremely relieved…and not really in the mood or mindset to keep on pushing, not to mention have any strength left.
And yet, after Cade came out, as I’m watching Bryan cut the cord and see the nurses take Cade to wash him off, feeling complete bliss and joy, the last thing I was expecting was to hear my doctor say,
“Okay now time to push the placenta out!” “Let’s go girl, you need to keep pushing!”
What?? I thought she had lost her mind…
And yet, somehow I mustered up the strength to deliver the placenta…
A woman’s body is a crazy powerful machine!
In a C-section, the doctor gets the baby (babies) out within 5 minutes…the rest of the hour is spent stitching you back up!
My doctor told us that the caesarean section would last about an hour.
What’s crazy is how fast they are at getting the baby/babies out!
My doctor had both girls out within five minutes of starting.
The rest of the time is getting out the placenta, and cleaning and stitching you back up.
Luckily, you’re completely focused on your little ones and not even thinking about what the doctors are doing behind the curtain!
During the C-section you have a personal cameraman
Right before I was wheeled into the operating room, the CRNA asked us if we had a camera to bring in.
We can bring a camera into an operating room?? I had no idea!
It was amazing, after the girls were born, he took our camera and took tons of pictures of the girls being cleaned and weighed by the nurses, and then he brought the camera back to show us.
He took the pictures of the clock of the exact time they were born, and took pictures of all of us together.
It was so awesome to have all of those memories documented and felt like we had our own personal photographer in the operating room!
Nerve damage from a C-section
I heard from my doctor and other moms who had a C-section that it takes longer to recover than a vaginal birth.
I thought I was prepared for this, thinking I understood what to expect. But the pain wasn’t at all was I was expecting.
It’s this deep, pins and needles type pain that BURNS!
That’s the only way I know how to describe it…
When my doctor came to visit me the day after my C-section, I mentioned the pain I was feeling and she said that feeling was normal.
She told me that after having a C-section, you can have nerve damage from the incision. She even said that she still has nerve damage 9 years later after her own caesarean.
It’s been 4 months, and if I touch the incision spot on my lower stomach, it still feels weird…almost like a numbness after your foot falls asleep!
I knew that swelling was a part of pregnancy.
I was SO swollen at the end of my pregnancy with Cade. It hurt to walk because my ankles were so huge!
But what I didn’t know was how BAD the swelling gets AFTER labor!
My shoe size went up ½-1 size after I delivered Cade and four years later I’m still that ½-1 size bigger…I have shoes that are just collecting dust in my closet from my pre-baby days that I’m just too depressed to get rid of!
After I delivered my girls, I was so anxious to put my rings back on. I always wear two rings on my fingers: my Aggie ring and the ring Bryan gave me for our 5-year anniversary.
I waited about 3 weeks before I even tried to put them on, and I was so depressed that neither of them would even go halfway down my finger!
I would try every few days, and they wouldn’t budge!
I didn’t try again until 8 weeks postpartum, and I finally was able to squeeze my anniversary ring on…but it was a VERY tight fit…
Not until a week or so ago was I able to get my Aggie ring on…and let me tell ya, that sucker isn’t coming back off unless it’s with a ring cutter!
Keep all of your maternity clothes
Don’t get rid of your maternity clothes!!!
I’m not gonna lie, even 3 years after having Cade, I still loved wearing maternity jeans and t-shirts!
They’re loose fitting, stretchy, and super comfortable! And the maternity clothes they makes these days are actually cute!
Have yall seen what are moms had to wear while pregnant??
Keep all of your maternity clothes…no one will ever know the difference! 😉
Breastfeeding hurts…really really hurts
I guess this one is a given, but no one really ever talked about it with me
I had NO IDEA how painful breastfeeding is in the beginning…like right up there with contractions.
PACK LANOLIN CREAM IN YOUR HOSPITAL BAG.
You don’t wanna have to rely on sending your hubby to scroll the aisles of the baby store looking for nipple cream…
Get a bunch ahead of time, you will use it all!
I hear that after the first month, it gets so much better and the pain completely goes away.
I did not get this far with any of mine…but I’ll take other mom’s word for it!
The dreaded stretch marks
Everyone talks about stretch marks, but you never really know what it’s like to have them until one day you look down and see them on your own body…
That was a sad day…
I was lucky with Cade, I did not get very many stretch marks with him.
Being pregnant with Georgia and Genevieve was a different story…
I think after having twins (full term 7lbs+ twins at that!) I’m going to have to come with terms that this time they might not go away.
Even if they are a new part of your body, there are some things that will help hide them… just simply putting this lotion on everyday has worked for me so far.
Maybe they will magically disappear over the next months/years…a mama can hope!
So I know I’ve talked a lot about things that are depressing, and not very fun to read.
And yes, a lot of it is painful.
Maybe I am just a complete wimp and everyone else has no issue with these things!
But I do have some good news for ya to end on…yall ready for it???
You will completely forget about it all and all that discomfort and pain will seem minuscule in comparison to the happiness and joy you feel holding the baby that you brought into this world.
You most likely won’t remember all the painful details, but what you will remember is the joy you felt when you held your baby for the first time.
The incredible feeling you felt the first time they latched on and bonding experience that breastfeeding gives you.
The first time your baby opens their eyes and looks up at you, and they realize you are the voice they’ve been hearing for the last 9 months.
And after some time goes by, it will become this cloudy memory that seems so distant and far away.
Because, if you think about it, if it didn’t become a little foggy, if it didn’t seem so bad, I think we would all stop at one child and be done!
Am I right?!?
What things did you wish you knew about labor/delivery/postpartum? Was there anything you were completely surprised by?
Share your wisdom in the comments mamas! I’d love to hear from you! 🙂