I was so focused on not wanting to give birth via C- Section that I spent almost all my pregnancy researching natural birth and preparing my mind to push her out that there was a lot of stuff that just went over my head. These are a few things I wish I knew before and after having my baby.
1. Contractions hurt but you are strong
Television presents this fake illusion that contractions are unbearable and the minute you start feeling them it is the end of the world. NOT! I was able to have a full-blown conversation with my mother while being in labor. I did however have to pause and breathe through those contractions which leads to my second point.
2. You have to breathe through your contractions so that the baby can receive enough oxygen.
Say what? I did not know that. Whenever I am feeling pain I have this tendency of holding my breath until the pain subsides. The nurse told me that it was important that I breathe during contractions because, during those times, it is hard for my baby to receive oxygen. Well this scared the heck out of me so I focused as much as I could on my breathing during my contractions
3. I had to hold my own legs and push.
I literally had to hold back my own legs and push. “What in the world? I don’t have time for this.” I blurted out. All sorts of things were running through my mind at the time. The nurse wasn’t the friendliest person either so I had to suck it up and hold my own legs but I was grateful because It helped me to gain control and my baby was born within a matter of 3 pushes.
4. You will shake like crazy after giving birth.
My body was on such an adrenaline high that after giving birth I was doing the Harlem Shake in the delivery room. I couldn’t understand what was happening but I was relieved.
5. You will be in the delivery room for at least 30 minutes after giving birth.
After giving birth, I had to wait for the placenta to come out and then be stitched up which felt like forever. I just wanted to take my baby and bounce. I guess I didn’t give much thought to the fact that I would need medical care after.
6. Taking an Instagram worthy picture is the last thing on your mind.
All I wanted was for this baby to be out. I was in labor for two freaking days and I started becoming irritated at my husband, the baby, and the nurses! I did not care how I looked I was just so focused on getting over this hurdle.
7. Post-partum bleeding (lochia) doesn’t last the entire 6-8 weeks.
I stopped bleeding after about 5 days, post-baby. I thought something was wrong because in my mind I figured the reason why there is a 6-8-week window was because of bleeding. I stocked up so much on pads and barely used them. Everyone is different and some persons may experience bleeding for a longer or shorter time but I guarantee you that it will not and should not last the entire 6- 8 weeks.
8. Your hormones go haywire.
What? Why did I dislike my husband so badly? His chewing annoyed me, the way he cut open his bread! Ugh! I was going crazy. I got so irritated at every single thing. I thought everything would be bliss after leaving the hospital with your baby
Tip: Take care of your mental and emotional as much as you can as this can lead to post-partum depression.
9. You need help in the shower.
My first shower after having my daughter was a disaster. My legs were super weak. I had an IV in my hand that was hooked on to a pole with barely working wheels! The shower was the same size as me, tiny.
10. Eat when the baby eats.
I was so focused on the advice “Sleep when the baby sleeps” that I had no time to eat and it caused a huge blow on my body. I lost about 25lbs within the first 6 weeks’ post-partum. I was not trying to lose so much weight that quickly. I was actually loving the weight.