That’s right!!!! After waiting 40 weeks and 3 days, on July 1 my baby…GIRL arrived healthy with 10 fingers and 10 toes and that is all we wanted. For those who don’t know, we did not find out the gender of the baby so it was fun watching everyone trying to predict what we were having. I would say it was a good 80/20 split of boy over girl. We were shocked when the doctors said girl, so much so both my husband and I said, “Are you sure??”. So here comes the down and dirty truth…how was my labor, delivery and coming home you ask…not how I planned. So for those who are expecting soon or trying here are the things no one really tells you about (with some graphic details).
1) Labor is like a really bad period cramp that gets worse, at least for me it was. My water never broke, they did it at the hospital for me. I started having these weird pains in my stomach around 5pm the night before and they started about a half hour apart and lasted 30 seconds or so. Then as the night went on, they got closer together and lasted more like 45 seconds to a minute. This can be different for everyone but this is what I felt.
2) The Epidural. After getting to the hospital at 3am, I lasted until about 6am to which I called the nurse and said I needed the epidural. Ladies, let me tell you, ITS NOT THAT BAD. People kept telling me its painful and hurts when they do it but I didn’t find it to be as horrible as people told me. I have a lower threshold for pain so for me to say its not that bad I’m not lying to you. However, once it kicked in, life was amazing. They also don’t tell you when you have an epidural you need a catheter because you can’t walk anymore since the epidural numbs your whole lower body.
3) Not eating. Yep its true they don’t want you really eating while you are in labor but I brought trail mix which I was eating in between being checked. I also was able to eat Italian Ice and Jell-o which the nurse offered me and I took it. I made the mistake of not eating dinner through the pain of contractions while I was still at home. And by the time I had my C-section (I will get to that next) I was starving and dry heaving through the surgery.
4) C-Section. I was not dilating (didn’t make it past 5cm), she started to turn into my pelvis, I was getting a fever and her heartrate was rising. The doctor gave us our options but we decided to have the C-section before it got worse. They give you a stronger medicine to numb your lower half more and you really don’t feel a thing until they pull the baby out. The best way I can describe that feeling is if you have a super tight bathing suit on and you are trying to peel it off of you, like a reverse suction type feeling. After they close you up, you are brought to a recovery room with your baby where they continue to monitor you. Now here’s the fun part, once you are brought to your room after recovery, the nurses will check on your every two hours. As much as you want to be with your baby ladies, I sent her to the nursery so we, yes we, could get sleep.
5) Post-Surgery. You never truly understand what your core does in movement until you’ve been cut right through it. Again, my husband was a saint the whole first day because I could barely move. It is hard to sit up and walk and really do anything, page the nurses to help you or have your partner help you. I had also asked for a waist trainer because it helps with getting your guts back in order. Do yourself a favor and ask for it and USE IT! You also get the catheter out at some point and they nag you about going to the bathroom on your own. It took about a week post-surgery for me to be able to move not at a snails pace.
6) The BLOOD. Lets think about this one, vaginal birth or C-section, you just had a living person in your uterus with a placenta and blood. How does your body remove blood…a period, but worse. In the hospital they give you these mesh underwear and a giant pad (it was like an ultra super plus pad). Now with vaginal, you need to take care of swelling and possibly stitches and other issues but with a C-section, your lady parts aren’t damaged (for a lack of better terms). However, you will still bleed. As we speak 21 days later, I am still bleeding. Its not as heavy as day 1 post baby, but its still a period bleed. For the first week home I continued to wear the hospital underwear and giant pads but by the second week, I switched to my boyshort underwear with my normal pads I would wear at night for my period. Some people gave me advice to get Depends (they make a nicer kind called Silhouette) as it would be easier then the pads. I did not get them but I probably should have.
7) The worst part…hormones. Yep, the joy of the female body. Your body produces extra hormones for the baby and once the baby is out, those levels drop. The whole first week home, I cried, often. My poor husband kept comforting me as I dealt with what felt like a million different feelings. I cried looking at her, every time my husband said something sweet about “his girls”, when she spit up her bottle one time, you name it I was crying. They also have you fill out a post-partum depression questionnaire before you leave the hospital and then I had to fill one out a few days later at the pediatricians office. After about a week, it was like a switched changed in my body and I stopped crying.
8) Get a baby app. I’m using Sprout. I had both my cousins tell me to get Sprout. The app is free but there is a subscription. I paid the lifetime subscription for $40 but now I can have it for life and my husband has access to it also. It tracks, sleep, feeding, pumping, diapers, activity, and medical. I have used this non stop since we came home and it is so helpful with how much she eats and how long her naps are. The diapers are the most useful too as they let you pick the color and type of dirtiness they are. Plus it is also useful when you go to the doctors and they ask you those question, you can quickly answer it.
I truly hope some of this is helpful for anyone who is looking for the truth. I hated when people told me, oh its a wonderful miracle, you forget about the pain. Ummm no, I remember the pain and everything else that came with it but at the end of all of that, I have a beautiful girl who is amazing and made all of that worth it.