I have read hundreds of these articles and with every one that I read, I laugh harder than the one before. I knew what to except for the most part; bleeding, possible tearing, maybe some emotions and not being able to fit into your pre-pregnancy pants! Here is a list that I never knew about…
1. Pushing. I had no idea that some women push for hours on end before either delivering vaginally or by c-sections. My older sister had very tiny babies, all weighing around 5 or so lbs., they all were also a couple weeks early. Around my 38 week check up, my mid-wife told me she was just at a birth that morning and the lady pushed for 3+ hours. I never thought I would ever have to push for more than an hour…I was wrong.
2. Back Labor. I knew about back labor, but only thought it happened to women with posterior positioned babies. I had back labor 2 days and Milah was anterior! And I didn’t have the little aches and pains back labor, I had the “please kill me now” back labor. I tried everything; I was on my hands and knees, trying to relieve pain and I tried ice and heat. Nothing worked.
3. Stripping Membranes. Just don’t do it. This is where my back labor came in and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone! It doesn’t feel that great when the Doctor does it either.
4. Hemorrhoids. Let’s not go there. This one is pretty self explanatory for any pregnant woman…and if you didn’t get them, the rest of us hate you!
5. Breastfeeding. I come from a long line of fertile, breastfeeding women. I thought breastfeeding would come easy. It did for the most part, except Milah was extremely jaundice and had to be supplemented with formula. I should have stopped the supplementing after bringing her home, but I was naive. I did nurse her for 8 months, which was pretty good for a first timer! Luckily, I had pumped quit a bit of milk, so I had some stashed in the freezer to give her after she self weaned!
6. Night sweats. Oh My Lord. No one, and I repeat, NO ONE, told me about this. I had Milah on a Sunday and we stayed until Wednesday due to jaundice issues. I swear, that I woke up several times every night disgustingly sweaty! Beyond gross. Luckily, I had amazing nurses during the night and they would come in help me redress and air out before crawling back into bed.
7. Bringing home your newborn. I wasn’t too worried about being a new or a first time mom. I came from a very large family, who never stops reproducing! I was worried about our puppy, who didn’t do well the first couple of days, but warmed up to her eventually! The first night home though is extremely exhausting. Not because she kept us awake or screamed, but because you just brought a newborn home, into your home, and now you don’t have nurses to help you! I didn’t sleep very well the first few nights due to a Bilirubin light for the jaundice! It definitely takes about a week or so home to fully adjust to a newborn in your life. If she got too worked up about a latch or having her diaper changed, I would take her into the living room and settle her down.
8. Bed-sharing. My pediatrician encouraged bed sharing and told me how to do it safely. Now, I understand it’s not 100% safe. It is a very dangerous thing that could cause SIDs, I knew this. We had a great system though and it seemed to work for us. Some people bed share with their children until they are well past 1 year old or beyond. We only did it for 4 months. There is nothing easier than pulling your tank top down to nurse your baby. My mother in law hated it, she literally thought Milah would sleep in our bed until she was 10. After we moved her into her own crib at about 6 months (she slept in a co-sleeper next to our bed from 4-6 months old), she started sleeping through the night and started sleeping 10+ hours!
9. Crib sleeping. Speaking of sleeping through the night. The first time you put your baby in their crib at night, you WILL NOT sleep! Even David laid awake that night. We would fall asleep for an hour or so, but would roll over to check the baby monitor several times that night. Milah slept so good, never even waking the first night. Now, it did take some sleep training to get her that way. She still woke at least once a night to nurse and as she got older, I would lay her down awake, but tired and she would put herself to sleep. Not very often does she wake during the night now!
10. Paranoia. You will be paranoid about everything. Is her room the right temp, is her car seat installed correctly, taking her in public around people, are you holding her too much or too little, she just touched her ear “oh god, she has an ear infection”. We lived 24 hours and 1300 miles away from family and I was freaked! Thank God I had an amazing pediatrician who understood my paranoia and didn’t judge me! I had my mom with me for about 10 days or so after Milah was born, but dropping her off at the airport was difficult, not only because I would miss her but I didn’t want to be left alone with a newborn! I must say that living that far away from family was probably the best though. We get to raise Milah our way without a lot of other people trying to help and I got to learn a lot of maternal instincts by myself. Worrying is a good thing, just try to be relaxed and if something is really bothering you, call your pediatrician!
11. Body Image. Finally, your body, it will change! Some for the good, most not! Breastfeeding is a great way to lose A TON of the baby weight. But eating healthy and staying active is the best way. I did great until Milah was done nursing, then I gained a few pounds. I don’t work, so I don’t get out like before. We also were down to one vehicle living in Virginia and I couldn’t run around either. We did live on the second floor of our building, so hauling a 50-60 pound stroller up and down the stairs was a good work out. We didn’t live in the greatest neighborhood in VA, so walking around the block was “against David’s rules”. We did live around the corner from the grocery store, so I did walk a little bit. Our complex in Missouri is an actual apartment complex. So last summer I got out a lot. Bennett loves walks and Milah just chills in her stroller! This next summer should be great. I’m due in July and will probably keep walking until I go into labor! Then I will start up again after the next one is born and maybe take Bennett on his own walks!
Hope someone finds this helpful…if not, at least a little amusing!