People are often very quick to give parenting advice, even when it wasn’t asked for. But there are still so many things people DON’T tell you about having a baby! I am one of the first in my group of friends to have a baby and I remember after I had my son I had a lot of “WTF” moments because nobody warned me about some of that stuff. Here are some of the things that nobody talks about.
Knowing when it’s time to push. During labor with my son we had family in the room to keep us company (it was a long and boring 17 hours after being induced.) I would tell my mom and nurses that I felt like I was having contractions but was nervous about if I would know when the baby was coming out. They kept saying does it feel like pressure or just a painful feeling? Umm…. none of it felt great, so I wasn’t sure. After 16.5 hours of slow labor my nurse finally said I probably needed to try and get some rest because it didn’t look like we were having a baby that day. I was barely 6cm dilated at 10:30pm. Feeling a little defeated I said okay and tried to sleep. About 30 minutes later I called for a nurse and didn’t hear back right away so told my husband to get up quick and go get her because I needed to poop! I was stuck in bed because I had an epidural. He got up and (not so quickly) walked to get a nurse and told her that I needed to go to the bathroom. She came running in – that’s the kind of hustle I wanted to see from my hubby! She told me that the feeling I was having was not the need to go to the bathroom, but was actually my baby making his way down and that I was ready to push! And boy was she right. About 12 minutes later he was there! So ladies, if all of a sudden you have the urge to go poop, that’s when you know it might be time!
Uncontrollable shaking before you deliver your baby is normal. I remember being in labor with my son and the nurse telling me it was time to push and then all of a sudden I started shaking uncontrollably. Like full body shakes and teeth chattering. My husband was totally freaked out and kept asking if I was okay and my nurse assured him that I was and that it was completely normal for my body to react that way. All I could say was “I’M SO EXCITED IT’S FINALLY TIME!”
The baby isn’t the only thing you have to push out of your vageen. I’m not sure why this one was never mentioned to me. But after I delivered my son and he was laying on my chest my doctor was still down there doing her thing and she said “okay Mel, I’m going to need you to push one more time in 3, 2, 1…” As I was pushing I asked why and she told me that I had to deliver the placenta. I’m sure I looked very confused. For me, it didn’t hurt, it was really easy and just kind of slid right out. But if you didn’t know this before, be prepared and know that you aren’t trying to deliver another baby. I’m not sure what I thought happened to it after the baby was born. I was just very caught off guard.
Bleeding postpartum. I packed some old underwear I had in my drawer because people did warn me not to pack any good ones because they “may” get ruined from bleeding. LOL. I didn’t even put on my own underwear for a few days after both deliveries! Those little mesh, disposable, panties they give you at the hospital are amazing. Stock up on them because you can’t find them anywhere else! They were the only thing that I could comfortably fit the diaper sized pad in that they give you to wear. Oh, and the bleeding doesn’t stop after a couple days. For me it lasted about 6 weeks both times. Don’t worry, you aren’t wearing a diaper for 6 weeks! Eventually it’s just a small amount and you can get away with wearing a normal pad, or even just a pantyliner.
Nursing contractions. OUCH! Luckily these only last a few days. When you nurse your body releases oxytocin which causes our uterus to contract and helps to shrink it back down to normal size faster.
Hemorrhoids. Holy SH*T! Some women get them before delivery, most get them while pushing. I did not experience this with my son, but unfortunately did after the birth of my daughter. Those things hurt!!! What’s even worse? Sometimes they don’t go away. Luckily for me, mine was small and it did! Tucks Pads are the best things ever and be sure to have some waiting at home for you (and you might as well take a pack from the hospital.)
Fundal Massage. No, this is not a good kind of massage. This is when a nurse comes in every few hours and pushes down, or “massage” as they like to call it, on your belly. They are making sure that your uterus is contracting back down and making sure there are no signs of hemorrhaging. It definitely does not feel good, and can also cause some blood to gush out. TMI sorry.
Your perri bottle will be your BFF. The hospital gives you this little plastic bottle for you to fill with warm water and simultaneously squirt your lady parts while using the restroom to sort of dilute your urine so that it doesn’t burn so badly when you pee. USE IT.
The first poop post- baby. This was something that I literally had to talk myself into doing. Make sure you are taking your stool softeners, ladies! I remember actually being so scared to go to the bathroom for the first time. More nervous than I was to actually deliver my baby. No joke. It wasn’t so bad for me after my son, but after I had my daughter was a whole different story. Hemorrhoids + everything else going on down there did not exactly make it comfortable to go. I’m pretty sure I sat down on the toilet at least 5 times before I finally convinced myself I could do it. And yes, I cried. But I remember telling myself that if I could birth two babies in under two years, then I could use the restroom. Afterwards I called my husband and was so excited that it finally happened. He didn’t quite understand the excitement. They’ll never get it.
Hair loss. I had heard about people loosing a lot of hair postpartum but I guess I thought it just happened right away. About three months postpartum your hair will literally start to come out in chunks. It’s almost kind of scary. After I had my son I thought that I was for sure going to be bald. After having my daughter I knew what to expect so I wasn’t as freaked out. But it still is not a fun thing to see! I’m talking HUGE hairballs in the shower. And hair everywhere. For me it lasted about 2.5-3 months. And then for a few months I just looked like I was balding. I had to strategically place my hair when I wore it up. I’m not sure what’s worse though… The bald spots, or the annoying baby hair when your hair starts growing back.
Leaking when breastfeeding. Nursing pads are great. Get some! Eventually your body will regulate itself and you won’t leak all the time, but until then, don’t go anywhere (not even to bed at night) without wearing nursing pads.
You will be so emotional! I thought you were supposed to be emotional when you were pregnant? The real emotions come after you deliver your baby!! I cried on the way home from the hospital with our son because I wanted chicken strips and a vanilla shake. I’m not kidding. He’s a smart man and took me to Sonic before taking us home. But in all seriousness, our bodies just went through a lot, our hormones are all over the place, we are tired, and so much more. It’s okay to be emotional. But if you’re feeling really sad more often than not, then talk to someone about it! Postpartum depression is no joke!!
Hanger. If you’re breastfeeding then you are constantly burning calories, which means you’re constantly hungry. I eat more when I’m breastfeeding than I ever did when I was pregnant. Never leave the house without snacks!!
We were made to forget. I really believe this! Obviously you remember all of the stuff that happens to you after you have a baby, but it is seriously so worth it!! Our bodies are so amazing!
What was the biggest shock to your after you had your baby??