what no one ever tells you about pregnancy/childbirth

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what no one ever tells you about pregnancy/childbirth

shamelessly stolen from February Smile

i had no idea you bleed for 6 weeks postpartum :eek:

i had no idea some women vomit through childbirth, i for one vomited after EVERY contraction even with all the anti-vomiting medicine they were giving me

i realized its possible to tear, but i NEVER had thought about the weeks it would take to heal, not being able to sit on anything hard, feeling like all my insides would fall out when i walk. I basically thought you had the baby and that was it! i had no idea there was any "recovery" involved.

i didn't realize you can actually SEE your baby moving through your belly as you get further along in your pregnancy, pretty cool! i would get this huge lump in my side when luke stretched him bum out Smile

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I will second the tearing. I had third degree (from the front to the back if you get my drift) and recovery was horrible. It throbbed and ached down there like you wouldn't believe. Going to the bathroom was excruciating and I cried even thinking about it.

Having a bowel movement during birth. Embarrassing.

Sometimes when the baby kicks you run to the bathroom because you know it's foot just came out of your vagina.

When you are 30+ weeks it becomes almost impossible to shave your legs or anything else for that matter. Smile

Finally, no matter what anyone tells you there is no way possible to know the true meaning of the love you feel for you child until they lay that little miracle on your chest and you see that baby take its first breath.

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That you could get hemmroids and that they may never go away!

That you boobs become two large, hard, painful footballs for a couple of days when your milk comes in!

That they looks great during pregnancy but could go totally flat after...

That you lose your hair in globs for months after having the baby.

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Oh yea, I definitely bled for 6 weeks (and no less!) with every delivery! I guess that would be the one perk of a c-section, if there was one. I thankfully had no vomitting during labor and delivery, but I did have two internal tears on the inside with DS #1, and yes, I cried every time I tried to sit down for the next two weeks! My fav part of the "baby moving" was seeing their little butts come all the way up and I could actually see their little crack lol (sorry if this offends!)!

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"Starryblue702" wrote:

Oh yea, I definitely bled for 6 weeks (and no less!) with every delivery! I guess that would be the one perk of a c-section, if there was one. I thankfully had no vomitting during labor and delivery, but I did have two internal tears on the inside with DS #1, and yes, I cried every time I tried to sit down for the next two weeks! My fav part of the "baby moving" was seeing their little butts come all the way up and I could actually see their little crack lol (sorry if this offends!)!

:lurk: The bleeding is the same for women who have c-sections too.

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Yup, c-sections moms bleed too.

And for the FTMs, the amount that you will bleed in the first 24-48 hours after birth will scare you. :eek: It can be incredibly heavy. But usually tapers off after that to normal AF-type volume.

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Oh, here's another one that I wish I'd known before my first baby. The position you labour in really does matter. Gravity makes a difference! If you keep yourself upright, or squatting, or on hands and knees, that actually makes your pelvis larger, making it easier for baby to move down and it's head to dilate the cervix. If you're laying down on your back (like in a hospital with a monitor strapped to your belly and maybe an epidural in your spine), your body is going to have a much harder time dilating fully. It truly can slow your labour down, even stall it.

Same with pushing. When you lay on your back with legs in the air pushing, you're working against gravity, and with a narrower pelvis. Pushing in a squatting, standing or hands/knees position, with a wider pelvis, will make that baby come out much faster and easier on you both!

ETA: Oh, and there's a difference in pain levels too! Many moms will tell you that labouring on their backs was excruciating. As soon as they moved into a more upright position, the pain became much more manageable. Biggrin

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Lurker...

Yup, after 3 c/s I can tell you we bleed for weeks, too.

I think in a nutshell...the whole affair is messy and dirty. Movies, books, other people make it seem romantic but uh-huh. I mean it is beautiful but if you have a sensitive tummy you could very well lose it!

I've never had a vaginal delivery but the stories of tears, inside and outside, the hemerroids, the loss of urinary control are scary. And yes, the amount of bleeding and early clots could scare a new mom who wasn't warned.

Oh, if you lose your mucus plug...it's like you vagina is snoting. Gross! And the stretchmarks, the engorgement of your breasts, the pain with Breastfeeding in the first few weeks. Yeah, there's lots people keep a 'secret'. It's all worth it in the end, though.

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Well alot of this may be true, but don't let it all scare any of you first timers! I didn't vomit any time in any of my pregnancies and either off my labor/deliveries except when I got food poisoning with my first pregnancy. Also I had an episiotomy with my first and tore very bad with my second. It of course is very sore but honestly wasn't a horrid recovery and just had to sit down slowly and gently on something soft for a week or two. That numbing spray, USE it! Oh, and the peri bottle is a lifesaver also.

I had no idea about hemorrhoids. They really suck. Mine didn't even make themselves known until I was 3-4 months postpartum with my first and (sorry TMI) it felt like I was passing shards of glass. Stool softeners and lots of water definitely help.

I had no idea about how intense pushing is. It literally felt to me like trying to push out a bowling ball.

Can't think of much else, but I really didn't realize that I got a say in how everything went. With my first, I thought I was just supposed to do what I was told and hated how I felt afterwards. They took him straight from my hoo-ha to the warmer and there wasn't a thing wrong with him or a reason to do that. I asked them not to give pacifiers or formula when they insisted on taking him at a day old to be put under lights for jaundice and they completely ignored my requests over and over. If something is important to you or you want something a certain way, demand it. It is your labor, delivery and your baby. I wish someone had told me that sooner.

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Oh man, I already told the babies about my plans for retaliation for the morning sickness - their dad and I will be chaperoning EVERY middle school dance. But it looks like I'll have to make them pay for incontinence, tears and bleeding, too. Their dad and I will probably have to kiss on the lips in front of their friends, dance in the car right outside of their school, hmm ... any more suggestions? We have 13 years to plan.

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I didn't know that sex would hurt for 9 months after the birth (it did get better and back to normal eventually)

I second Rebecca on the stool softeners- best things ever to start taking immediately after birth.

I hate dresses, gowns, all the like, but that is all I wanted to wear the first few days following birth....nursing gowns were the best.

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"nori_garsi" wrote:

:lurk: The bleeding is the same for women who have c-sections too.

This sucked. You get 9 months with no af and then bam - pay back!

I have a good thing about pg and delivery....my libido skyrocketed after all that. The past 2 years have been the best for us Smile

For ftms, if you really want to bf, stick to it. It hurts like the dickens for the first few weeks but eventually things calm down and it's worth it.

Oh, if you have a csection, get up and moving ASAP. I started walking within a day or so of surgery. Ds and I would walk the halls of the maternity floor while everyone else slept. I healed really fast and didn't need my pain meds for more than 5-6 days.

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"JuneorJulyBaby?" wrote:

I didn't know that sex would hurt for 9 months after the birth (it did get better and back to normal eventually)

that was me as well!! and i only had a 1st degree tear. sex has always been painful for me, but by 8 month PP it was back to just my usual level of discomfort. i think we earn ourselves much longer than the meager 6 weeks of PP pelvic rest!

ditto on a water bottle for peeing after a vaginal birth. i had so much anxiety about any trips to the bathroom. i used a spray bottle on a fine mist, i had to re-fill it almost everytime lol, i SO did not want to feel that burn! i remember wanting to take that magical water spraying bathroom wand home from the hospital with me!

breastfeeding was uncomfortable for the first two weeks, but after that it was truly a wonderful experience. you can help make it work for by NOT SUPPLEMENTING, and try not to use a pacifier those first two weeks. all their pacifing should be at the breast to reinforce nursing habits and build your supply. obviously if you wanna formula feed, thats fine too, but if you chose to breastfeed following the guidelines will really increase your chance of success! I met with a lactation consultant three times and she was really helpful!

I was so worried about all the nudity of childbirth, but honestly once you are in the moment nothing matters. with the discomfort of contractions there could be a nuclear war going on outside and you would never even notice. I vomited through my whole labor and barely noticed. the contractions take all your focus. being half naked was the least of my worries.

I didn't realize either that you have to moisturize the heck out of your skin! dry skin does not stretch well and you will end up with more stretch marks. I was so worried about getting stretch marks on my boobs that i was moisturizing 2x a day and totally ignoring my belly. around 37 weeks i noticed the stretch marks on my belly. im sure moisturizing would have helped my skin stretch more effectively!

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"Jenn0113" wrote:

Oh, if you have a csection, get up and moving ASAP. I started walking within a day or so of surgery. Ds and I would walk the halls of the maternity floor while everyone else slept. I healed really fast and didn't need my pain meds for more than 5-6 days.

YES! My Ds was moved to a different hospital after he was born and they released me to go be with him the next day. I was up walking the halls of the hospital to visit him at 24 hours and his recovery was EASY.

With DD I was lazy and barely got out of the bed unless I had to pee. That recovery lasted weeks and I was miserable.

Okay for me, the things I wish I had known are that breastfeeding was fine, didn't hurt for the first 24 hours and then was sore and then my milk came in and I had to hold my breath until my milk let down because it hurt so bad every single time the baby latched on. Combine that with my c-section recovery pain and the first couple days after birth where I was constipated and I was absolutely miserable! After that first week or so it was fine and I loved it.

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"Carolyn85" wrote:

shamelessly stolen from February Smile

i realized its possible to tear, but i NEVER had thought about the weeks it would take to heal, not being able to sit on anything hard, feeling like all my insides would fall out when i walk. I basically thought you had the baby and that was it! i had no idea there was any "recovery" involved.

I was going to write this when I saw the thread...
They DO NOT tell you about the recovery, how it hurts no matter how you walk, sit or stand. It's so swollen that you have to walk like you were riding bare back for 15 hrs.. all the things that you have to take home to take care of yourself.. Tucks wipes, water bottles after peeing, Sitz bath, ice, butt pillows. and lots and lots of tylenol and Ibuprofin!!! haha. Oh the joys of doing it again!!! :eek:

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"thenamezkrista" wrote:

I was going to write this when I saw the thread...
They DO NOT tell you about the recovery, how it hurts no matter how you walk, sit or stand. It's so swollen that you have to walk like you were riding bare back for 15 hrs.. all the things that you have to take home to take care of yourself.. Tucks wipes, water bottles after peeing, Sitz bath, ice, butt pillows. and lots and lots of tylenol and Ibuprofin!!! haha. Oh the joys of doing it again!!! :eek:

You guys are making a great case for my repeat csection vs vbac. I never had any pain "there" bc it was all in my stomach.

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*Lurker from January...although I could go in December! Smile

I wish I had known how much there is to know, and how there are so many things that can (potentially) affect the outcome! I went into my first pregnancy and birth pretty uninformed, and then read like crazy for my second.

At least in my experiences, my recoveries weren't nearly that bad. So, don't be scared if you're a FTM or thinking about a VBAC! Tearing, swelling, incontinence, heavy bleeding, etc do happen, but not all women experience these. And there are things you can do to help prevent tearing and swelling, such perineum massage, pushing slowly, warm compresses to the perineum while pushing, etc. Although certainly sometimes you tear anyways....this happened to my SIL who still got a 3rd degree tear despite the massages. Sad So, these things aren't magic, but they have the potential to help.

I had an episiotomy with DS, so experienced all the discomfort from that. And I had it after 3 hours of hard pushing, where I was already tearing (DS was posterior.) Sent home with a foam pillow, walking hurt for a while. But, all of that said, I still went on a run 2.5 weeks post-partum. (My OB said it was ok if I felt good.) Don't get me wrong, the day after I felt like I'd been hit by a truck, but after a few days things were pretty good.

With DD, I had no tearing, but did have a skid mark, which burned like heck when I peed. But, all in all I felt great after the birth. I did the massage during my third trimester, and pushed in a squatting position. And I pushed slowly and gently, and only when I felt the urge. My midwife also put warm compresses on me while I was pushing....that was seriously awesome. I remember my midwife telling me "you're going to feel great, so don't overdo it." And she was right. I did feel good. For bleeding for both, I don't remember it being anything notable. I've always had heavy periods, though, so maybe that's why it didn't seem heavy?

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"nori_garsi" wrote:

:lurk: The bleeding is the same for women who have c-sections too.

What???!! That's bogus! I had no idea...

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"Carolyn85" wrote:

I was so worried about all the nudity of childbirth, but honestly once you are in the moment nothing matters. with the discomfort of contractions there could be a nuclear war going on outside and you would never even notice. I vomited through my whole labor and barely noticed. the contractions take all your focus. being half naked was the least of my worries.

This is funny b/c I felt the same way but once you get into the process you really don't care and only think about the end result.

I too had a very misleading sense of the laboring process and was amazed at all that happens during that period. I think the biggest thing is you have to be relaxed and ready for the end, rest/nap, be ready to push. I am a runner and in top shape but laboring was the most tiring experience I have ever encountered. I don't know how ladies that are not in shape do it.

I to was SHOCKED at the amount of blood that you lose the first few days. If you think about it though your body has just gone through a tramatic experience. Definately wear the net like grandma panties b/c you have to change so often to keep onto of the blood flow.

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I loved the giant net granny panties!!

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I was never worried so much about the nudity, as with my first baby it was all women (with the exception of DH, of course, and he's seen it all anyway lol!)... but with DS#2 my doc was out of town, so not only did I have the male doc that was on call for her, but my hospital nurse was also a male, and they let 2 male interns come in and watch as well! I was so humiliated and uncomfortable, but I didn't say anything because I was just trying to focus on pushing and getting my baby into my arms (the interns didn't show up until I was actually pushing him out, there was just no time to say anything)! It was the worst birthing experience!

@ Jessicah, you're hilarious! I HATED those "panties" (they don't even deserve to be called that lol)! I've never felt more un-sexy than right after giving birth! Those things, coupled with your saggy stomach, bleeding, milk leaking everywhere... it's true love that our men hang around after this LMAO!

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haha as for the panties... i work in surgery and the whole department calls them "party pants" BiggrinBiggrinBiggrin

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"Carolyn85" wrote:

haha as for the panties... i work in surgery and the whole department calls them "party pants" BiggrinBiggrinBiggrin

ROFL Party pants!!! Love it Smile After I had my daughter I could careless what I looked like. Those darn stretchy undies were awesome! LOL

.

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"Jenn0113" wrote:

Oh, if you have a csection, get up and moving ASAP. I started walking within a day or so of surgery. Ds and I would walk the halls of the maternity floor while everyone else slept. I healed really fast and didn't need my pain meds for more than 5-6 days.

This definately! I was up walking not even 12 hours after I had DS. The sooner the better, just make sure all the meds are out of your system because you are going to feel like hell after lol. Also if you have a choice DO NOT get staples (IMO) They hurt so bad and as soon as they were out I felt 110% better. I am asking my OB for the glue this time if i dont VBAC. Also the long ice pack they give you is a lifesaver Smile It feels sooooo good on the incision.

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abd incisions aren't something that can be glued shut. I agree about not getting stapled. You should ask to be closed with dis-solvable suture. In my three years of surgery I have never seen an abdominal wound closed with glue. You would have to undersew several layers for strength, and then glue. It's pretty time consuming. Just ask to be sewn and not stapled Biggrin

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"Carolyn85" wrote:

abd incisions aren't something that can be glued shut. I agree about not getting stapled. You should ask to be closed with dis-solvable suture. In my three years of surgery I have never seen an abdominal wound closed with glue. You would have to undersew several layers for strength, and then glue. It's pretty time consuming. Just ask to be sewn and not stapled Biggrin

Ive never had it done but I could have sworn by best friend had both of her ceserians glued, maybe it was the dissolveable stiches, im going to have to ask her now because its going to bug me lol

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I'd be curious to know! They prpbably just glued over dissolvable buried suture. Sounds like a great option! Id be mad if I was stapled. There is no reason for it. I think its bad form. No surgeon is that busy!

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"Carolyn85" wrote:

I'd be curious to know! They prpbably just glued over dissolvable buried suture. Sounds like a great option! Id be mad if I was stapled. There is no reason for it. I think its bad form. No surgeon is that busy!

Yup, thats what they did, it was bugging me so i asked her about it haha. If i have another csection this time I am telling the Dr this is what they are doing, i will NOT get staples again. They hurt, theyre gross and they literally stink. YUCK

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"DitherDither" wrote:

At least in my experiences, my recoveries weren't nearly that bad. So, don't be scared if you're a FTM or thinking about a VBAC! Tearing, swelling, incontinence, heavy bleeding, etc do happen, but not all women experience these.

My recovery wasn't very bad either for our first child (this will be the second). I took pain pills home from the hospital just in case, but never actually felt a need to take them.

Some things that really surprised me and that I would have liked to know ahead of time:

** After giving birth, don't expect that your belly will be any smaller AT ALL.

** The urge to push can feel like you need to have a bowel movement.

** Watch out for that first shower after your breast milk comes in.