Friday, April 13, 2012

Things No One Tells You About Having a Baby (or at least if they did I didn't listen)

I wanted to write this before I totally forget!

Nothing Goes as Planned w/ Birth
You go to these Birth classes and read the books and you hear "Make a birth plan". I had an idea that things wouldn't go as planned but I did write a birth plan. Like the title says nothing goes as planned. My birth plan was for an all nature birth and I got the total opposite being induced and needing to take the pain meds. I would say do the birth plan knowing that you will do what is right for you and the baby at the time things are happening. Also, talk to your partner about what you want because at the time of the birth you might not want to do much talking. Also, talk about what you want after the birth we did this and Jerry knew we didn't want her bathed until she tried to breast feed and he was able to stop them from bathing her when they went off to the nursery.

My birth plan never came out of my bag. We did what was needed at the time.

Epidurals Can Cause Spinal Fluid Leak
I admit I think they talked about this for all of 2 mins during our birth class but as I mentioned above I was going all nature and in my mind there was no question about it so I didn't listen much. If you get an epidural and you get a headache right away or have one after lay flat, if the headache goes away while laying flat tell a nurse right away. A blood patch might be needed to fix it. I wish I had known this it would of kept me from suffering for days with a headache that was HORRIBLE (epidural headache).

No Modesty During Birth
Are you modest? Well you better leave that all at the door during birth. You might as well lay around naked. I had every monitor possible put up inside me before she was born and because I did give in and and get an epi as you can imagine going to the bathroom during labor was out of the question so let's just say a nurse had to manually drain my blatter. Nevermind the fact that once that babies head gets really low and if you have an epi you have no control over your bodily functions, some woman poop during birth (I didn't thank god) but you also have no control over gas either so avoid gasy food if you are going to be induced.

Swelling Gets Worse After the Birth
The Dr. told me in the hospital that the swelling in my feet and legs would get worse up to 2-3 weeks after birth. Mine was extreme because I had pre-e after she was born and my BP was out of control. The swelling was very uncomfortable and down right painful as my skin was pulled so tight on my feet it hurt and I could hardly move my toes. Three weeks after the birth one day I notice it was just gone.

They Don't Let You Rest in the Hospital
In our hospital you get an RN assigned to you and another person who takes your BP and temp. Then you have your Dr., the babies Dr., lactation consultant, lab people to take blood, and food delivery people when you call them. With all these people it seems like someone is in your room every hour or two. This was the worst at the morning shift change at 7am when the people going off shift come check on you then the new people coming in to say hi and poke at you some more. If you plan to sleep at all send the baby to the nursery after the evening shift change has calmed down and shut of all lights and the TV. One time I shut off all the lights and I think when they came in to check on me they left me alone. I did not sleep for a long time, like a week after I had her (big mistake). I would only nap for an hour between feedings. If I could do it over again I would of had them give her one bottle at night so I could get a solid 4hrs of sleep each night before going home.

Our family isn't in the area so I can only imagine adding guests on top of all the hospital people. My suggestion would be to tell family you will call them and tell them when would be best to come by to visit

You Might Feel Like You Lost Something
When I left the hospital I felt like I lost something. Even though my baby was with me I felt like I lost her because she wasn't in my belly and I was very emotional. I also missed the hospital and felt like I lost my best friend. Even though as mentioned above being in the hospital I couldn't rest they still brought some comfort being at my beck and call and never worrying about having to cook. Driving home for the first time I cried and wanted to go back to the hospital. Enjoy the time in the hospital as this is the only time this will happen with this baby.

If You're Breastfeedig Your Baby Will Loss Weight at First
For most woman it takes some time for for your milk to come in and it is normal for a baby to loss up to 7% of their birth weight. Beyond 7% they start to worry and might ask you to supliment. This is what I was told in the hospital.

The First 3-6 Weeks Are Hard
Especially if you are breastfeeding things are hard because you are the only one who can feed the baby unless you are able to pump enough. Plus if your baby is not getting enough food like mine they SCREAM and you just don't know what is wrong because you think they are getting enough and you start trying to figure out what it is (colic, reflux...the list goes on).

Have Gripe Water on Hand
Babies get gas and patting their back or bouncing them or doing all these things you have read about doesn't always work to get it out. Before you have the baby get a thing of Gripe water and have it on hand. It is an all natural sweet liquid that helps releave gas. We got ours at Whole Foods and found when all else fails we try this out and usually it gets things moving.

Baby Girls Have a Period
My husband got freaked out when he changed her diaper and noticed she was bleeding. I went right to google and found that baby girls get a period after birth because they are coming off all the hormones in the mom's body. For us this was started about 5 days after she was born and it lasted about 3 days. By no means was it heavy bleeding at all.

Babies Are Not Really Expressive Right Off the Bat
At first it was hard because babies don't react to faces you make. They don't smile right away usually and with my baby when she was awake she looked like she was in pain and I would cry...... thinking she was sad or in pain. Really she wasn't but in my emotional head I was being a bad mom and she was sad. Like I mentioned before hormones are crazy after birth.

You Will Find Yourself Choicing Between Sleeping, Eating, or Showering
I never thought having a baby meant I would have to choice between the basics like eating, sleeping or showering. But after she was born and when she would nap I had to pick what one was more important at the time. For me I also added cleaning on there (if you have family around tell them the best gift is if they would come cook or clean for you or hold the baby so you can sleep, eat or shower).

That's all I can think of for now. I hope this helps all those first time moms out there who will be having a little bundle of joy in the near future. Along with all the above you will fall in love with your little one and you won't be able to imagine your life without them!


  1. rachel, this was such an awesome and informative post. thank you so much for taking the time to share. ahh, i can imagine so much of the things you mentioned for stories i hear from friends and other birth stories i read.
    i agree with you on the no shame part. i feel like i'm already so programmed in that department with all the crazy appts and "objects" i've had down there in the past few years. haha, that doesn't sound right, but you know what i mean!
    i tell steve all the time, i'm going to poop for sure! lol
    and i'm the gassiest person alive...i'm sure you really wanted to hear that. ;)

    i hope that you jerry and annabelle had a wonderful weekend

  2. Maria, I am glad you found this helpful. No two births are the same but if this can help anyone I am glad to share the info. :-)


Thank you for your comments!