These are my top 10 things that surprised me while giving birth or shortly thereafter.
- You have to learn how to push. YES, it is like taking a poo. But a little different. SO you do have to learn to do it. It took three or four pushing contractions for me to get the hang of it and to “give it my all”. As my midwife promptly told me – “If you hold back it’ll take longer” – I didn’t need more motivation!
- Your body just sometimes takes over, like a life force all on it’s own. I couldn’t control pushing at all my body told me to do it and I had to. (I was asked not to push for a session and I couldn’t not push, the force was too strong)
- You’re in so much pain while pushing you don’t care what you push out (poop, pee, and other bodily fluids).
- The shaking. After giving birth I started convulsing almost – that’s what it felt like to me. Like the biggest shivers you ever had but you weren’t cold. It was the weirdest feeling in the world. It really freaked me out holding my newborn baby on my stomach and shaking. NOTE: the shivers returned a week later once I got home for a few days. I googled it – (and we all know that what the internet says is true 😛 ) and it’s due to a drop in hormones.
- Once you hold your baby for a few minutes (or two hours but honestly it feels like seconds) they tell you to breastfeed. I’ll be honest I watched close to a 100 videos on how to breastfeed and what to do etc. NOTHING prepares you for it. You don’t have milk yet so it’s just to get the baby more bonded to you I guess or to stimulate milk production or whatever. BUT you just spent hours pushing, you are exhausted, shaking (see point above) and you are asked to do this. To be honest though it felt awesome. Like relief and goodness all wrapped into this wonderful package.
- How little shits you give about what people think about you. (Yes, I know this is the same as point #3 but I can’t underline this enough) I was worried about having my husband in the room because he could see stuff. But at that moment I wouldn’t of cared if they invited a tour group through the room because of the pain that I felt. Additionally I had my eyes closed through most of it anyway so seriously, an entire tour group and film crew could have been there… I would have had no idea and I wouldn’t of cared… though might have been a nice distraction.
- The breaks in between contractions. The oddest thing about the breaks is that the pain vanished. There was no residual pain until the next contraction. IT was super weird. From EXTREME pain to no pain and being able to hold a conversation (which was used to describe the previous pain or to ask the age old question: “WHO does this more than once?”)
- You swell afterwards… like I thought I had bad cankles while pregnant… WELL after giving birth… that’s nothing. My legs were so swollen I couldn’t put my feet into flip flops. Picture below was taken after some of the swelling had subsided. NOTE: it went away after just two weeks. I say JUST two weeks because my doctor informed me that it sometimes takes up to six weeks!
- They say you don’t feel anything after giving birth (the stitches and the placenta etc.) LIES! I felt it. It wasn’t as painful as the birth but I still felt it. NOTE: for the stitches part I got extra drugs since my epidural drugs didn’t work. I don’t know who my anethstiologist was but that women will always hold a place in my heart.
- You forget. You do actually forget the pain. I’m at week two after giving birth and I can say that the pain is a distant memory. THANK GOD my husband has one 30 second video of me to remind me of the pain. J AND here comes my answer to the question – WHO does this more than once? Loads of women… because they forget the pain and they look at the little person that they have created and it seems worth it. The 9 months of pregnancy (for me these 9 months were hard months) and then the labour and now the constant feedings… ALL this without a drop of wine… 😛
SO what was the most shocking thing that you discovered after/while giving birth?
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