Thursday, February 16, 2012

what no one ever told me about childbirth

We are now home with baby Benjamin.

Overall, as far as labor and delivery goes, the process went well. He joined us at 12:42am Monday Feb 13th. I knew that it would be difficult and painful and uncomfortable. I expected that. However there were a few things that I did not expect and could not believe that no one ever told me!

Now before I go into them, I want to preface it by saying that we were induced, and had a regular delivery otherwise (induced because doctor was going out of town the next week and we wanted him there and it was worth having him there) Also that this little Ben is worth every horrible detail I am about to share:

1. What is meant by "checking your cervix". You know, to see how many centimeters you are dilated. Perhaps this was just an anatomical error on my part, but I guess I thought that they just looked, visually. No, the cervix is up there, and only a hand can check. Think pap smear with a fist. yikes!

2. Once "induced", there is no eating any food. I wish I would have eaten a huge breakfast beforehand! When we were induced, they pump oxytocin in via iv and contractions come, but are very minimal. We were pretty much bored waiting to dilate to 4cm. that took from 9am to 5pm with no food. So then water is broken (at 5pm for us). And you can't eat after that anyway, but with the pain you don't want to. Now, I don't know about you, but I am at my absolute worst when I am hungry, and even Bill was concerned, he knows how I am. So now not only would we eventually be exhausted, eventually in insane amounts of pain, frustrated, etc...but add crazy hungry to that mix. Bad bad and bad. Lesson: eat a big meal before induced.

3. Breaking your water: it doesn't hurt. Its the intensity of the contractions that immediately follow. Now many people told me that the pain intensifies when the water is broken. What I didn't know was the weird process of water coming out. it doesn't just all gush out at once. A lot does, but it continues to gush out with every contraction. So every time you are contracting, the pain increases, but it also feels like you are peeing yourself (and you are sitting in it), Gross. (and you can;t walk around after water is broken in the hospital otherwise you still gush/drip the bloody water all over the place).

4. Labor pains/contractions: I know that I expected labor to hurt. Bad. But nothing prepared me for just how excruciating it would be. I mean excruciating, and I consider myself pretty tough. I wanted to try it aux natural. Then they broke my water. And the pain started to become searing. Eventually I went to "take the edge off drug" which did absolutely nothing, to epidural. Why? Here is my description of full on labor pains: Imagine someone taking a machete, stabbing it into the top of your abdomen and slowly dragging it down to the bottom of your abdomen. This sensation happens about 2-3 times, ever 2 minutes or so.  And perhaps I could have handled it for another hour...maybe...if there was a guarantee that was how long it was going to last. But it could easily go on that way for another 8 hours or more. no thank you.

5. Post labor: No one mentioned what it feels like after labor. I was lucky and only had to push for about 30 minutes and Ben popped out. But for those 30 minutes you are pushing like you are passing a 7lb dump. those exact muscles. When was the last time you worked those muscles even close to that hard?  So the next few days it has that post really hard work out soreness and sitting is literally a pain in the butt.

6. Post labor part deaux: Peeing. Remembering back to how annoying it was to pee every 30 minutes and it only being about a teaspoon full each time, it seems funny. During induction you are pumped full of fluids via IV. That and I think there is a lack of muscle control paired with more fluids still draining...bathroom breaks consist of pitchers-full of fluid. literally. I did not know that my body could hold that much.

And now I hope that you have not just eaten lunch. And that this does not detract anyone from childbirth. It is merely the truths that I wish I would have known ahead of time. Mental preparation. Now you cannot say that no one told you.

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