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What did no one tell you about birth/postpartum that you learned the hard way?

post #1 of 172
Thread Starter 
I was just talking to someone yesterday about my 2nd birth and how I discovered the possibility of tearing up towards the clitoris during that birth. It was an unplanned unassisted birth and I found that part of it fairly alarming as I had never heard of that happening before. I thought it might be helpful to others if we share what we learned the hard way. Here are my examples:

1. That you could tear up and not just down
2. That there could be a LOT of swelling down there after birth
3. That you can have night sweats postpartum

That's all I can think of that I didn't know in advance of it happening to me. Anyone else?
post #2 of 172
That you can have a cervical/uterine prolapse!!
post #3 of 172
That it's possible to survive 17 hrs of back labour, but it ain't pretty.
I wish my Dr would have told me that DS was posterior - I would have looked into ways to help turn him and deal with that specific kind of pain.
post #4 of 172
That what works for one person doesn't work for everyone! Specifically, dealing with a posterior baby... everyone told me getting on my hands and knees would take the pressure off my back a bit and make labor easier to handle... it didn't! That position hurt worse than any others for me.
post #5 of 172
* That you stood a fat chance of getting piles :

* That involution gets more painful with subsequent birhts

* That full blown labour (water breaking to 3rd stage) could last three minutes!
post #6 of 172
Thread Starter 
Ah yes, add that 'involution gets more painful' to my list as well. That was a horriffic shocker to me. I also think I had either never heard of back labor before my first dc or what I had heard didn't make much of an impression on me, cuz that's the kind of labor I had and it wasn't until I learned a lot more about birth that I figured out that's what happened to me.
post #7 of 172
Even after being a doula and homebirht assistant 5 years before my last birth, I can say that I was SHOCKED by the
a) orange sized clots with #2
b) the afterbirth pains
c) the SUPERSIZED breasts- more so than with #1
d) the loose muscle tone in the vagina

all have been remedied or were manageable, for the record!
post #8 of 172
oh and DITTO on the weirdo night sweats! and that shoulder dystocia is not necessarily a crisis and that midwives rock
post #9 of 172
I wish somebody had warned me about the immediately-after-birth shakes. That frightened me. Also, I wish I'd known that afterpains were really PAIN, and not just the tiny twinges the childbirth educator talked about.

But most of all, I wish I'd known that when my water broke, it would just keep on leaking. I always thought it would be one big gush and then it's done; that's how it is in the movies and on TV, and those were my main images of birth. I didn't know that the fluid just keeps leaking and leaking and leaking. My water broke almost 24 hours before DD was born, so that's a LOT of leaking.
post #10 of 172
... that "relaxing" and "breathing" as much as possible would make it hurt less and go faster -- so I just lay still almost the whole time, feeling miserable and exhausted when I just wanted to MOVE. Not sure where I got that idea. With number 2 I had been to a lot of births and just did what i wanted: moved, danced, moaned, sang -- FUN and EFFECTIVE.
post #11 of 172
what is "involution"
this is the google definition
"Process by which an expanding epithelium turns over on itself and continues to spread in the opposite direction along its basal margin." helpful, no?
post #12 of 172
Thread Starter 
We're referring to involution of the uterus aka the uterus shrinking back down to it's pre-pregnancy size, which is done by the uterus contracting:

"The process of reduction of the uterus to its normal nonpregnant size and state following childbirth. "
post #13 of 172
1) That I would be scared to tears of having a postpartum bowel movement (though it wasn't as bad as I thought )

2) That afterpains REALLY hurt, especially after the first baby

3) That you feel really drippy and gross after having a baby--lochia, leaky breasts, sweating, etc.
post #14 of 172
That you can do everything right to prepare for a gentle natural birth at home, and still have it go frighteningly wrong.
post #15 of 172
That afterpains would hurt so freaking bad
post #16 of 172
That you can tear your urethra and pee like a shower head instead of a straight line - for like months!
post #17 of 172
That uterine massage is horrible, horrible, worse than the labor and birth itself. This coupled with the afterpains (involution, as a pp mentioned) was just hard hard hard. I had a med-free birth and definitely needed serious narcotics to make it through the first 48 hours.
post #18 of 172
For me it's not helpful to focus on all the things that can go wrong during birth. So I avoid the birth shows on cable and negative birth stories (I read one really negative story before my son's birth that still haunts me sometimes). But if it helps you in some way, go for it!
post #19 of 172
Quote:
1) That I would be scared to tears of having a postpartum bowel movement (though it wasn't as bad as I thought )
yup. i was a wreck about going poop for days after dd was born. took stool softeners...ate lots-o-fiber and was scared, scared, scared to go. and i agree...was nowhere near as bad as i thought.

~Erin
post #20 of 172
How long a extended prodomal labor actually could be.. *(we're talking about several days over here)
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