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What did no one tell you about birth/postpartum that you learned the hard way? - Page 3

post #41 of 172
I never knew how swollen and sore I would be after birth. I also couldn't stand still for more than 10 minutes at a time for the first two months because of the throbbing pain. I tore it two directions and the recovery was very painful.

I never knew that you could get varicose veins around your parts. I guess I've always had them but they didn't introduce themselves until my third trimester and boy did they throb for months after I had given birth. Ouch!

I knew that breastfeeding was hard but I never knew that I wouldn't get the support I expected from the nurses (who are lactation consultants and run the breastfeeding center at the hospital). And, my midwives weren't much help either. I know next time I'm planning to go to LLL meetings and hire someone to join me after the birth to help out.

No one really explained the strain that can be placed on a marriage and the "I've done more" game that can be played. It didn't last long at our house and we closed ranks pretty quickly to support each other instead of being frustrated with each other but it did happen at first and created more strain. But, I also never knew that I could love my husband even that much more and how much I enjoy watching him parent. He's great at it!

I knew I would love my son and that it wouldn't be like anything I had experience before but I never knew that I would have this completely raw spot in my heart that makes me so much more tender not only towards him but all children and other people.

I'd always heard it takes nine months to make a baby and nine months to get over it but in my case it's been 15 months and I'm just now starting to feel normal.

I would have never believed if someone had told me that my son would still not be sleeping through the night and still eats at least one full bottle a night at 15 months. No way! But, it's my reality and we get through it.

Great topic.
post #42 of 172
That the shakes and vomiting don't always mean transition.

That there are worse malposition than posterior. :

Add me to the night sweats list!

That your feet would swell up AFTER the birth (due to drugs)

That a 'roid could hurt worse than a tear.

I'm very curious, those of you who are relating such horribleness, did you birth in a hospital?
Yes, I was induced after my membranes ruptured, but my midwife, pro-birthing hospital/nurses and Henci Goer saved my life! (well, my uterus and my sanity - any ob could have stopped the haemorrhage)

Three cheers for Henci Goer!!! I knew to try and shift positions w/an epidural, and a hundred other things because of her.
post #43 of 172
Originally Posted by mommy2julia
How long a extended prodomal labor actually could be.. *(we're talking about several days over here)
oh oh oh ... I second that! I had that for days with baby #2 and I didn't even know what it was... and neither did anyone else I talked to!

I didn't know that stripping the membranes would hurt like an SOB either... (they did that after the 3rd day or prodromal).

ditto on shakes and the first night sweats

with my 2nd... I didn't know you could go to 8cm and not have had your water break on its own already!

And I wished that I had known how my babies would have benefitted from seeing a pediatric chiropractor soon after birth - both had terrible neck problems that had to be treated later.

Also never new that sysphysis pubis pain could last over a year postpartum!
post #44 of 172

#1: Emergancy C #2: VBAC

#1 child: Emergancy C

1. During the C-Section, my bladder would be taken out, might not work again (tho under circumstances was fine with me.)
2. Vomiting from General Anesthsia
3. Trouble walking for 3 weeks

#2 child: VBAC

1. 35 hour back labor. Doula assisted. Doula convinced nurses to let me walk around tethered to wires (due to VBAC) otherwise, w/out Doula's persistence I probably would have had to stay in bed.

2. THAT EPIDERALS CAN HELP YOU DILATE (have heard this from one OB, two other mothers-probably not standard procedure-but worked for me!!!)

3. Tried every position, every technique. What brought relief after 32 hours was lying on surgical table (provided counter pressure to back) and feet in stir-ups!!

4. The pain/swelling from Episotamy

5. Fatigue
post #45 of 172
The big surprise for me was pushing for 8 hours. I never imagined that!
post #46 of 172
I wish I had known...
...about MDC!
...that you can give birth at home without assistance
...that you don't have to go to the hospital when your water breaks
...not to read this thread because it is scaring the bejeebers out of my and my planned UC!!
...you don't have to take stool softeners when there is pleanty of watermelon available.

Oh yeah, and you can break the doctor's arm if he comes near you with a pair of sissors to give you an episiotomy!!!!!!!!! :LOL
post #47 of 172
The whole swollen Baboon Butt thing shocked me!
post #48 of 172
Originally Posted by dharmama
...each of us feeling that we were working so much harder than the other (i.e. me: "at least you get to go to work!" him: "at least you don't have to go to work!")

we had some ugly days before we stopped fighting/challenging/resenting each other and really started to work together.
This sounds sooooo familiar. It was constant one-upping each other in our house for the first 6 months or so. DH was working like crazy and I was going crazy being home alone all the time with a pretty demanding baby. Luckily, we got over it (I should say, I got over it by getting out of the house more and feeling more content that I get to stay home instead of resentful). We had none of this with baby #2. My expectations were completely different.

Also, I agree about the horrible afterpains and the hemorrhoids (sp?). They both totally suck!
post #49 of 172
Originally Posted by Heffernhyphen
But most of all, I was completely unprepared for the monumental love I feel for this little boy. I didn't know I could love someone like this. And I didn't know love could be so scary.
This is the one post I personally can really relate to!
I don't know if it was because I had awesome, honest midwives or what but I knew pregnancy would become a drudgery, I knew birth would hurt, I knew "recovery" would be like any other healing - slow but sure. I knew I had to learn to breastfeed right along with my babies, I knew I wouldn't sleep when I needed it the most. Because I knew in my mind all things, when I lived them through my body it wasn't such a shock. I accepted every bit of the whole process as "this is normal; this is my very own experience as a new mother."

Yet, as the above stated, I could never understand or comprehend this intensely passionate love for my children.
Pain of birth and afterbirth is nothing ... NOTHING compared to this deep, wonderful love that has consumed me.

:boy: :homew:
post #50 of 172
I didn't realize recouping would be much more painful than after the first. I had my 2nd 14months after my 1st and I was introduced to brand new pains. It was the first time I had ever considered pain meds- and fast!

Apparently I didn't give my body time enough to recoup after my 1st.
post #51 of 172
I was not expecting my midwife to bow out so completely during the birth, after transfer of care (baby's heartrate dropped too low during contractions at pushing time).

I was not expecting to feel so exhausted completely and shaky after pushing my baby out. Nor feeling so exhausted and overwhelmed for several days after birth... even weeks. I was not expecting to feel so much shame and fear during and after the birth because I was in pain and overwhelmed. The 6 weeks PP were truly needed to feel mildly normal again.

Burst blood vessels in face and eyes were not expected.

Episotomy - OOOOOUUUUUCCCCCCHHHHHH for at least 10 days after. So frustrating to feel the stitches pull (raw, OWW) while I tried to get my baby to bf.

My labia also look different now--smaller somehow. Did the doc tuck them in or down??? I miss my big butterfly wings. Anybody else's labia look different?

I was not expecting major bf probs (flat nipples, she wouldn't open her mouth, couldn't get her to latch... when she finally did open her mouth to latch she wouldn't suck... my baby always crying at my breast, pushing away from me, kicking, taking midwives 20 minutes to help get baby latched on, feeling so overwhelmed and depressed). I was expecting/hoping for bf success because I birthed my baby without any drugs. Babies born without drugs are supposed to be alert and ready for feeding, right? Well that's what I read anyway. It didn't happen for us. Tried for 6 weeks, only got her to latch on once by myself. As a result had probs with PPD/PPA. I thought that with perserverence and desire to succeed I could overcome any obstacle. This was not the case, my nerves simply couldn't handle daily lack of success at bf. Sooooo depressing. (Thank goddess for breastpumps--my baby got colostrum and breastmilk from day 1 on.) :

Leakiness and smelliness, esp. ripe armpits due to fenugreek. Earthy.

I was not expecting to feel so incompetent and insecure, or have intense anxiety over BEING A GOOD ENOUGH MOTHER.

I was not expecting to have what felt like NO TIME TO EAT in early days. Very hard, affected my energy and mood. Couldn't sleep between baby's feedings due to anxiety... it was very very hard for awhile!

Over time, I have come to love and enjoy my baby deeply... was expecting to cry and feel instant love after birthing baby, but all I really wanted to do was SLEEP.

NOW I have to say, as my love, comfort with, and enjoyment of my baby has grown grown grown, I have not expected to feel so intensely loving and protective of her. SHE'S SO LOVEABLE! :
post #52 of 172
Originally Posted by shelley4
i felt a little stupid with my first birth because i was having this horrible horrible back pain for days (so much that i didn't sleep for 3 straight days/nights), i thought i really hurt my back and i was so worried that i would go into labour in this state... silly me, i WAS in labour, i just had no clue.. back labour for that much.. i didn't seem to notice that this horrible back pain was coming rather reliably every 5-7 mins i feel like a pretty informed momma, but i couldn't even figure out that i was in labour 'gee, here i am at 41 1/2 weeks, experiencing regular intervals of pain.. what the : is going on???'
i was having Braxons. or so I thought. until my water nroke and the baby came about half an hour later. I really thought that I was in pre-labor and that it could go on for days and did not realize it was the real thing. and I read so much about birth.
post #53 of 172
Oh yeah, and you can break the doctor's arm if he comes near you with a pair of sissors to give you an episiotomy!!!!!!
LOL, my daughter had a big decel halfway out, so instead of scaring me with that, my midwife asked if she could do an episiotomy after the next contraction, and dangled the scissors over my belly to give me incentive. Yep, I pushed her out on that one!
post #54 of 172
I wish I had known
  • labor could stop once it started
  • it was possible to walk around 6cm dilated for days and the baby would not fall out, much to my chagrin
  • involution gets worst with each baby (why is it no one ever offers to come to my house and hook me up to an epidural for the first two weeks, that's what I want to know?)
  • that depression may be worst with subsequent pregnancies
  • that it would be worth it to drive 50 miles for midwives that I adore and a supportive hospital
post #55 of 172
Originally Posted by reader
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.
I hate epidurals for the birth, but ya know, for the afterpains ..... well, there's an idea!
post #56 of 172
-ditto on the nightsweats!
-that perineal support can cause orgasm-like sensation which make pushing contractions go on forever (like 8 pushes per contraction), rendering pushing somewhat ineffective, causing tired uterus and leading to hemhorrage and cord traction-pulled placenta partially due to:
-baby's cord may be too short to nurse until placenta comes out
-that while pushing one may feel too "out-of-this-world" (even with no drugs) to tell midwife to stop said perineal support (I wanted to but couldn't find the words)
all leading to a trip to the hospital where narcotics were given (necessary for me to relax enough) so doc could make sure placenta had been completely removed
-that if narcotics are administered, one may agree to things such as preventative antibiotics even though one may be completely against those in principle and never would have otherwise agreed
-that one may forget one had antibiotics until days later and not probiotically arm oneself against the possibility of thrush (which we thankfully avoided)
-that cod liver oil and nutritional yeast can help with postpartum baby fog and blues in the dead of winter
post #57 of 172
ditto on shelley4 --I turned to my dw the morning I went into labour, sobbing, saying I can't go into labour today, I'm in too much pain! I think I strained my hip!

A big ditto on dynamicdoula's poo issues...which I'm still having at 3 months pp..they started around 1 month pp! (I may start another thread on that).

But in general I had a fabulous 16 hour home waterbirth and would do it again in a second
post #58 of 172
I never expected to have (slight) urinary incontinence for about a year after birth #1; therefore, I think Kegels are so important during pregnancy and after childbirth.

I thought I would bond with my baby immediately, but rather, I was sort of overwhelmed and depressed in learning how to take care of a very colicky high-needs infant, and people were forever asking, "what's wrong with her?"

never imagined how wonderful and how proud being a mother makes you.
post #59 of 172
Thread Starter 
The above post reminded me of another one....

I didn't know that I wouldn't fall immediately in head-over-heels love with my first dd. Sure, I loved her but I didn't feel the way I came to a few days later. I think in my case it was due to the combination of this all being very new (becoming a parent) and the long pushing stage. I remember when she was born I honestly felt more releaved than anything. I didn't cry. I wasn't overcome with joy. I was just glad it was over. And yes, I loved her but it wasn't the same as what some of you describe.

Now with my 2nd dd I did feel the immediate gushing-love sensation, but I think it's because I already understood my role as a mother and I only pushed for a few minutes so there wasn't that same level of relief.

It was a little shameful for me to feel that way at first, so if someone had forewarned me that that may happen it would have been helpful. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. It's just something that sometimes is.
post #60 of 172
No one told me that my arms and back would be more sore from pushing than my nether regions.

No one told me how much TIME you spend the first couple of months breastfeeding. I was breastfeeding easily 40min out of every hour that he was awake those first few months.
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