What did you learn about birth that you wish someone had told you? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 132 Old 07-31-2013, 01:51 AM
 
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I wish someone told me I'd get really hungry during labor. Everyone said you lose your appetite but when my MIL showed up and she had a bar of chocolate with her, I literally almost swallowed it.

 

I was so scared of an episiotomy and I did get one, but in all honesty, it healed very quickly. I was also horrified how it will look down there and the OB made me take a look to calm down about it. It didn't look bad at all. I forgot about it in two days.

 

I did not know that sometimes placentas do not come out. I had to have a very  minor operation with full anesthesia (woke up after 40 minutes and could breastfeed DD). If I had known about that before the birth it would have freaked me out but it was the best part! I woke up so happy & relaxed, they had already cleaned & stitched up everything without me going through additional pain.

 

I also learned that even if you prepared for months for an all-natural labor, a long and intensely painful one can make you lose your stamina and determination. I did not prepare for that. I did not care about anything natural in the end (after 26 hours).  After 3 hours of pushing, I found it so ironic that *I* demanded a c-section and they told me to try pushing for another half hour.  I'm glad they didn't listen to me; I pushed her out ten minutes later.

 

And I also did not know about postpartum elation. I almost felt guilty about it because I was so happy for the first few weeks after DD was born. I had a bit of the blues after that though.


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#32 of 132 Old 07-31-2013, 05:15 AM
 
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As someone who grew up in a house filled with nurses & doctors I thought I would be prepared & knew all the terminology! What I didn't know to expect is the feeling you have when the epidural is administered I. Your spine! That week feeling in Your legs but not together - a tingle slightly pins & needles feeling one leg at a time- most terrifying! The how & when a catheter is inserted & how it is removed! The importance of getting up moving around after c-section no matter how uncomfortable ! The use. & importance of DISPOSABLE underwear
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#33 of 132 Old 07-31-2013, 05:34 AM
 
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I wish I had heard about the possibility of pelvic organ prolapse and what that even was. I had never heard of it until maybe a month or so ago, after my second baby (a 9.5 pounder!) I have always heard about kegels and the importance of keeping the pelvic floor strong, but i never knew that avoiding pelvic organ prolapse was one of the main reasons for that.

I also recently read that something like 80-90% of post-partum women experience some degree of prolapse in the first weeks after birth. I'd always assumed that sort of thing was reserved for really old ladies. But it definitely makes the 6weeks without exercise rule seem much less arbitrary. Its so easy to feel like I ought to get back out there ASAP, but the longterm health of my pelvic floor is so much more important.

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#34 of 132 Old 07-31-2013, 11:51 PM
 
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Oh, and I wish I had known more about postpartum depression and had told myself it would be truly okay to ask for help. I didn't and I regret it.

 

Me too. 

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#35 of 132 Old 08-01-2013, 01:13 PM
 
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I had never heard of an episiotomy until I was pregnant. I wish I'd known that word earlier. My life's mission became to avoid that, and luckily I did.

I learned through the birth process that having the baby isn't the end of it. I thought I'd have the baby and it would be all over! I also wish that had been better explained to me.

What did you learn that you wish you'd known?

 

1. I wish I had known that hypnobirthing, hypnobabies, and unmedicated childbirth techniques don't work for the vast majority of moms who give birth in hospital settings.  I allowed myself to expect a pain bearable childbirth, and when it wasn't bearable in the slightest, felt something was wrong with me. Had I known that childbirth is usually painful and sometimes excrutiating no matter how well a person prepares or how positive they are, I would have made the personal decision to prepare for a medicalized birth from the beginning and done more research away from the industry of natural childbirth.

 

2. I wish I had known just how damaging birth can be to my body at 32 and being kind of out of shape.  It's vastly different from a healtrhy woman in their early 20's; we just don't heal the same as we age.  I wish I had known how common nerve damage, epsiotomy damage, tearing damage, incontinence, etc, is, so that I could have opted for a scheduled c-section the first time around.  Instead, I picked a middle road of attempting a natural birth with a midwife in the hospital and wound of with the worst of both worlds.  (However, I am so happy my son was born healthy regardless of my personal woes).

 

3. I wish I had known how happy being a mom would make me, and how rewarding it is, and how proud I would feel, and how I was able to transcend my past problems and be good at it.  I might have started much sooner in life

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#36 of 132 Old 08-01-2013, 01:16 PM
 
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To buy the disposable plate ware and the paper napkins.

 

That postpartum mental health issues can include OCD and anxiety, and that a lot of the concerns I had about breast-feeding vs bottle feeding, co-sleeping vs crib sleeping, etc, and other people's judgment were real concerns that had been grossly magnified through the filter of anxiety. That I didn't have to live in a state of constant tension and fear.  That counseling and medication are just tools, not signs of being broken.

 

 

 

 

 

.


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#37 of 132 Old 08-01-2013, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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1. I wish I had known that hypnobirthing, hypnobabies, and unmedicated childbirth techniques don't work for the vast majority of moms who give birth in hospital settings.  I allowed myself to expect a pain bearable childbirth, and when it wasn't bearable in the slightest, felt something was wrong with me. Had I known that childbirth is usually painful and sometimes excrutiating no matter how well a person prepares or how positive they are, I would have made the personal decision to prepare for a medicalized birth from the beginning and done more research away from the industry of natural childbirth.


2. I wish I had known just how damaging birth can be to my body at 32 and being kind of out of shape.  It's vastly different from a healtrhy woman in their early 20's; we just don't heal the same as we age.  I wish I had known how common nerve damage, epsiotomy damage, tearing damage, incontinence, etc, is, so that I could have opted for a scheduled c-section the first time around.  Instead, I picked a middle road of attempting a natural birth with a midwife in the hospital and wound of with the worst of both worlds.  (However, I am so happy my son was born healthy regardless of my personal woes).


3. I wish I had known how happy being a mom would make me, and how rewarding it is, and how proud I would feel, and how I was able to transcend my past problems and be good at it.  I might have started much sooner in life

Wow, we have had such different experiences. I'm sorry things didn't work out for you! I had my first baby in my my mid 30s and my second in my early 40s, both were natural births in hospitals, and I haven't had any problems after either of them.

But I totally agree with #3. If I knew how much I love kids, I might have had them earlier. On the other hand, late is when my husband and I were ready, and we've had a great deal of financial flexibility due to waiting. I think early vs. late is a choice where there are positives and negatives on both sides.
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#38 of 132 Old 08-01-2013, 03:08 PM
 
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I learned that not all hoapitals want to drug you and C-section your baby. I had 2 awesome, natural, midwife attended births at my local hospital. One of them a water birth. I loved being taken care of for a couple days after birthing. The nearest birth center was expensive and they make you go home just a few short hours after birth.
I also wish I had known the first time, a baby that isn't latching in the first few days isn't doomed to be bottle fed. The second time around I sought out lactation support and learned it could take months. I never gave up and due to excellent support my baby finally nursed.
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#39 of 132 Old 08-01-2013, 06:57 PM
 
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Give your baby a bottle as soon as possible and regularly. I didn't try one until DD was about 2 months old, and she wanted nothing to do with it. Also, I can't understand how I didn't know this at the time, but check beforehand to see how much control you will have over the process, and use that control to speak your mind. I was doing just fine until the nurse squeezed my belly into a sensor band the size of a pony tail holder and made me lie down. I wish I'd told her I preferred to remain standing for as long as possible.

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#40 of 132 Old 08-01-2013, 07:48 PM
 
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I'm not in the tiny minority in the general public, just here, which makes sense.  I realize I'm in the minority of moms here who did not and would not enjoy another vaginal birth. It probably has to do partly with me not being afraid to share an unpopular opinion and also being one of the people who came here before I had any birth experience.   There are times when I feel like I don't belong here, for sure.  

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#41 of 132 Old 08-01-2013, 08:00 PM
 
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Give your baby a bottle as soon as possible and regularly. I didn't try one until DD was about 2 months old, and she wanted nothing to do with it. 

 

I so totally agree with this. It seems like there is so much fear of getting a baby too accustomed to a nipple and instead they are too UNaccustomed to it.  My life would have been much easier if I could have had a break once a day, but it took my son three months before he would regularly accept a bottle, and another SIX months before he would accept a night feeding from a bottle.  

 

From my experience night breastfeeding creates long-term tendency to continue multiple wakings in the night, too.  I intend to introduce a bottle 1-2 weeks PP and try bottle feeding instead of breastfeeding at night as soon as 4 weeks PP.  It is very against "instinct" so I have to really plan it.  I am well aware of the convenience of boob, but in the long run it simply didn't work for me and DS.

 

This time around I have a plan and a schedule for when to introduce things like this to the new baby to make sure I'm not constantly running on empty in terms of sleep, energy, and general sanity.

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#42 of 132 Old 08-02-2013, 12:21 AM
 
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How hard it can be to find your own cervix during labor.  I was very familiar with finding it before and during pregnancy, but when I had been laboring for about 12 hours and was getting tired, and the midwife suggested I could check myself if I wanted, it all felt completely foreign!  I could feel a little of the baby's head, and a lot of squishy tissue all around.  At the time, I thought the squishy-ness was just really ripe/soft cervix, and so I thought I must have a lot more dilating to do.  My midwife checked me a few hours later and declared me complete, and I started pushing.  Pushing wasn't feeling very effective and so I reached up again to check out how things felt, and it felt exactly as it had before.  I got really worried that I had gone backwards, and was pushing against my cervix.  Once I voiced my concern, my midwife said that with the baby descending, the walls of the vagina can get kind of bunched up, and that was probably what I was feeling.  I don't think I reached my cervix at all during labor.  I had read a lot of birth stories before, including ones where the mother checked herself, but never one that included details about what it might feel like in there!


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#43 of 132 Old 08-02-2013, 01:14 AM
 
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Had I known that childbirth is usually painful and sometimes excrutiating no matter how well a person prepares or how positive they are, I would have made the personal decision to prepare for a medicalized birth from the beginning and done more research away from the industry of natural childbirth.

 

I really understand. Even though I'm still going for a natural birth this time around, I have no judgement [anymore] whatsoever for anyone wanting a medicalized one . I was that naive the first time around thinking that it can't be that bad. It wasn't that bad for some friends of mine but the pain I experienced was unbelievably excrutiating (even my midwife commented on the strength of the contractions, they were off the chart).  It also made me feel like somewhat of a failure that it took so long and I couldn't take it at the end.  I also feel a twinge of guilt when people talk about wonderful birth experiences. I just really wish that someone told me that you can be fit, very healthy, do everything right and birth will still not be a wonderful experience. I probably would not have believed them!


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#44 of 132 Old 08-02-2013, 02:07 AM
 
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Give your baby a bottle as soon as possible and regularly. I didn't try one until DD was about 2 months old, and she wanted nothing to do with it. 

If you're breastfeeding, I'd avoid giving bottles until breastfeeding is off to a good start, unless you know you are going back to work within 6 weeks.  And even then, I probably still wait a couple of weeks.  My first child had bottles right away and developed an aversion to the bottle and refused to take it, and also her latch was bad and I had nipple trauma. My second one didn't have a bottle until she was 4 months old, and she was fine with it, and I didn't have the painful latching problems with her.  So I think it depends on the baby, and what the mother wants to accomplish by giving a bottle.  

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#45 of 132 Old 08-02-2013, 05:34 AM
 
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I also feel a twinge of guilt when people talk about wonderful birth experiences. I just really wish that someone told me that you can be fit, very healthy, do everything right and birth will still not be a wonderful experience. I probably would not have believed them!

 

 I posed a question a few days ago asking what if it could be proven that c-section was safer for mother and child despite it's own risks, would you still choose natural birth?  Most people said yes.  I would have said yes before I had my son, too. But everyone has a different experience and perception of that experience. I did not believe the women who complained about the trials of natural birth.  I didn't want to because my hypnobabies told me that was wrong!  My own mom had me drug free and also says she would opt for a c-section if she could go back and do it over again.  I decided she was just being negative and that our bodies were meant to do this. Maybe some womens' are.  I don't care that mine isn't and don't feel any guilt about that.

 

I'm not terrified of natural birth but I have learned to be afraid of not being in control and not knowing what to expect.  With childbirth that is a tricky challenge to navigate and if it weren't for that and my extreme sensitivity, I would have a natural birth too.

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#46 of 132 Old 08-02-2013, 06:55 AM
 
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Along the lines of what demeter has said, I wish I would have heard less about how birth is safe, because it's not, and it's not unsafe only because of "interference."  That would not have made any difference in my daughter's outcome (a perfect storm of bad luck circumstances that could not have been planned for), but it would have been more truthful.  Instead, I heard about how important it was to have positive thinking.  I think that there is a huge difference between the calm you have because you have faced your fear and know what you can and cannot control, and that you've made the best decisions you could with the information you have.... and denying that there is anything to be afraid of because you are afraid that being afraid will cause something bad to happen.  I see far too much of the latter sometimes.

 

Birth is dangerous.  As a species, we don't need a 100% survival rate and we don't all need to come out intact.  The odds are good, most of the time, and much of how birth goes is luck of one sort or another (access to appropriate, evidence-based care, the specifics of your own body, genetic issues, freak accidents) but when you're in the small percentage of people who lose a baby because of intrapartum issues or injuries, or have serious injuries to your own body, well, it effing sucks.  
 
And then once you're in the club no one wants to be in, you find out that the bad things are a lot more common than you thought.  My baby died and all of a sudden I knew thirty people whose babies also died.  In real life, not via the internet. 
 
Most of the time things do go well, but suffering is part of being human, and nothing we do makes us safe from death or pain.  And yet, just because we are all going to die doesn't mean you don't buckle your seat belt because you're just going around the block, kwim?  I'm not advocating for one kind of birth over another, but just for honesty about the fact that birth is not "safe."  We all have to come to terms with that fact somehow, but not by denying that it's true.  Admitting that birth is not safe is not negative thinking and it's not going to cause bad things to happen any more that admitting that driving is dangerous will cause you to get into an accident.  Birth is hard, it's beautiful, and it's a mystery and a miracle.  It's amazing that our bodies can do it and glorious when it goes right.  But it's not safe and I guess I'm kind of sick of hearing that it is.

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#47 of 132 Old 08-02-2013, 08:59 AM
 
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And then once you're in the club no one wants to be in, you find out that the bad things are a lot more common than you thought.  My baby died and all of a sudden I knew thirty people whose babies also died.  In real life, not via the internet. 
 

 

Cyclamen,  I went and found your post about your daughter.  I am so glad you are still here sharing your story.  It was so painful, so touching, and such an important reminder to me of how very precious a pregnancy in and of itself really is. A good friend of mine recently lost her pregnancy and I take nothing for granted. This memory of your daughter under the stars is just the most amazing and special way I could imagine honoring a child and I hope you and she will one day find each other again. Thank you for reminding us all of what is important.  Really.

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#48 of 132 Old 08-02-2013, 09:22 AM
 
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Cyclamen,  I went and found your post about your daughter.  I am so glad you are still here sharing your story.  It was so painful, so touching, and such an important reminder to me of how very precious a pregnancy in and of itself really is. A good friend of mine recently lost her pregnancy and I take nothing for granted. This memory of your daughter under the stars is just the most amazing and special way I could imagine honoring a child and I hope you and she will one day find each other again. Thank you for reminding us all of what is important.  Really.

 

I hope this very much too.  I really believe that I will; I believe that she and I remain connected.  Thank you so much for your kind words here and in other threads.  It's amazing how words can help, but they do.  I've been thinking about my daughter a lot over the last few days, as I'm coming up on the 100 day anniversary of her birth.  It's been so important to me to share her story - talking about her helps me.  I also appreciate that you've been vocal about your own birth and mothering experiences.  I think it's so important for women to talk about the things that have happened to us.  It's part of our wisdom, to know about all the different ways that life can be for each of us.


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#49 of 132 Old 08-02-2013, 12:36 PM
 
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That not being able to walk and talk through contractions isn't the best way to gauge the beginning of "real labor". For some of us, we don't reach that point 'til the end. I got to the delivery room no more than 5 minutes before my 2nd child was born, and had been at the mall right before that... at least I got to experience a completely natural birth after all. ^_^

 

 Also, we need more preparation for tearing, even after the first child. With such a fast birth, (2 pushes) it was pretty much inevitable. Tho at least it was only 1st-2nd degree, it's still not something I expected this time.

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#50 of 132 Old 08-02-2013, 01:03 PM
 
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Aint that the truth sethsfairy.

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#51 of 132 Old 08-02-2013, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not in the tiny minority in the general public, just here, which makes sense.  I realize I'm in the minority of moms here who did not and would not enjoy another vaginal birth. It probably has to do partly with me not being afraid to share an unpopular opinion and also being one of the people who came here before I had any birth experience.   There are times when I feel like I don't belong here, for sure.  

I think a lot of us have areas where we sometimes feel we don't belong. When people talk about vaccines is where I feel that. Hugs to you!
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#52 of 132 Old 08-02-2013, 02:46 PM
 
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That I could have opted out.....AMA against medical advice....of those heal pricks to check for hypoglycemia.
My son was 8 lbs and 14 oz and full term, nursed from birth and yet subject to the heel pricks, three of them. By the fourth i finally declined. The nurse said, that all the others had been normal, so she would not do another. He didn't even fit the criteria to begin with! He left the hospital almost at birtth weight a day and half later. We could have left a day earlier actually but my husband asked that we stay another day.......I digress.
Overall though the hospital staff was wonderful and followed my birth plan exactly (next time would include glucose testing wishes) and I really do appreciate the fact that the birth and staff were wonderful, and I birthed my son I way I had hoped to.
I just regret not opting out of the repeated blood glucose testing......FWIW I did accept the metabolic screen and no qualms with that testing.
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#53 of 132 Old 08-02-2013, 08:17 PM
 
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That I could have opted out.....AMA against medical advice....of those heal pricks to check for hypoglycemia.
My son was 8 lbs and 14 oz and full term, nursed from birth and yet subject to the heel pricks, three of them. By the fourth i finally declined. The nurse said, that all the others had been normal, so she would not do another. He didn't even fit the criteria to begin with! He left the hospital almost at birtth weight a day and half later. We could have left a day earlier actually but my husband asked that we stay another day.......I digress.
Overall though the hospital staff was wonderful and followed my birth plan exactly (next time would include glucose testing wishes) and I really do appreciate the fact that the birth and staff were wonderful, and I birthed my son I way I had hoped to.
I just regret not opting out of the repeated blood glucose testing......FWIW I did accept the metabolic screen and no qualms with that testing.

Glad you brought this  hypo test up, because I don't even remember it from my DS being in hospital.  I will ask about it. Thanks!

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#54 of 132 Old 08-02-2013, 08:29 PM
 
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I really wish I had researched more about induction before agreeing to mine with DS. I had absolutely no idea how many "fail" and result in cesarean section (as mine did). Before researching induction, I also had no idea that it really WAS okay to go well past the EDD. I got the dead/sick/too big baby card from my OB. 

I guess I learned that babies really should come when they choose.


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#55 of 132 Old 08-02-2013, 08:49 PM
 
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I really wish I had researched more about induction before agreeing to mine with DS. I had absolutely no idea how many "fail" and result in cesarean section (as mine did). Before researching induction, I also had no idea that it really WAS okay to go well past the EDD. I got the dead/sick/too big baby card from my OB. 
I guess I learned that babies really should come when they choose.


I Have had 2 friends with late babies that died... coincidence, maybe, scary none the less. I had my membranes stripped at 39 weeks.
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#56 of 132 Old 08-02-2013, 09:03 PM
 
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Glad you brought this  hypo test up, because I don't even remember it from my DS being in hospital.  I will ask about it. Thanks!
They usually only test your baby if he is big or you have GD. I'm VERY glad they checked my DDs. Her blood sugar was 17! I had GD and she was LGA. Anyway, she didn't even flinch during the heel stick honestly.

Wife to amazing dh, mama to dd 12/08
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#57 of 132 Old 08-03-2013, 10:29 PM
 
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Poop. Sincerely, I wish I had known I might poop while pushing a baby out. I was such an uptight young woman. I probably extended delivery 20 minutes because i was desperately trying not bear down that way. When I gave up and finally pushed how I neede to,, the baby was born within 10 minutes. But there was a whole lot of poop along the way.

The nurses thought they were doing me a favor by not complying with my doc's orders to give me an enema. I would have thought so, too! Enemas are a hold over from the old days! Well there's a reason women had enemas. oh well.

I couldn't speak about it for a few years after, and frankly it made me miserable.

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Edited for spelling.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#58 of 132 Old 08-04-2013, 03:13 PM
 
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I really wish I had researched more about induction before agreeing to mine with DS. I had absolutely no idea how many "fail" and result in cesarean section (as mine did). Before researching induction, I also had no idea that it really WAS okay to go well past the EDD. I got the dead/sick/too big baby card from my OB. 

I guess I learned that babies really should come when they choose.

 

Definitely this. Membrane sweeping lead to a C-section....all based on mother-age-related 'threats' (dying placenta, too big baby...etc).

In retrospect, probably hugely unnecessary - so what if she was going to be overdue by a few days.

Regret allowing myself to be bullied into the sweep - but then again, you seem to have zero choice, when faced with the enormity of the 'what if's' they present you with. No one wants to be responsible for even the tiniest amount of harm/distress to their unborn child.

 

Also - that my midwife, who had been on my pregnancy journey for months, was allowed to take a sleeping break just before I went for my section, and thus she missed the rest of events. Sleep?? What?? I didn't understand it - and resented being handed over to hospital staff. I never spoke to her about it afterwards - I should have.

 

Also - after a c-section, not being told/taught about proper massage techniques. 3 years later I seem to have mild adhesions, which give me pain pre-menstrually, and after a spicy meal (ahem). It's not super uncomfortable, but it could have been avoided maybe if I'd had a strict routine of appropriate massage (or something)?

 

Parenthood. Exhaustion. Anxiety. Nothing prepared me for any of this. Though, 3 years in, and with chronic insomnia...I'm perhaps a worse case than others (if my thread is anything to go by, I'm nearly the only one on the whole board with this problem!) Psychologically, and emotionally - becoming and being a parent is the hardest thing I've ever done...and I don't know how I'm managing (sometimes, I think, I'm just not). I had vague thoughts about a second child, but these have been kyboshed, by being too exhausted and frankly, too old.

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#59 of 132 Old 08-04-2013, 05:13 PM
 
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I wish I had known more about how difficult the postpartum period would be.  Breastfeeding was really hard to get started; I couldn't sit normally for a couple weeks; going to the bathroom was a small ordeal; and I felt like crying every day thinking I was doing a terrible job.  It was rough.  Although I suppose if someone had told me, I might not have paid much attention.  I was more focused on preparing for the birth that I thought everything afterwards would be difficult but ok. 




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#60 of 132 Old 08-04-2013, 05:30 PM
 
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Parenthood. Exhaustion. Anxiety. Nothing prepared me for any of this. Though, 3 years in, and with chronic insomnia...I'm perhaps a worse case than others (if my thread is anything to go by, I'm nearly the only one on the whole board with this problem!) Psychologically, and emotionally - becoming and being a parent is the hardest thing I've ever done...and I don't know how I'm managing (sometimes, I think, I'm just not). I had vague thoughts about a second child, but these have been kyboshed, by being too exhausted and frankly, too old.

 

 

No, no, no, you are not the only one.  I guarantee it.  hug2.gif  I don't know how reassuring that is to you, to know you're not the only one. Specifically the anxiety, for a lot of us.  The insomnia and anxiety make a nice little feedback loop, each feeding the other.

 

How old are you, may I ask?  Exhaustion and sleep deprivation aren't exactly the same, but both can be crazy-making and disheartening. They just take wind right out of your sails.  Sleep deprivation was my particular problem and I think it probably took years off my life.

 

Are you getting medical attention for your insomnia?  


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