What did no one tell you about birth/postpartum that you learned the hard way? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 172 Old 07-19-2005, 03:16 PM
 
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My kids were both born at home (my second in the water), and I didn't know:

~what "transition" was or means to your labor, and that it can hit you like a mac truck! I'm sure I had been told, but I guess I wasn't listening!
~how hard "recovery" can be. I honestly had no idea, even though I felt I had read everything.
~how fast, easy, and amazing your second birth can be, and that it makes recovery a million times better!
~how the second baby changes your marriage and can be a huge struggle. I had NO idea it was "normal" for it to be so difficult after your second baby, but my sister's therapist said it was extremely common. I'm so glad we made it through, but there were days I didn't know.
~AND that there is such thing as post partum ANXIETY!!!!

I'm so proud and happy for both of my births and wouldn't change either for the world. But I am sure to tell expectant mamas to be prepared for transition, recovery, and the changes a 2nd child can bring (in a loving, non-scary way, of course!).
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#62 of 172 Old 07-19-2005, 04:58 PM
 
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Ditto on the post-partum piles and overall "leakiness". I wasn't prepared for that at all the first time. Also, my first ds was posterior and I definitely wasn't prepared for that pain and duration of labor. (29 hours, unmedicated )

On a more positive note, I also wasn't prepared for the love at first sight or the fact that when I took a little time for me that I would miss my baby so much! All the "leakiness" in the world is totally worth it when I see that gummy smile!
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#63 of 172 Old 07-19-2005, 05:00 PM
 
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That uterine massage is horrible, horrible
I must confess that whe the student nurse took over the uterine massage and was not doing it anywhere near hard enough, I didn't say anything...

And I was epiduralled! Can't imagine the pain of it undrugged.

I remembered another one - that once the baby is out you won't feel the contractions, so if they turn the pitocin up to say, 800, it won't hurt, even when 18 hurt like hell a few hours before.
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#64 of 172 Old 07-19-2005, 05:09 PM
 
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I wasn't prepared for the emotional vulnerability that hit.

I was always this very outspoken, I-know-what-I-want person but BAM my son was born and I can see how people get reailroaded into switching to formula, circumcizing and anything else. They could have told me I had to hang my son upside and I would have done it. Luckily I had really done my research and knew what I wanted but the day he was born I would have signed my life over had I been asked to.

For me I was surprised that recovery and the whole deal was so easy. I had a c-sec because my son was a footling breech and so I had no choice and no labor. The procedure was painless, fast and I was off pain meds at home 3 days later, out and about in the neighborhood within a week. Granted I had huge boobs and ran a fever due to my oversupply. The loss of a vaginal, natural birth was something that hit later and that I still work with all the time as I try to TTC #2 - but other than being alarmingly surreal - my son's birth was painless (physically) and recovery was fine but smelly!

The dh working through thing is still happening in my house - it's been 2 years for us and still haven't gotten to a really good place yet - but I married him for life not just for this year and last year and I trust the ebb and flow of all things. Just looking for a little flow.

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#65 of 172 Old 07-19-2005, 05:50 PM
 
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what a great thread...

I never realized that when the books talked about 6 weeks of recovery (and lochia) they meant it.

I also didn't realize that I would be dealing with my healing and post-birth pains, breastfeeding challenges, sleep deprivation, changes to our marriage, and extreme emotional swings ALL at the SAME TIME!

I also didn't know that birth could really be a fun, not just miraculous, experience-- even with all the hard and scary parts.
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#66 of 172 Old 07-19-2005, 07:21 PM
 
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No one told me that sex would be so difficult afterwards because of breastfeeding. At like 6 months postpartem I still could hardly have sex, even with lots of lubrication because it burned and felt like it wouldn't stretch. I finally went to a lady Dr. about it and she gave me premarin cream to rub down there and it really helped, BUT it also made me start to have a period and gave me my first clogged ducts so I stopped using it after about a week. I then went back to her and she told me that wasn't possible because it's such a low dose of estrogen BLAH! I have to say that I'm very sensitive to hormones.... I am now going to a midwife that I really like with baby #2 and she said it's perfectly normal to not be able to have sex like a normal person for up to a year postpartem. Great.... after my husband thinking horrible things about me and me thinking there was something permanently wrong with me because of my yucky Dr. for ds#1. Just so you know
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#67 of 172 Old 07-19-2005, 10:26 PM
 
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Having a vaccum delivery hurts more then any other part of labour or delivery.(for me at least)

Delivering the placenta felt really really good :

That having a bowel movement for the next 4-6 weeks will be more painful and scary then almost any contraction..so bad that DP has to hold your hand. I can thank a 4th degree epistomy and tear for that.

The first few weeks you leak out of almost every opening of your body some kind of fluid..I am surpised my ears didn't leak something. And you will never feel more unattractive in your life.

That after 6 weeks of lochia and EBF almost hourly for months your period would still return at 12 week PP and like clockwork every 26-28 days after that. No rest for the weary.

Hmm all for now.
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#68 of 172 Old 07-19-2005, 11:12 PM
 
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that reminded me of something too.. both my kids were EBF for over 6 months, every 2 hours, (at least! usually more often!), day and night.. and with my 1st, my cycles returned at 5 1/2 months PP, and with my 2nd, 7 months PP. the really odd thing is, with my first, the cycles were really regular "normal" (for me), 28 days, exactly... and with my 2nd, my cycles are still screwed up.. some 15 days, some 32 days! i swear if i get PG again any time soon, it will be hard for me to get a good EDD, i know my LMP, but the cycle lengths are screwy didn't know that could happen!

Momma to K ('01), E ('03) and A ('07)
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#69 of 172 Old 07-19-2005, 11:43 PM
 
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Yeah, I'll second the pooping thing. It sucks. It sucked worse after my first - it was a good week before I'd poop, and even then it was a half crouching tongue biting affair. UG. Better and faster recover after my first.

That position of the BABY is a HUGE factor in how well, fast, easy your labor and delivery are. And the mother has NOTHING to do with it! She could maybe work with the baby and try to swap around a breach into a vertex presentation, but that's about it. Youneed an EXCELLENT really skilled and very experienced doctor/midwife to get babies to come out easily if they are in a tough position. Mostly, you need a LOT of support and not a lot of interference.

That you shoud stay in BED for 3 days after birth, whether you want/need to or NOT! I took 2 days and on the third went downstairs and I now wish I'd kept that 3rd day for just my me and my son. We both were still quite tired. We were only downstairs for a few hours, maybe four, but it was too much. And looking back, we can't get those hours back, but we could easily have put them off for a few days...

Mama to B and O , wife to J and me to me! :
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#70 of 172 Old 07-20-2005, 12:08 AM
 
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gosh, there is so much. I had a great birth, and love my son so much, but it just feels like I have learned SO much after his birth, that could I do it over, I would do things differently.

I wish someone had told me that:

YOU MIGHT HAVE TO HAVE YOUR PLACENTA MANUALLY REMOVED. OW!

6 weeks is an ESTIMATE (I bled for 9!!!!!!)

how my first emergency trip to Target wouldn't be for diapers, but for BREAST PADS.

I'll ditto pushing=pooping and BF difficulties.

Most of all, I wish someone had told me how emotional talking about and reliving the experience would make me for MONTHS. I still get really choked up. I keep trying to write my birth story and just end up in tears. It wasn't horrible at all (unmedicated, hospital birth) just SO emotional. And DANG, I love this baby. I mean LOVE. I know you know what I mean. Is it possible to love #2 this much?

Jodi -full time working wife to a SAH Papa; mama to my boys Breck (12/04), David (09/07), and Elliot (01/10); always remembering our loss, Jordyn Justine (09/06)

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#71 of 172 Old 07-20-2005, 12:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by jmhammond
Is it possible to love #2 this much?
I was so scared it wouldn't be but #2 was sooooo easy to love. It was almost overwhelming. Like I said in a pp, it took a little time to develop those feelings with dd1 but with dd2 they were instantly there. And somehow those feelings didn't detract from my feelings for dd1 at all. Amazing how that works.

Mama to four remarkable kiddos, all born at home.
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#72 of 172 Old 07-20-2005, 01:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jmhammond
Is it possible to love #2 this much?
Yes.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

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#73 of 172 Old 07-20-2005, 01:25 AM
 
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I wish someone would have told me:

that every emotion is intensified postpartum

that you can feel sexier and more in love with your partner than ever

that sex could feel totally normal and painless 3 weeks after giving birth (soooo glad I didn't torture myself and wait the arbitraty "6 weeks" )

that although I was totally prepared for painful sensations in my vagina that all the pain would be concentrated in my butt- feeling like I am going to rip apart due to a giant poop :LOL

that I would walk like a penguin for the first 4-5 days

that although the afterpains were bad, I wouldn't care because I would just be thankful to not be in labor anymore

that PP bleeding can stop, and start back, and stop, and start back (especially if you climb 3 flights of stairs 2 weeks PP)

to expect to do nothing but nurse all day for about 5 weeks

to expect to wake up in the middle of the night laying on a sheet that has been soaked through with milk and still have my breast feel like sore rocks

that a colicky baby can be born to even the mellowest parents

that my breastfeeding breasts would look so darn good

that even though things are hectic to make sure to take lots of pictures and use the video camera! before you know it the dust has settled and the baby is 4 months old!

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#74 of 172 Old 07-20-2005, 01:25 AM
 
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That I would loose so much hair

I don't even have enough to begin with, WAH.
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#75 of 172 Old 07-20-2005, 01:26 AM
 
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-you could have contractions that don't hurt and still be in labor.

-that people do actually give birth in cars on the side of the freeway :

-that when you start feeling hysterical at the thought of having to deal with one more contraction, you are probably in transition, and it shouldn't be that much longer.

-that your body knows exactly what to do- that my body would have pushed out my baby whether or not I conciously helped!

-that birthing a baby (with or without medications, or a hospital for that matter) would be so incredibly empowering and life changing.

-that I would so much rather tear than be cut. (I had an episiotomy with my first birth, and tore through to my rectum, and up through my clit and urethra with my second- they both healed at the same rate!)

-that unless I have a huge, life threatening emergency, I will never see an ob/gyn again.

Violin teaching, doula-ing Mom to Abby, (8) Ashlynn, (6) : and Max (11/13/08) Diagnosed with Metopic Craniosynostosis. First surgery 5/1/09, Second surgery March 2010.
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#76 of 172 Old 07-20-2005, 11:36 AM
 
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-That you should plan for a natural, unmedicated birth, but ALSO know what you would want if something should go wrong and you need medical help. We weren't at all prepared for what to do if we needed interventions -- and trust me, we did.

-Ditto to what a pp said about losing tons of hair postpartum. Holy moly, that was weird and scary!

-That my child might really appear to hate her father as an infant. That having Daddy hold the baby for an hour when he came home from work would just NOT work, because baby would scream so hard that it would make dh and I cry too. That her dislike of my husband, her father, would break all of our hearts. And then, that within a few months, that problem would dissolve overnight, and now, at age 3, that she would be totally in love with her daddy.

-That I would be so satisfied, in the early weeks, by accomplishing the smallest tasks each day -- like unwrapping and putting away ONE baby gift.

-That I would be willing to put up with almost anyone I normally couldn't stand if they could hold my baby without her crying.

-That it was entirely possible for a baby to be generally miserable and hysterical for many months, then wake up one morning and be generally happy from then on!
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#77 of 172 Old 07-20-2005, 12:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fiddledebi
-That my child might really appear to hate her father as an infant. That having Daddy hold the baby for an hour when he came home from work would just NOT work, because baby would scream so hard that it would make dh and I cry too. That her dislike of my husband, her father, would break all of our hearts. And then, that within a few months, that problem would dissolve overnight, and now, at age 3, that she would be totally in love with her daddy.
my first born loved his daddy holding him from the start, where as my DD took at least 6 months for her to allow her daddy to hold her, even for moments... i could have her nursed and blissfully happy, and then when daddy wanted to hold her, it was instant screaming poor daddy just wanted to hug his baby!

Momma to K ('01), E ('03) and A ('07)
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#78 of 172 Old 07-20-2005, 12:54 PM
 
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I am the oldest of nine born at home.

I recall seeing my mom and my newborn sibs.

No surprises here, except to say that I felt the labor and the baby was mine this time!

My four - all born at home.

s
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#79 of 172 Old 07-20-2005, 01:13 PM
 
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that mastitis is more likely in subsequent births just by virtue of being exhausted and it "ain't no fun" chasing older kids and nurturing a newborn while laid up with the ickies......

BUT that a compress soaked in castor oil between the breast and a heating pad helps the blockage tremedously and reduces the likelihood of it recurring in the same spot.
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#80 of 172 Old 07-20-2005, 04:10 PM
 
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Kate, I didn't know that about the castor oil....interesting!

And what are the "piles" (in relation to after birth)??
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#81 of 172 Old 07-21-2005, 12:32 AM
 
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No one mentioned that seeing my husband become the most amazing father would make him sexier than he'd ever been
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#82 of 172 Old 07-21-2005, 12:58 AM
 
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emmajean: yeah, an ND taught that to us (circle of friends), something about the plug being equated to scar tissue in a sense and the castor oil helps to break that up and that if you don't do something to "break it up" the body will more prone to plugs in the same spot...curious stuff, huh? mind over matter??? who knows! it has worked for me either way!
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#83 of 172 Old 07-21-2005, 01:22 AM
 
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No one told me that your ribs can hurt from the baby using them to push off on during birth. Thought I broke something!

No one told me you could get an anal fisure pp. That was a lovely surpirse : .

No one told me about SPD - its like some big hidden secret. Oh that pelvic pain is normal my butt.

No one told me how hungry I would be immediatly after giving birth.

No one told me how thirsty you get bfing.

No one told me that sometimes bfing is hard because the baby doesn't know how to suck.

No one told me that afterbirth pains can actually not get worse with each one A little hope for you ladies. #5 pp pains didn't hurt at all. Which was quite the relief after I passed out from the pain with #4.

No one told me that using those awful disposible pads pp can dry you out like a desert. I finally got smart with #5 and switched to cloth pp and no more dryness!

No one told me I would pass out from exhaustion each time I would bfed because the hormones make you totally relax. Maybe thats just me though.

No one told me that you could have freaky waking dreams the first few days pp.

No one told me you could have too much milk.

No one told me that babies can spit up out their nose lol.

No one told me how sick you can get with mastitis.

Ditto the shakes and night sweats and scary bms.

Funny this isn't really making me look forward to giving birth again lol.

Michelle

Expecting #9.  Always busy hsing.
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#84 of 172 Old 07-21-2005, 10:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WinterBaby
No one mentioned that seeing my husband become the most amazing father would make him sexier than he'd ever been

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#85 of 172 Old 07-21-2005, 11:13 AM
 
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I wish someone had told me that you might not feel it when you tear. I didn't feel it at all when it happened. Everything was completely healed and "fully functional" by 3 weeks post-partum.

My entire body was sore after giving birth, the muscles in my arms, legs, abdomen - wow! I think it was the biggest workout my body ever had. The rest of my body was much more sore than my yoni was.

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#86 of 172 Old 07-21-2005, 11:26 AM
 
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No one told me that my whole body would hurt, either! My arms kept falling asleep when i held dd for the first day

No one told me that 3 months of partial bedrest (more like house arrest) would do so much damage to my muscle tone, stamina, endurance, etc, that i'd be physically EXHAUSTED from walking up a flight of stairs even months after giving birth.

No one told me how much i'd want to hibernate & not have any visitors AT ALL after giving birth, especially once i was home. If i ever have another baby, we're putting a sign on the door with a picture of a sleeping baby telling people to go away
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#87 of 172 Old 07-21-2005, 11:38 AM
 
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that you can tell people to go away and stop telling you how YOU feel and that you are in pain. The only reason I let them do an epidural was because the stress of having people telling me I was in pain was pissing me off and that made the pain difficult to handle. To this day, dh acts like my savior over this! I didn't want meds and was doing fine.

that I really should have trusted my own instincts

that my cathererator would cause me to get UTIs at the drop of a hat later

that Chinese food with a good mamma friend full of love and support is the best medicine. My friend was so amazing. She was supportive, and even though she was never able to b'feed, she had fabulous tips that made a large difference the first couple of days.
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#88 of 172 Old 07-21-2005, 11:49 AM
 
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Nobody told me that the "baby blues" weren't just crying over the baby. Sounds dumb, but I was surprised when I found myself crying because my hubby wasn't home quick enough from the groc. store.
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#89 of 172 Old 07-21-2005, 12:27 PM
 
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Not sure if anyone has mentioned this-

But no one told me that after having a baby, you kinda smell bad for a while. I think it has to do with all the hormones breaking down and being excreted through the skin.

I forgot about being stinky untill I was near another new mom who was exercising and noticed her being kinda ripe. Then I remembered it. I don't remember how long it lasted, but it seems like there was at least a week there where I couldn't take enough showers!

Weird, huh?
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#90 of 172 Old 07-21-2005, 04:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobica
No one told me that 3 months of partial bedrest (more like house arrest) would do so much damage to my muscle tone, stamina, endurance, etc, that i'd be physically EXHAUSTED from walking up a flight of stairs even months after giving birth.
No "house arrest" for me, but you did just remind me how out of shape I felt for a few months after the baby. I remember taking walks and having to tell my husband to slow down, and wondering if I'd ever get my old healthy-feeling body back.
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