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

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Old 07-17-2005, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

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Old 07-17-2005, 05:04 PM
 
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That you can have a cervical/uterine prolapse!!
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Old 07-17-2005, 05:09 PM
 
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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.
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Old 07-17-2005, 05:13 PM
 
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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.
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Old 07-17-2005, 07:04 PM
 
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* 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!
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Old 07-17-2005, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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Old 07-17-2005, 07:27 PM
 
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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!
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Old 07-17-2005, 07:29 PM
 
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oh and DITTO on the weirdo night sweats! and that shoulder dystocia is not necessarily a crisis and that midwives rock
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Old 07-17-2005, 07:30 PM
 
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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.

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Old 07-17-2005, 07:32 PM
 
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... 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.
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Old 07-17-2005, 08:30 PM
 
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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?

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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Old 07-17-2005, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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. "

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Old 07-17-2005, 08:39 PM
 
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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.
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Old 07-17-2005, 08:50 PM
 
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That you can do everything right to prepare for a gentle natural birth at home, and still have it go frighteningly wrong.
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Old 07-17-2005, 09:08 PM
 
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That afterpains would hurt so freaking bad

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Old 07-17-2005, 10:11 PM
 
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That you can tear your urethra and pee like a shower head instead of a straight line - for like months!
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Old 07-17-2005, 10:58 PM
 
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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.
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Old 07-17-2005, 11:02 PM
 
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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!
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Old 07-17-2005, 11:08 PM
 
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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.

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Old 07-17-2005, 11:15 PM
 
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How long a extended prodomal labor actually could be.. *(we're talking about several days over here)
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Old 07-17-2005, 11:16 PM
 
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thought of one more....

no one told me (or if they did, i didn't pay attention) how hard introducing a baby can be on the marriage relationship.

we're just over a year postpartum now and life is really good but oh man...those first few months....sleep deprivation...adjusting to life as a SAHM...dh working crazy hours...dd screaming if anyone other than me tried to hold her...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.
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Old 07-17-2005, 11:21 PM
 
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How did I forget all this stuff? Oddly, I loved this trip down memory lane . . . the surprising pain afterward, the night sweats, the difficulty sitting down for a couple of days, the giant maxi pad from the hospital and the need for it, the first scary poop. Oh, and how about that 6 month-pregnant belly I carried around for 6 months.

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.
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Old 07-17-2005, 11:30 PM
 
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prodomal labor for days? try weeks. with my second it lasted for almost a month.

other things ~ that you can swell up so bad you can't pee. THAT was terrifying.

that position makes a HUGE difference in whether you tear or not.

that after birth, you can still feel sexy, radiant, beautiful, and goddessy! and still want It, even immediately after giving birth. (i modeled nude for an art class about 6 weeks after my daughter was born, and at one point i started leaking ~ and i felt so much like a GODDESS just sitting up there, radiating with birthy energy and dripping silver life... )
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Old 07-17-2005, 11:41 PM
 
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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???'

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Old 07-18-2005, 12:44 AM
 
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That love at first sight *DOES* happen. Or maybe I just never believed it, lol.
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Old 07-18-2005, 01:36 AM
 
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:

i wish i knew:

~ that it would sting when i went to the bathroom and how much it hurt to sit down/get up from a sitting postion

~ how bad it hurts when the milk comes in. my boobs were huge and soooooooo sore
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Old 07-18-2005, 01:02 PM
 
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I wasn't prepared for the emotions of it all. Radiantly happy one second. Weeping the next. Oh. And the night sweats. I had been warned... but who knew they could be that bad!
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Old 07-18-2005, 01:11 PM
 
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the one piece of advice i did not have with my first but desperately needed was that pushing felt like pooping. maybe i'm a total idiot, but i did not know that and NO ONE thought to tell me that in my pregnancy! i never came across it in written word either. even took a baby birthing class. so needless to say as i was pushing my baby, i thought what an awful time to have to take a poop, and was trying to hold the poop in while pushing. i'm amazed i ever got that child delivered!

so, i always tell mom's-to-be to watch for that feeling.
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Old 07-18-2005, 01:25 PM
 
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I didnt know that I would throw up. Multiple times. Yuck.
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Old 07-18-2005, 01:49 PM
 
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after DD1 was born - I wish I had known how hard it can be to breastfeed. That it doesn't just come naturally. That it can be lots of really hard work. I honestly thought that if mama dog can do it, why can't I? I didn't know babies sometimes need to nurse all night long. I didn't know how terrible schedules were for newborns. I didn't know my pediatrician would threaten to take my baby away from me if I didn't give her formula. I didn't know a lactation consultant was so important. I didn't know my cesarean incision could split open and pour out sticky yellow liquid (seroma). I didn't know lochia could last two months. I didn't know the bladder problems I had during pregnancy would last well into the post-partum time period. I didn't know that giving birth could be such a traumatic experience.

after DD2 was born - I didn't know, had absolutely no clue how easy everything can be!! I didn't know that I could birth vaginally with no swelling whatsoever down there! I didn't know that breastfeeding could be so easy. I didn't believe that "easy babies" really did exist. I didn't know that lochia could last only two days. I didn't know that some babies really do sleep 7 hours at night within their first week.
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