What you wish you had been told? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was just sitting thinking about DD's birth and everything that I had been (and hadn't been) told about birth and after the baby is here. What do you all wish you had or hadn't been told about birth and after the birth? Both with your first and more babies.

~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
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#2 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 11:37 AM
 
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That afterbirth contractions after your second child are worse than labor itself. No one warned me how awful it would be.
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#3 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 12:55 PM
 
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Afterpains do suck. I'm nervous about them this time being my third baby!

Nobody told me that if your birth doesn't go the way you expect, it can be really really hard emotionally. My first was an unexpected cesarean after a short quick labor. It was really hard for me.

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#4 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 01:01 PM
 
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I wish I'd known more about natural childbirth the first time around. I wanted to "try" to go drug free with DD#1, but noone told me that you need to prepare to do that. I just thought I'd grin and bear it and believed whatever the drs told me. I also wish I'd known more about breastfeeding.
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#5 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 01:19 PM
 
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I had read that hormones immediately postpartum were in crazy flux, but I had no idea what that actually meant. I was much more prepared to feel out of it after my second, and I knew that just because I had weathered the first three days or so didn't mean I still wouldn't get hit with a wave of nuttiness. For me, it was the fifth day postpartum, both times.

I also wish I had known just how much you can sweat and pee after birth! I swear I lost 5 lbs from water weight, all in two days.

Kash, homeschooling mommy to Gillian (8/5/00) and Jacob (3/23/05)
and Brigid Eleanor (11/20/08)
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#6 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 01:37 PM
 
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I wish someone would have told me that no matter how great i feel the first 2 days, the 3rd would be horrible. I think that is when I finally got of my birth high, my milk came in, and exhaustion finally set in as well.
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#7 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 01:55 PM
 
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Ditto on the emotions being all out of sorts after giving birth. Even when you think you're aware of them and you know it's your hormones, it would have been nice to know how severe it can be. I spent more time crying because I felt inadequate than I ever thought was possible. I didn't think it was normal, but it was.

Carrie SAHM to Nora Caitlyn (5) and Finnley Dax (2) homebirthing, breastfeeding, babywearing, intactivist, doula mama!         
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#8 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 03:01 PM
 
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I wish someone had told me that it is very common for women to pass BM during the pushing phase, especially when doing directed pushing. I know it's silly but just knowing that it's normal would have helped me not worry about it.

I'm in total agreement about the hormones/emotional state after the birth. Day 3 was the day I laid in bed after being up all night with a gassy DD crying because I thought I was the worst momma in the world.

I wish someone had told me that my hair was going to fall out a bit from the hormones a few months postpartum...and that it is NORMAL! I thought something was really wrong with me.

AugustineM... right on with how hard it can be when your birth doesn't go the way you expect. This experience is so emotional for all of us, I never realized how deeply it is tied to the core of our being.
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#9 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 03:03 PM
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well, mine's kind of petty...
but when we did the L&D tour, they were very clear to not bring in your stuffs, until you are definitely checked in and in labor. I guess b/c there are so many false labor visits to L&D and women show up with bags, pillows, and whatever else.
but I guess I don't look too bad when in labor, so by the time I was checked in and hooked up, turns out I was completely dilated and contracted less than 1 min apart. So dh didn't get a chance to go back to the car until a few hours after ds' birth.
which means we missed the inital photos, videos, and baby footprints in a book!! :
course in the big picture, none of that really matters. But this time, my bag ain't leaving my side.
which btw I packed this weekend.
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#10 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 04:01 PM
 
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I'll have to second (well, actually third or fourth?) the emotional roller coaster. Those first few days are crazy. (And it's totally normal.)

I also thought I'd be more collected and controlled after my second baby because I was aware of the inevitable emotional roller coaster. Nope. I was just as much a mess those first few days as I was the first time.

Getting ready for the third time around any day now.

Angela -- mama to Jack (11/03), Adeline (6/06), Ella (11/08), and William (1/11). Accredited Leader: Attachment Parenting International of Orange County.h20homebirth.giffly-by-nursing2.gif homeschool.gif
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#11 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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With the first, I wish I had known what I could say no to. I let them start pitocin immediatly because my water had broke at home, and I wish I would have known that it was ok to wait a little while to see if labor was going to start on its own. I also wish I would have known about back labor they never talked about it my childbirth prep classes. I think I would have been less scared if I had known why my back hurt so bad. and not to be TMI but it might be nice if you knew before hand that the first BM afterward can make you cry.


I agree with pp's about the hormones, each and every time, there is a couple day high, where I can't really relax to sleep, and everything seems wonderful, and then a crash where the least little thing makes me cry and feel like I am just made of glass.

also the after pains which last for longer it seems with each pregnancy.

one thing that I was told, but didn't appreciate at first, was the fact that giving birth will forever change you in ways you don't expect.
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#12 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 05:36 PM
 
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im glad I read this thread, because I had like NO afterbirth contractions at all with DS#1. So if I do after this one, i will be a little prepaired for it.

This is prolly TMI, but I had no idea what pushing was going to be like. And they had me start when I was still 9cm, because I wouldnt progress any further. I was not expecting to have to hold my upper body up myself and PULL my knees into my chest (what, no stirrups?), and the KIND of push it was, (simliar to a BM) I was so unprepared for that, i was actually holding back a little, because i was AFRAID of having a BM or peeing while I was pushing. It all seemed a little strange and unnatural, and I ended up having to push every 5-7 minutes for about an hour in a half! Finally, the nurse, who was fantastic, suggested maybe I get on the toilet and act like I am having a BM, see if that helps. Sure enough, I was on that toilet for 2 pushes and he was crowning. When she got me back into bed, she looked at me and said, Dont tell the doc i Had you do that, she'll kill me, i said, Hey, it worked didnt it?
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#13 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 05:42 PM
 
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One thing I wish someone told me was that some women DO get sore/cracked/bleeding nipples and there really is NOTHING you can do about it until your milk comes in. I was always told it was a latch problem, but nope, I'm just prone to it.

Also, I wish someone would have told me how bad ppd can get. I was miserable after my second, and ppd started the same day I gave birth.

Then there is the super dry skin after delivering. My skin dries up so bad, it peels.

I was very lucky though. I had people tell me about most of the other stuff. So it didn't surprise me too much.

Julie- living and learning with dh A and dc M (00), A (02), J (02), J (05), A (06), B (07), S (08), ? (10)
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#14 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 06:00 PM
 
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i never expected my boobs to REALLY get big AFTER being pregnant. i figured what i gained during pregnancy was it, boy was i surprised! i had no bras for awhile as "the girls" went a whole three inches bigger. whew!

i didn't expect to cry at commercials either. damn, the HSBC one with the tree hugger in love with the lumberjack gets me EVERY TIME i see it. my goodness.

and i never expected to fall helplessly, shamelessly in love with my husband again, since he has been so good helping take care of the little baby we made. the man changed ALL the meconium (SP?) diapers and brought the babe to nurse all hours after the c-section.

hormones and human bodies are amazing things!
and the changes they go through in this one (or two) years around a pregnancy is just miraculous.

louloubean in love with bryan, mom of boo squeak and nor nor: and 7 chickens
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#15 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 06:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patchfire View Post
I also wish I had known just how much you can sweat and pee after birth! I swear I lost 5 lbs from water weight, all in two days.
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#16 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 06:19 PM
 
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I wish I had known that the placenta can help or stop hemmorage!(I hemmoraged with #1,at home, no transfer, but not in the plan!)
I also wish I had known that placenta smoothies have no sign of placenta flavor or texture and ELIMINATE the bad hormones and anemia!!!!!Seriously!I wasted two perfectly good and needed placenta's!
I also wish I had known the afterpains are worse after each baby.BEFORE the second post partum!
I wish I had known to keep hydrated if you have stitches, or you feel your body tearing every time you move.
I wish I had known my boy babies are always 2 weeks over 40 weeks!
I wish I had gone to a LLL meeting before my first baby stopped nursing at 6 mo. old.

:::
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#17 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 10:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by two bricks shy View Post
I wish someone had told me that my hair was going to fall out a bit from the hormones a few months postpartum...and that it is NORMAL! I thought something was really wrong with me.
This was a HUGE thing for me. I have a ton of thick curly hair normally, and it doubled when I was preggo with K. When it started falling out, it did so in chunks, which actually isn't the norm. Mine did it because there was just so darn much that it would weigh itself down and pull out hair that was loose. It looked awful. I finally made the trip to the stylist who thinned it and did her best, but this time around, we've worked a plan for the whole pregnancy and after so that any chunky loss wouldn't be noticeable. I feel much better about it.

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Originally Posted by Baby_Cakes View Post
Ditto on the emotions being all out of sorts after giving birth. Even when you think you're aware of them and you know it's your hormones, it would have been nice to know how severe it can be. I spent more time crying because I felt inadequate than I ever thought was possible. I didn't think it was normal, but it was.
I have to add that it is the truth that PPD will sneak up on you if you have the "baby blues" and any setbacks or pain following birth. I was overwhelmed before I knew it, and I'm so anti meds that I just had to tough it out. This time, I'm ready for it, with an exercise plan in place and permission to forgive myself if nursing doesn't work out because I ran the gauntlet with my son and I don't need to prove anything to anyone (even ME!).

I also have to say that knowing yourself is a million times more important after birth. You need to know your thresholds and what you need, so that you don't push yourself beyond what you are capable of. It's important to be a good mom, and part of that is knowing what you need. I knew I'd never rest when I got home, so I stayed at the hospital as long as possible because there was nothing to do so I rested. I didn't do things like order a sling ASAP when my back ached from carrying a fussy baby, and that was a mistake!
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#18 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 10:36 PM
 
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Also, I wish someone would have told me how bad ppd can get. I was miserable after my second, and ppd started the same day I gave birth.
PPD for sure! No one talks about it. I had it really bad and didn't know anyone who went through it. I try to make a point of bringing it up with new moms. It is so important to talk about it.

Everyone said that pushing was like pooping and it was nothing like that for me. I didn't feel like I was having a bm. I thought that contractions were going to hurt my whole belly, but they were really low like bad menstrual cramps.

Mindfully parenting DD 8/04 & DS 11/08, Human beings are the only mammals who do not nurse their offspring to full term.
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#19 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 10:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Im glad to see a lot of people did know some of the stuff I didn't..
I didn't realize how emotional i would be after she was born. I went from crying to laughing to crying within a minute. I thought I was losing my mind.
I wish someone would have told me that sometimes you just need to ignore the nurse and go with what feels natural. With DD I had a ton of problems nursing and I almost gave up but when I followed my instincts it got a ton better.
Everyone told me that I wouldn't be hungry and would be exhausted after I had her.. I was STARVING. DH had to go get me food and I think I was more hungry then I think I had ever been before. I also was on such an adeline high that I didn't sleep the entire time I was in the hospital.
That you might get the shakes after you have the baby. I didn't know that and thought there was something seriously wrong with me because I was shaking so bad I had to hand DD to one of the nurses because I felt like I was going to drop her.

Im sure theres more but typing one handed is not something I do well and DD is sitting on my other arm.

~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
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#20 of 24 Old 10-28-2008, 11:16 AM
 
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Thanks for starting this thread, OkiMom, and for all the great replies. This has really made me start thinking about what might be ahead and I think I've been ignoring it just going through life as usual, la di da. Better to be prepared.

Especially interested to hear about the afterbirth being painful to deliver after the second baby. With dd my doctor pulled it out and didn't get all of it, so I had low milk supply until I finally delivered it five weeks later. It was an ugly scene that I do not wish to repeat. I'm glad to be more well informed these days. Placenta will come out on its own despite loads of pain!
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#21 of 24 Old 10-28-2008, 11:30 AM
 
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the hair falling otu thing was so scary for me! i called my mom at 6 months postpartum and thought i had some rare form of cancer and she tells me it's totally normal, why didn't anyone warn me?

i too felt euphoic for a few days afterwards, like really good drugs euphoric, which was great! the first time i nursed my son, which was 12 hours after his birth as he was in the NICU, i felt more "high" at one with the universe and in touch with my body then i have ever felt in my entire life, it was beyond orgasmic, it was psychedilic to quote Spiritual Midwifery. that was beautiful and no one could have prepared me for feeling that. i literally felt waves of ecstacy rolling up and down my body and DS's body, it changed me.

for the not so fantastic part, i say be warned about hospital birth in general, they most likely WILL try and "suggest" or push interventionsan your head will be foggy with labour and you might make choices you wouldn't otherwise do because you are completely vulnerable to your birthing practitioners at that point. my hospital "med"-wives msuggested stripping my membranes manually (holy ouch!), breaking my amniotic sack, taking an anti-hystamine to help me sleep (why should i sleep during labour if my body doesn't want to sleep?), and suggested nubaine which i took even though i had felt really strongly against drugs and even though it didn't help and may have contributed to my son's breathing problems that had him in the NICU for 4 days. i was also given an "emergency" 3rd degree episiotomy that i seriously don't think was needed.

what could i have done about the above? nothing, life happens as it is supposed to happen and as we make choices so i have no regrets but i DO have a strong resolve to make different choices this time around and fully take control of what i can which is why i am following my instincts and having a homebirth.
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#22 of 24 Old 10-28-2008, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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aris- I wish someone told me about how hospitals will push things on you as well. The hospital I had DD pretty much told me I was going to have an epidural and I was so exhausted and in so much pain I agreed. The person who removed it messed up and nicked my spine, I still have back problems from it.
I remember one more I really wished someone would have told me.. To freeze meals beforehand. I figured since it was my first and I didn't have any kids to take care of at home Ill be fine cooking. Nope, I was in pain from the tearing I had and by the time I got home I had started to crash from the high I got at DD's birth so I was in no shape to cook. It actually took me weeks to get back to my old self when it came to cooking and housekeeping.

~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
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#23 of 24 Old 10-28-2008, 12:08 PM
 
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With my first, I wish I'd known that I know more about what MY body needs than ANYONE!!! This includes well-meaning doulas, midwives, relatives, etc.! And in addition to knowing what my body needed, I wish I'd not been so afraid to hurt people's feelings by saying, "No", or, "this is what my body feels like it needs to do, so this is what I'm going to do...", etc.

I wish I'd been more educated about how incredibly fabulous the side lying position is for getting more sleep! I spent the first 2+ weeks of nursing having to get up, turn the light on, sit up, prop pillows around, nurse baby, try and lay baby back down, etc., etc. Once someone showed me how to do the side-lying position, I was a new woman (getting sleep for the first time pp, lol)!

Jesus-loving wife to my best friend and love of my life , mama to my boys and and our little one, who was blessed enough to go straight into the arms of God (11/09)
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#24 of 24 Old 10-29-2008, 07:27 AM
 
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ooh! good one!
i totally agree the side lying nursing is the best ever! i'm not sure which is the best part, sort of dozing or snuggling with an infant.
looking forward to that again :

louloubean in love with bryan, mom of boo squeak and nor nor: and 7 chickens
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