First off to all the expecting mothers, Congratulations on this beautiful journey you are about to experience. Labor is a magical experience, where it shows you just how strong you truly are. Before I went into labor with Paighton I didn’t know any of theses thing about labor. I was honestly quite surprised at what I thought the process was. So ladies I’m here today to tell you the things I didn’t know about labor before I went in.
1. The Shakes
During labor many and most woman tend to shake uncontrollably. This is your bodies natural way to relieve tension. Shaking during labor can happen right before you start to push (this happened to me) my body didn’t feel cold, but science does say that your body has a drop in temperature and the hormones going through your body causes shakes before you meet your new bundle of joy.
2. Speed of Dilation
To be able to even be admitted to a hospital, most doctors won’t take you to a labor and delivery room till your cervix have reached four to five centimeters. Now other circumstances may apply if you are high risk or having contractions five minutes apart, lasting one minute long for a hour long. This is also known as the 5-1-1 rule. No one knows how long it will take you to dilate your 10 centimeters. To give you a image as to what fully dilated is, think about the size of a bagel. The physical act of dilating doesn’t hurt. In fact many mom’s will start to dilate weeks before they actually go into labor. Then some mom’s just naturally can’t dilate. When this happens medication can be administered to try and help the process. However in some cases medication doesn’t help and a C-section is provided. Each labor is different, you could be in labor for 24 hours with your first and end up dilating to full in 2 hours with your next child. With Emmalynn I went from 6 centimeters to pushing her out within 30 minutes.
3. The Afterbirth
The afterbirth is the process of delivering the placenta. This usually occurs right after you deliver your baby. Some moms get lucky and it just slips right out, right after they pushed out there newborn. However on many cases the doctors have to assist in helping the mom deliver the placenta out as well. If the placenta isn’t delivered fully it could cause the mother to have severe blood loss and potentially get an infection. During delivery of your placenta you still have to push it out. Your doctor or nurse will assist you in providing pressure on your abdomen when you push. The only pain occurs when the doctor provides pressure. This is because they want to make sure the placenta comes out fully in one piece.
4. Contractions after birth
You would think after you deliver your baby the contractions would go away. Well I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. The contractions aren’t as intense but they are still noticeable. The contractions help make your uterus contract to its normal size. With my experience with both girls I caved in and took a pain killer for the after birth contractions. I needed to give myself a brake since I just delivered naturally. With Emmalynn the contractions lasted a whole week after Emmalynn was born.
5. Using the bathroom after labor.
The first time peeing after labor can sting if you have stitches. And usually a nurse is with you to help you if you need it and to record how many oz you have peed. Usually the nurse will insert a fluid collector in the toilet. Your normal 1 minute routine to pee now takes 5 minutes to complete due to all the steps you have to take. It now consists of changing a huge pad, filling the squirt bottle up with warm water and “washing” off since wiping isn’t always recommend. Than finishing up with spraying dermoplast to help relive the pain and itching that could occur. Now pooping after child birth is always a flash back of labor. Your doctor will provide you with a stool softener and all I can say is you definitely would want to take it.
6. A massive period.
I bet you didn’t think you would be leaving in diapers too? The hospital provides you with huge pads and mesh underwear to wear over the pad. it can take any where from 2 days to a whole week to stop bleeding. You body did just create a human for 9 months.
7. Bloated Belly
You do not go back to normal as soon as you have your baby. Your uterus is still extended and needs time to heal and go back to his normal size. So instead of looking nine months pregnant you will look more in the range of 5 months! Now there may be some super humans out there that are reading this now and are saying “I went back to my normal size within the same week”. If that happened to you than good for you because it doesn’t happen to everyone.
If you happen to be having a baby with out pain medication than this applies to you. I’m not trying to scare you out of a natural labor but instead just trying to informing you. if you happen to be getting stitches (like mostly everyone) you will in fact feel the process of getting stitches. This isn’t painful because your body already has so much adrenaline in your body that it feels more like a sharp pinch. With my first labor my doctor gave me a shot to numb the area. This did not work in my case. With my second labor my doctor didn’t even bother with any numbing solutions and went straight to stitching. Luckily I only had one or two by the grace of God.
Labor can make you feel lightheaded. For me the feeling always occurred right before I started pushing. I have always asked for a wet wash cloth to put in my forehead. Labor takes all of your strength. It’s like a marathon you have to train for it. You have to learn how to relax your muscles breathe through contractions. You wouldn’t just wake up one day and say let’s go run a marathon without any training.
10. The Iv placement.
No one ever told me how bad the iv hurt, reason why it hurts is because it’s not in the normal placement as one may be used to. With Paightons labor my iv was inserted on top of my hand. This one didn’t hurt to bad, when the nurse inserted the needle blood started to spray out of the opening where they connect the fluids. Emmalynns labor they had inserted the needle on the side of my hand. It hurt for days, and was even bruised for a week after they took it out.
Labor is a messy, long, exhausting experience but it’s so worth it! I hope my 10 tips have helped you have a more of a understanding as to what you will experience. Enjoy laboring!