Sunday, January 26, 2014

Giving Birth, The Real Deal

I have always wanted to write a letter to those soon to be moms, or woman who eventually want to have kids. I felt like when I was pregnant (or even while we were trying), no one wanted to tell you what being pregnant or giving birth REALLY was like. As if telling me the truth was going to change my mind, or something. I eventually got pregnant, after almost a year of trying. When I did, I did what every mom does; that is, reach for all the known pregnancy books.

I read the What To Expect When You Are Expecting book, until about twenty weeks, then got completely bored with it. It was the same boring information week after week. I wanted a book that was going to prepare me for what was going to happen, talk about what I was going through. Anything besides what we should have already saved, purchased, or discussed certain issues. I want someone who was going to tell me things like, your hips might pop, and it will hurt. You might blow up like a puffer fish, but unlike that fish, you wont deflate!

I read somewhere about Jenny McCarthys book. I read it in one day, ok maybe it was a day and a half. It was soooo worth every second I spent on it. I laughed, hard; I cried, smiled, and enjoyed the real answers to some of my more intimate questions. If I would recommend a book to moms, it so would be that one, not what to expect.

Heres the link to purchase it: Belly Laughs

Well, after I read the book I then thought, gosh; what about this, or that, or even that???? My mind started going crazy for answers. I asked a few friends who I knew had babies, and honestly wanted to know what it was like for them. I have seen my best friend give birth, but seeing it, and going through it, is just so different.

My main question was, how will I know when I go into labor? Simple, those horrible side pains you get when you run too much, or when you get your period and you thought hurt like hell. Yeah those, well just know they feel something like that, but for some it can be worse, or not as bad. I had front contractions with my second delivery and the front contractions were so mild. I felt like I could labor like that for days, no problem. Now, BACK contractions are an entirely new ball game. No one really told me what they felt like, just that some woman get them, and they hurt. Geesh, I thought they would feel so lovely! Ok, in all seriousness, they hurt, yes! However, no one told me they felt like my back injury over and over and over and over again. I hurt my lower back a very long time ago, and had horrible back spasms, which is what these contractions felt like, but longer and more painful. I honestly had them for 5 days with my first! Yes, 5 days!! So, recommendations: ice or heat, whatever works for you. Hot showers, hot baths, heating pads, and a birthing/exercise ball were my best friends during my laboring time. I felt about 20% less pain during those times with those methods. Now, with front contractions, walking was the only thing that made me feel better. I just walked and they seemed less painful for sure!

If you want to read about my birth story with my second son, that is over here.

Myself and my son Jared.

Another questions was, whats it like during the pushing and giving actual birth? No one wanted to answers this question. For some woman, this is just an amazing experience, and its OH SO BEAUTIFUL... gag! Its not. It never was, never will be, and I just don't get it if someone says that. Ok so heres my answer, pushing feels like a lot of pressure. So much pressure on your tailbone, like a thousands bricks are sitting on it. You legs feel weak, your stomach still contracting, and everyones yelling at you like your about to win a game if you score this goal. Oh yeah, I went there! Wait, it gets better. After you push a few, what feel like a hundred times, you start to realize this is just too much. You simply can't handle it anymore, and so you say stuff like "I can't do this anymore, I just can't"; yeah, sorry but you kind of can't get up and just walk away. Other stuff you might say is "It really hurts", no shit, duh! "Just pull him/her out, just pull him/her out, NOW! Please!!" Sorry no can do, you have to do this. Oh and sometimes they ask you not to push, when its the most inconvenience to you and your vagina... yeah they say "Wait, don't push". More then likely they are doing something with the shoulders of the baby or even the umbilical cord. It hurts, its awkward, but its important; so don't push. After you get some of that tailbone relief, comes the part no one tells you about. The pulling of your skin, down there. The pain your skin feels as it stretches beyond belief. Yes, you might rip, mine was a cool lightening bold style tear! Only three or so stitches, some woman rip from one hole to the other, ouch! Don't worry you are so focused on most of the other pain, you really don't feel the rip, it sounds worse then it feels. Well, at least for me it did. Once the majority of the baby is out, then comes the final few pushes, which by now you feel like you have run a thousand miles, you can barely breath, and everyones telling you just one more push (as they have been probably saying since about 10 pushes back). So, eventually you get that last push in and the baby is out! Its the most amazing relief you will ever feel. Your entire body feels like it can relax. However, you still have to deliver the placenta, which feels a lot like a tampon, if you ask me. Just a very large one at that! Then, you wait for that beautiful baby to return (or come to you for the first time), depending on the type of delivery you have, and its the most peaceful moments ever. Minus the part where you get stitches, um ouch, put some numbing medicines in that will you! Then your legs feel like jello, your back hurts, your hips more then likely feel out of place, and the one thing you want to do is look at your baby all day and night! All of a sudden, you are not as tired as you thought, and you feel so completely happy (tears are usually involved at this point).

Myself and my son Brian, first born.

Whats it like after? Well, not so pretty either. Yes, you have this amazing bundle of joy, diapers, feeding (breast or bottle), and yet you still have to pee, poop (oh yes, you will do this), and you have the period of a lifetime! Once you are in your recovery room, you try to sleep; after all the phone calls, text messages, and visitors. Trust me, its not as easy as everyone says it is. Nurses, and aids are coming in all the time. They almost come every hour, and yes sometimes even at night! My first was born in the middle of the night, so thats when they had to do all his "daily" checks. Right when we all wanted to or were asleep! Grrrrrr You also have lots of blood. With my first, my platelet count was under 100, which means my body doesn't have enough iron. I changed my clothing, almost 10 times. It was rough. All I wanted to do was lay in a shower, and never get out. Pads are your friend, but I think a diaper would have been better! LOL I also had my hip pop out and back in while I was in the hospital, ouch. Yes, it hurts, and you might feel such things, but its just your body re-adjusting to your body being back to "normal". Also, you will be hungry. With my first son, I had contractions from Sunday night until I delivered him on Friday morning. I was having perfectly consistent contractions starting Monday afternoon. So, I rarely ate. If I ate it was almost nothing. Once I delivered, I ate all 3 meals they gave me in the hospital and I even made my husband get me two other meals (that was the first day). The next day, I had the 3 meals and a smaller meal. By the third day I was just having the three meals they were giving me. Be ready to be extremely hungry, and more then likely when you eat, baby will want to eat. He or she will cry for food almost every hour or every two. You will be exhausted, annoyed, angry, happy, whatever it is, you will feel them all at one point or another. Oh and your first poop... lets just say, it will feel like needles. So, take those stool softener pills they give you, they help! You can stop taking them after you poop the first time, it doesn't feel as horrible the second or third time. Also, expect to bleed anywhere from 2 weeks to possible 6 or even 8 weeks. With my first it was only 4 weeks, but my second I bleed for 6 weeks (remember that platelet thing, yeah doesn't help). The one thing I hated and didn't like, that no one mentions; the belly massage they give you. Some hospitals do it more then others. Its basically the nurse or whoever, coming in and rubbing your belly area. It helps shrink or make sure your uterus is shrinking. I had a guy nurse for one of the massages and it was so weird, I felt fat, ugly, and here this guy is rubbing all this fat, extra skin, and stretch marks... eewww! Your welcome!

My son Jared, on my chest, asleep!

Whats the worst part about being pregnant? Well, for me it was trying to sleep. Some nights I could never get comfortable, other nights I tossed every hour or so. My sleep was something I enjoyed, during pregnancy it was rough, really rough. Also, being kicked or punched during your sleep is just not how you want to be woken up. You also pee like 20 times a night! Another thing I hated during pregnancy, blowing up like a puffer fish (yep, I mentioned this)! I swelled up everywhere. Some woman are very lucky or blessed as I say, and never swell. With my first, I was swollen from head to toe. My feet were swollen, my arms, neck, cheeks, even my nose felt swollen. Don't worry it does go away; might take a few days, but it slowly goes away (after delivery). Some woman just get it during a certain time of the day (like woman who work). With my second, I never ever swelled. If I did, it was right after I went for a walk, and only lasted like an hour at most. It also was only in my feet. Oh another thing that was horrible during pregnancy, the pain you get in your arms or hands. Its typically called carpel tunnel, but during pregnancy its literally just during pregnancy. It will just go away, like that, right after birth. I had it really bad with my first pregnancy. I would run my hands under ice cold water, or put ice on them. It just hurt, all the time! With my second pregnancy, it would come and go. I would get it while doing the dishes, or if I was hand sewing or other small like tasks. Ice or anything cold was my only relief!

My son Brian, asleep... finally!

Thats about the only things I can think of, but if you have a question and you want me to be brutally honest, leave a comment and Ill give you the answer!

Remember that you didn't make this baby alone, so give the diaper duty to your husband until he has to go back to work, or until you are up and walking. Also, rest when you can! Yes, everyone will tell you this, but its true. The babies don't always understand night vs day, so nap when your tired and the baby is asleep. If you feel great, then do a load of dishes or laundry, but watch out, you might get tired, really fast. Its okay, your body just created, and gave birth to a living human being; its amazing, so its okay to be exhausted after you walk 5 feet. Tell your husband that! Don't feel this huge weight on your shoulders if breast feeding isn't for you! I talk a lot about that and formula feeding over here and here! Check it out!

Well, I hope this has helped a few of you ladies out there. Remember, if you have any questions, feel free to send them my way!

Happy Baby Making or Baking,
Sarah

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