In the weeks leading up to Lucy’s birth, I really wasn’t worried at all. I had it all covered. While I was pregnant I researched all things baby, I read all the articles, all the books, and lived on Babycenter. There was nothing you could tell me that I didn’t already know. Or so I thought. Here is a list of things that I learned from giving birth, and the first few months following that I had no clue about.
1. Contractions are actually really painful. I was the chick who planned on going drug free, and thought I wanted a water birth! Yeah, that didn’t happen. I’m not upset at all that I barely followed my birth plan. Lucy was 2 days late when I started getting contractions and oh boy, were they like NOTHING else I’ve ever felt before. I had to endure 36 hours of contractions, coupled with little to no sleep, before the hospital would even admit me. I was sent home twice before I was finally allowed to stay! That epidural was a total lifesaver, I really doubt I would have been able to get through the rest of my labor without it.
2. Pushing isn’t painful like they make it seem in movies. It really wasn’t. At least not if you get the epidural, although mine was turned off before I started to push. It was exhausting, and I was tired, but it wasn’t painful.
3. What WAS painful was getting a catheter shoved inside me well after the epidural wore off. Apparently my bladder wasn’t functioning 100% so I had to get a catheter…which I tried to decline. THAT was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced.
4. Breastfeeding is not easy, by any means, and it’s totally okay if it doesn’t work out for you. As long as your baby is fed, no one should care whether its from formula or the breast.
5. Your baby does NOT come with a handbook, even though my boyfriend thinks they should. (He was terrific with her right away though!)
6. Have your car seat installed before you even go to the hospital to give birth. And don’t bother asking anyone there for advice, chances are they are not car seat technicians, and I’ve actually heard some hospital employees giving out wrong information about car seats. (Check out this Facebook group if you have questions about your car seat.)
7. Babies don’t always just go to sleep by themselves. When we brought Lucy home, we thought she’d sleep in her Pack & Play from day one! When we realized she was not going to go along with our wishes we had quite a few sleepless days where we took shifts holding her so she could sleep. Eventually we got things situated and she started sleeping very well.
8. Recovery from giving birth is way worse than the birth itself. Your sore, it hurts to pee, your hormones are crazy, your boobs are leaking…I could continue but I think you get the drift. I actually did not want to leave the hospital because I wasn’t ready to not be taken care of haha!
9. Postpartum depression/anxiety is a very real thing. Be sure to have a talk with your partner about it before your due date so he/she knows the warning signs to look for.
10. Enjoy your little one when they’re tiny because the days and months go by FAST! Lucy is approaching 6 months and I swear it was just yesterday that I was holding her for the first time. I know she’s still a baby, but she looks totally different now and has her own personality! I sometimes miss when all she did was cuddle and sleep with me.
Let me know your thoughts and if you can relate to any of these!