There’s a reason the blog has been on a hiatus for the past few week. This little guy, Connor, decided to show up 4 weeks early, on January 24 at 8:49pm, weighing 6lbs 8oz. After a few days in the NICU, we made our way home and have been spending the last few weeks getting adjusted.
While we took classes and had spoken to friends about the birth experience, there were still a few labor and delivery surprises. In honor of Connor’s birth, here are a few things I learned:
1. Water Breaking is Nothing Like the Movies.
In almost every movie with a pregnant character, you’ve seen the dramatic water breaking scene where a woman has a puddle of water between her legs. Truth – only 15% of women have their water break. My biggest fear was that it would happen while I was sleeping. At 4am on January 23, my water broke. And no surprise, I was sleeping. I thought I lost control of my bladder and I jumped out of bed. As I tried to get up off the toilet after going to the bathroom, I couldn’t stop leaking water. Unlike the movies, it was just a little bit at a time. We called the doctor’s office, and since I was at 36 weeks, I was instructed to head to the hospital. Since telling my mom friends this story, I’ve learned very few friends have actually had their water break until they were actually in labor.
2. Throwing up during labor can happen.
Contractions feel like awful cramps, and the way my body reacted was to vomit. Everyone talks about people pooping while giving birth, but no one warned me it could come out the other end. I threw up a few times during labor and spent almost every bad contraction dry heaving. If this happens to you, it’s normal – the nurses assured me this is just how it affects some people.
3. After giving birth, your legs will shake like crazy.
The moment this kid was out of me, my legs could not stop shaking. Here I was my son placed on my chest, and I couldn’t focus – what had just happened, did I really just give birth, and why were my legs convulsing? The reason for the leg shakes was the change in hormones. All these diaper TV commercials show this amazing skin to skin moment once a baby is born, but to be honest, I just blacked out. I was so overwhelmed
All these diaper TV commercials show this amazing skin to skin moment once a baby is born, but to be honest, I just blacked out. I was so overwhelmed after the 40-hour labor, lack of sleep, and now my body’s convulsing reaction that I can’t remember all the details of that moment. However, this may just be me – I barely remember what my husband said when he proposed so I may just black out during all life’s major moments.
4. The swelling gets worse before it gets better.
I was a swollen hot mess during pregnancy. I could wear only one pair of sneakers and spent the last few months without wearing my wedding or engagement ring. Even my snow boots didn’t fit. I couldn’t wait until this little guy was out of me to return to normal. But I quickly learned that it gets worse before better. After giving birth, the fluid needs to find somewhere to go, and it went right back to my feet and legs. I could barely get those one pair of sneakers on to leave the hospital. After 10 days, I looked down and saw my ankles for the first time in months.
5. There will be night sweats.
Not until getting discharged did my midwife warn me about night sweats. A few nights after having Connor, I woke up, drenched in sweat. This happened for about a week and a half where I’d wake up and felt like I had just been thrown into a pool. The good news? It has been the best diet I’ve ever been on, and I quickly lost 18lbs in water weight. The bad news? It’s gross and I’ve had a taste of menopause at 31.
I may have yelled at my husband during labor that Connor would be an only child. But after it was over, I realized I could do this again. Sure, there are some labor and delivery surprises I think of from time to time, but this little face is totally worth it.
If you’ve given birth, were there any surprises during your delivery?