If only I had known

Posted on: May 20, 2011

When I was pregnant, all the women I knew made it a point to tell me their horrible labor stories.  “Oh, I was in labor for 38 hours.  It was terrible.”, “I ended up having to get a c-section because he wouldn’t come out”, “my doctor had to use forceps to get the baby out”, “I tore really badly”.  And on and on….I did my best to ignore them and hoped for the best.  Well, what they didn’t tell me was all that actually occurs when you’re in labor, give birth, and the aftermath.  Here are some things I discovered along the way.

1).  Why do I feel like I just peed myself? – Any time you watch any movie or tv show and a woman’s water breaks, it’s always this big dramatic thing and she gets this shocked look on her face and then proclaims “my water just broke”.  In real life, here’s how it goes:  You’re going about your day doing whatever you do and all of a sudden you feel wet and like you peed.  But, you know you didn’t pee your pants, so what’s going on?  You go to the bathroom to discover a clear liquid. Hmm…is it possible my water just broke?  You call the doctor and ask “when your water breaks, does it all come out at once in a gush or does it just trickle”?.  The nurse replies, “It can do either one.  If you think your water might have broken, come into the office and we’ll check”.   So, you and your spouse grab your overnight bag, head to the doctor/hospital, they check you out, and before you know it, you’re being checked in to Labor and Delivery.  

2). How many people work here? –  In your stay at the hospital, you will see as many doctors and nurses as there are grains of sand on the beach.  Each morning/afternoon/evening/overnight you will see someone new.  As soon as you get used to one nurse, a new one walks into your room to tell you he/she’s taking over your care.  It’s quite the circus.

3).  Will I ever sleep again? – Once you’re all checked into your room, hooked up to the monitors, breathing through your contractions, and awaiting the arrival of your little one, the realization comes over you that you will never sleep again.  It starts with labor and delivery and continues on after the baby is born.  I knew nurses and doctors would need to check on me and the baby, but what I didn’t know was that they would wake me up all night long to do so. REALLY?  I’ve just gone through 19 hours of labor, am getting up every 2 hours to breast feed, and now you’re coming into my room in the middle of the night to wake me up to take my blood pressure and temperature every couple of hours?  Oh, how I miss sleeping……

Stay tuned for more….

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