I did my fair share of reading during my pregnancy. I hate surprises…I need to know what’s happening, why it’s happening, etc. I learned as much as I could and felt somewhat prepared for each step of the way. Each new pain, soreness, symptom, and movement within was welcomed because, for the most part, they were expected. I loved it, loved being pregnant. If I hadn’t been too fat to skip, I would have skipped with joy on a daily basis. Then the due date came. And went. The doctor told me I was 3cm dilated one day and three days later, 1cm dilated. We planned on inducing if nothing happened on its own. This was something I hadn’t planned for. What was worse, the doctor said I might need a C section because Graycen was projected to be between 8-10 pounds and he wasn’t certain her head would fit through my pelvis. Each day past my due date was the longest day of my life. I was no longer skipping and singing with the woodland creatures, ala Snow White. I was gnashing my teeth and terrorizing the neighborhood. What’s worse is that I was finishing my capstone class for my M.Ed. and my teacher told me that she didn’t care that I was pregnant and that I was just trying to get out of work. Six long days came and went and I finally felt labor pains. I finished my homework, submitted it, and started timing my contractions.
I went into labor around 3am Saturday morning and had my baby Saturday evening at 5:58, after 23 minutes of active pushing. It was the hardest, easiest thing I had ever done in my life.
There was so much about my experience that I expected and so much that blind-sided me. So I thought I’d compile a list of things that happened to me that no one prepared me for, just in case someone comes across my list and I share something with them that they hadn’t heard during their research sessions.
- Morning sickness can be triggered by sounds. Taylor Swift, in particular. Every morning, I was commuting 30 minutes to work, fighting nausea every stinking mile, hoping I wouldn’t have to pull over to puke. It was an exercise in willpower for sure. That winter, Taylor Swift’s song Blank Space played every morning at like 6:54 am. And then I would pull into my spot at work at 7 and throw up. Just hearing that song makes my stomach hurt, even today.
- You can leak milk way before you go into labor. I think I was leaving wet spots every where two weeks prior.
- After you get through your morning sickness phase, and get into your “I could eat everything” phase, the baby will have grown and started to press into your stomach, giving you your own personal temporary lapband procedure. I was starving, but couldn’t eat as much as I wanted to. It was torture.
- I lost 35 pounds overall after it was all said and done. It is awesome. I credit this to breast feeding and not having the same wine drinking habit I had prior to being pregnant. I haven’t been this skinny in like 10 years. Go me.
- Everyone talks about problems with pooping during and post pregnancy. I had no issues with that. I’m sure you needed that information. What I did struggle with was feeling like I needed to pee for four weeks post partum. I would accidentally go all day without peeing. I didn’t have any urge to go. Then, I would think that was odd, so I’d go to the bathroom. And pee for minutes and minutes and minutes. So I recommend making yourself go to the bathroom even if you don’t have the urge because you could definitely end up with a bladder infection.
- Everyone says that if breast feeding hurts, you’re doing it wrong. They also say that the first three days after you come home from the hospital are hard in regards to breastfeeding and everything else that comes along with a newborn. I didn’t know that the baby would come out needing to learn how to eat. I knew that I’d have to learn, but for some reason, I thought she’d know how to breastfeed. Big. fat. nope. And it hurt for weeks. And I was sure I was doing it wrong. And I was sure I couldn’t make enough for her. We even started supplementing her with formula because she lost so much weight in the first 36 hours, waiting for my milk to come in. I hated every minute of breastfeeding. It was agonizing. Cracked and bleeding nipples are horrible…and that on top of a healing episiotomy…I was miserable. But one day, it didn’t hurt anymore. And she was eating and I wasn’t screaming on the inside anymore. Now, look forward to our private time together, and I never thought I would. I’m grateful I stuck it out. Trust me, it does get better. All of it gets better.