The Things No One Tells You About Giving Birthby Elizabeth MacDonald
Birth is messy and beautiful, a blessing and a curse. It is all empowering and defeating in the same moments. There is plenty of information out there about all things birth related, but yet there are still so many things that women are surprised by during their labors. Making sure you spend more time preparing for birth than you do updating your baby registry is a good start, but even then, there is so much to know. Remember that every birth is different, and you are meant to do this. But you are not here for the ‘Big Picture;’ you want the gory details. Without further ado, I give you…
The Things No One Tells You About Giving Birth
You are in charge of your body. It is your labor and the birth of baby. You have the right to make informed decisions regarding your experience.
You may be sent home if you are not in active labor.
You Will Doubt Your Self.
Taking classes will help you prepare.
You may vomit.
One intervention typically leads to another: There is a domino effect of sorts that occurs in our birthing culture, and it is the single highest reason so many women end up with unplanned c-sections.
An unmedicated birth allows you to go home sooner.
You will be a BIRTH WARRIOR GODDESS in all of your raw and powerful abilities.
You may become very attached to your birth team.
You will want to get naked.
You will not care who sees you naked.
You can say NO to interventions, and you can ask for other options.
Something that sounds scary may not actually be scary – it may be normal. For example, it is normal for the baby’s heartrate to drop during contractions (but it should recover afterward).
There are many terms that are thrown around: OP, LOA, ROA, Failure to Progress, Prodromal Labor, etc. They can be confusing and scary if not understood.
Even if you think you have it all planned out, there’s always something unexpected that happens.
Your water does not have to break before the baby is born.
You may bleed a lot. My birth pictures are in black and white for a reason, folks. It looks like a gave birth in a tub of blood.
You will most likely poop, and it is no big deal. Your birth team is used to it.
You may experience a “Ring of Fire” while pushing; an epidural does not numb this.
If you tear and need stitches, some doctors will do an extra “husband stitch” without asking. Oh yes, that’s a thing, and it is not okay.
You may want to close your legs and wish it all away (I promise it won’t work though).
Your birth plan CAN be and should be respected.
You can eat and drink.
An epidural is not a cure all; it can fade or not work at all.
You do not have to dilate 1cm every hour.
It is HARD WORK.
The end result gives you A BABY – a real live human being that is 100% your responsibility, and there is no instruction manual.
The high you feel is UNREAL. Thank you endorphins.
After birthing a baby, you still have to push out the placenta.
You will, over time, forget how hard or how painful the pregnancy or birth was, and you may want to do it again.
The experience will bring you closer to your partner than you could ever imagine.
The birth is the easy part…. Parenthood, though, it's everything you never expected it to be.