When I started antenatal classes in what already feels like a lifetime ago there were times, I admit, I felt smug. Being the youngest of three girls and the last to ‘go’ out of my friends I had heard so much about pregnancy, labour and being a new mum. Being the book worm I am I read about what to expect. A lot. But there are things no one told me, not my
family, friends or midwives. Like wise there are things people told me I wish they hadn’t. I know everyone’s experience and list is different, but here’s mine.
What I wish I had been told.
1. That funny bump shape when I arched my back that cracked me up. Every. Time. I. Did. It. It’s a large separation of the abdominals. Stop doing it. It’s not going to be so damn funny after giving birth when you can park your car in it.
2. Nipples can get rusty pipes. Yep. Rusty pipes. That means one duct or more will not give you milky coloured milk at first but anything from, well, rusty coloured to black. Don’t freak out.
3. When second stage labour is too long. I knew some poor mums go a bit longer than others, even two hours. No one told me what was too long. Apparently 4.5 hours is. See point 4.
4. That long second stages are likely to cause full incontenance for several days, partial incontenace for several weeks, weak bladder for ever (well, actually that I knew from many labours). No one mentioned a bloody thing about prolapses. Or that I would have to give up running afterwards, which for me was like telling a fish to stop swimming.
5. That when a baby is really jammed and the ventouse only partly works you will be delivered of your baby in a way similar to a vet with a bouvine. Holy Cow.
6. TMI warning. No one said episiotomy cuts may not hurt at first and lull you into a false sense of security then hurt like crazy a week later. They may also pull apart a little and look like the stitches have come apart, that’s just the swelling going down (best to get it checked though I say). On the bright side you will be amazed at the contortions you can do with a mirror.
7. Not everyones milk comes in in 3 days. You may take longer. Your baby may refuse to get off your boobs untill, thank Christ, it does.
8. Now it’s finally in and bub’s content and sleeping you will be able to get some rest and get off you episiotomy scar, just in time to drench the bed in sweat because making milk makes you hot. Not so much in a sexy way as a sweaty spongy way. Though my partner did love my massive boobies to be fair.
9. Cancel your newspaper subscription. Your baby will be lost in mountains of unread papers still in their plastic wrap before you get a chance to look at even one.
What I wish I hadn’t been told.
1. You snap back, I was in my pre pregnancy jeans in two weeks. Pfft
2. You forget the pain as soon as it’s over. Pffffft
3. Babies sleep for an hour or more several times a day. Pffffffffffffft
4. The story about some persons sister, aunt, cousins friends neighbour whose labour was painless, they just farted and the baby fell out. Likewise the story that ends in tragedy, pregnant women in particular don’t want to hear those, numpties.
What I am glad I was told.
1. It’s worth it.
2. Unless it strikes a cord with you let all other advice run over you like water off a duck’s back.
3. Learn to let go of control. Before, during and after.
I would like to think that I am now prepared for a second baby if I do it again. I also know better than that now.
What are some things you would have in your list?