10 Things They Don't Tell You About Having A Baby
Despite countless books on pregnancy and giving birth, nothing can prepare you for the joy and pain that is pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Throughout your pregnancy many people will tell you their story or how it feels to give birth. Keep in mind however, that each pregnancy and birth is different, and what some people go through you may never experience and vice versa.
We all know that pregnancy changes your life and your body, however there are some things not mentioned to mothers to be. Below are 10 things people don’t tell you about having a baby, that I wish I would have known before hand.
1.) Facial Hair
Your hair and nails will grow extremely fast. Most women may be excited to learn they are going to have beautiful long hair; however when you find out hair growth is more than the hair on your head excitement soon turns to horror. You may soon find hair growing on your face, breasts, and stomach.
I was in love with my new long nails, but when I woke up to hair growing on my stomach I was beyond mortified. 2 months postpartum I am happy to say the hair on my stomach stopped growing and my stomach is now hair free. The chin hairs however, are still going full force and don't appear to be going anywhere any time soon.
The best way to fight new hair growth is with waxing or tweezing. After pregnancy, hair growth tends to slow down and you will see a drop in excess hair on your body.
If you're pregnant with a boy chances are you will be more likely to experience hair growth, because for some reason boys make your hair grow faster than if you were to have a girl.
2.) Vivid Life-Like Dreams
If you could not remember your dreams before pregnancy, you are sure to remember them now. During pregnancy you are bound to have vivid and life-like dreams about everything from sensual to bizarre horror films. Your dreams are about to become your very own night-time cinema. Many of which I’m sure we would all love to forget.
Why do pregnant women have such vivid dreams and remember every moment of it? Blame hormones. Dreams usually reflect our emotional state and with our hormones and emotions on a roller coaster it only makes sense that our dreams would go along for the ride. The reason we remember our dreams, is due to the constant interruption of sleep due to bladder pressure, anxiety, and other pregnancy related sleep disturbances. The more often your sleep is disrupted the more likely you are to remember your dreams once you have awoken for the day.
3.) Your Breasts Will Grow A LOT
Nothing could have prepared me for just how much your breasts can grow. I knew tenderness and growth would happen, however growing more than a cup size I was not ready for. Around 6 to 8 weeks your breasts will start to grow and continue to grow until your pregnancy is over. Your breasts may also start to itch and get stretch marks as your skin stretches.
If your breasts grow as large as mine in such a short time, you may also be prone to leaking. I started my pregnancy with a 36C I was not ready to find I am now a 36DD! They not only hurt and were tender all the time, but they affected my back and shoulders as well. To help deal with the discomfort of your fast growing breasts invest in a few good supportive bras to release the pressures from your back and shoulders.
4.) Your Water Might Not Break
A woman's water does not always break. It is actually quite rare for your water to break on it's own. Even if it does break on it's own it is nothing like the movies. Most of the time your water breaking is like a small leak or several small breaks over time. It is more closely related to the feeling of peeing yourself, rather than the huge water balloon pop with water all over the place type breaks you see on tv.
With my son, my water broke 2 weeks early before labor was truly ready to happen. With my daughter I was almost 7cm and still my water had not broke. My ob went and broke my water causing me to give birth to my daughter less than 45 minutes later.
Each pregnancy is uniquely different for every woman. That includes how each individual woman carries each of her unique and separate pregnancies.
5.) You Will Likely Not Be Able To Eat
This will generally be the case, however it does depend on where you decide to deliver. Most hospitals for instance will not allow anything except water and ice chips. This is because they want to be sure your body is ready in the case you would need an emergency c-section. Doctors do not want any food to get in your airways if you need to be put under general anesthesia.
With my son I was starving. We went in that morning and he wasn't born until 11:18 p.m. The inability to eat for over 12 hours was draining and driving me crazy, which made it very hard to focus on the delivery. However, with my daughter she was born very quickly and I had no time to even think about being hungry.
6.) Pushing Might Take Awhile
In the movies it's always portrayed that the baby is born in just a few pushes or in 15 minutes or less. Don't be surprised if you are pushing upwards of 2 hours or more, especially during your first pregnancy. My first pregnancy was very long, including pushing for upwards of almost 2 hours if not more.
My daughter came in much less time, but I still had to push for roughly 30 minutes or more because she was sunny side up.
7.) Delivery and the Ring of Fire
Labor and Delivery is different for each individual, however everyone will experience some form of the ring of fire. The ring of fire refers to the baby’s head crowning. The reason it is coined the ring of fire, is because most people feel a burning or pulling sensation.
As someone who did not take an epidural and knowing nothing of the ring of fire I was pleasantly surprised to find that I felt no pain. I could feel the head crowning, however I lucked out on the burning sensation. In my opinion contractions are a thousand times worse than actual labor, once the pushing started I was pain free.
With my second, she was sunny side up and the ring of fire was by far the worst part of the entire labor. I made it to over 7 centimeters, without much pain and walked into the hospital being extremely dialated. Once my daughter started coming however, the realities of pregnancy and deliver all came rushing back to me.
8.) You Will Probably Poop
This might sound mortifying to most of us, however doctors and nurses are not phased. Doctors do not care and will not tell you that you have passed a bowel movement. The chances of you even knowing you have are also slim to none. With all the commotion going on surrounding the delivery you will not even care about it in the long run anyway. The doctors have it cleaned up so fast, it is as if it never even happened.
With my son I didn't even know I had passed a bowel movement, and in the end I didn't even care. So many people have their faces all up in your business at the end of the day all that matters is that beautiful baby you just delivered.
9.) Breastfeeding Might Be Difficult
If you choose to breastfeed be prepared to work a little or a lot. Not all babies are born with the knowledge to suck and may need to be taught how. Newborns with a small mouth may also have a hard time breastfeeding if your breasts are too large. Your milk supply and production will also affect how easy breastfeeding will be. If your milk comes out too fast or too slow your newborn will have difficulties breastfeeding.
I would advise not to leave the hospital until your newborn knows how to latch on properly and nurse without aid. What knowledge you take with you from the hospital will greatly help you with breastfeeding your newborn. No amount of reading can replace hands on learning from a professional.
Ask to speak to lactation consultant, unless you have a good nurse. My nurse was extremely rough and breastfeeding was painful and left me bruised and frustrated. (Breastfeeding done right should not hurt!). I left the hospital with a nipple shield and gave up breastfeeding after 2 weeks, due to the stress and frustration it was causing my son and I. Despite the troubles with breastfeeding I now pump so my son can still be exclusively on breast milk.
10.) You could get hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are the result of pushing long and hard during delivery. Most pregnancy induced hemorrhoids will go away in a few short weeks, it is rare that you will need to follow up with a doctor for further treatment.
To help ease inflammation use the provided peri-bottle during and after using the restroom. You can also invest in tuck pads which are premoistened with witch hazel to help ease discomfort from going to the restroom. Alternating cold and warm treatments can help speed up the healing process. Using an ice pack followed by a warm sitz bath can help reduce swelling and discomfort.
They say how you handle pregnancy runs in the family. In my case that was very true, my mom had 3 easy pregnancy and my first son despite being born 2 weeks early resulting in a very long delivery; was an easy pregnancy. Despite my daughter being born sunny side up, she too was an extremely easy pregnancy.
Not everyone will experience what I did. I was lucky and had a good experience with pregnancy and delivery. Pregnancy is a beautiful and life changing event. Despite the horrors and unexpected I would do it again in a heartbeat.
© 2013 Cholee Clay