The process of having a baby looks different for every family and every woman, and while I am a firm believer in learning to go with the flow as a parent, I also am a big believer in sharing our truths as moms. Those of us who have “been there” in the trenches of pregnancy and giving birth and having babies owe it to each other, ourselves, and our fellow mamas to tell it how it is.
If you’re expecting a baby or recently had a baby, here a few things that nobody tells you about welcoming a new little one — and they actually might just surprise you.
Labor can be um, kind of boring at first.
Don’t believe me? I’m serious on this one, I swear. Until the end part of labor kicks in, when stuff starts to get really real, early labor can drag on for quite some time. In fact, labor can be a great time to catch up on all of those shows you’ve been meaning to watch. I watched a whole lot of Netflix while in labor with my fourth and I have no shame about it.
Poop is a good thing.
Now may be a good time to mention that in my past life, I was a labor and delivery nurse, so you can believe me when I say that poop is a good thing. If you’re worried about pooping on the delivery table, don’t even sweat it — you use the same muscles to push that you do to poop, so if you’re pushing effectively, there’s gonna be some poop that comes out too. Just think of it as clearing the way, and trust me, your nurses will cheer you on and not even bat an eye if it happens to you.
It is possible to birth a baby faster than your partner can poop.
Speaking of poop, let’s get this one out there in the open. This is a fact and it is one you will probably come back to time after time again when your partner “just happens” to disappear at the exact moment it’s time to clean the kitchen. #suspicious
Ice packs are the greatest gift known to womankind.
Post-birth ice pack = better than any act that led to that baby. Just trust me on that one.
You may not bond with your baby at first.
I’ll never forget the moments after my son was born. I was just so shocked that I had a boy that I just kept staring at him, not comprehending he was mine. It took a few days for me to feel that instant “woosh” of love that had been instant with my other babies — and that’s completely OK if it happens to you too.
It’s all mental.
Labor and delivery is different for everyone, of course, but I can safely say after years in OB and my own experience of having four kids, childbirth is very much a mental game. C-section, induction, epidural, or medication-free birth, if you go into labor mentally prepared, the rest is totally doable. Trust your instincts and most importantly, don’t be afraid — you can do this, mama.
The reward waiting for you is totally worth it.
And by that I mean, the first meal after you have the baby, of course. I mean, babies are cool and all, but have you met food?
Image: j&j brusie photography