At a recent visit to the OB, my hubby and I encountered two first time preggos. This is always a funny experience to watch first timers’ expressions when you answer the “Is this your first baby?” question. It is even more funny when you tell them you enjoy Labor & Delivery. haha. Anyway, thinking back on that conversation, I thought it’d be fun to list some of the things that I have found to be truth through my four pregnancies. Some are serious but some… well, they just aren’t usually things you are warned about by your OB. Or friends. Or, well, anyone. 🙂
1. Once you actually see a positive test result, peeing on a stick is FUN.
2. Not seeing a positive repeatedly on that BLASTED stick is torture.
3. Even when sick as a dog with morning sickness, Southwestern Chicken Wraps can sound (& TASTE!!!) absolutely aaaaaahhhhhhhhhmazing!
4. No matter how twisted the logic sounds, when feeling like you’re going to hurl during the 1st trimester, EAT every 2 hours or so!!!! It really does stop (or at least slow down) the nausea.
5. The puking and nausea will end. Eventually.
6. Feeling the first flutter is… usually gas. HA!
7. Feeling the ACTUAL first flutter is exciting and torture because no one else can feel it!
8. The 2nd trimester is glorious (if the puking has ended). Do everything that you possibly can during these 12 weeks because…
9. The 3rd trimester is an experiment in hateful misery.
10. Do NOT read articles that are titled “Crazy places where REAL women have delivered their babies.”
11. Miralax. If you are/have been pregnant, enough said. If you haven’t been pregnant yet, just remember that I said it is the answer.
12. Do NOT listen to other women’s L&D horror stories (or watch them on TV). Yes, they exist but… really??? why do you need to know about them?
13. Contractions are scary and painful at times but exciting.
14. Dreams of your water breaking in public places are normal.
15. Don’t wait TOO long to pee when pregnant. You WILL pee yourself.
16. If you continue to pee yourself uncontrollably in the same 10-15 minute window, you MAY not be peeing yourself. Your water may have broken.
17. Birth plans are cute. And, fun to think that they will work because…
18. Rarely does anything happen as expected in L&D. If you have an OB that you trust, trust them to do what is medically necessary to care adequately for your baby and you.
19. Be nice to L&D nurses but firm. They do have a significant amount of power during L&D but it’s YOUR body.
20. If you can afford it, hire a professional Labor & Delivery photographer to be in the L&D room. Worth every penny!!
21. I give you permission NOT to allow WHOEVER you dislike, whoever irritates you (when not in pain and hormonal), or whoever you randomly decide not to like that day into the L&D room. They’ll get over it.
22. Labor & Delivery is scary concept (even going into delivery #4!) BUT it is SUCH an empowering experience. Just remember, you may be married to the strongest, most capable man on Earth but he can’t push your baby out.
23. Attend a breastfeeding class and educate yourself well on the process (if interested) but know that formula is NOT rat poison and sometimes babies just don’t cooperate. To quote a friend’s mom who is a nurse, “That breastfeeding class doesn’t teach that newborn what to do…”
24. Exercise balls sometimes help you make progress toward delivery. Sit spread eagle on them for hours at a time.
25. Old wives’ tales about eating Mexican food to start labor are fun.
26. When actually trying to start labor, just remember some wise advise told to me: “What got you into the situation, will get you out of it… when done repeatedly. For weeks on end.”
27. Be prepared for postdelivery. No, I’m not talking about how to care for an infant. You will be allowed to have caffeine. And you’ll be starving. And thirsty. Even if you deliver at 1:30 AM, try to arrange for someone to have bad food and caffeine available. STAT. You’ll thank me.
28. Epidurals. Not the end of the world (if you had intended on a “natural” birth) and not your savior (if you had planned on never feeling a twinge of pain). Be open to the unknown pain relief that may not have been on your birth plan.
29. Yes, you may poop. If your hubby is a behind and holds that against you, well… you may have married a jerk. Sorry.
30. It’s ok to think that the yucky looking creature (who you imagined to be beautiful for 9 months) in reality looks like a shrunk down, wrinkly Chinese man. And, neither you or your hubby is Chinese.
31. Even (& especially!!!) in those first days with a newborn, keep the lines of communication open with your hubby. You will be excessively tired, cranky, hormonal, happy, and sad. Sometimes all at once. Lean on him and let him HELP!
32. Know that wide-swinging emotions are normal in those first couple of weeks but trust your hubby and close friends/family if they say that you are not acting like a normal human being. Postpartum depression is real and a medical condition. God gave us doctors to HELP us. Go see one.
Ok, well, that is some of my reflections on 4 pregnancies. 🙂