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Topic Things they didn't tell you Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By pomly On 02/22/04  

Well I am about to give birth for the for the first time in about a month and I was wondering if anyone had any stories to share about things you found out the hard way, or stuff nobody told you about that you found out on your own.

One of my friends told me to get a plastic mattress cover because even after you come home from the hospital you "leak" for a while. They had just gotten a new mattress too, and it got all wet and stained because she just didn't know!

What else?

By jane_bond On 02/22/04  

Squat while you are in labour - it will help to open up your pelvis and cut labour and delivery time a bit.

It takes anywhere from an hour to 3 hours to deliver a first baby. (I had thought it would take 10 minutes to push that baby out, but boy was I wrong!)

Get a sitz bath and epsom salts and use it a few times a day.

You will probably have to wear your maternity clothes for at least a few weeks after delivering.

By miscreation On 02/22/04  

ok you asked for it! no, just kidding but this is kinda thing that happened was that 3 days after giving birth, i was taking a shower and a HUGE clot of blood came out....didn't hurt or anything and totally normal,..just cleaning out, that's all but it did surprise me.....not to say that this will happen to you but just in case...oh and everyone wants to see the baby when s/he is just born and you are exhausted so don't be afraid to say no to visitors!
oh and you are in for the most special time of your life....enjoy every moment and when it gets hard with all the feedings and no sleep remember that this is a time you can never get back and it goes by so fast.....
all the best to you and your family!!!!!!!!!

By moondance1 On 02/22/04  

The let down response. I would be standing in the kitchen and hear dripping. I would look around to see if I left the faucet on... then I would realize that my breast milk was making a puddle on the floor.

After awhile you get this kind of painful tingle right before you are going to let down so you know that you gotta go grab a towel. FAST! Those first few weeks are weird though. I got breast milk all over everything and I was constantly walking around with big wet spots on my chest.

Don't expect to feel classy. :)


By melmelon On 02/22/04  

You know it hurts beyond hell, right? Make sure to use the peri bottle when you pee...if you want the good stuff to put in it...make a tea out of comfrey leaves and add some tea tree oil...squirt as you go....or if you dont, make sure the water's not too hot and not too cold. Are you having a hospital birth...if you are going to be in a standard ward I would recommend bringing something with headphones...when I had my first daughter I almost went nuts from listening to the women who had had c-sections complain about everything, If I hadnt had a free private room the 2nd time, I would have gone home after 3 hours (thats when the midwives will sign you out if you are able)...I stayed because I got the free room and my husband is a lousy cook. If you are having a home birth...get a shower curtain to put on your mattress, if you dont have a mattress cover. I was also REALLY REALLY thirsty after giving birth...did I mention it hurts? But if everything goes well, the pain VANISHES right after that baby pops all the way out.

By senorcoconut On 02/22/04  

*********It takes anywhere from an hour to 3 hours to deliver a first baby*********

Well, to help you stay positive, I delivered my first in 25 minutes. She was ten pounds. Don't give up hope!!! Just REALLY WANT TO GET THE BABY OUT.

Those afterpains, especially in sbsequent deliveries, are real doozies.

By jane_bond On 02/22/04  


You will poop a little when you push - don't sweat it!

Baby's eyes will move independantly for a couple of weeks - kinda like lobster eyes. Do not be alarmed.

Their poop, after the meconium comes out, is supposed to look like cottage cheese in curry sauce!

By looloo On 02/23/04  

jane bond mentioned meconium casually, but that can be scary in itself. It looks like the poo that would come out of betsy wetsy when you fed her that jelly stuff.

maintain control over your environment...the nurses sometimes have the air of "we do this 100 times a day" (which, you know, they do...) and it feels like they are running the show...make sure you tell them what you want, like unless you are delivering at a high risk you do not want to be tied down in bed (well, not literally) and prefer to move around during your labor...walking through your contractions...

don't go to the hospital at the first sign of contractions, wait until they are regular...unless of course you feel scared of a home delivery!

they don't usually let you eat or drink anything, so have someone sneak you some hard candy, but hide it from the tyrant nurses...

of course, this is all from my experiences, hopefully no one else has had these...

By jjfantastic On 02/23/04  

They sent me home with a bunch of huge thick maxipads for the lochia. Those hurt like hell to sit on - I didn't want a big bulging pad on those tender bits thank you. Get some ultrathin maxis instead.

I bought disposable Chux pads to put under me when I slept at home instead of a plastic matress cover.

I needed a rubber ring to sit on for a few days postpartum. I didn't tear much, but I think that things happened so quickly that I was a bit more swollen than I might've been otherwise.

My arms/biceps hurt like hell the next day from pulling on the railings of the bed while pushing.

The nurses might offer you an ice pack if you get stitches. My nurses put ice in a rubber glove and then I put that in my panties. That worked, but my friend's nurse put ice inside a newborn diaper - they cut a slit in the diaper and put the ice inside. That seemed more comfortable and it absorbs the moisture when the ice melts too. If they don't offer, tell 'em you want one.

Also, Tucks hemorrhoidal pads with witch hazel if you have stitches - stick one or two on top of your pad to keep your stitches from drying out and getting itchy. And it just feels nice and cool.

By jasmineT On 02/23/04  

Bring your favorite pads and a couple pairs of underwear that you don't mind disposing to the hospital with you. Did you know they still use "menstrual belts" in some places? (they go great with the hospital gown that never closes in the back)

It's bloody. Really bloody. During the birth and for a few weeks after. You don't need an audiene during the process, especially if you're inclined to modesty. Tell the in-laws and casual acquaintances to go home and call them a few hours after the baby is born. Let the first few hours be peaceful for your new family.

Also, if you don't have a birth plan, make one and make sure your husband, doctor, sister, whoever, will stick up for you. You tend to be focused only on your body in a yoga type way and external things will either fade away or really annoy you because they're getting in the way. Your advocate wil be the one to remove the obstacles. (like turning off the flourescent lighting)

A birthing ball rocks! It's basically a big bouncy exercise ball that you sit on and can roll out the contractions. Just make sure someone else is steadying it. Best of luck!

By cackalackie On 02/23/04  

With each one, afterwards, I felt like I'd had her out my butt. I therefore recommend those nice soft wet wipes that both Cottonelle and Charmin do now. They're like baby wipes for adults.

And the best pads I used afterwards were these ones that are curved and slightly elasticated. That way, they didn't irritate me as much - as they're not smashed up against you, so to speak.

By moondance1 On 02/23/04  

a few more:

YOUR BLADDER!!!! I had no idea that my pelvic muscles would be so stretched out. I was watching my husband change Eli at home for the first time and he made a fountain. We both started laughing and I peed all over the floor and couldn't stop the stream. Do kegels. My bladder control was about halfway home in a couple weeks. In two months it was back to normal.

My back, chest and arm muscles were SO sore for the first three days after delivery.

the labor pains feel like they are in your colon (at least for me they did).

While you are at home in labor hop in the tub or have your birth partner push something really hard on your lower back. We used one of those wand massagers not plugged in. I had him mark the spot with a sharpie so he wouldn't miss it and piss me off. So I had a black X on my lower back. So what?

If you are tense it hurts more. Be zen. Float. Be like the wind and the water...make any sound you want.

When you push GIVE IT EVERYTHING. I had someone tell me how good pushing feels. BULLSHIT! It hurt like hell but I was done in 20 minutes. You can do anything for 20 minutes.

I had a yeast infection due to all the extra wetness. DON'T GET THE BULLET SHAPED SUPPOSITORIES! GET THE CREAM!!! Mine fell out of my box into the toilet three times. Talk about feeling loose.

Sitting on giant pads while breastfeeding gave me worse hemmorhoids than birth. Get thin ones and change them more often. Even the overnights are too thick to sit on all the time. Stupid thick pads.

I'll bet we are freaking you out.


By looloo On 02/23/04  

honestly though, these are the things she needs to hear..they aren't in any of the waiting room magazines.

You will undoubtably be constipated for a few days after delivery, I don't know what to tell you to help this, but I actually felt like throwing a party when I finally went!

put your hospital bag in your car as early as possible, it does you no good fully packed and sitting on your kitchen table BELIEVE ME!!! Pack it with all of the essentials, lotions (make sure it is something very mild as you will be handling a new born), body wash, shampoo, slippers, night gowns (not pajama pants, they are too much hassle after all you just went through) deodarant, a book to bide the last little bit of time you will have before the baby, Toothbrush, toothpaste, something hard to rub on your back, like a tennis ball...a comb/brush, a robe...I will think of more

Some of these things seem very logical, but the problem with logical is those are the things you tend to over look!

By luci_mama On 02/23/04  

The trick with the post-birth maxipads is this: as soon as you can (before the birth), cut them in thirds (so they're squarish, not long and skinny!) and then soak them in witch hazel (you can get it at the drug store). Then FREEZE THEM on a cookie sheet, then store them in a ziplock bag so they're ready for you when the baby comes.

Then ... I kid you not ... tuck a frozen padsicle in your panties (and sit on chux pads to catch the leaks). I never would have guessed that I'd ever want ice near my vulva, but you won't believe how fabulous it is at relieving the swelling and discomfort of postpartum! With a second-degree tear and hemorrhoids out the wazoo (literally!), I stand (or sit!) by this technique, taught to me by my loving midwife.

Also, I can attest to the glories of using herbal sitzbaths to heal your perineum and hemorrhoids. If you want (or anybody wants), I'll hunt down the specific herbs recommended. Alternating the ice pads and sitz baths is HEAVEN, and helped much, much MUCH more than plain old Prep H wipes (or whatever they're called).

Now, as for what was shocking to me about my son's birth: actually, I heard one mama mention this in passing, but I didn't realize how true it was -- when you're ready to push, it will feel as though you're trying to sh*t out your baby. All the expectations I had of using those Kegels and pushing through my vagina was totally ineffective, and pushing as though I was pushing out a giant turd (sorry, babyboy!) was what worked.


By jennymeg On 02/23/04  

If you have stitches from a tear or a cut in your perineum, I advise you just not to look for a LONG time. I didn't. I was glad. I probably would have thrown up.

OH! And don't have company over from out of town who might expect you to take them to the mall for at least 6 weeks. Good lord! You're still going to be hurting down there and gravity from all the walking causes pain. Send them off with your car or something.

By stargirley On 02/23/04  

Most nurses will even tell you to push like you are having a BM.
I LOVE EPIFOAM! I had an episiotomy, and this foam stuff was numbing heaven they prescibed me. I had a whole process down. 1. disposable undies (I don't know if these are still around, but they had them near the pads when i had my daughter.)
2. most comfy pad I could find.
3. 3 tucks pads lined up to cover the whole pad.
4. nice long spray of epifoam.
It was the only thing that made those first week tollerable.

I agree about the peribottle too. Very important. if you don't have one you will wonder why you are peeing out hot lava. It really sucks when you have to pee and you're trying to wait for the tap water to warm up to fill your bottle. I had 3 bottles pre filled at all times and i set them up in the bathroom with one of those wipe warmer things to keep em heated and ready.

another thing about birthing plans. Be prepared to throw some of your idea's out the window, unless they are things you feel extremely passionate about. because in the midst of the labor and delivery process, you may have to compromise on a few things.

**ETA** don't expect it to be easy to stand up and walk anywhere. and be very prepared to feel like you are going to drop all of your insides on the floor through your vaginal canal the first time you stand up.

By senorcoconut On 02/23/04  

The hospital had these great ice packs THAT WERE PADS, TOO!!! I loved them!!!

They also gave me a benzocaine spray to spray on my cooter.

By Melynn On 02/23/04  

My surprises when I had my first:

*The nurse comes in with a huge smile- "Hello! It's time for your enema!" "Is an enema what I think it is????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh holy hell no!"
*I was a size 2 when I got pregnant-I was not a size 2, 6, or 10 when I came out. Yes, I was surprised.
*I was surprised how my belly could feel so soft, yet look like leather.
*The pit hurts.
*peeing hurts
*walking hurts
*coughing hurts


By pomly On 02/23/04  

Wowowow... they really don't tell you any of that stuff!!! Thanks for sharing ladies. I'm sure I'll have even more surprises of my own to share after the little guy pops out!

By cochineal On 02/24/04  

Best advice for after the delivery that I got was "Don't stand when you can sit, don't sit when you can lie down."
Also my ankles and feet swelled up unbelievably about three days after the birth and I had not had any fluid retention during pregnancy at all. Weird, but apparently quite common.

By melmelon On 02/24/04  

It seems like you have been told the most useful stuff's some more thats more secondary...but still good to know, I think. If the visitors arent ABSOLUTELY essential...tell them to beat it. If they cant make their own tea or coffee or bring you some, they can stay away. When I had my first daughter my mother came to "help." I think she did the dishes once and cooked maybe twice....she was here for a week. So I would definitely advise against useless houseguests.
And it will hurt for a LOOOOOOOOOONNNNNGGGGGGG time....if you are anything like me. With my first, my vagina hurt when I walked for about 6 months....more just a dull-not so dull ache. this time, my daughter is now 11 weeks...and it still hurts...worse when I run after that 2 year old.
Unless you or your baby will die, avoid a c-section like the plague...from what I've heard/read recovery is a bitch...and who the hell wants to take care of a new baby while they themselves have been sliced and diced?

By cinderellen On 02/24/04  

If you don't have one (and who does these days) buy a dishpan, or something about that size. If when your milk comes in the baby is not REALLY interested yet you will swell up and it will feel like you have two bowling balls stuck on your chest. Soaking in warm water is the easiest way to relieve the discomfort, and you'll ant a way to soak both at once. in a location of your choice.

By senorcoconut On 02/24/04  

ENEMA? You can refuse those, you know. Ditto on the happy fun place shaving. They are archaic and unnecessary.

By rubychew On 02/25/04  

oh man...reading these SOOO make me NOT want to get pregnant now....eeeek!!!

By Melynn On 02/25/04  

It can be very painful to have a baby, but one other thing that they don't tell you is how great you feel when you hold the baby for the first time and realize that he/she has your lips, nose, ears, or eyes. And that little thing looks up at you like they know just who you are.
2am feedings sitting in the dark, just you and baby. You feel such a sense of accomplishment.
As much as we tell all the bad stuff, there is 5 good things to every bad.
Giving birth can be the worst pain you ever feel in your life, but it also the greatest feeling.
When I had my daughter, I was in labor for 36 1/2 hours, I pushed for an hour. No drugs. But when I finally had her in my arms I was laughing and crying all at the same time. It was the most awesome feeling I have ever felt. And even though I hadn't slept for 2 days, it was 2 more days until I calmed down enough from the excitment to sleep.
I don't know if anyone else here felt lonely after having thier baby. Like when you are in bed and there is no nightly kicking, I almost felt lonely. I had to keep reminding myself she was in her crib.


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