4 Things I Didn’t Expect After Giving Birth
I remember that after I gave birth to my first son I had no idea what to expect. I thought that I would just have a baby, go home, bleed for a week or so, but otherwise be great and go back to life as usual, with the exception of a baby joining in.
Surprise! It wasn’t like that at all!
There were things that happened that I hadn’t heard were going to happen, but I wish I had. I would love to share those with you so that you don’t find out by surprise too, because that isn’t as fun as it might sound.
4 Things I Didn't Expect to Happen After Giving Birth:
1. Tummy Smash
After my son was born I was laying in the hospital bed, trying to feel normal again, enjoying knowing that I just gave birth to a little tiny human. A nurse walked in my room, I thought she was there to give me a pat on the back (awww, so sweet of her!) and check my blood pressure or some other nurse stuff.
Nope. She did not come in with loving intentions. She told me that she needed to “check my uterus” and I said, “sure” and that’s when I realized that it wasn’t going to be fun. She took her fist and mashed down on my tummy over and over… it felt like she was trying to check my spine, I thought I would cry and I was surely squirming and complaining like crazy.
They come in every few hours to “check your uterus” by mashing on it. This is done to make sure that your uterus keeps contracting down. I guess the only way to ensure that it will do that is to threaten it with punishment?
2. Day Three Emotional Overload
On day 3, I was released from the hospital and I had woken up feeling a bit emotional. On the way home I realized that I was more than a little bit emotional when my husband turned across traffic and I started crying and telling him that he needs to drive safely because we have a baby to live for now! When we got to the house I couldn’t stop crying, over nothing, just crying.
I know now that it was the rush of hormones from my milk coming in and everything. It was out of my control and even in the moment I knew that I was behaving in an odd way, I just couldn’t stop it. So, prepare for day 3 or 4 to be full of tears, it isn’t like that for everyone but most women do go through it because of all of the hormones.
It isn’t the baby blues or post partum depression, just a day or two of crying and extreme emotions. It is nice to know ahead of time that it is coming though so that you can let the people around you know that you might be a handful that day and you will just need them to be loving, caring and kind to you and your baby.
3. Excessive Bleeding
This isn’t your standard 1-week per month of bleeding, it is more like 6-8 weeks of really strange bleeding that is pretty bad the first week or so. Don’t go packing your fancy, expensive underwear to wear home, you won’t need them because the hospital gives you some awesome fishnet style ones that will function as something to hold up the giant diaper of a pad that you will be wearing for the first couple of days.
Super hot, no?
Buy some pads and keep them at home for after your baby comes, your vagina will be a no-tampon-zone until your post-partum bleeding stops and your first normal period starts.
4. Issues with Bonding
I might sound like the devil to you, but I have to admit something, I didn’t bond with my kids right away. I just didn’t. I loved them, I thought they were perfect in every way – I just didn’t feel like a mom right away. It took a week or more before I felt like this little person was actually *my* child.
If you don’t automatically feel a deep, loving, bond that would have you doing anything for your baby, it’s ok! Don’t feel bad, don’t pressure yourself or feel like a bad parent. Not everyone feels that connection right away, you will though, it just takes some time.
Every birth is different and unique, everyone will have their own experience before, during and after labor but it is nice to know a few of the things that you can prepare yourself for. You will survive these things (and more) and one day soon you will be back to your old self, feeling fine.
What worries you the most about giving birth and the days and weeks that follow?