4 Things I Didn’t Expect After Giving Birth

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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. 

{ MORE: If You've Been Wanting a Birth Journal, Your Dreams Just Came True }

3. Excessive Bleeding

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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. 

{ MORE: The Inside Scoop: What's Labor Like for a Baby? }

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?

What do you think?

4 Things I Didn’t Expect After Giving Birth

Sarah Vickers is a happily married, stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of 2 young boys. She is also a gestational surrogate to 4-year-old twin girls and is currently pregnant with a traditional surrogate baby girl who is due to arrive sometime in March of 2013. Sarah is addicted to all things pregnancy-related. She has spent the last several years studying pregnancy,birth, Invitro-fertilization and is also a certified Doula. Sarah also runs a personal blog called Moose and Tater- her sons' nickn ... More

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25 comments

  1. Yip they had to my stomach down in a certain spot for a whole hour to stop the hemorrhaging and to get the placenta to come out on its own. That was a bit painful. And everyone can expect to have an emotional overload sometime after they give birth it’s just a given. lol Good luck to ya’ll with your kids 🙂

  2. Aubrey says:

    I personally was shocked at how the nurses were shocked at me. Even with my first, as soon as they said I could shower, I was up and on my feet and in the bathroom before they could grab my bag. With my 3rd, I was shocked at how rude some people could be. Had a roommate who kept the TV on at all times on her side, had people in and out the whole time, and didn’t once see her kid until they were releasing her. I swear I didn’t sleep for almost 48 hours (baby was born at 2:30am) until they knocked me out for my tubal. The only thing that kept me sane were my military ear plugs that I made my hubby bring me, and my eye cover for sleeping. At least that way it dimmed the noise and lights so I could rest a bit. now I keep both on my key rings at all times (3 sets of keys, 3 sets of ear plugs) and they come in handy for other things too. Like the hockey game we took my son to where he was complaining it was too loud.

  3. Darcy says:

    Wow, I didn’t experience any of that with my son. Especially and most definitely not the "tummy smash." I haven’t even heard of such a thing being done.

  4. Ashley says:

    Thanks for sharing this…i’m a first timer and I don’t want to be in the dark of this stuff 🙂

  5. Sarah says:

    I know, I secretly love them 😉 Better than dirtying my own panties, and I don’t have to wash them!

  6. Sarah says:

    I think the fear of the unknown is the worst, but now you have some idea of what it will be like. Good luck with all of it, it will pass quickly and you will forget all of it when you see that little baby.

  7. Sarah says:

    Yeah, that is usually where the most concern lies, which is why you don’t hear about or think about the other stuff. Good luck with your birth 🙂

  8. Sarah says:

    It won’t last long and you will have your beautiful baby to get you through all of it! Good luck!

  9. Sarah says:

    I swear, I could never be one of those nurses, I would feel too bad about it! It just seems mean, even though I know there is a good reason 🙂

  10. Sarah says:

    I am glad that you read it too! These are the things that I wish I would have been told before having my boys’, little things that you just don’t think about. Good luck on your upcoming birth!

  11. Sarah says:

    I didn’t get hot flashes afterwards! At least not that I remember!

  12. Sarah says:

    I agree, planning for a birth that you didn’t expect is really important too. Not necessarily preparing yourself for it, which might not be a good plan, but realizing that a healthy baby is the goal. A c-section that you didn’t plan on is hard to take in.

  13. Sarah says:

    Yes, that "burning sensation" is the worst! A 2nd degree tear is awful too!

  14. Sarah says:

    Oh my goodness, that sounds like it was really rough for you, I am sorry that you had to go through all of that. I understand why you would be hesitant about going through another delivery. Good luck with whatever you choose!

  15. so glad you wrote this 🙂

  16. Sarah says:

    I’m with you on the tummy smash but i have to say one of the worst was when they took out the staples from my c-section(mind you i thought they had used dissolvable stitches) and she used a regular staple remover and had to pull on them hard because some skin had started to grow over them already! OH MY GOSH did THAT hurt. I also got a lovely rash called Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) which took 11 doctors to figure out what it was and as a result I didn’t get a chance to truly breastfeed since my milk never came in due to all the meds they had put me on before they knew what it was. This is the main reason why I’m sticking to just one pregnancy kiddo might adopt though.

  17. Brenda says:

    I was pretty knowledgeable on what to expect following the birth of my first son. What I did not expect was the 2nd degree tear I got because my son came too fast and the doctor was barely there in time to catch him as he came out much less help prevent a tear. The sensation that I was lighting myself on fire every time I urinated for the first 5 days postpartum was completely unexpected.

  18. No tummy smashing after a csection.. and expect the unexpected! I went in after 4 days of irregular contractions (my doctor knew) and ended up having a csection.

  19. sayhola says:

    DEFINITELY the crying!!! All the time, and totally for nothing…. like "oh look – the trees are green" (sob, sob, sob). Truly, that was really a huge surprise. The tummy smashing I didn’t mind – just let them know I’d groan, but that I was perfectly ok. 🙂 And the HOTFLASHES! Did you get them? At night? I even had to get up and change my pjs a few times because I was soaked. Ick. Had no idea about that, either! GL to all the FTMs!

  20. lyndsey says:

    I’m glad I read this because I wasn’t told of any of these things except for the abnormal bleeding afterward, I now more of what to expect after my son arrives!

  21. Kelly says:

    tummy smashes were the worst!!! Love this blog so true!

  22. Not looking forward to that. But still crazy excited and can’t wait to meet my son.

  23. I am still more worried about the actual labor and delivery part of this but I am glad to know a little more on what to expect

  24. thinkobu says:

    Good to know!! As an FTM, have no idea what to expect…

  25. Those mesh hospital underpants were a life-saver. Man, they were comfy. Hideous, but comfy.

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