Before becoming a mum I was under no illusion of how difficult the task would be. The lack of sleep, the extra cost involved, the toll it takes on your body to name but a few.
These things I was well aware of and more than prepared for. However, what I didn’t know in more detail is the absolute horror (this is the only word i can use to describe it) of pain, hormone imbalance and everything else that comes directly during and after you’ve birthed your babe into the world.
So in a bid to clear this up and properly prepare new mums-to-be I wanted to share my experience of the 5 worst things about labouring and everything afterwards, that NOBODY told me about.
- Contractions are not in any way shape or form like period cramp. Don’t believe anyone who tells you this. It’s nonsense. They are so intense and feel like an alien is inside your abdomen rummaging about and trying to escape through your lower back. Don’t be a hero… Take the pain relief!
- It’s not all over once you’ve pushed the baby out. Movies and TV shows are notorious for showing this as the final part of labour and it’s not. You still have to deliver the placenta, which if your lucky takes a jab and a few pushes and pulls from your midwife. However, if you’re not so lucky (like me), it can result in an hour long battle between you and a gynaecological consultant who literally scrapes your placenta from the walls of your uterus using her entire hand. Yes… HAND!!! All this before giving up and taking you to theatre where she will eventually give you a spinal block before trying all over again.
- There will be approximately 15 or so people who see your vagina, examine your vagina and have their hands inside your vagina from the start of your labour to the moment your are discharged. Be prepared, cause that’s a lot of eyes on your lady parts!
- Your hormones don’t go back to normal as soon as you’ve given birth. In fact I’d go so far as to say they will get worse. You will feel sad, angry and happy all at once. You will want to scream and run away, all the while hating yourself for having these thoughts. It is a roller-coaster and you have to understand that for the most part these feelings will subside. But if they don’t then you need to ask for help and there is no shame in that. I needed help. Don’t feel bad if you do too.
- Lastly… and for me this is the big one. Pack a box of natural laxatives in your hospital bag, because I am not exaggerating when I say that the first post-birth poo if life changing. This might sound hilarious and just utterly ridiculous, but I am not lying. I remember mine like it was yesterday and I spent an hour and a half on the toilet crying in agony over it. I’d even go so far as to say I would have rather given birth again than have to endure the pain of the first post-partum-poo! It was horrendous. I cannot stress this enough. Get yourself on the prune juice, the laxatives and drink as much coffee as you can handle, cause the alternative is not pretty!
So that’s my advice lovelies. Obviously I know that every woman’s experience is different and therefore a lot of this might not apply to you, but after speaking to other women in my life after I gave birth, it seems there was a consensus among us that these things we just weren’t properly equipped to deal with. Sharing’s caring and all that jazz, and if you’re pregnant right now and I’ve scared the life out of you I really do apologise. Just remember this, I would do it all over again 100 times and more for my boy. Holding them in your arms at the end of it all is the best reward you could ever receive for enduring all of the aforementioned torture.