When you become pregnant for the first time you will likely find yourself seeking out advice and wisdom from the women who have gone through it all before you. You’ll receive tips for dealing with nausea, recommendations for which prenatal vitamin to take, how tired you will be during the first and third trimester, and so much more. There are some things though that it seems most moms forget about, and do not mention. I found myself wondering this after having my first born… why didn’t you warn me?
**Warning, this may not be for the queasy, or for the guys.**
- Puking. We all know that some women may poop while in labor. No one warned me that I may feel like puking, or actually puke right after delivering my baby. It felt like all of my internal organs suddenly shifted downwards to fill where baby had once been, and that made me instantly sick. There was no way those little kidney bean shaped cardboard hospital containers were going to contain it. Next time I am going prepared with a puke bucket.
- Odd Appearance. Baby may not appear perfect like the dolls you buy in the store for children. They may have a very squished appearance. Depending on what happened during delivery too, if vacuum or other help was needed to get baby out, their hat may be hiding secrets too! I didn’t see until the next day after my daughter was born when we gave her a bath that she had a large bump and bruise on her head from the vacuum. I was brought to tears instantly.
- The Bleeding. They say to bring some pads with you, and some undergarments you don’t care about. No one said why! The truth is that your body is about to seek revenge for your not having had your period for the last 40 or so weeks. After your baby’s deliver, and after the placenta comes out more, yes MORE still has to come out. Can I just take a minute to strongly recommend getting bladder control undergarments, then you really don’t have to care about what happens. Plus you may need them for the next point.
- Bladder Control. Sure you may have dealt with this while pregnant, especially towards the end but you do not gain full control back right after. Work on getting those control muscles back in shape, it takes time.
- Swollen Feet and Legs. Apparently it’s from all the blood that had been going to your uterus, plus if you’ve been hooked up to an IV you have that extra fluid too, and it will all find its way to your legs and feet. So, bust out the comfy pants and some slippers. You may not be able to wear skinny jeans for a few days because they won’t fit over your calves. Some women find that their shoe size permanently changes too.
- Your Tummy. There are some who I will envy for their genetics as their baby tummy just disappears almost instantly it seems. For others, like myself, it’s looks more like your baby tummy has deflated a bit, but you still look pregnant. It is fondly known as the post baby fanny pack between my friends and I. You may have a belly paunch. Be kind to yourself. It took however long for baby to grow inside you, give it time to contract and go back. For some of us, it may take longer and some hard work.
- Goodbye Hair. This is one thing where I am so thankful that I had thick hair to begin with. Now not everyone experiences this, but I sure did. My hair started to fall out in clumps after having my daughter. It was terrifying to be in the shower, and look like you lost a chunk of your hair. My hair thinned so much in spots that they appeared to be bald spots. The good news is that my hair did grow back, and go back to normal eventually.
- Aches and Pain. You may hurt, you may hurt all over after having baby. Every part of my body seemed to be in pain the next day. My back hurt from where my epidural entry point was, and I had a large bruise there. Depending on how delivery goes, your child may have torn things down there and you have to deal with the pain from that and stitches. Walking and I did not get a long for weeks after delivery! Take it easy on yourself, and follow the medical staffs instructions on pain management if needed.
- Cramps. Sure you will be dealing with cramps from your uterus contracting back down, but they may hurt a lot. I’m talking worse than period cramps. I also was not warned that these cramps also often occurred while nursing or pumping. The first time it happened during nursing I ended up in tears it hurt so much.
Now there is one thing we are all warned about that is absolutely true… it’s all worth it, and we would do it all over again.
Was there anything that you wish someone had warned you about before delivery, and about afterwards?