Monday, October 29, 2012

Things about childbirth nobody tells you

(My belly, past due!)

Childbirth is every woman's rite of passage into motherhood. It truly is a journey into the unknown, unique to you. Some are easy, some are hard - nevertheless, impossible to predict or control. During my first pregnancy I was asking everyone "what does it feel like?" and nobody could give me a detailed explanation! (To their defense, after childbirth is over, it does all feel like a blur!)
So since it is still fresh in my mind, here is my best account of the things about childbirth that nobody tells you:

1. You feel so relieved after. Seriously. All the pressure in your belly is gone. It's like you can breathe again!

2. You're doing all the work. Whatever kind of doctor you have, whether you're surrounded by people, or nobody's there - all the mental and physical strength you go through, this process is all up to you! The pro/con is that you're doing it all by yourself. After, you'll feel so proud and strong. I've heard from many women that after birth they feel so confident in themselves - I as well said, "if I can do that, then I can do anything!" It is truly empowering for a woman.

3. This is really what a contraction feels like: you see a big hill in front of you and you sprint up it really fast, then you come over the top and come down the hill. It's like a series of hills, some big and some small. You can feel the contraction coming on and coming off.

4. What you think you'll want changes once you're in it. I thought I could eat something or take a shower in between contractions. But for some reason I did NOT want to do that! I didn't want to go near any kind of water at all, and I didn't have an appetite. I also had planned out that it would only be me and my husband. But in early labor, I wanted my father in the house. Not with us, but I wanted him in the next room.

5. Your hips and legs hurt from being wide open for so long, like you're doing the splits!

6. Breast feeding is waaay harder than I thought. You don't know what to do. The baby doesn't know what to do. Don't worry, this is a learned skill. Don't expect to know it right off the bat.

7. You go into your own galaxy. It's all a blur. You don't know what you're saying, you don't know what you're doing. You're just getting through it!

If you're reading this and you're currently expecting, be confident and good luck! Remember, this is what our bodies were meant to do!

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