what did you wish you'd known/been told about labour and post-labour (things they don't print in books)

(335 Posts)
choufleur Sat 21-Jun-08 19:01:31

i wish someone had told me that you can feel the baby go back up sometimes when you're pushing (but it will eventually stay down and come out)

girlandboy Sat 21-Jun-08 19:02:37

That the baby can still give you a kick even though it's head is out!!!

SNoraWotzThat Sat 21-Jun-08 19:05:57

That after the second baby the after contractions would be so painful. Not sure if thats' what they are called, but I thought I was having another one!

Romy7 Sat 21-Jun-08 19:07:01

that the morning after you have given birth, you wake up with someone else's legs.
and they are twice the size yours used to be.

Romy7 Sat 21-Jun-08 19:07:44

that it is utterly pointless buying paper knickers

Romy7 Sat 21-Jun-08 19:09:53

that birth plans are theoretical documents

morocco Sat 21-Jun-08 19:10:02

biological nurturing position for breastfeeding means when your baby has been born, mw can just pop him/her on your tummy while you lie back and rest. baby can make their own way up to the breast and latch on themselves. I hated the whole 'sit up and try to bf' part - too knackered to do anything but lie there pathetically. if only I'd known it was nature's way!

Romy7 Sat 21-Jun-08 19:11:51

that at some point you may make bellowing noises that you would never dream of in any other situation, but no-one will bat an eyelid.

Romy7 Sat 21-Jun-08 19:13:48

that your teeth hurt more than your episiotomy after biting the gas and air for hours

yousaidit Sat 21-Jun-08 19:16:06

that your fanjo really does feel like it's on fire.

dizzydixies Sat 21-Jun-08 19:16:14

piles - seriously after all else and worrying about going to the toilet - piles can make you scream out in agony, cry and not let you sit for 2hours afterwards

if you have stitches then turn round and face the toilet straddle style it can help going for a wee

scorpio1 Sat 21-Jun-08 19:17:56

about how much you bleed and just how many maternity pads you need.

to pour water over your bits when you wee, or better still sit in a small bath and do it.

That, yes, you do hurt after, and yes, you need alot of lookng after.

Romy7 Sat 21-Jun-08 19:19:41

that for weeks after you have given birth, people will still be asking you when it is due.
it all seemed so tight when there was a baby expanding it from the inside - where did all the jellybelly actually come from?
and that you may still find maternity trousers most beneficial.

hazeyjane Sat 21-Jun-08 19:25:21

when you are hanging your head out of the carwindow making those wierd guttural animal noises - that's when your in labour ( with dd1 I went to the hospital about 5 times with contractions that kept stopping .)

you may want to keep upright and moving whilst in labour, but your body may be so knackered that it is just not possible.

Too take a separate suitcase for maternity pads and chocolate.

dizzydixies Sat 21-Jun-08 19:32:24

and feeling the need to punch the daylight out of anyone and EVERYONE who say to you straight after you've given birth

well, will you be having any more

WTF - I've only just farking well had this one!??!?!?!?!?

bobblehat Sat 21-Jun-08 19:37:11

You will have a very sore fanjo after giving birth and even the thought of going for a wee makes you cry. Nobody told me this and any pain I had in labour pailed into insignificance

Maternity clothes should be given another name so so don't feel so bad you're still wearing them 4 months after giving birth

pinkspottywellies Sat 21-Jun-08 19:37:22

That it might not be like in the books. My antenatal teacher asked how long we thought the 1st and 2nd stages would be. I joked a couple of hours for the first, and about 15 mins for the second. Ha ha, how we laughed at my hopefulness. But I was right. And I still don't have a clue about contractions. I thought the whole thing just bloody well hurt. A lot.

Not text book by any means and bloddy terrifying.

choufleur Sat 21-Jun-08 19:39:38

a friend and i were thinking that we ought to write a book about what it is really like.

DKMA Sat 21-Jun-08 19:41:17

That my arse hole was going to be shredded during labour blush

Seriously didn't realise that it would feel like I was giving birth through my bum hole hmm

Ds did go back to back in the final stages though - so prob doesn't happen to everyone.

Whizzz Sat 21-Jun-08 19:42:03

That when your waters break but then baby decides to stay put for a while, every time you move, you dribble/gush...all over the floor, the bed, your clothes....

That having a poo after would be so scary

katz Sat 21-Jun-08 19:42:42

that you can't shuffle on your bum afterwards

Romy7 Sat 21-Jun-08 19:44:27

oh, and if it is back to back, there is a strong chance that you will be subject to a well known veterinary procedure.
this will hurt more than labour.
they will discharge your baby but not you, and peer at your fanjo for hours discussing what to do next....

babytime Sat 21-Jun-08 19:45:06

although you feel like you are about to die - you are not!

and the baby is not going to explode out of your ass - it just feels like that.

choufleur Sat 21-Jun-08 19:46:55

depends where your waters tear whizz. mine went at the top and there was hardly a dribble. i was surpised by the lack of gushing (no-one told me that either)

DKMA Sat 21-Jun-08 19:48:09

Yes - see the arse hole gets a battering during labour - and no one really tells you about that - certainly not in any of the books I read hmm

MrsTittleMouse Sat 21-Jun-08 19:48:54

How much blood there is, and how long you can bleed for afterwards. I thought that it would be like a heavy period. hmm Six weeks later it was still going...

Whizzz Sat 21-Jun-08 19:50:16

choufleur - I remember just being really suprised that no one had told me! It was like weeing all over yourself every time you moved! Think I used up my entire supply of maternity pads & then had to send DH for some more afterwards! I remember my instructions were 'get the biggest ones you can find!'

choufleur Sat 21-Jun-08 19:50:17

oh and also that you can actually spray your child with milk as breasts get so full and huge

BibiThree Sat 21-Jun-08 19:50:59

That not all midwives are lovely helpful ladies who truly love the joy of helping deliver babies into the world.
Some are just b*tches <<bitter emoticon>>

BibiThree Sat 21-Jun-08 19:52:38

And that you may be a tad emotional afterwards and take every bit of advice as a personal slight on your mothering abilities.

It took me by surprise how hostile I felt towards helpful relatives.

BibiThree Sat 21-Jun-08 19:54:46

Dh would like to add that the books should tell men to be prepared to feel completely and utterly useless the whole time. No amount of back rubbing, soothing noises and offers of nice cold drinks will make your wife grateful of your presence. Just shut up and do as she tells you.

pardon Sat 21-Jun-08 20:12:35

That breast feeding is not easy and natural. That you tell the bounty woman who pops her head round to ask if you want a pack to f off cos you are in tears (i.e. baby blues).

biggreypants Sat 21-Jun-08 20:15:29

That you tear frontwards as well as backwards!

Tore from my urethra all the way up shock every wee for a week after involved interesting positions in the shower and a towel to muffle the screams.

Eight weeks later the memory of it is still very fresh grin

EyeballsintheSky Sat 21-Jun-08 20:18:19

That pethidine will render your brain totally useless. You may have planned an active birth but you will be unable to form enough of a coherent thought in your head to actually do it. Instead you will lie on the bed wimpering in the position you swore blind you wouldn't give birth in.

That the pain 'doesn't' just stop the instant the baby is born!

Fundal Pressure!

That you need to push the baby as if you were pushing it out of your bum, not out of your vagina!

That for some of there is no such thing as pain relief. I.e. pethedine, gas and air, TENs does fech all!

That most MW and HVs know nothing whatsoever about breastfeeding!

lou031205 Sat 21-Jun-08 20:43:38

That giving birth can burn 6000 calories, so that sandwich may not last, and you might feel just a bit wobbly after!

That you will bleed a lot and that sometimes you will leak all over the bed.

That piles/tear are almost worse than the birth itself. And that a condom/marigold finger filled with water and frozen will give some relief. Don't forget to wrap it in gauze though, you really don't want a marigold finger frozen to your fanjo.

choufleur Sat 21-Jun-08 21:04:51

another one - no matter how painful the birth actually is you'll feel really pissed off that anything done to you afterwards is still actually painful i.e. the injection they give you to make your uterus contract (that really hurt when the mw jabbed it in my leg)

emkana Sat 21-Jun-08 21:05:29

That when you feel like you desperately need to poo it actually means you're ready to push.

Also how much you bleed afterwards.

emkana Sat 21-Jun-08 21:05:57

How badly afterpains hurt, esp during breastfeeding.

choufleur Sat 21-Jun-08 21:06:25

oh and you'll want to kill the inefficient junior doctor who comes along to take blood from your previous new born (and take bloody ages doing it) just to check that he is o-neg blood type (which you knew anyway because both parents are o-neg).

twosofar Sat 21-Jun-08 21:07:17

That pushing the head out feels like trying to poo a rock
That when the baby crowns you think you really will split in two
That it's so shockingly painful you can hardly believe it
That once the head is born it's only one more push and you've got your baby (silly i know, but when it's been going on for hours you can lose perspective)
That you feel super human and you can't believe what you have just done
That the first time your baby latches on and feeds, the rush of oxytocin is so strong you feel like you are on ecstasy (blush... was a long time ago obviously!)
That you are so in love with the baby you are already thinking about the next one

choufleur Sat 21-Jun-08 21:09:29

over 2 years on and still not thinking about number 2 (but that's cos we really can't afford another one)

harpomarx Sat 21-Jun-08 21:11:56

this is all making my eyes water and my buttocks clench with fear (had emergency caesarean, do not actually know what it feels like to give birth)

but can add, why don't they explain that you can have days of something called 'niggles' or pre-labour, where you have regular, excruciating contractions but are still not dilating and are thus not in labour.

This thread is certainly sorting out any broodiness I had. It's amazing what you forget. Weeing was so painful for days.

I am glad I didn't know any of this to be honest

Whizzz Sat 21-Jun-08 21:16:50

Are these all going in the next MN Book ??

RiojaLover75 Sat 21-Jun-08 21:20:41

That you bleed so, so much and don't bother buying those really nice nighties and pyjamis all brand new and lovely, wear them once after the bith and they're ruined!

Also you should know that those disposable knickers you can buy for after the birth are on the smaller side of sizes, esp when you try to fit a monster sanitary towel in there and then put them on. Cue much hilarity from the midwives while I'm wobbling around post birth trying to lift legs into them after DS1's birth. Always buy a bigger size in everything!!

muppetgirl Sat 21-Jun-08 21:21:48

That it's okay to not feel an immediate rush of love for your baby and that it does come eventually.

That the birth was only the start...

Dottoressa Sat 21-Jun-08 21:22:23

That you will leak milk everywhere (I got through the whole pg without wearing a bra, so ironing-board-like am I - but nobody ever told me about what was to come...)

That the white thing I had to have stuck in my hand for three s*dding days post-birth was in its own way as painful as a back-to-back labour.

That you will have to wee into a bidet of warm water unless you are very lucky.

That the after-pains hurt.

That you need lots and lots of paper knickers, and even more maternity pads.

That you will be wearing maternity clothes for some time to come.

That you will forget your name and address (or maybe that was just me, following v traumatic experience).

That you can't feel an epidural and spinal block going in when you've been in agonising back-to-back drug-free labour for 18 hours.

That you will never ride a bike again.

That you will want to do it all over again two years later!!

RiojaLover75 Sat 21-Jun-08 21:22:31

Sorry birth (obviously) blush

snickersnack Sat 21-Jun-08 21:26:18

That when you have your first shower after birth it will look like someone killed a pig in there. And that the mad rush of hormones will mean that if you drop your brand new tooth brush into said mess, you will sit on the loo and weep for 10 minutes before the midwife comes and rescues you.

bergentulip Sat 21-Jun-08 21:44:37

That you throw up as well, - as if the blood and wee and other fluids weren't enough!

Oh, that it is possible to eat a fish pie, peas and cheese cake midlabour, between gasps of gas+air.... (!- might have something to with the throwing up, on reflection!!)

MrsPickles Sat 21-Jun-08 21:58:16

That bloody deep breathing, waterbirth and active birth positions are not enough - people have drugs because it FECKING HURTS. If you have drug-free labour you were LUCKY not GOOD at giving at birth.

The main thing I found wasn't printed in any books is that ITS NOTHING LIKE THEY TELL YOU IN THE BOOKS.
So throw them away!!

hillbilly Sat 21-Jun-08 22:28:50

The pain.

hillbilly Sat 21-Jun-08 22:29:25

Oh and yes I agree about the bum thing.

Elasticwoman Sat 21-Jun-08 22:42:57

I didn't rely on books - I talked to people and went to classes.

I had not anticipated that with dd1 I wouldn't get a break between contractions - each one seemed to start at the end of the one before.

Twinklemegan Sat 21-Jun-08 22:46:22

Oh God, don't get me started.

That it's Hell on Earth - how's that?

Twinklemegan Sat 21-Jun-08 22:48:10

Actually, scrap that - I don't wish I'd been told that or I'd never have had DS.

I wish I'd been told that MWs would believe a paracetamol was enough to deal with the strongest contractions of my entire labour. hmm

snice Sat 21-Jun-08 22:53:04

That epidurals sometimes don't work

That some of the midwives are cows

Pethidine stops you being able to understand whats going on and means your baby will probably be v.sleepy and not feed properly

[bitter emotion]

That I will scream louder when opening bowels for the next year than I did in labour

That I will be unsure whether I am in labour

That no one has ever been in as much pain as I was

That you shouldn't say you are exclusively bf as when you can;t get bub on they refuse to give you a bottle

That I'd have to take new baby with me when want to shower

That I will forget how to walk without the waddle

That I will still look like I'm pregnant

That pethodine is crap

That they purposely leave it too late to have an epidural

To take food in your labour bag

God there's loads!

Hoonette Sun 22-Jun-08 07:52:23

I am far too bitter to add anything, as I wouldn't be able to stop typing.

But I agree with all your wise words!

macaco Sun 22-Jun-08 18:06:32

That, not matter how many of these threads you read before you can never really understand. It was simultaneously the worst, most frightening (4 hours from water breaking to birth, ventouse delivery cos baby in distress) mosty painful thing I'd ever done and yet the most amazing thing and I was on such a high for about 3 days afterwards.

Also, once I got to hospital at 5 cms (took about 7 hours from first twinge to 5 cms) I would be totally incoherent and totally unable to understand anything anyone said, as if it was all Japanese. Really. I could only get occasional words...like ...no epidural...WHAT??....ventouse....eh?....push now ! This was all with no drugs whatsoever, i think just the sheer intensity and shock and speed and pain of it all! And I'd still love another!

Miggsie Sun 22-Jun-08 18:08:00

I wish they'd told me how much GUNGE and liquid comes out!
How was I not totally dehydrated after it? There was great splats of blood on the opposite wall!

DH has never recovered from this.

Miggsie Sun 22-Jun-08 18:14:42

..oh and the pains of "let down" when you BF.
Only Libby Purves' book mentioned this she wrote "the toe curling agony when they start sucking"...thank God for her, cos the MW said it should not hurt, what crap, it was bloody agony for weeks all round my boob as the milk dropped down.
Nipples ok, boobs on fire.
Thank you God.

Doodle2U Sun 22-Jun-08 18:16:40

That a midwife comes in after the birth and washes you and that it's the most welcome wash you'll ever have!

That the first time just you and your baby are together & everyone else has gone and you study each others faces, you will be overwhelmed and there is no other feeling in the world like it.

That in between contractions it doesn't actually hurt. I wasn't somehow expecting the 'Agggggghhhhhhhh ... yes ha ha, that was a strong one, anyway, you were saying ripping out the rose bush in the front garden...AGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH ... well I'm not convinced, what were you thinking of instead ..AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH .... etc etc smile

Turniphead1 Sun 22-Jun-08 18:38:39

- That paper knickers all come in size zero as some kind of dreadful joke...so buy a whole load of dirt cheap massive pants in BLACK and bin them when they get covered in blood (its the one time when you can say sod the environment I think)

- that witchhazel liquid (from boots)kept in the fridge and then applied to your sanitary pad the size of a small sofa is something close to heaven

- that the best thing to help fanjo healing is actual to spray the shower head up there (and doesn't hurt)

- that the piles you had in pregnancy may have gone away but will return with a venegeance after pushing out your little darling (pack your anusol...)

- that sometimes the best use for your breastfeeding cushion is sitting on it

- that the tea and toast you have in the delivery suite may be the nicest food you have ever eaten and you may be able to eat an entire loaf

- that you can't sleep after giving birth because you are on such a high, but (esp subsequent times) you are desperate to as this is the WINDOW of opportunity while the little tyrant-to-be sleeps off all his/her exertions.

- that your placenta is ENORMOUS and its quite cool to see it in the bucket in the delivery suite

- that one of the hardest things in bf'ing a newborn is their bloody other arm (ie the one that doesn't tuck under your own armpit) - it just flails around like a manic octopus stopping you getting him on - try wrapping a muslin round his body to errrr restrain him (note to self - gap in market for babystraightjackets??? hmm BebeNutter tm)

- that swaddling newborns is great and they love it, but you do feel kind of cruel

- that every time you have been lying flat for a a while and you stand up there is the world's largest gush of blood. It seems that the joy of having no period for 9 months is offset by having 9 months worth of blood in a day. Nice

fitnfortyone Sun 22-Jun-08 18:53:59

That the sleep deprivation can be worse than anything you've already experienced.

That the hormones flooding through you make you cry uncontrollably and make you feel like the worst mum in the world ever.

That you'll get some lovely midwives and some real monsters in the hospital who after your csection try to help get bf established by ramming your udders into your baby's mouth, then alternately tell you you'll have to express as you're disturbing everyone else on the ward with your bub's crying.

That "real" nappies are a fantastic idea, look lovely, feel nice etc but are totally impractical when you're so knackered you don't have the energy to change them every 2 minutes when your LO has a wee/poo/both.

That meconium has to be experienced to be believed, and that you can only clean it off with wipes which you have to hide from the m/wives who expect you to use dinky bits of cotton wool and water.

And of course, that just because you have a great baby who wants to sleep all the time, you shouldn't let them....and you have to wake them every couple of hours to make sure they get enough milk or they end up with jaundice (which you naively think is a nice sun tan)...

That hypnobirthing may not get you through the actual birth, but sure as hell helps prevent you panicking throughout the pregnancy.

That your pregnancy can be completely plain sailing up until you hit 40 wks then your blood pressure can screw up all your plans.

Ooh, sorry for sounding a bit bitter, still getting over it 14wks later!

Bronze Sun 22-Jun-08 18:56:11

My three things are

That not everyone can have gas and air
That after pains can be worse then labour
That you can drop clots the size of plates

Wade Sun 22-Jun-08 19:02:44

That even though you didn't even need any stiches, your fanjo is swollen to the size of a basketball, is generally unrecognisable and hurts like a bastard for ages.

snice Sun 22-Jun-08 19:07:26

That you may be permanently starving and there isn't enough food available-bring good snacks

And despite my post of 22.53 on Sat:

number two was completely different and fabulous (homeirth) and I'd do it again tomorrow if I wasn't too old!

Doodle2U Sun 22-Jun-08 19:10:36

Oh - agree with funnypeculiar. I was happily surprised with the breaks between contractions during my first labour. Even managed a cup of tea grin

That no matter what you should take all the drugs you can get your hands on!!

ladymariner Sun 22-Jun-08 19:23:15

Yep, agree with funnypeculiar aswell, didn't expect to be chatting about exercise with the student midwife who had obviously been told a good bedside manner means chatting to someone regardless of the situation grin She was lovely though and I didn't have the heart to tell her to shut the feck up!

That you will say to your hv that you would like to try for a natural birth and be yelling for an epidural the minute you get fed up with the tens machine

That tens machines do feck all

That once hooked up on the epidural (god, I love epidurals!!!) you suddenly instantly decide you want a poo

The midwives will tell you that you don't and anyway, you can't move becaue you are attached to the epidural machine you were so insistent upon

You demand the right to poo and, with dh on one side and a midwife on the other holding you up, produce a poo into one of those cardboard bowler hat type things, the size of which a rabbit would be proud of

You feel insanely proud of the fact that you "had proved them wrong" !!!

Later you can't believe you were so belligerant over a poo and want to curl up with shame blush grin

bergentulip Sun 22-Jun-08 19:33:47

ladymariner.... no post on MN has ever made me laugh out loud until this moment! Thank you

ladymariner Sun 22-Jun-08 19:37:03

You're welcome, bergentulip smile

choufleur Sun 22-Jun-08 19:40:38

that pushing on your perinium when having a poo after giving birth really helps (as pelvic floor muscles seem to have pushed out with the baby). it's not very pleasant really as you end up weeing on your hand.

TheProvincialLady Sun 22-Jun-08 19:46:36

That afterwards experienced MW will come in troops to observe your fanjo, and will both visibly and audibly WINCE.

Amberc Sun 22-Jun-08 19:53:14

that a water birth ony relieves the pain for about 30 minutes, that gas and air only then relieves the pain for about another 30 minutes - not to feel guilty about wanting an epidural - it was like heavenin a syringe (and you can still push - just pretend you have major constipation and are pushing out a big poo!)

Romy7 Sun 22-Jun-08 20:13:43

provincial lady - wincing i can deal with, recoiling in horror is even worse...

Amberc Sun 22-Jun-08 20:20:33

That after you have given birth and look at your baby it doesn't seem like they are yours and you expect someone to come and take them away any minute! I still don't believe my baby was ever in me and it's a week later!

GustWriter Sun 22-Jun-08 20:32:59

I could have done with someone telling me how to breathe and then push through a contraction.

scottishmum007 Sun 22-Jun-08 20:43:26

that a third degree tear really really hurts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GustWriter Sun 22-Jun-08 20:48:43

my 3rd degree tears didn't hurt as much as the piles I pushed out 1st birth.

2nd birth less piles so happy as a clam

scottishmum007 Sun 22-Jun-08 20:53:20

the piles i could handle, the actual tear I couldn't, the birth I found much easier! never thought i'd say that in a million years.shock

TheProvincialLady Sun 22-Jun-08 20:53:58

Romy that was my DH job - I didn't even dare look for a couple of months and even then it was black and blue and woefully misshapenshock And don't even get me started on what my bum looked like.

The good news is, it eventually went back to normal and you can't tell it was so battered.

wolfear Sun 22-Jun-08 20:54:50

Having your waters burst by that plastic hook thing is like turning on a fire hose

scottishmum007 Sun 22-Jun-08 20:55:04

the books all about pregnancy never tell you about the tears, it really annoys me. i bought conception pregnancy and birth and there wasn't even a mention of the word tear. Does it not happen in general or is it just us really unlucky ones that are in a minority???

CatIsSleepy Sun 22-Jun-08 20:57:17

that when you push you have to push out of your bum so that it feels like you're trying to do the biggest poo ever (whilst simultaneously hoping that you don't do the biggest poo ever)

no one has mentioned that lovely postpartum vomiting session where every retch forces blood and 'products' from your nether regions in a beautifully humiliating fashion

the harmony of upper and lower body doing as nature intended!

scottishmum007 Sun 22-Jun-08 20:57:54

yep had that hook thing aswell to break the hind waters, wasn't too bad because I was in a bath, just felt discomfort.

TheProvincialLady Sun 22-Jun-08 20:59:11

Ah yes Butterfly. "That's your hormones" says evil MW. No, that's the artificial fecking hormones you gave me to whip the placenta out, you patronising bint.

DonDons Sun 22-Jun-08 21:00:06

all the wetness

waters breaking (change pants)

weeing during labour (change pants again)

more waters (bin the pants and forget it)


more waters

then afterwards


more blood

and god the sweating and the night sweats

scottishmum007 Sun 22-Jun-08 21:00:09

defo agree with the poo thing, was only told by the midwife that it's normal as it was actually happening. hello - why was this not mentioned at antenatal??? pre warning would have been so good...

Joolyjoolyjoo Sun 22-Jun-08 21:00:27

LOL at this thread! I would say

That despite dutifully packing warm socks, as advised by all the books/ magazines, I never EVER once thought, "Hmm, my feet are cold and are a major source of discomfort- so glad I have my warm socks!" The temperature of my tootsies was waaay down on my list of concerns!

That mw's work on the good cop/ bad cop principle. There is usually one snippy unsympathetic one and another gentle natured one. After the first full cylinder of entenox you will be clinging to the nice one like a toddler and refusing to let her leave, telling her in a stage-whisper "Don't leave me with HER! (standing 2 ft away) She's MEAN! I like you- you remind me of my auntie Margaret"

That when you start to feel the urge to escape through the air vents, you are probably in transition, and all those people are actually quite right to try to stop you- especially since you would only get horribly stuck like Winnie the Pooh in rabbit's doorway.

That not all births are textbooks, and mw's don't ALWAYS know best. If you are telling them you think you are ready to push and they are telling you (with a patronising smile) that you have hours left to go, demand that they check you, and give you a number between 1 and 10. Try not to smile patronisingly when they realise that you were right after all!

That you can pack as many old T-shirts as you like for giving birth, but you might feel that you can'r bear anything touching you at all! I am not normally an exhibitionist, but in all 3 labours I have felt the need to be completely naked, and couldn't seem to give 2 flying figs who might be unfortunate enough to have to witness the trsumstic sight of my end-of-gestation body. I was even wheeled naked down a corridor in a wheelchair (the mw did throw a blanket over me, tbf) and I cared not a jot!!

That being told "try not to push!" as they wheel you naked down a corridor is akin to telling someone to try not to puke!! The urge to push is just like the irrepressable vomit reflex, only at the other end!

(For your partner) That for some reason the scissors they give you to cut the umbilical cord are always blunt, and it will feel like you are tring to cut it with your toddlers plastic safety scissors.

That the oxytocin high is a truly wonderous thing and should be treasured.

That after giving birth you will feel like (and look like!) a beanbag with the beans removed. If you thought it was impossible to feel less attractive than you did when you were 40 weeks pregnant, think again!

Sushipaws Sun 22-Jun-08 21:04:02

I spent weeks in desperate fear of tearing. Why couldn't someone just say, "You might tear but it'll feel like a cigarette burn, and thats it." Or "You'll be too busy screaming like a donkey to worry about tearing."

DonDons Sun 22-Jun-08 21:05:29

<<wincing at cigarette burn on fanjo image....>>

Thomcat Sun 22-Jun-08 21:07:12

That you will do anything to make sure you DH doesn't get on that train to London when you go into labour, inc running down the platform - naked other than a slashed to thigh dressing gown and flip flops with waters doing that long slow unending trickle down your legs, holding the bump!

turtle23 Sun 22-Jun-08 21:12:43

That your sphincter would be the last thing to recover...how can a large episiotomy heal quicker than turned inside-out rectum?
That you can go through 30 hours of labour at home and have your home-birth plans scarpered by BABY getting tired.
That BF is NOT EASY, it can be so much harder than anything else and you might not like it very much.
That your baby will wake you up at 3 am, you will grumble and swear, then he looks up and smiles and you forget, forgive, and melt.

CatIsSleepy Sun 22-Jun-08 21:16:13

that you'd still look 6 months pregnant even after the baby was out

Romy7 Sun 22-Jun-08 21:17:52


otherwise they tell you you can't be in established labour as you are not bellowing like an elephant.

then when they are about to send you home to faff around there, they will discover you are 7 cms dilated, and suddenly start treating you like a woman in labour, despite you having been telling them that for 8 hours.

then they will try to turn your baby, as because you have been marching round the damn hospital for 8 hours 'not in labour' no-one will have noticed he is back to back.

ill advised and unsuccessful veterinary procedures over with, you will then be so knackered as you have walked about 17 miles, that you will lie down and wake only for contractions.

they will want to give you a cs at this point.

mollysawally Sun 22-Jun-08 21:20:24

oh Thomcat .. did you really, poor you!

Romy7 Sun 22-Jun-08 21:21:05

if you are the first mummy to give birth in the new year, they will put your child in a tinsel festooned plastic box.

local tv cameras will turn up before you have had a shower, and interview you in your blood spattered theatre gown.

the reporter WILL ask you whether you are going to have any more babies.

glucose Sun 22-Jun-08 21:21:58

it's quick and easy compaired to 9 long miserable months of pregnancy, mine was not half a scary as I thought it would be

sweetkitty Sun 22-Jun-08 21:22:59

Thomcat - that story is priceless grin

I have loads already mentioned on here and probably shouldn't be reading this considering I'm 37+3 weeks pregnant!

- you will not believe how anal it feels the baby feels like a giant poo
- you will not care that your DP is wiping your poo up for you
- that a lot of women don't have text book labours and not to believe them when they say you have hours to go
- that 2 paracetamol and a bath is the most useless piece of advice ever

ladymariner Sun 22-Jun-08 21:23:43

That the midwife will ask you where your toiletries bag is and you will point to it and she will wash you from head to foot whilst you are still on the trolley holding your baby and it is fab and she even did behind my ears and i really really loved my mw!!!! (the proper one, not the student one, although she was very nice aswell!!)

You will be put into bed and then decide you need a wee (it was all bodily functions with me grin) so your midwife takes you to the loo in a wheelchair and waits in the room while you have a wee and you will tell her its ok and that you can manage and she will smile knowingly and still wait and you will then try to stand up and you will then collapse, said midwife will then put you into the wheelchair and take you back to your room!

That night the midwife will come round and ask if you want ds to go into the nursery so you can get some sleep. You will look aghast and say, no thankyou, its my baby, I want him near me always and forever. At approx 3am ds will feed and then do a fabulous impression of the Exorcist with projectile vomiting which will then cover every fecking thing in the room and you will wish you'd said yes to the fecking nursery.

Midwife will poke her head round the door, say to you to sort baby out and she will sort the bed/walls/floor/etc etc out and she does and then she will make you a cup of tea. And you will then actually tell her that you love her!!!

It was a really quiet time when I was in, just me and another lady on our ward, and for that I am eternally utterly grateful smile

littlelamb Sun 22-Jun-08 21:24:40

That for at least a day afterwards you will be bent pratically double and unable to stand up straight because you just feel so empty

Thomcat Sun 22-Jun-08 21:27:04

LOL! Err no, err it wasn't me, it was a friend of a friends boyfriends cousins donkey! wink

DonDons Sun 22-Jun-08 21:30:55

that you will take your new baby to the toilet with you because they won't discharge you until you have a poo, and you know it is going to hurt, and you are going to be in there for hours and can't bear to leave your baby. Then the baby will want to feed mid poo....

that the auxilleru nurse giving you your post birth bed bath will clean your nether regions then tell you afterwards that you had done a bit of poo (and been sitting in it) but it doesn't matter blush

bergentulip Sun 22-Jun-08 21:36:58

... that when you are in hospital after having your second, you look at all the mothers picking up their babies when they are fast asleep and think they are NUTS... glance over at sleeping 12hr old baby, then turn around, pick up your coffee and put the headphones on for the tellie.... blush

(cuddles and bf-ing and adoring gazing strictly restricted to times when infant not happily asleep in cot/plastic box I am afraid)

bergentulip Sun 22-Jun-08 21:38:24

... and on that subject. It all seems rather bizarre in retrospect that you have all these new mothers waddling wandering around in unsuitable nightwear, huge pillows clearly visible in their knickers, wheeling around plastic boxes with babies in them...

bergentulip Sun 22-Jun-08 21:38:56

Of course I was one of them!

Turniphead1 Sun 22-Jun-08 21:42:03

WHERE were all these ladies giving birth that were washed by midwives???I demand an inquiry grin
After a 72 hour (full on) first labour inc emergency transfer from birth unit to NHS hospital, I was told to get myself off the trolley and into the shower on my own half an hour after pushing out DD1. Needless to say I nearly fainted...then allowed to go home a mere twelve hours later after 84 hours of no sleep...

And needless to say, being in lucky position second time round to be able to afford it, we went private! I suppose giving birth in the pool meant that less washing required. God knows, it was all left behind, floating around....lovely

Gosh I do hope no first timers are reading thise thread.

choufleur Sun 22-Jun-08 21:43:07

LOL Tomcat - have a vision of someone with mad hair running down the platform. couldn't do that where i live you have to have a ticket to get on teh platform

That you will say to your hv that you would like to try for a natural birth and be yelling for an epidural the minute you get fed up with the tens machine

That tens machines do feck all

That once hooked up on the epidural (god, I love epidurals!!!) you suddenly instantly decide you want a poo

The midwives will tell you that you don't and anyway, you can't move becaue you are attached to the epidural machine you were so insistent upon

You demand the right to poo and, with dh on one side and a midwife on the other holding you up, produce a poo into one of those cardboard bowler hat type things, the size of which a rabbit would be proud of

You feel insanely proud of the fact that you "had proved them wrong" !!!

Later you can't believe you were so belligerant over a poo and want to curl up with shame

Oh my god, can't stop laughing at this post. So funny!

Romy7 Sun 22-Jun-08 21:45:47

but choufleur, who was gonna stop her?! here the platform nazi would have opened the barrier in shock!
free tickets for waterloo!

Thomcat Sun 22-Jun-08 21:50:49

LOL! You need a ticket where I live too but I was obviously in labour, was wearing my dressing gown with a huuuuuuge bump, had waters pouring down the inside of each leg and screamed 'let me on the platform my husbands on it'! Think the guard and all the Monday morning comuters guessed what was happening and kindly didn't make me buy a ticket!!!!!! grin

jooly you post had me laughing out loudgrin

I loved the 'mw good cop/bad cop routine' grin

And as for

'That you can pack as many old T-shirts as you like for giving birth, but you might feel that you can'r bear anything touching you at all! I am not normally an exhibitionist, but in all 3 labours I have felt the need to be completely naked, and couldn't seem to give 2 flying figs who might be unfortunate enough to have to witness the trsumstic sight of my end-of-gestation body. I was even wheeled naked down a corridor in a wheelchair (the mw did throw a blanket over me, tbf) and I cared not a jot!!'

I think that was the funniest post I have EVER readgrin

choufleur Sun 22-Jun-08 21:55:50

not really to do with the details of child birth or post labout but take really cheap foam flip flop with you to the hospital the wear to the toilets/shower (see throughout teh thread about teh amounts of blood that is lost). Unless you are the 1st person to have a shower after they have been cleaned then there will most probably be someone else's blood on the floor.

Amphibimum Sun 22-Jun-08 22:03:14

after the first birth, i wished in the days that followed that someone somewhere might have mentioned that my arse would feelm as though it had been invaded with a cricket bat, vigorously, for quite a while (and yes i do mean the fat end of the bat)

didnt feel it after subsequent births, but that is the clearest memory i have of surprise sensations following no1.

Nappyzoneneedsanewname Sun 22-Jun-08 22:06:00

That for all your hard work you will be rewarded with a feast to die for..... a scratty piece of cold toast angry

Romy7 Sun 22-Jun-08 22:09:44

that they will give you this toast even when your baby has been taken off to resus, and expect you to eat it.

no-one will speak to you for four hours and you will not know if your baby is alive or dead.

actually, scrub that, it's a bit mean for first-timers.

findtheriver Sun 22-Jun-08 22:11:36

That you will make weird unearthly animal noises.
That you will get to the point where you want to die.
That crowning really does feel like someone's opened your legs and aimed a blow torch at your fanjo
That when you have a natural birth, once the baby is out, you will feel a sense of exhilaration and pride in yourself that's like nothing on earth!

rachelgreen Sun 22-Jun-08 22:25:22

that for all the hours you spend concentrating on your birth plan, writing, rewriting, typing it up, spell checking, rehearsing it, making sure DH knows it all...not only will the MWs not even ask for it, you won't even think about it once.

that all these magazines that tell you to pack some books and magazines for in-between contractions are having a laugh at our expense

that the first poo after delivery will hurt - more than the labour itself!!!...5 days later it finally came out the size of a cricket ball (honestly, I made DH look at it!)

that post-delivery, the MWs and HVs will come out with all manner of useful advice it would really have helped to have known at around 38 wks so you could get the stuff in...e.g. anusol, lactulose, witch hazel, lansinoh...oh, the relief of the witch hazel on a pad in the +++size bridget jones black pants! - why oh why doesn't anybody tell you to just get some in??? it's about £1.50 in boots!

if you can get near, get rid of the lady bush hair before hand, or the slightest hint you might need some assistance during delivery and a dry razor will attack you - and the last thing you need with piles, bleeding, acid wee and cracked nipples is a constant fuzzy itch down below due to regrowth.

That when people tell you "it's like ahving a poo" they mean it's exactly like that! They don't mean "you push in a similar way" or "it's a similar-ish sensation" they mean exactly. Well blush you get the idea

EyeballsintheSky Sun 22-Jun-08 22:40:47

That for days afterwards, random people will demand you drop your pants so they can look up your bum, and you will meekly roll over and let them...

But you still don't want to go for a smear 3 months afterwards. <note to self, book smear>

You can determine the difference between first time and fourth time mums as they enter the maternity unit

First time mums to be in hospital as they tend to carry a book prominently - normally 'what to expect...' or some shite from Miriam Stoppard. together with a bag for baby, bag for them and bag for their partner. Huffing and puffing. Baby's bag may well be coloured according to what flavour baby they are having.

Second time mums - one bag, partner, looking frustrated.

Fourth timer - carrier bag from Sainsburys with biscuits, partner being yelled at to just 'park the fucking car and sod the fine'.

findtheriver Sun 22-Jun-08 22:44:55

LOL Eyeballs that's so true. I remember lying there not giving a damn who was gonna walk in.. they could have pulled in strangers off the street and I'd probably have dropped my pants and said 'Want an eyeful??'

Oh and they don't warn you that the consultants/MWs yell gleefully when they manage to break your waters, like they've just done something really impressive. hmm

Due dates are a way to help the hospital schedule inductions and bear no relation to when your baby will arrive. But you will still hang desperately on to that date and then get upset when it passes.

I wish someone had told me you could mistake it for constipation. That way I might not have got to 8cm dilated before I realised I was actually in labour, not in need of an enema! and missed out on several hours of gas and air.
OTOH if I had realised I was in labour, it might have been psychologically more painful iyswim

dontlookatmeimshy - I was indigestion apparently according to my mum. No-one suggested it could be labour till she started straining for a poo in the lift!

BEAUTlFUL Sun 22-Jun-08 22:58:20

That, the day after your C-section, a MW will breeze into your room and cheerily anounce that it's time for you to have a shower and remove your dressing.

By yourself.

That you will enter that shower quaking with terror. That you will grasp one end of that massive, incredibly sticky plaster with trembling hands, convinced that it will stick to your stitches and rip them out -- Ping! Ping! Ping! -- and you'll be skidding around in your own intestines in the bath.

That that, in fact, won't happen and it'll all go OK.

MUM23ASD Sun 22-Jun-08 23:02:50

That as the head squeezes out...you get the worst chinese burn in your most sensitive place...and it lasts longer than any chinese burn you'll ever get on your arm!!!

ronshar Sun 22-Jun-08 23:11:02

Oh my word my tummy hurts. Thank you ladies for making me laugh so much.

What no one told me is that you can feel the baby having a good old kick about just as they are departing your fanjo. It is a little bit like "and here's one more for good measure mummy".

Also why does no one tell you how hard breast feeding is? In between the silent screaming because it hurts more than having the baby, its the constant drowning in milk. It gets you down when you cant leave the house without a changing bab for you & baby!!

ronshar Sun 22-Jun-08 23:12:04

I meant changing bag!
Flipping pregnant brain.

BEAUTlFUL Sun 22-Jun-08 23:15:51

That you might get trapped wind after your C-section. This will be unbelievably painful and you'll immediately brush off the MW's Lactulose suggestion, and whimper, "It's not possibly wind, I know my womb is falling out."

That you might need to be given a suppository to release the trapped wind. This will be adminstered in your cubicle on the ward, probably in the evening when all the other Mums are silently feeding their babies, less than two feet from you behind a flimsy curtain.

That, to calm your nerves (and vainly try to release some tension from your petrified ring), your MW will narrate every stage of the suppository process. "OK, I'm just putting KY-Jelly into your anus now with my finger. Try to relax if you can. Bit more. Now, I'm pushing the suppository against your anus. I'm slipping it inside. I'm going to push it up about six inches with my finger... You're very tense."

That you'll be burning with shame, thinking, "PLEASE shut up."

That you will then hide, mortified, inside your inadequate cubicle until the suppository decides it's poopy time, then try to emerge all casually in front of the other Mums, carrying your make-up bag like you're just off to put some blusher on. You'll ignore the loo on the ward and stagger, cowboy-style, as far as your clenching cheeks can carry you up the corridor, to a loo where nobody knows you're about to have the shit of your life.

That you'll collapse on to the loo and immediately let rip a fart so explosive, it echoes off the walls, and only then will you realise you picked the loo directly opposite the MW's tea-station. And that two of them have just arrived to make tea. And that they will actually STOP TALKING, your fart was so loud.

ronshar Sun 22-Jun-08 23:18:56

Now I am cryinggrin

AggiePanther Sun 22-Jun-08 23:27:47

rofl beautiful!

Chocolate - I used to scoff at those stories about people thinking they had indigestion and were actually in labour. How could they not realise? Now I know shock

Pmsl excellent, I don't have any funnies from labour as had 2x C-sections, but when I worked on a post-natal ward I remember answering a bell and finding a poor woman trying to change her baby for the first time. It had done the most evil of meconium poos and both her and the baby were covered with it with literally a small mountain of wipes piled next to her. Well I found it funny anyway lol.

SoreBumNoMore Sun 22-Jun-08 23:55:07

I wish I'd been told exactly why you shouldn't push your poos out (scuse the graphics here!) if you're on iron tablets post birth. Would've saved me 9 months of anal fissure agony. How reassuring it was to have my GP diagnose me, saying 'it's much worse than piles!' sad.

SoreBumNoMore Sun 22-Jun-08 23:58:58

Oh, Beautiful - you poor, poor thing!!

You've just reminded me of my pooing experiences in the ward...can't quite remember exactly what happened now but in the space of 4 days I managed to completely block the loos not once...not twice...but *three times*! Each time I'd walk over to the MW station and inform them like the responsible grown-up that I am, that 'someone' had caused a problem with the toilets. Course they'd heard it all before blush.

Ambi Mon 23-Jun-08 00:07:35

That labia swells to 10 times it's size after birth and you'll think it'll never return to normal.

That you'll bleed for 6-8 weeks afterwards, it feels like it'll never stop.

That at the end of the birth and you're being stitched up at after a nasty tear you'll giving up caring when the young midwife says, I'm just going to get another mw to check what I've done.

That you lose all dignity the minute you enter the labour ward.

mollysawally Mon 23-Jun-08 00:09:25

BEAUTIFUL - I've just nomiated that post in quote of the week. PMSL!

BEAUTlFUL Mon 23-Jun-08 00:25:00

Aww, thanks. smile I actually forgot the most hideous bit: during the narration, the MW cheerily announced, "Ooh, you've got a pile!" blush blush blush

mybabysinthegarden Mon 23-Jun-08 00:27:30

Beautiful, I am weeping.

That the mw will ask you what your preferences for pain relief are. You will say, well, I'll start with the TENS, then move on to gas and air, and then if I feel like I need it opt for pethedine or an epidural. She will smile and nod as though this is the correct answer, in full knowledge that a few hours later, when the gas and air isn't working any more and you request the next step up, she will be informing you that you're much too far along for the pethedine or the epidural.

Joolyjoolyjoo Mon 23-Jun-08 00:29:43

Oh, and that they may draw a fine net curtain across the room- this does NOT mean you have gone blind from excessive entenox consumption. If you start shouting at everyone that you have gone blind, help, help, they will be understandably alarmed. When you realise that you have not, in fact, lost your vision, and that it is only a curtain, it would be considerate to let the rest of the people in the room know instead of going into hysterical laughter for 10 minutes whilst refusing to surrender the gas and air.

mollysawally Mon 23-Jun-08 00:33:42

Mybabysinthegartden - How true! And they look so smug when they tell you its too late!

howmuchchoccanIeatb4iexplode Mon 23-Jun-08 00:36:40

oh BEAUTIFUL that was hysterical, you write so well grin !!!

olyoly Mon 23-Jun-08 01:13:40

I was STARVING after my ECS but they would only give me tea and broth for 4 days until I 'passed gas'.

That your DH should probably just stay silent through the process. B/c all of his kind words during labor will be met with a firm "Stuff it!" and his need to narrate during the CS, punctuated with ewwws and ohmygods might just get him strangled.

The enormous pain in your breasts once the milk comes in. You will seriously consider asking strangers in shops if you can feed their babies just to make the pressure go away.

bearmama Mon 23-Jun-08 01:15:30

That when you are most desperate to sleep on the evening after giving birth, you cant cos if the newborns arent wailing, their Mums are snoring. Thank god for earplugs!

That you dont care who sees you naked/washes you/shaves your fanjo (I had emergency CS) cos you're so out of it. Ditto for all the needles and bits and pieces stuck to you.

That you might not poo for six days afterwards - and even then only with Lactulose.

That you are SO SORE ALL OVER, for months afterwards, because of the hormones that slacken everything, just when your muscles need to do the most work.

That you completely lose interest in sex blush

That your tummy looks like it belongs to an unfit 70-yr old who spent too much time in the sun.

that mere hours after being cut open from hip to hip for an emergency CS you'll be left alone with a newborn to feed and change it when it feels like all that's holding your insides in is a row of flimsy looking staples and a fear that if you move too quickly your uterus will burst out onto the floor like a scene from a horror film, and you're high as a kite on morphine. I honestly thought that having just had pretty major surgery "someone else" would do the basics for you like getting the nappies etc for you, not leaving you to clutch a pillow over your wound (obviously that's gonna stop said uterus popping out) while hobbling to your holdall and digging around for supplies.
I also stupidly expected support from the staff to get bf'ing started.

thumbwitch Mon 23-Jun-08 01:46:34

That you can get sick with the contractions and throw up (so much for eating to keep up your strength) and that they have an injection to stop you being sick (finally given it after 10 hours of sickness!)

That your insides feel like they are going to fall out every time you stand up for the first few days and you want to hold onto them with both hands

That breastfeeding can be done lying down and in some cases (mine) is the only way to get them to feed, at least to start with

That breastfeeding a child with a tongue-tie can feel like having razors sucked through your nipples - get the tongue-tie snipped! It doesn't hurt the baby at all, mine didn't even whimper.

That not all MW can tell when your waters have broken, even after an internal check shock - I had to tell them it had happened in the loo - in fact, being naive, the waters going in the loo was such a big whoosh and such a lot of blood that I was half scared the baby was down there too!

That dilation can go from 1 - 10cm in about 2 hours, epecially when being induced

That the 2nd stage labour pains go ALL AROUND YOUR BACK AS WELL - who knew?

That standing up during labour is so not an option

That you start to wonder exactly what kind of training MW get as some of them seem to know SFA about labour - not exactly confidence-building

That getting a private room if possible is worth soooo much if you have to stay in for more than one night

That the first poo you do after giving birth will invariably block your toilet as it will be the size and shape of a chocolate log. Should this happen repeatedly due to constipation, a wire coat hanger is useful for breaking said poo up in the bowl before flushing. Gross I know.

That epidurals may not work, and you may end up having to have a blood patch to stop your spinal fluid leaking. This involves having your own blood injected into your spinal column.

That if your MW offers to take your baby away to give you a chance to sleep, you should say YES!

Aitch Mon 23-Jun-08 03:07:51

oh i truly disagree with the last one. midsives have a habit of administering formula while mothers are asleep... so if you don't want to risk that, be careful. plus... i dunno, it always seemed a bit weird to me, the idea that you'd just hand over a brand spanking new fresh out of the box baby to some woman you don't know, even if she does have a uniform on. didn't get why the women on my ward did it, still don't.

olyoly Mon 23-Jun-08 03:41:22

Oh, and that they put a little alarm on your baby's ankle like she's on house arrest. And if you get too close to an elevator or door while walking your plastic boxed baby around, alarms start going off like you've just swiped an Armani gown from Neiman Marcus.

hf128219 Mon 23-Jun-08 07:00:42

Childbirth is meant to be women's best kept secret. Otherwise the human race would die out! grin

Hoonette Mon 23-Jun-08 08:11:24

I would have loved to have handed over my baby to a strange woman in a uniform.

I think it's pretty hard that you go through the exhausting, agonising process of labour, but are not even allowed to get any sleep afterwards because of rooming in! Surely this is one time in your life you actually deserve a rest?!

Things they don't tell you: after labour, you may well find yourself looking after a screaming newborn all night. On your own.

And I didn't even get this mythical tea and toast, damm it!

bergentulip Mon 23-Jun-08 08:17:39

happily handed my plastic boxed baby over to the MW on the ward who offered, second night in. Best night's sleep I've had for the last seven months..... :0)
All three babies got wheeled out, us mums all slept like logs from about 11pm-6am :0

Romy7 Mon 23-Jun-08 09:53:45

leave them in the hossie for 5 weeks - that works too.

german midwives give newborns fennel tea, not formula, even if bf mum tells them not to.

Dottoressa Mon 23-Jun-08 12:02:19

LOL at chocolate log, ManhattanMama.
I will add: don't let the mws give you a double dose of Lactulose "to speed things up a bit".
I only just got there in time ...

Aitch - I can see what you mean about handing babies over, but I did it both times. After the first labour from hell, and no sleep for 72 hours, I needed sleep. Post c-section, ditto!!

cheerfulvicky Mon 23-Jun-08 12:14:21

I'm a first timer - 32 weeks today. This thread has me shivering with fear. Argh!

cosima Mon 23-Jun-08 12:18:47

that when you have sex finally and your loving and caring and gentle dh asks you 'is it ok? / is it painful?' the answer is 'I can't feel a bloody thing, the gap is so bloody wide now!'

Minkus Mon 23-Jun-08 12:23:52

It's not always as bad as you expect.

That gas and air doesn't stop it hurting it just stops you caring that it hurts.

That you might just look at the new little person you've squeezed out and think you've known him or her forever, there's no big rush of love it's as if you've always loved that precious little thing anyway just never met it before.

That second time round you might even look forward to the labour bit because you know you can do it (well you managed last time ddn't you?) and although it's the most unbelievably painful thing ever ever EVER, the feeling afterwards is so beautiful and satisfying.

cheerfulvicky - there are plenty of "it's not as bad as you fear" threads, and plenty of people posting on them (including me)!
If you are lucky enough to have a good labour, ime yes it hurt and was painful but in the same way that climbing a mountain does, the feeling of exhileration and relief at the end is worth it, and you get a baby instead of blisters

Dottoressa Mon 23-Jun-08 12:45:44

Vicky - even if it's a bad labour - and yours might not be! - it's all worth it in the end... Good luck!

TheProvincialLady Mon 23-Jun-08 12:45:58

Cheerfulvicky - my labour was dreadful, awful, the worst thing ever - but I am currently 14 weeks pg with number two and actually looking forward to labour, so it can't all be bad (you do get a baby at the end)grin

TheProvincialLady Mon 23-Jun-08 12:47:00

I've just remembered that I let a MW insert a suppository whilst I was chatting on the phone to a BF counsellorshockblush I had had so many by then that I think I would have done it in front of the Queen, had she visited.

thumbwitch Mon 23-Jun-08 12:50:34

cheerfulvicky - i was very scared of the giving birth process but I found thst hypnobirthing was incredibly helpful in taking away the fear (yes really) and giving me a chance to relax through at least the first part of labour - lost it a bit in the second stage but hey!
Raspberry leaf tea/ extract seemed to help speed up the second stage - I had been taking huge amounts prior to being induced and only had half hour stage 2. And most of that passed in a blur.

mollysawally Mon 23-Jun-08 13:16:22


"That you might just look at the new little person you've squeezed out and think you've known him or her forever, there's no big rush of love it's as if you've always loved that precious little thing anyway just never met it before."

This is exactly how I felt, that I had always known her, it brought a little tear to eye reading that, reminded me of the first time I held dd.

mybabysinthegarden Mon 23-Jun-08 14:08:14

olyoly, in my local hospital it was one security tag on each ankle... still wondering what happened to make them decide that one wasn't enough...

That all those gallons of Lucozade you're drinking to keep your strength up may not be able to to find their way out again without the aid of a catheter.

angemorange Mon 23-Jun-08 15:00:57

Just make sure you can speak up for yourself - or make your other half speak up for you - I was three days into labour and totally tired and exhausted and no sign of DS - I eventually insisted on CS and had a wonderful experience. Recovering was a bit sore but really glad I spoke up and got support from my partner too. It is true - once it's over you would do it all again to get your wee bundle!!

Alishanty Mon 23-Jun-08 15:19:50

Hoonette- I totally agree! You may find yourself on the ward totally exhausted after having no sleep and starving hungry as you've missed tea looking after a screaming newborn on your own as dp has been told to go home. The next night I did take the mw up on her offer of taking my baby away for an hour or 2 as I had still had no sleep after dealing with visitors all day!

expatinscotland Mon 23-Jun-08 15:30:37

that you feel like your insides are going to fall out after vaginal delivery.

and what your vulva and vagina really look like after having a couple of babies pass through.

MKG Mon 23-Jun-08 15:36:13

That two days later I would have an overwhelming urge to do it again.

Miggsie Mon 23-Jun-08 15:39:38

Get an assertive husband!
Mine was convinced I was not being attended to properly so got the midwife back, she had a look, fetched another midwife, then the obstetrician, the registrar and chief obstetrician, I had them all there telling me to get max pain relief as there was "unnatural pain" for a supposed normal birth. Good old obstetrician, I tried pethedine, not much use, so had an epidural, the aneasthetist came in about 30 seconds.
I love my DH!!!!
Lovely epidural.

I knew I was in labour as felt a bit odd, went to loo and the entire world dropped out of my bottom. Is this a sign? I asked, they hurled me into the labour ward, so obviously YES.

After the birth: dreading the pooh as had 300 stitches and on iron tablets...went to loo, the entire world dropped out of my bottom with no fuss or pain. I must have an unnatural bottom!

I had a nice cup of tea after the birth and threw it all up...life is SO cruel.

Oh, and having the midwife come to visit after the birth and say "oh dear, are you normally that pale?" does not do wonders for your self confidence, however, she decided I was in a bad way and got me breakfast in bed while the other mums had to help themselves from a buffet bar arangement.

Flamesparrow Mon 23-Jun-08 15:42:46

You will feel like your insides are falling out whenever you stand/lift something for the next few weeks.

ooh that if a baby unlatches midfeed your milk can carry on pumping and spray amazing distances grin

thumbwitch Mon 23-Jun-08 15:57:24

or spray up their nose or in their eye, causing guilty amusement at the look on their faces

also that day 5 post-delivery can be extremely low emotionally, lots of tears for no good reason (hormones changing, shock wearing off, reality setting in, lack of sleep all contribute to this)

EyeballsintheSky Mon 23-Jun-08 16:10:48

Beautiful, thank you. I have just peed my pants!

slinkiemalinki Mon 23-Jun-08 16:18:31

That the tea and toast straight after is the best meal you will ever eat! They also provided a slice for my DH and mum (labour partner). I ate everyone's slice grin

melrose Mon 23-Jun-08 16:22:18

That huge clots of blood would come out of you afterwards and it is completely normal. That all the stuff coming out of you smells slightly odd.

melrose Mon 23-Jun-08 16:25:37

That staying in hospital "To recover and establsih bf" is no help at all, it is far quieter, more comfortable and pleasant at home, and you might get a bit of sleep!

(DS1 = 3 nights in hospital, no sleep for me, little for DS, struggling to bf, different advice fromeach overrun midwife/aux, far more help fromcommunity mw

DS2= home birth, 11 hour sleep for me and DS with 1 brief interruption for feeding when i woke him up rather than other way round)

SNoraWotzThat Mon 23-Jun-08 16:39:52

Try beforehand to practice breathing with a snorkle and mask after drinking 2 points of cider, to give you an idea what its like focusing and breathing gas and air with a tube attachment.

Warn your birthing partner that you know far more swear words than they realise.

waffletrees Mon 23-Jun-08 17:15:42

That you will feel it is terribly unfair that you are not presented with a medal the first time you go for a poo after having the baby. The bravest thing I have ever done!

wasabipeanut Mon 23-Jun-08 17:20:08

That you get trapped wind a few hours after having a c section and that it is as painful as a contraction.

Seriously - I thought my cut had spilt open or something.

Another huge upside of c sections - not.

that you will beg dp to re marry /marry./be blessed within the first week after birth


you dont know the meaning of the word till you get the post partum love-in mode

it is unreal and does wonders for any blokes ego!

orangehead Mon 23-Jun-08 22:08:31

That feeling a little down on the 3rd day can be a gross understatment and you can feel more like you are losing the plot

turtle23 Mon 23-Jun-08 22:34:09

butterfly-Really? Have to say I couldn't stand the sight of mine...hormones, I suppose.

Ate Tue 24-Jun-08 00:30:22

That the nasty-scratchy-awkward-plastic-clip-things for the cord are not the only option.

Fine hemp twine (sterilised) made a much cleaner, more comfortable, quicker job of DD3's belly button than the nasty-scratchy-awkward-plastic-clip-things did for DDs1+2!

Jelly-belly after first birth was a strange (verging on scary) sensation.

Breastfeeding generally does hurt your nipples to start with. Remember to allow your nips to air dry! (Not sit in soggy pads)It can help a great deal.

Breastfeeding can change your nipples and breasts beyond recognition. For ever.

You are about to realise the meaning of love, life and the universe grin

HoratioMcCain Tue 24-Jun-08 01:19:31

That the massive post partum blood clots are completely normal, and if it so happens that you cough whilst struggling to pull up the plastic pants that are at least four sizes too small and something becomes dislodged, you do not need to pull the emergency cord and scream for a midwife to break into the bathroom as ^"your insides are falling out... maybe a kidney?"^

trishpops Tue 24-Jun-08 09:43:23

that it feels like your baby is coming out of your bottom which in turn feels like it doesn't belong to you anymore afterwards, that you don't need to sit bolt upright with loads of pillows under your elbows to feed your baby (could have taken a lot of pressure off my stitches if i'd known)and that babies sometimes feed for literally hours and hours at a time when waiting for your milk to come in (i was told by HCA in hosp that babies should not have more than half an hour on each breast, which led to lots of worry and tears over next 2 days at home - thank god for lovely MW who put my mind at rest)

blot4 Tue 24-Jun-08 10:02:34

That it's not a good idea to send your dh off to work in the morning, knowing your contractions have started, even if he is hosting a couple of Generals(of the Army type!), because when you phone him a couple of hours later in agony he's not in his office and has left his mobile phone on his desk. You finally get through to one of his colleagues who immediately panics and runs off down the corrider to find your errant dh - who does then have the good grace to come home despite the Generals not yet having arrived!

That the birthing pool in the sitting room will take hours to fill because the tap attachment is hopeless and dh has to resort to using buckets. Given that he was not allowed to let go of my hand during contractions, this was not an easy task. I assisted him slightly, by deciding that the most comfortable place to be at this point was sitting on the loo, meaning he could fill a bucket during a contraction, whilst allowing me to dig my nails into his hand and then ran downstairs to empty the bucket in the pool before running back in time for the next contraction.

cashy Tue 24-Jun-08 11:33:25

It can happen really quickly first time... 4cm to 10cm in 1 hr!

A tens machine really does work

Gas and air can make you sick

You don't need to lie on your back - especially if the baby is back to back with you. Even if the midwife insists you lie on the bed

Feel like you're pushing baby out of your bum - when you feel like you need a poo, its on the way!

And, therefore your bum will be agony for months after...5 mths on and I feel like i've finally back to normal

decaffeinated Tue 24-Jun-08 12:26:33

That after a c-section, when the hospital require you to pass 300ml of wee 3 times before you go home, you don't need to drink 2 litres of water just to be sure. Trust that if you drink normal amount of fluid, you'll have enough wee.

That the shuffle to the toilet after drinking said 2 litres of water post c-section, is the longest, slowest, most desperate trip to the toilet you will ever encounter.

That 4 days after a c-section, you will have possibly the most painful yet satisfying poo of your life!

That when someone says 'you could try...' you will hear.. 'you haven't got a clue what you're doing...'

That even though you've never changed a nappy in your life, somehow you just know how to do it.

That you have never experienced tiredness like you are experiencing it now.

That meeting your baby is the most intense, powerful, incredible time of your life!

That parenthood is huge, scary, and amazing all at once.

Spaceman Tue 24-Jun-08 12:55:24

That you could well vomit for five hours just before, during and after delivering and won't be able to lift your head off the bed to see your new baby because you feel so nauseous.

isaidno Tue 24-Jun-08 12:57:52

It feels like your fanjo has turned inside out when the moment the baby comes out.

(had baby one week ago - had forgotten that sensation)

minster Tue 24-Jun-08 13:04:45

If you have an OP labour there is no relief from the pain between contractions - you will find yourself looking forward to the next one since it distracts you from the feeling that your spine is being ripped out of your body.

It is possible for your cervix to undilate (well swell up) - findng you've 'undilated' from 7cm to 4cm after 30 hours of unmedicated active labour is a really good reason to have a section.

zoejeanne Tue 24-Jun-08 13:11:46

I'm expecting my first and have been sat here crying with laughter at all this ... no doubt I'll just be crying when I realise that all this is true ...

Ate Tue 24-Jun-08 13:26:56

That cutting your talons prior to labour is possibly the kindest thing you could do for your birth partners!

SNoraWotzThat Tue 24-Jun-08 13:30:00

cheerfulvicky and any others first time mums, please don't worry. It will be fine.

What you have to remember is that giving birth is the most fantastic thing. You'll forget any pain or discomfort, and want to do it all again. It's natures way, otherwise the human race would die out as some other posters have said.

FWIW About 20 minutes after giving birth and left alone (DH holding baby), I got up to look down the corridor to see where the MW had gone. When I think about it now, I must have been completely mad. Anyway MW told me off. I have 'mother was in shock after birth' written in my notes!

Ate Tue 24-Jun-08 13:37:26

SNora, I got up immediately after one of my homebirths, offering to make the midwifes a tea.

I hadn't yet birthed the placenta blush

Kaedsmum Tue 24-Jun-08 13:38:47

1)That no one looks at your birth plan.
2)That prostin pains are worse than contractions for some people (me).
3)That they try to tell you your waters havn't broken when they have- leading to infection.
4)That there are some horrible midwives.
5)That they sew you up all wrong and leave flaps where no flaps should be!!

Oh and 7) You actually need to know things afterwards like how to make a baby latch on, then when they won't, how to make a bottle, how to change meconium poop nappies, how to bath a baby, how to cope when they cry or get apnia or reflux or colic... no one mentions these things.


Pipsicle Tue 24-Jun-08 13:47:39

That doing a poo after labour is scary AND if you have had to push like a goodun during labour it may well feel like you have no bowel control for quite a while!

YOur poo also absolutely humdings after labour and does so for several weeks and you will be full of air too (or was that just me?)

dingdong05 Tue 24-Jun-08 13:58:52

Don't know if anyones mentioned this but I was induced and having them measure how far dilated I was hurt like feck.
I know the crowds discussing your fanjo too...

I though getting a smear test removed any dignity I had, but no, I had a shred that "send for someone with longer fingers!" whipped away when no one could feel my cervix.

frazzledbutcalm Tue 24-Jun-08 13:59:29

This post is fantastic and sooooo funny!!! grin

To all those who feel you lose your dignity the moment you step in the delivery suite/ward - my sister's a midwife and she tells her patients, not to worry, you're gonna pick it right back up again as you leave.


Poledra Tue 24-Jun-08 14:16:41

Actually, I wish someone had told my DH that letting me know what I said as I came round from the GA following my em c-s was Not A Good Idea. Am still a bit sad about knowing that the first thing dd1 heard me say was 'No, take her away, I'm too tired, I'll see her tomorrow'.

Sanguine Tue 24-Jun-08 14:25:24

That there are (roughly) two types of birth:

a) the "OMG, that was painful, thank goodness I had a tens machine/kept breathing/had a water birth (etc)... But it was worth it, I got a real buzz out of seeing my baby, and now a couple of months on I can't really remember the pain." birth

b)the "how can something so totally horrific happen to a person and the person not die? Breathing/massage/water/movement - all completely impossible. Birth plan out the window. By the end I just wanted to crawl under a rock and die. I didn't really want to gaze on my baby afterwards, I was too busy throwing up. And now, 6 months on, I can remember every sodding contraction" birth.

Mine was most definitely fell into the B category. If you have a horrific experience, you go into mourning for your birth plan for a while, but at the end of the day, it doesn't stop you enjoying your baby and being a good mum.

Also - BREAST FEEDING IS REALLY HARD! everyone feels like a failure at some point, persistence/sheer blody-mindedness is the key.

What else... Oh - urinary incontinence for the first 24 hours. lovely. You've never seen a girl working so hard on pelvic floor exercises!

frankiesbestfriend Tue 24-Jun-08 14:27:09

I felt like I was going to poo, but the midwife reassured me I wouldn't.
Then.....I didblush

And also wish I'd taken more knickers in my hospital bag. The water was leaking out of me for hours in labour and I got through so many pairs!

MummyAnnabella Tue 24-Jun-08 14:57:23

that when you have strong pains at 33 weeks it is not just "the aches of late pregnancy" and you shouldnt "just get used to it" but in fact you can go into labour at 33 weeks.

said labour can indeed last for 5 days, yes, even when you are already dilated 3cm on day 1

that you shouldnt tell your dh not to come in the middle of the night when your waters break as they will of course decide on an emerg c/s as soon as you hang up the phone

that you do still bleed after a c/s - couldnt understand why i was bleeding from there when ds came out sunroof way

that you can bleed for 12 weeks and it isnt permanent and will eventually stop.

that you can still get an anal fissure after a c/s and that it hurts more than the c/s itself

that you will wake up soaked (changing nighties soaked and hair dripping soaked) from night sweats and that this can go on for weeks

that the £650 you get charged for your own room with an ensuite is the best money you have ever spent and you plan to do it again with no2

bergentulip Tue 24-Jun-08 15:00:36

Types of labour:

C) The "bloody painful, bloody exhausting, no birth plan, quite frankly don't care about a freakin' birthplan(!), get through it minute by minute, definitely still remember the pain!!! but not traumatised, no overwhelming 'rush' of love, just a sort of 'oh, hello, there you are then' accepting love, so I guess that's what all the fuss is about" kind of labour.....

That was me, both times.

But I'm a matter-of-fact kinda gal.

katch Tue 24-Jun-08 15:02:27

That you should keep your mouth closed when pushing, otherwise, as a wise midwife told me 2nd time around, all the energy goes up instead of down.

TheUnsinkableMB Tue 24-Jun-08 15:19:25

Labour: That your plans for an active birth will go right out the window because...

a) you are too bloody knackered.
b) no one told me that contraction pain doesn't just happen in your back/pelvis, but will include the tops of your legs.

That you will want to kill your dp for parking about half a mile away from the hospital entrance when your contractions are 3 mins apart, even though there were 'maternity' ones available, just because he's paranoid about getting a parking ticket!

Post-Labour: That you will become 'tuned' into every noise/cry your baby makes on par with superman's super-hearing, but that your dp will acquire selective-hearing.

That babies really will want feeding every 3 hours.
And that they really won't care how little/no sleep you've had.

CoteDAzur Tue 24-Jun-08 15:41:06

That you should eat lots of cooked green vegetables in the weeks following the birth, lest your poo become a rock and scratch your anus, and you suffer the blinding agony called 'anal fissure'.

That breastfeeding makes your fanjo dry like a bone, and that you should not even think of sex without lubrication at hand.

PuppyMonkey Tue 24-Jun-08 16:06:25

Talking of poo... tmi, but.. I think people should be told that it is perfectly normal to do one when you're pushing out a baby!

I was mortified when it happened to me, but midwife says nearly everyone does it.

And afterwards... Clots the size of small tennis balls in your lochea - that's another one that had me on the phone to midwife at 3am thinking I had shed a kidney. blush

That when you are pushing the head out, it really will feel as if you are actually, really, truly being split in half.

PeterDuck Tue 24-Jun-08 16:14:49

That when you have got through 18 hours of every-five-minutes-excruciatingly-painful-contraction 1st stage and 2 hours of second stage labour, with 4 differnt midwives, 2 of whom were just awful, then passed the placenta and had half a dozen stitches with no (yes I mean NO) anasthetic and are exhausted, there is every possibility that you will then not be able to sleep for more than an hour a day for 3 straight days. This is because you may have to stay in the hospital (I had GBS) and your baby sleeps only for an hour at a time and then wakes and cries for hours no matter what you do, and that the MW's on the ward are not actually paid to look after you in that respect, at all. you are on your own. Having had 3 hours sleep the night labour began didn't help I guess.

No wonder so any women suffer pnd. I actually think if I had not had to stay in the hospital for those 3 days I would have escaped 9 months of what i now see must have been pnd. DH could have given me a chance to sleep by taking dd for walks when she and I were both crying and utterly lost, and I would have been able to have a meal that hadn't had the vitamins boiled/burned out of it.

I'd honestly love another baby, but I'm just not sure I could go through it all again. This sounds pathetic reading back on it, but I am actually pretty hardy. It was a huge, HUGE shock.

Sanguine Tue 24-Jun-08 16:28:37

's not pathetic at all. Me too.

Thought of another thing: that it is possible to get pre-eclampsia AFTER you've had the baby, necessitating a week in hospital.

MrsBumblebee Tue 24-Jun-08 16:32:46

That sometimes the placenta just will not deliver. And that, having resisted everything except gas and air through 48 f-ing hours of labour and a ventouse, you then end up having to have a sodding epidural anyway.

MrsBumblebee Tue 24-Jun-08 16:34:01

Oh, and that the phrase 'no, you're only in pre-labour' will cause you to scream in rage.

PuppyMonkey Tue 24-Jun-08 16:34:02

PeterD - same experience of hospitals here the first time sad.

But Had my second last year and was home after 12 hours - best thing I did. Spent all day in bed eating chocolate (it was Easter at the time), feeding baby and gently recovering. It was such a lovely time, thinking back!

Seeline Tue 24-Jun-08 16:37:59

Just wanted to say to Peterduck - I know exactly what you went through - but honestly the second time was so much easier. I decided in the end that nothing could be as bad as the first experience and went for no. 2. OK I still had stitches and no sleep and a toddler - but it was definitely better!

PeterDuck Tue 24-Jun-08 16:52:30

its really reassuring to hear that people have had similar 1st time experiences and felt better the second time around. I guess that whole, 'becoming a parent and losing your old life' thing doesn't happen the second time too, which must help!

PeterDuck Tue 24-Jun-08 16:53:38

PM, did you have GBS as well the first time then? Can you have it for one pg and not another?? If I thought i could avoid the 3 days in hospital I think i'd have the guts to go for it!

That puking with every contraction is completely normal

choufleur Tue 24-Jun-08 19:10:43

what's GBS?

earlyriser Tue 24-Jun-08 19:30:23

Has anyone mentioned that you will poo yourself when pushing, and if it's a water birth the midwife may fish it out with a fishing net? blush

PeterDuck Tue 24-Jun-08 19:38:03

GBS = Group b Strep - www.groupbstrep.org/ explains it better than I could. I was supposed to go to a birthing centre, but when this showed up on a routine blood test was told I had to go to hospital and then stay in for 3 days following birth so that dd could be monitored for signs of meningitis. It also meant a bloody painful canula thing in my right hand throughout labour which they used every 4 hours for antibiotics and then when it fell out just before I delivered dd's head they insisted on inserting another canula in my left hand whilst i was delivering her.

The fecking stupid thing about that is that it was for dd's protection yet it takes about 20 minutes for the stuff to cross the placenta and she was about to crown. it totally put me off of my stride and made me hugely upset and basically ruined dd's birth. but I digress. (Bitter? Moi??)

Sanguine Tue 24-Jun-08 19:39:06

Group B streptococcus infection.

Contractions are painful, but not completely unbearable. It doesn't necessarily get any worse than the pain of a contraction, the contractions just get closer together and last longer.

With dd1 I was terrified once the contractions started. I thought 'this is what a contraction feels like, how on earth am I going to cope later on in the labour?'

In truth, that was as bad as it got. It isn't always an extremely painful experience. Perhaps I'm just lucky? smile

Bodkin Tue 24-Jun-08 20:10:56

That second time round when you have booked a HB, it might happen a great deal quicker than first time round in hospital, and not to brush DP off with a cheery "Oh i've got hours to go yet" when he suggests phoning midwife... and then when you do phone midwife, not to say "no rush, but I think something will happen tonight", because you might find that the baby will suddenly decide it is coming in the next 20 minutes....

CuppaTeaJanice Tue 24-Jun-08 20:30:00

That your bumhole muscles can't cope with holding in the diorrhoea caused by the iron tablets (they don't make everyone constipated)!!!!

That forceps delivery feels like having your insides dragged out.

That vonteuse doesn't work on babies with lots of hair!

bergentulip Tue 24-Jun-08 21:00:14

oh my god, those tablets gave you diarhoea? Complete opposite in my experience.

Biggest, darkest, most revolting (and dangerous-looking!!!shock)thing I have EVER seen in my toilet, I can tell you......

sparklysparkles Tue 24-Jun-08 21:08:54

That you get a baby at the end, whatever it says on your birth plan and whatever kind of epidural/cs/whatever you have, so not to get all prissy about childbirth like the procedure of getting the baby out of your body was so particularly important.

Sanguine Tue 24-Jun-08 21:32:06

WriggleJiggle shock!!! My contractions were earth-shattering, and I am no wuss, being as I live with pain (some of it pretty evil) day in and day out. I was totally unprepared by how utterly unbearable it was. Gas and air, meptid, TENS - did nothing for me. Could still feel them through the epidural too, though they didn't hurt, thank goodness,

JoshandJamie Tue 24-Jun-08 21:46:40

That bouncing on a trampoline will never be the same again.

Oh, and that the sensation of the baby's body coming out after its head and shoulders are out is close to orgasmic. An amazing emptying, slithering sensation...and the contractions stop.

woodstock3 Tue 24-Jun-08 21:54:52

that you can spend months preparing solemnly for birth, reading all the books/asking all your friends/writing your sodding birth plan in minute detail, and when you are ten days overdue you will have a scan and they will say brightly: 'oh! the baby's breech!' and then you will have a caesarean.
that when you have the anaesthetic thingy for the csection the anaesthetist will say 'this might make you feel a bit woozy'. and about a second later your blood pressure will shoot through the floor and you will pass out. and when you come round your dh will say 'God that was really exciting! they yelled for the crash trolley and you had to be resuscitated!'. and oddly, exciting will not be the word you would have used.
that one of the painkillers they give you after c-section for use at home (i think it was codeine) is massively constipating. and after a few weeks of taking it, doing a poo will give you a rough idea of what you missed by not going through labour. (tis better to stop using the painkillers and put up with a bit more pain throughout the day. you were only taking it to make the bfeeding hurt less anyway, really).
that all the above notwithstanding, you will read a thread on natural birth and think csections are really great grin

Midge25 Tue 24-Jun-08 21:56:54

That contractions can go on for days before you begin to dilate.

Pethidine and TENS = crap. Epidural = manna from heaven.

That when they give you your Wriggler you will be truly amazed and will cry immediately.

You will be strangely fascinated by looking at your placenta in the bowl on the trolley.

Afterward, there is blood EVERYWHERE in the delivery suite.

The midwife gives you a bedbath, and it's FAB

That you need more maternity pads than it is possible to carry. On the first night I had two lined up in me paper gusset side by side

Maternity wards are hotter than Death Valley

That if you have a temperature after labour they make you measure out your wee in plastic jugs and record the quantity on a sheet

cwtchy Tue 24-Jun-08 21:58:45

That your fanjo could be so swollen and misshapen afterwards, that wee will come out at a gravity defying angle and arc straight out of the toilet onto the floor. You will spend a fair amount of time worrying that this is a permanent affliction, and cry because you envisage a future of weeing on your friends/family's bathroom floors.

It only lasted a week though.

Midge25 Tue 24-Jun-08 21:58:58

Totally agree about the codeine, Woodstock3. Didn't have a csection but had it for episiotomy pain and spent a fortune on Dulcoease and Sennacot afterward

thumbwitch Tue 24-Jun-08 22:28:48

cwtchy - PMSL at your post - luckily that didn't happen to me but it did feel like my insides were going to fall out every time I went to the loo for several days, even for just a pee

blackrock Tue 24-Jun-08 22:42:02

That when contractions are in full flow, you won't care about pooing and weeing in front of a whole room of people!

Remain open minded, and informed about your choices, don't have a strict plan, you might be disappointed.

Its easier than a bad bout of hayfever, you get a beautiful baby and its over in a couple of days (labour that is)

ouryve Tue 24-Jun-08 22:57:47

That sometimes early labour is just a myth. Clean your bogs, ladies.

ouryve Tue 24-Jun-08 23:05:19

Oh, and that when you go to take a shit without having any idea about what really is about to happen, that it's amazing how little it really hurts compared with the previous rather painful contraction which must have actually been transition, during which your 2 year old thought it was hilarious to play horsey with you.

And that when you really don't know that it's supposed to hurt so much you can't talk, you can hold a conversation on the phone whilst in transition.

Joolyjoolyjoo Tue 24-Jun-08 23:35:20

Oh, and postnatally, if you are in a ward, it might be a good idea to check that everyone else has used the loo before going to try and do your first-wee-since-the-birth. It can take some time to persuade your bladder to allow the stinging acid out onto your poor mangled bits, and the process is not helped by strange lady banging on the door to come in, shouting that she has diarrhoea, then just as you decide to give up and try again later, you open the door to find, yup, it was too late for angry woman, and you have to try to avoid her hostile glare for the rest of your stay- not easy since you are the only 2 people in the ward and her bed is directly opposite you. Doesn't matter how much you compliment her baby after that, the fact is that you made her shit herself, and she will never forgive you.

And never ever ever go for the corn beef hash on the hospital menu- it looks like it is made from the leftover gore of 1000 childbirths, and was probably the reason the angry lady had her unfortunate accident!

And for some reason some hospitals (mine) seem to think it somehow a good idea to put a full length mirror in the shower room of the post-natal ward- DO NOT LOOK IN IT!! I'm sure it is the cause of many hormonal and hysterical outbursts. Why why why??

ouryve Tue 24-Jun-08 23:40:33

And that the placenta can also get stuck after a precipitate accidental home birth, causing a frantic ambulance ride through rush hour traffic and an eventual spinal block even though labour hardly hurt at all. The spinal block is so much better than the sensation as the male doctor tries his hand at removing it manually without any anaesthesia other than gas and air which only add to the nausea, though.

ginmama Wed 25-Jun-08 08:07:06

That if you are gifted a 'mother-to-be' pampering session with massage, it is a good idea to book this a few weeks before the birth, and not go whilst in labour. If going whilst in labour do not drive yourself, and take pity on the massaging girl when she suggests you call dh as you've made her stop 3 times in the last ten minutes to have a contraction, and although she has plenty of towels she is not a midwife. On the plus side the massage must have done some good as arrived at hosp 2hrs in fully dilated. Midwife "I'm going to get a senior mw to check you - I can't find your cervix". me - omg I don't have a cervix, how's it going to get out???

missingwine Wed 25-Jun-08 10:04:12

grin - thanks for the belly laughs everyone; I've been sitting here with tears running down my face (but luckily haven't peed myself). First baby due on Friday and I might re-read some of these in the hope that I giggle him out!

CoteDAzur Wed 25-Jun-08 11:47:24

Good luck and hope you still find this thread funny after the birth smile

Just wanted to thank all you lovely ladies for the info....this is my second...but I had forgotten all the horible bits....now I am suitably reminded, I'm in total denial that this could happen any day...... smile

gladders Wed 25-Jun-08 12:01:04

that having an epidural put in does not hurt (i actually asked when it was going in just after they had finished)

that having c section does really feel like someone is doing the washing up inside your belly (lots of weird pressure and pulling...)and it doesn't hurt.

that having the dry dressing removed is so painful it will make you cry. (removed it in the shower by myself the second time - with midwife waiting outside - was fine)

that nct advice to always accept pain relief when offered was unnecessary. (was in no pain at all as everything numb, and in the end the anaesthetist was actually v worried about me as was asking for morphine 2 days later.... blush)

that total loss of dignity (inserting catheter in front of 12 people, inserting rectal pain relief after section) is comlpetely forgotten the moment they hand you your little bundle when you are on the trolley waiting to be wheeled out grin

wrigglejiggle noooooooooooooooooo

your description of labour is miles away from mine

pain more pain and nothing but pain

bearmama Wed 25-Jun-08 15:39:36

gladders - they took your dressing off dry? WTF??? Its so painless in the shower.

Oh, yes wanted to add, if you have a CS and then a catheter, it will be bliss not having to get out of bed for a day, but you will STILL feel like you want to pee.

That having the catheter removed is painless (massive relief)

That the toilets are also shower rooms, and the floor can be SWIMMING because the water doesnt drain properly, so always look down so you can lift up trailing hems and not soak your one and only remaining clean pair of comfy trousers.

smellyeli Wed 25-Jun-08 19:21:18

That the midwife may have a better idea than you about how long it's going to take (me in transition - I want a f'ing anaesthetist - angelic midwife - I don't think you're going to need one of those dear - 20 minutes later DD appears after 4 pushes)

How it's almost pleasurable pushing the shoulders out compared to the head.

How they wait to weigh the baby until you're being stitched so that the crying distracts you from the local anaesthetic being injected into your fanjo.

How many pads you will need - think of a number, double it, add 100, not even close. Stock up to avoid midnight dashes to the 24 hour Boots.

How second time around you will be forced to play football in the park with your 3 year old 48 hours after giving birth, whereas last time you hadn't even made it downstairs........

How miraculous the whole bloody thing is however many you've had or seen.

bergentulip Wed 25-Jun-08 19:24:33

"Oh, and that the sensation of the baby's body coming out after its head and shoulders are out is close to orgasmic. An amazing emptying, slithering sensation...and the contractions stop."

Spot on. Forgot about that sensation.

Slither/relief/immediate sanity and head clearing.....


you forgot to add - then go into another bloody mini labour whilst you birth placenta

i have learned to grap gas and air back from midwife to endure this final insult 'OUCH'

Eaglebird Wed 25-Jun-08 20:29:16

Shortly after you've had a baby it will be impossible for you to hold your farts in.
I found this out when DP's Dad visited us in hospital the day after DS was born blush.
Fortunately everyone was too polite to mention anything. Or else DP just assumed his Dad had farted, and DP's Dad assumed DP had farted hmm

fludnelb Wed 25-Jun-08 21:59:15

How your lady bits end up hanging down almost to your knees afterwards they're so swollen! (OK, so I had to have placenta removed manually - I don't know how many arms I had up there trying to get the bloody thing out)

HelenBabyHToBe Wed 25-Jun-08 22:00:24

some of these are rather traumatising - some are funny.
Speakng to a friend who is an anaethnetist. She said DEF go for epidural ! Interesting as she sees lots and lots of births !!! Think she is unto something tho !

thumbwitch Wed 25-Jun-08 22:21:49

HBHTB - not necessarily a good plan if you have to be induced - I was at 42 weeks and they didn't want me to have an epidural as apparently you are more likely to need further intervention such as CS or forceps if you have an epi after being induced.
Didn't have one, birth was fine in the end.

Libra1975 Thu 26-Jun-08 11:03:05

HBHTB - yes your friend sees lots of births where an anaethnist is required not the lots and lots of births where the mother doesn't require an epidural.

Chequers Thu 26-Jun-08 11:08:39

Message withdrawn

Sanguine Thu 26-Jun-08 11:18:56

HBHTB - if you need an epidural, they are bliss, bliss, bliss. If you do have one though, it's dang near impossible to "push down into your bottom" when you don't know where your bottom is any more! And you don't get any of that slithery/orgasmic bliss thing the others were talking about either. After a stupidly long labour with periodic bouts of dislocating bits of my anatomy, I could have kissed my anaesthetist. But, like I say, when you are that tired AND you have an epidural, pushing is really hard. You're much more likely to have a ventouse and episiotomy. If you are keeping a handle on yourself, go for it without. If, like me, they tell you after 30 hours or so that you are still 4-5 cm, and you completely lose your grip, bellowing for an anaesthetist is probably the best thing you can do!

PinkTulips Thu 26-Jun-08 12:49:49

thats birth plans aren't worth the paper they're written on as the midwives will completely ignore them and you'll be unable to communicate and dp will be too gormless to fight for you

that you will spout blood like the victim in a horror movie every time you move for 6 weeks

that the little twinges you feel after the first one are not afterpains...... you'll know what the hell afterpains are every time you try to feed after no 2 and you end up huddled in a ball crying

that breastfeeding does hurt even if you do everything right and the only thing you can do is ride it out with lanisol until your nipples recover from the shock of a baby with a suck like an industrial hoover latched on to them

that one or two packs of maternity pads is not enough

that sometimes when they break your waters every time for the next 2 hours you have a contracton the student mw is going to have to come running with a mop and more pads blush

that although birth without drugs might have gone ok, being stitched up afterwards will leave you screaming for pain relief... which they will give you..... int the form of a fucking pessary

that your dp, much as he might mean well, will irritate you so much during labour you'll want to rip his stupid little eyes out and feed them to him, even if all he did was offer you a cold cloth

that the tea and toast will be the best thing you've ever eaten in your life and will oddly make up for 3 days of prelabour, 18 hours of established labour, your baby being born flat and having to be resusitated and you being torn widthwise by baby trying to claw her way out of you. and that you'll want to kill the stupid orderly after no.2 who brings you soggy toast and cold tea just because it's 12am and the kitchen is closed.

that maternity nurses are the spawn of the devil and will do everything in their power to ensure your first night is the single worst experiance of your life.

that the drip they give you because you're haemoraging will make it impossible to care for your baby and the nurses will refuse to help so you'll spend the first night stabbing yourself repeatedly with the needle trying to feed and change your baby who does not sleep

that you'll be so incredibly proud of yourself and want to do it all again

Stormfly Thu 26-Jun-08 21:39:14

that contractions don't always follow the textbook pattern of gradually getting closer together. Mine were all over the place - 5 minutes then 3 mins then 7 mins, 8 mins, 3 mins, 5 again, back up to 8 etc. etc.

also that the MWs will not let you take home any canisters of gas and air for those early weeks of breastfeeding. Meanies!

specialk1215 Fri 27-Jun-08 10:52:18

that when your water breaks, it could keep gushing, and gushing and gushing... I mean for hours! I literally flooded my bathroom. I had no idea there could be that much fluid in my body!

on a more positive note (for you poor first time pregnant mummies reading this thread in horror!), that the whole birth experience wouldn't be as painful and dramatic as I had thought it would be. Yes, I had an epidural both times, and both births were calm, reasonable, and I would even go so far as to say lovely. I know it is not like this for everyone, but I wanted anyone freaking out to know that sometimes it really isn't that bad!

rzlty Fri 27-Jun-08 16:46:24

approaching pg1 and now even more terrified! What is this back to back everyone keeps mentioning? It sounds horrendous!

thumbwitch Fri 27-Jun-08 20:54:20

it means your baby is positioned with its spine against yours - not the best way to give birth

thumbwitch Fri 27-Jun-08 20:57:13

I would also like to say to anyone who might be freaking out - go and have hypnobirthing! The first session is designed to remove the fear and explain how our bodies do actually know what to do and we should trust our bod to do it and ignore anyone who tells us we're doing it wrong, especially if they're male or haven't done it themselves.
(as an aside, am I the only one who finds male MWs a bit of an odd thing?)

Stormfly Fri 27-Jun-08 22:12:12

Just like to echo specialk and say that I found labour and birth less painful than expected too. Had some gas and air for the last hour first time round because I expected the moment of birth to hurt more than it actually did. Second time I decided to only have pain relief when I needed it but I didn't need any at all (both were fast labours).

GrinningGorilla Fri 27-Jun-08 22:24:29

That all the anxiety you have beforehand about the possiblity you might sh** yourself isn't worth worrying about. When you are in labour you really dont give a sh** whether you sh** yourself or not! grin

Josephnia Fri 27-Jun-08 22:55:19

I agree with GG - I was laying down having a rest between contractions and just weed everywhere - sounds completely icky but everything was totally soggu from waters and no one even noticed. Fortunately never cr*pped on the bed but as GG says that;s the last thing you are worrying about smile

Just5minspeace Fri 27-Jun-08 23:12:07

I have never laughed so much ..... and pelvic floor muscles do come back!
Just beacuse G&A made you sick the first time try it again - 2nd time round it was FANTASTIC.
Inform the midwife if clots are over the size of a 10p........hhhmmmm... nearer the size of a large satsuma/small orange and frightening the first time one falls out
The needle on the back of your hand is more painful than contractions
Mooing is human not cow like
You can feel the tear occuring ---- if they tell you not to push then really try NOT to push
Being stitched up afterwards IS more painful than giving birth
You can learn how to defrost a freezer quickly and discuss receipes between trying to break DH's fingers
You will want to physically harm the MWs who sit and chat/laugh at their desk right outside the room when you just want to sleep
Buy knickers 4 sizes too big
Forget the socks..
It is all worth it - bring on no.3!

DustyTV Fri 27-Jun-08 23:38:06

That when the MW tells you to take 2 paracetamol and a bath to, and I quote, 'take the edge of it' THEY ARE BUG FAT LIARS. take the fecking edge of it my arse.

That when you go in to the hospital your contractions will stop and they will send you home. 3 time this happened to me, but the last time I refused to go home and put my nightie on and dared them to suggest sending me home blush

That after 59 hours of labour and having a horrendous birth you will feel like your eyes have been turned inside out from sleep deprivation, only for it to get much much worse. Then DH saying 'oh I thought it would be harder'
Thought what would be harder exactly, I had the labour, I gave birth, I did ALL of the nights cos you are working hmm
He will get a shock with any other DC we have cos working or not he will be doing nights for the first couple of weeks. I am going to rest next time.

Hobnobfanatic Sat 28-Jun-08 00:02:57

That you'll want to marry your anaesthetist for taking the pain away.

That all you can do is count to 10, then start again, over and over again for 8 hours, cos that's the only thing your brain can manage.

That you'll ask questions like: Who's legs are they - when they are yours.

That you'll feel as though you've been hit by a bus for days afterwards.

That you'll wake up on day 3 with puppies that would make Jordan look as if she's on her first training bra.

Carnival Sat 28-Jun-08 00:14:17

That it is not all over when the baby is out, you've to give birth to your placenta and that's no mean feat.

vizbizz Sat 28-Jun-08 06:17:01

That contractions can be 5 minutes apart from the start to the finish

that the pain after labour can be so much worse and MUCh longer lasting that the labour itself

That many overworked midwives treat you like an imbecile who can't breastfeed and just grab your boob and the baby and slap them together before they ask you what you actually called them for

That just because you didn't have a c-section (though did have a huge dose of epidural for repairs) doesn't mean you can sit up in bed and pick your own baby up out of it's cot

That you can go through labour WITHOUT a transition phase which means a LONG bloody labour even if all those contractions don't hurt half as much as you thought they would

That trying to get help for post-baby injuries is like butting your head against a brick wall

takingitasitcomes Sat 28-Jun-08 15:15:21

That not everyone has a break from pain between contractions. I wish I'd been mentally prepared to not have any rest periods at all during labour.

runragged76 Sat 28-Jun-08 17:49:38

Oh dear god - I have tears rolling down my face, I don't think I have laughed so much, ever!

I wish someone had told me that I would feel like I needed to wee every 5 minutes when the contractions started, but the only way to do this would be to hang off the hand rail next to the loo as relaxing of bladder muscles caused IMMENSE pain - I had a back to back delivery - ouch.

3 years later - I still don't want to go through it again.

TarkaLiotta Sun 29-Jun-08 11:35:32

vizbizz - "like an imbecile who can't breastfeed"?? Charming. angry Perhaps choose your words more wisely another time, no?

yes i thought that a little hmm

nikster Sun 29-Jun-08 16:32:49

That gas and air can make the minute hand on the clock move like the second hand - mesmerising.

That the best thing your other half can do is sit still and take orders - rub my back/ hold my hand/ don't touch me etc

That you have the legal right to request a change of midwife at any time for whatever reason. I knew this and wanted to send the sadist who stitched me up on her way but I'd waited over an hour and didn't want to go back to sitting in a pool of blood while someone else was found.

'Just one more stitch' can mean 6 more stitches even when you keep saying you can feel everything and the gas and air that worked perfectly during labour (noone else thought my jokes were funny but I kept myself amused!) now does nothing to dull the pain as you are repaired in a hash job that the doctor recoils at 6 weeks later!

That crowning does really feel like a chinese burn.

That your toddler will ask you questions with great interest and concern as you are rocking and unable to talk through contractions.

That you can tear quite badly and not feel it at all - at the time.

That just because your first baby was two weeks late it doesn't mean that your babysitters can go away two weeks before your due date the second time around 'because we probably have about 4 weeks to go' because the day they leave is when you WILL go into labour.

That you can cut the cord yourself if your partner is too squeemish.

That giving birth it is the most satisfying and fulfilling thing in the world and you will soon want to do it all again.

zazen Mon 30-Jun-08 00:11:33

That no matter what you do one in four will have a cesarean. 25% to 30% chance for every birth.

That the person who cuts and opens you up might be useless and cackhanded - and may be a trainee.

That for years afterwards you will have numb patches in you abdomen, and be unable to 'pull in' your jelly belly overhang.

That you will look at your baby and might not bond with 'it'. That you might not bond with your baby for about a year, especially if 'it' doesn't sleep (so you don't either).

That you might not be helped at all after the birth in hospital. That the MW can be horrible, burnt out and cruel.

That you might not be able to have sex again because of scar adhesions. That you might have to have a hysterectomy because of the idiot surgeon who chopped you up.

That sometimes things don't turn out for the best, and your baby can be damaged by the birth.

That your cesarean birth will be classed as
'abnormal'. Vaginal=normal.

That you will have a different relationship with your mother. That you will look at your single mates and wonder why they get oxygen as they are so clueless!

That you may be bitter / upset about the birth for a loooong time.

That people will think you are boring / weird / a downer if you 'still haven't got over the birth'.

That you might not ever be able to have another one.

thumbwitch Mon 30-Jun-08 00:15:42

Gosh, Zazen, I hope all those things didn't happen to you? sad if they did

zazen Mon 30-Jun-08 00:25:56

Yes they did thumbwitch, thanks for the empathy- thing is I felt so angry and cheated? as I had done all the yoga, healthy eating, breathing birthing pool homebirth preparations etc.. it was and is a huge shock to me what happened.

I must have some bad karma somewhere!

My DD is 4 now and she's great, I'm still in pain and my marriage is now rocky - I still don't regret having her though, but honestly it took me a few years to be able to say that.

We shall see what the future holds.
Hope I haven't killed this thread! blush

1dilemma Mon 30-Jun-08 00:33:44

I was going to post exactly what the first poster did (have done before on here a long time ago) that for me was very unexpected, made me want to tell the mw to just stick her hand up and pull it out!

1dilemma Mon 30-Jun-08 00:35:10

sorry zazen only just seen your post as I'd hit post.
feel very flippent posting that after you, I hope you find a 'good' ending for it all soon

still I kept the thread going grin

thumbwitch Mon 30-Jun-08 00:40:02

Wow Zazen, v. sad for you now.
I don't know if you've tried it for yourself but cranial-sacral osteopathy (no cracking involved) might help with some of the pain. And also with removing some of the lingering tissue shock.
Some might think it is a bit hokey but I found it extremely good for DS1 and also refer a lot of my clients for it when the massage doesn't seem to "hold", and they have had benefits from it too.

wonderstuff Mon 30-Jun-08 01:35:46

No one told me I would get piles! No one told me that gas and air and pethidine don't stop the pain, just stop you caring about it. I didn't get a bed bath, I got marched to the shower where I tried to wash but got blood everywhere and felt really faint.

I really wish that someone had told me that your fanjo swells up when you have stitches, I was petrified that I had prolapsed

I was also pretty shocked that I had to walk to the ward pushing baby - last time I had been in was for a d&c and then I got pushed to theatre even though I was physically alright

Paranoid1stTimer Mon 30-Jun-08 13:11:10

I had NOOOOOOOOOOOO idea just how awful it would be for 6 weeks or so after giving birth. No one prepares you for how down and physically drained you feel and no one really gives a f*ck about you once the baby arrives. Your visitors will still expect you to make them cups of tea/coffee and will say "See - you can't be house proud now you have a baby" when you have WASTED your precious time tidying up before they came round even though you had absolutely no time to do it.

My SIL did tell me not to worry if I didnt bond with LO straight away - I mean, how long does it take to get to know a stranger to the point where they are a friend? And even then, you aren't expected to let a stranger latch on to your boobs and suck til your nipples split and bleed!!!

No one prepared me for just how awful it is to be forced to stay in hospital (even though you know it is for the good of your baby) with a room full of other women and screaming newborns when all you want to do is try to bond with your LO and the fact that they will open the curtain round your bed day and night due to "health and safety".

No one told me how completely alone you will be with your newborn and how heartbreaking it is when they tell your OH/birth partner they have to go home and leave you all on your own with your baby. They dont tell you ANYTHING in the hospital - you just have to ask ask ask.

Also, I told all my visitors "I am NEVER doing that again" at the time cos it was so awful...

That time really does heal and you get over it all once your little baby becomes a bit more "readable" and gives you the first big gummy grin. Amazing.

I totally agree that it is probably better just to go through with it all totally ignorant to all the horrors because everyones experience is different and you might sail through it like my bezzy mate!

One of the girls on my ward came in, popped the baby out in 2 hrs with only a "graze" and got to go home the next day. I was a sobbing wreck, sitting on ice packs (that I had to request every time and wait for hours to get) and even though I asked that my sheets were changed before visiting time cos they were covered in blood, the visitors arrived and I had to use my bath towel to cover the blood bath on the bed so my visitors wouldnt see it. Nice.

ALSO, the auxilliary nurse physically tried to drag me out of my bed to swap it for a normal bed even though my epidural had not worn off and I couldnt walk!!! She was talking and pointing to other auxilliaries until the MW on duty (who was an absolute star and let us close the curtains when we were feeding/sleeping) came over and told me to stay in bed until I could stand and NOT to try to get up without her helping me. Secs later the fekkin b!tch aux nurse was back over trying to get me out of the bed and I was telling her I couldnt feel my legs yet when MW appeared over and told her to leave me alone. NOT what you need after a traumatic birth...

Oh, and no one told me how unbelievable painful everything would be afterwards. Or how badly bruised you can get down there.

Take all the painkillers they offer you during the birth and after!!! Especially the wee brown tabs!!!! Thats my advice anyway

Ach well, I was really bitter about it and I think I still am now I have posted this!!!

wonderstuff Mon 30-Jun-08 13:45:18

All the books say you need 2 nighties, you actually need one to give birth in, one to bleed all over that night and a third clean one for the next day, otherwise you are left with the t-shirt you arrived in which is really hard to bf in

Eilatan Tue 01-Jul-08 19:52:58

Sad that this is my first post on mn...because I wish I'd been told that the birth (with loads of gas and air) was ok but that I'd need morphine, pethadine and prunes to do the first post natal poo!


Liberator Wed 02-Jul-08 19:35:29

Ive been spouting elsewhere/ everywhere about the cons[iracy around childbirth and thinking someone needs to write a book / do something about this conspiracy like Choufleur.

Reading your comments Im not sure if I hadnt had a child Id want to know. How do we help our sisters?

My issues are

No-one told me I could experience chronic pain from a tear that would stop me having sex through anything but gritted teeth

That the medical profession is ill-equipped / blase about helping with post-childbirth problems

That women dont talk about these problems

That having had one labour can set u up badly for the next if you think its going to go pretty much the same.

That childbrith is an experience in assertiveness - never mind breathing, argue with doctors / midwives to do what is healthy.

choufleur Wed 02-Jul-08 19:48:19

i think if someone does write a book (which i think is a great idea but probably won't be done by me) we should leave some of the things out that would scare the sh*t out of people who haven't had children. was this thread a good idea? hmm

Eilatan Wed 02-Jul-08 21:06:20

I first looked mumsnet last July (a few days after birth) cos I thought I had a prolapse cos it felt like my womb was falling out. I convinced myself that it meant I'd never have sex again. I was OK sitting but if I stood or walked for more than ten mins. Thinking about it, having to have about an hour or mores surgery after to stich me up, this wasn't that much of a surprise. But no one said. All the 13 year old student nurse said on my discharge was "Have you thought about contraception?" Like I was going to go home and start bonking!!!! I guess I should have asked more but I was a bit shell shocked. THe aftercare in hospital was awful. I had to fight to get my bloody sheets changed and then to get discharged. No one came near me for two days. There was a very, very young mum on the ward and she got lots of attention. I guess they just saw an old boot like me and decided I could get on with it. Once home, I was so detirmined to get going I was at a - albeit local - music festival the following week end. I ended up misreable and nearly in tears cos A) the aforementioned symtoms and b) I couldn't bear it if anyone came within a yard of the LO. Things got better on their own but why didn't anyone warn me how I'd feel? No one said to just chill for a couple of weeks. I thought I had to get on with things. I was back at work in no time. I wish I'd just slowed up a bit but I was trying to get BACK TO NORMAL...ha! I think a book of short anecdotes from various people would be great. But I think MN is doing that, in a way. I have no friends or relies that have had kids - my preg at 41 was out of the blue. Reading mn was like, I suppose, when women talked over the garden wall.

Cant believe some of you had MWs cleaning you afterwards. I was told to get up and have a shower half an hour after birth. Stood up and created a canal of blood on the floor which was cleaned up by Mam whilst she was holding baby!! Also was left in bed with bloody sheets whilst visitors were arriving after having DS2 and DS3.

Wish I had known that ex dp would tell the whole world I pushed out a poo after ds2. Didnt care at the time but did not appreciate him telling his brother and sister in law IN FRONT OF ME that I had sh*t myself!

Wish I hadnt asked my dad to bring me some food in, he arrived with a family sized pork pie( muppet)

cookiemonstress Thu 03-Jul-08 22:06:02

That birth isn't a textbook with nice clearly defined stages as the antenatal classes suggest.

That pethidine is not the devil drug you assumed it to be and doesn't always mean sleepy baby and feeding problems..

That epidurals don't always work even when they try twice

That syntocin without an epidural is something not to be recommended

That some midwives are lovely and want to work with you.

That opting for a private room with your first one can be quite a lonely experience.

That you will wonder why you obsessed so much over how you were going to get the baby out only to realise when the baby was out, you hadn't read the next chapters in the book in how to actually look after a baby.

That BF can hurt even when it's done right but will pass in a few weeks.

That with your first baby you will be desperate to leave the hospital but with your second you will begging them to let you stay another night.

That the maternity wards remind you of Shaun of the Dead.

That you should buy black nightie/pjs so no leakage is on display to the rest of the visitors on the ward.

That a packet of chocolate hobnobs will seem like a gift from the gods when you find them 6 hours after giving birth.

That you may find yourself crying in mothercare 5 days after the birth because you want to be the lady with the baby in her tummy still and not one with a baby on the outside.

That you will feel normal again one day

That you get to have someone in your life that will make you happier than you have ever been (but sometimes you may only realise this when they are in bed, sleeping).

That everyone's experiences are different, you should keep an open mind and make the most of the time pre-baby 1 to lie around and please only you...

hmmcake Sat 29-Jan-11 09:06:30

That they will induce you and then, when it works, they will leave you lying there for 8 hours

That when you tell the midwife your waters have broken, the stupid be itch will cry 'ooh, it's so exciting' but won't put it in your notes

That when you've been begging for pain relief for 6 hours they will finally give you some pethidine

That AFTER they've given you pethidine, THEN they'll check you and find you're fully dilated

That some witch in a head scarf will try and yank your sproggy out with a ventouse, even though she's the wrong way round and that, even though they just gave you pethidine which doesn't even NEARLY touch the pain the witch in a headscarf will write 'poor maternal effort' in your notes

That this is why you need an emergency c-section at 5 in the morning

That when you have to shower the day after the floor will be covered in someone else's blood

That the labour ward will be so busy you wouldn't dream of asking them to clean it

That you'll have seen so much blood, you'll just avoid it hoping you don't catch anything and hope the staff won't think it's yours

theborrower Sat 29-Jan-11 11:02:57

That no two birth stories are the same, so you just don't know what will happen to you

That you can do all the yoga, pilates, relaxation, breathing exercises etc in the world while you're pregnant to help you prepare for labour but ultimately you just can't control what will happen

That your contractions can be 5 mins apart from the word 'go', and then become closer and closer, but will go back to being 5 mins as soon as you arrive at the hospital and the midwife gives you a [hmmm] face as if you've been making it up

That there is nothing you can do if your baby is found to be breech whilst you're in labour

That you'll feel disappointed and underwhelmed by the birth of your baby by CS/EMCS, but you'll get over it in time

That sometimes babies JUST DON'T LATCH and you'll cry your eyes out over it wondering why your baby is rejecting you and why you both can't do it

That the first night on the labour ward is possibly the hardest night you'll ever have in your life

That you're not the only one in floods of tears behind your curtain in the labour ward - we're all at it

That you might not feel that 'rush of love' as your baby is born or bond for ages

That you'll still bleed for weeks after having a CS

That you'll still be wearing maternity jeans or fat jeans for months, but you still can't put down the chocolate hob nobs

That time really heals

You're not the only one that finds motherhood hard - we all feel that way, we just rarely tell each other

That it may be the hardest thing you ever do in your life but that ultimately the cliches are true - it's also the most rewarding thing you'll ever do

Smiles and giggles make it worthwhile in the end

theborrower Sat 29-Jan-11 11:04:18

'labour ward' should be 'postnatal ward'

theborrower Sat 29-Jan-11 19:11:25

Just reading back through this thread - not laughed so much in ages, thanks ladies grin

hastingsmum Sat 29-Jan-11 21:26:53

That it felt like my clitoris turned inside out and how extremely painful and scary that was.

And that my belly would look so big and spongy after birth, yuk, how dare they have mirrors in the shower rooms in hospital.angry wink

theborrower Sat 29-Jan-11 22:18:59

I told a pregnant friend recently not to underestimate how many maternity pads she would need after the birth and to buy millions - she said I freaked her out a bit! Was just trying to be helpful blush

redandyellowandpinkandgreen Sat 29-Jan-11 22:21:31

That you could want to do it all again about two days later (and I had a forceps delivery!)

The one thing that surprised me when it all started was how intense it was straight away. I thought it would be a little pain and 'ooh was that a contraction?' but I got slamming pain immediately. I couldn't time the contractions, it just felt like one after the other but I knew it was too early for that.

That epidurals are bloody brilliant and you can have a little sleep even in full blown labour!

ethelina Sat 29-Jan-11 22:29:45

Just exactly how starving I would be afterwards. The sugar crash was ridiculous.

Beveridge Sun 30-Jan-11 00:11:32

That you don't forget the pain immediately afterwards - I was too scared to even try and go to sleep afterwards in case I dreamt I was still in labour.

That it does take a while to 'get' how to push (and it is actually exactly the same as pooing. Although usually my trips to the toilet do not last 3 hours and then require forceps, thankfully).

That immediately prior to a contraction you will feel incredibly hungry and start muttering about chips and cheese (this effect may well be enhanced by copious consumption of G&A, thus mimicking a 'pissed and in the queue for a taxi at 3am' sensation).

That basic bodily functions like breathing slowly and emptying your bladder will be completely beyond you, despite your very best efforts.

That it hurts in between contractions too.

That contractions are really annoying and distracting when you're trying to have a conversation to pass the time.

That you will not actually think about your baby very much during the whole experience until it's out (or until the spinal block has kicked in)as you are so fixated on self-preservation and Making It Stop.

Disclaimer: I am currently 23 weeks pg with DD2 so I have either finally started to blank out the worst bits or am dangerously optimistic that it will be much quicker this time!

tigerbear Sun 30-Jan-11 00:12:53

Fucking hell. Am 26 weeks with DD1 and have just read the whole thread. Totally scared shitless now.

Beveridge Sun 30-Jan-11 00:16:59

Tigerbear I have a friend who has had 2 children, both homebirths without G&A who claims that she is still waiting for labour to get "really sore".

You might be that soldier!

tigerbear Sun 30-Jan-11 00:19:53

Beveridge - I am REALLY hoping that's the case!

RockLover Sun 30-Jan-11 00:31:14

I am 40+3 with DC 2 and am going for a Vbac after an emcs with dd 6 years ago.

After reading all this I have to say I am now fecking terrified and wish I'd asked for an elcs.

Alwaysworthchecking Sun 30-Jan-11 00:52:17

That during labour you may need to poo, to the extent that you actually stop thinking about the abby at all, beyond a, 'If I could just have this poo, I'd be happy to get on with labour. And sod the fact that I've got an audience, I'm having this poo - or else!' blush

That, poo-breaks included, some labours are really very fast - so fast that you may not clearly remember them afterwards and may have to rely on dh's account of things. That he may want to remind you about the poo.

That a few minutes after birth you will feel utterly winded and thus unable to eat the cheese sandwich that the mw has brought you, despite the fact that you are ravenous. That you will then have to watch your dh scoff the sandwich.

That in the bath afterwards you will go to wash your fanjo and wonder why it feels like the horn on a clown's car. You will exclaim in horror and have to make up some story to the nurse supervising you, because you really don't want to tell her about the clown's horn thing.

That a week or so after giving birth you may suddenly find that you have the itchiest legs in the whole wide world. That they will be covered in hives and that you will want to claw off your own skin, just for a bit of relief from it all. That nobody will seem to have any clear idea what causes that, or how to stop it. No one ever, ever tells you that!

Kirisox Sun 30-Jan-11 04:41:55

That when waters break before labour, they will keep going until baby is out, which is icky.

Kirisox Sun 30-Jan-11 07:21:42

Oh and just how brutal, tight and unpleasant an ecms feels

Beveridge Sun 30-Jan-11 16:26:16

Not as icky as the chaffing that would occur if amniotic fluid wasn't constantly being produce right to the end!grin

'Tis weird though, the constant dribbling wherever you go.

tigerbear Sun 30-Jan-11 18:48:33

Always PMSL at 'clown's horn'!

porcamiseria Sun 30-Jan-11 22:48:09

that you shit yourself in the pushing phase

that episiotomy KILL afterwards

that you bleed loads afterwards, and for ages

that breastmilk does not often come in for DAYS and you have hungry baby screaming

porcamiseria Sun 30-Jan-11 22:57:12

ooooh just saw someone else got the "poor maternal effort" note too!!!! I was gutted when I read that after DS1


1944girl Mon 31-Jan-11 00:00:50

I had both of mine by EMCS so have not pushed them out.
But I am in agreement with all on here about CS.
The wind pains are terrible, no one gives you solid food until you have ''passed wind''.
Just after my second one I could not pee and was in agony, my bladder was so full I thought there was another baby left inside.After beinf threatened with a catheter I pleaded to go and sit on the loo first as was only allowed bedpan.A nurse came with me and watched as a flood of pee like the Niagra Falls escaped from me as soon as my bum hit the toilet, the relief was lovely.
Yes you bleed afterwards, just like a ''normal'' birth.
The first time you poo you think your wound is going to open up.
The GA made me throw up all over the floor.

MrsNoggin Mon 31-Jan-11 09:49:52

To add insult to injury your hands can swell up to the size if balloons for a couple of days afterwards. So the first photos in your baby's album either have you immediately post birth covered in sweat and blood and just looking generally grotty, or looking slightly cleaner and more composed, but with hands at least twice the size of your whole newborn!

It's bloody uncomfortable too.

theborrower Tue 01-Feb-11 09:58:20

1944girl Yes, god the wind! Painful, and totally embarrassing when you're in a ward and visitors come in. I just prayed they didn't notice wink Had a good giggle about it with the woman in the next bed though who was also a CS

GruffalosGirl Wed 02-Feb-11 11:21:38

That it's best to trust your judgement on whether you're in labour and when the midwife on the phone tells you you've got days to go you could be 7cms and they might be talking crap.

That back to back labours are sometimes not that painful and you can sometimes get through the pain with gas and air.

That you can need to poo with every contraction, from the very first, so that by the end you are leaking diarrohea on anyone who comes near you.

That you can push so hard that you can do something to your jaw so that it still clicks two years later.

That even after a 3rd degree tear if they give you good enough drugs the first wee and poo can be completely pain free.

That you can refuse to put your baby on a hypoglycaemia test and sometimes the midwives don't know what they're talking about.

EgonSpengler Wed 02-Feb-11 21:17:29

That gas and air is not pain relief. Not even close.

That breathing through the pain / contraction does nothing. NOTHING.

That very often MW's don't know what they're doing.

BuzzLightBeer Wed 02-Feb-11 21:26:12

Gas and air is a fantastic pain relief and I bloody loved the stuff. In fact I'm told I begged the midwife to give me a canister to take home. grin

squiby2004 Wed 02-Feb-11 22:12:33

That it was worth every penny of private maternity care

That because I had PE had a c section at 34 weeks I totally escaped labour and had a painless birth due to a mobile epi for 4 days, and also because if this my fanjo Is EXACTLY the same as it was pre DD.

That you could have a baby without 1 VE or need to get my fanjo out at all!!

That my baby could go to the nursery at night whilst in hospital so I got a full nights sleep for the 1st 4 nights after she was born in which to get over major surgery which meant I was fighting fit on leaving hosi 5 days post birth and shopping in Bluewater 3 days later :-)

That pregnancy was a bitch but due to the above the birth was AMAZING!!

whoamamma Sun 20-Mar-11 21:50:10

you can be one of the lucky few who labour and deliver speedily and without intervention.

you don't feel the tear as it happens, but you certainly feel the stitches. For weeks afterwards.

VEs hurt more than any other part of it. Not sure what happened there, but each time I leapt off the bed in agony.

lochia lasts for ages, but gets lighter each week.

you don't necessarily feel the urge to push. Looking back, perhaps I did, but assumed it was a poo!

some MWs are into active birth and also read the birth plan. I had a bad cop one too, who was like a League of Gentlemen character.

Spudulika Mon 21-Mar-11 14:59:35

That forking out the amount of cash you'd spend on a fairly cheap European holiday can buy you the birth that you want and allow you to buy-pass all the things that can make birth on the NHS infuriating.

SavannahRose Wed 23-Mar-11 15:11:25

Babytime i just about pee'd myself at ur comment

Pregnantwhale Fri 25-Mar-11 22:37:17

That you can have really painful contractions for 3 days and still only be 3cm dilated.

That you can be given strong sleeping pills to get you to go to sleep during these contractions.

That the sleeping pills don't work because the contractions are so painful so you are incredibly out of it and don't know what is going on and have lost the ability to speak.

That epidurals don't always work and you can feel all the contractions down one side of your body.

That you will be constantly sick during labour. That you can throw up all over yourself because you can't move due to epidural and you have been left on your own.

That your MIL can be allowed to come into the labour room only 10 minutes after you have given birth so she can see her grandchild.

planetalice Sun 27-Mar-11 14:25:11

How BRILLIANT gas and air is. (well was for me)

Seriously you will not care if you do a poo!

To remember to wee between contractions - my bladder blocked the placenta being pulled out.

The pain - contractions - stop immediately once the baby is born - magic!

And... it really is all worth it

That gas and air makes you talk complete bullocks
That the tea and toast after labour tastes the best ever.
That the post-birth poo session really can be that bad.
Not to take neck half a bottle of lactulose in one day unless you want to fart like a horse and have raging stomach cramps.
That the midwives who took the baby overnight for feeds were worth their weight in gold.
That it's all worth it in the end.

notcitrus Wed 30-Mar-11 10:34:37

That all my care through labour and delivery and recovery would be wonderful.

Post-natal, on the other hand:
That my hospital wouldn't give me toast.
How terrifying it is to be left alone in a room, attached to a bed with drips etc, and your crying newborn out of your reach.
That no-one asks what drugs you might be taking when you arrive at hospital, so after birth you don't get them for over 24 hours. And only then at the fifth time of asking and shouting at a nurse that your vagina feels just fine thanks but you still have the OTHER PAIN YOU CAME IN WITH!
That random people will take your baby away with no explanation (sent interpreter running down the corridor twice to check they were in fact hospital staff)
That staff will fuss about washing their hands before touching the baby, but you lying in diarrhoea for four hours and expected to feed him is considered just fine.
How wonderful the assistants who clean you are - finally being told 'well done, of course you're tired now, don't worry, you will be a wonderful mother' made a huge difference after three days of no sleep. They should get medals. Unlike the bitch who told me breastfeeding for only 15 min per side didn't count, when I told her I'd been lying in shit for four hours despite promises to clean me up, but at least I'd managed some bf.
The one advantage of all that is the post-birth-poo trauma didn't happen!

Most importantly - even once ds and I were cleared to leave at 10am, people wanted us to wait and faff with talks and paperwork so we didn't escape until gone 5pm. Should have just walked out so I could have got some precious sleep at home!

juulie Thu 29-Jan-15 21:11:59

That my birth plan, wishes and general welfare would be ignored and that I would be denied pain relief for the most painful part.

The people who would have wanted to be evil nuns any time up to the fifties these days take up midwifery.

That an episiotomy isn't the little 1 cm cut I imagined to make a bit more room for the baby, but basically a second vagina.

That you end up with an undercarriage resembling the elephant man (front and back)

That it hurts more than you could have ever possibly imagined or believes and nobody gives a toss!

That in the end you don't complain or care because you're so glad to see your baby and you're so loved up.

Anyone who hasn't been through it, you must be a better woman than me even reading this. I actually didn't want to know and wouldn't hear people's horror stories if I could help it.

It's only useful hearing them if you can learn something from it that might improve your own experience ... I'd recommend an epidural!!!!!

tbgrin flowers

ktd2u Thu 29-Jan-15 21:31:01

Thanks op - ftm now scared of natural birth!!

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