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Things you wish you'd known about birth and beyond

(96 Posts)
sambababy Sun 11-May-14 13:23:43

One week ago I became a mummy for the first time grin Since then I've been thinking about things that happened in the birth and beyond which I hadn't read about beforehand in my mountain of books (or had possibly forgotten).

I thought it might be helpful to some mums to be if we shared these things so here are mine.

The pushing stage. I didn't realise that the process for delivering the head involved many pushes where the head would go back in in between contractions. Apparently it's something to do with the immense pressure on the baby's head and is perfectly normal. I was getting impatient to get the head out!

The dreaded 2nd night! It wouldn't have been dreadful at all if only we'd known not for a second to expect DD to sleep anywhere except on one of us. As it was, we were fooled by the night in hospital where she was understandably tired after the birth and slept in the cot. We spent the whole 1st night at home pulling our hair out wondering why she wouldn't sleep when we put her down.

(I'd like to add a disclaimer here saying this is only my experience, I'm sure it's different for everyone! hth)

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Sun 11-May-14 16:05:16

Birthing the head doesn't necessarily involve 'many' pushes. Some women have a couple of pushes and the whole baby is out! But I agree, the fact that it can be, plus that weird 'boiiiing back up' feeling isn't something which is widely talked about.

My birth thing would be how long 'normal' can be for a physiological third stage. And how much 'after' stuff there is (waiting to birth the placenta, being examined, hobbling to a bed, etc). It is no wonder shows like OBEM cut at the birth of the baby! You think you are all done and then...

Ah yes, the fact that they often sleep for most of their first 24 hours but that it doesn't mean anything and it almost certainly won't continue! I remember that well from DD1. By DC2 and now DC3 we co-sleep, so I'm getting a lot more rest. I couldn't do that zombie thing again!

Pregnantagain7 Sun 11-May-14 19:37:04

I was totally shocked when in labour with my first and the midwife told me to push with my bum! I thought I pushed with my fanjo and said to her but if I push with my bum I'll poo to which she replied yes dear you probably will! She was right blush

sambababy Sun 11-May-14 20:35:23

penguins you're right, everyone's different and the term 'many' is rather ambiguous. I only pushed for 30-40mins which I believe isn't bad for a first birth.

pregnantagain it's like trying to do a giant poo isn't it! I haven't yet asked DH if I achieved that blush

Dovetale Sun 11-May-14 20:36:09

That you are responsible for the baby the second it is born. Sounds obvious but I really wasn't prepared for it. You're exhausted and want to eat, drink, wash & sleep but there is now a baby who needs you to feed it and they are still stitching you up!

My baby didn't sleep at all during the 1st night. sad

Also how much the pushing stage can vary between women, for me my body took over, it was violent and uncontrollable. My friend on the other hand had to be directed to push as she had no urge at all.

sambababy Sun 11-May-14 20:36:24

Thought of one more thing- passing blood clots in the first few days. I thought my insides were falling out the first time I saw it!

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Sun 11-May-14 20:38:11

Ha ha, me too. This was my third and I never had them with the first two - just period like bleeding. Shocking this time!

Happydutchmummy Sun 11-May-14 20:42:30

I wish someone had warned me that after they've stitched you up that they stick a finger up your bum to checked they haven't actually sewn it shut.

The post birth cramps that feel like contractions! I called the midwife in a panic the night after dd was born saying I was in labour again and I'd convinced.myself there must be another baby ready to come out. I have no idea how she didn't laugh.

CecyHall Sun 11-May-14 20:42:52

I wish I'd known that when the midwives said not to let baby go more than 4 hours without feeding that I would not be getting four hours of sleep before I fed him. I settled him down, snuggled up for my 4 hours of sleep and was up again in half an hour!

Youdontneedacriminallawyer Sun 11-May-14 20:45:12

I wish I'd known how much breast feeding bloody hurts.

Schmoochypoos Sun 11-May-14 20:55:59

How you can have a lovely relaxed water birth planned, but if your waters go and there is meconium in them that you'll have to do what the midwives want!

You can't pee (well I couldn't) with an epidural in.

I think the lack of sleep is something you just aren't ready for, the only way I slept for the first few weeks was with DS on my chest, I enjoyed it though!

Feeling bruised - I had a forceps delivery & stitches - so sitting was actually quite uncomfortable for a couple of weeks.

The amount of pads I would need!

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 11-May-14 21:13:11

How swollen I would feel. I could barely walk!

RnB Sun 11-May-14 21:16:08


Tieni Sun 11-May-14 21:26:00

Cluster feeding, I had absolutely no idea this would happen and still remember the exhaustion 4 years later!

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sun 11-May-14 21:34:11

That there is such a thing as thw Day Three Blues. I was sobbing in the sink whilst washing bottles for no reason.

littlegreengloworm Sun 11-May-14 21:38:17

I wish someone warned me about afterpains on the second night. OMG labour all over again.

Also to plan incase of emcs.. I honestly didn't think I would have one and had not prepared at all. Had to send dh out for giant knickers and extra panadol.

calilark Sun 11-May-14 21:44:55

afterpains when bfeeding

the fact that my fanny hurt when I stood up for more than 15mins for about 6 weeks (just blood rushing to the area as I stood up, nothing bad)

erm... that I would feel randy as anything because of the swelling down there, but no desire to act upon it!

elliejjtiny Sun 11-May-14 21:52:28

birth - definitely the head going back up thing. I was convinced the midwife was pushing DS1's head back in even though she wasn't touching me!

after - that there would be a non-sleeping baby who I needed to look after. I was hoping DS1 would come out before bedtime so I could sleep. He did, but neither of us got any sleep that night.

Chunderella Sun 11-May-14 22:07:27

That pain is exhausting in itself even when you're not doing any actual pushing. That three sleepsuits wasn't going to be anything like enough. And yes, that the second night is going to be a sleepless one even when the baby has been conked out on night one!

MoreTeaPenguin Mon 12-May-14 10:41:42

Cluster feeding, growth spurts, stick a primark vest under a tshirt and you have a cheap version of a feeding top, and everything is a phase (enjoy the good ones while they last, and the annoying bits are over surprisingly quickly)

gamerchick Mon 12-May-14 10:44:24

I really wish I had been warned about afterpains.. especially during breastfeeding.. They never mention after pains. They were bloody horrible.

Pregnantagain7 Mon 12-May-14 14:33:02

Oh god the after pains yes I didn't get them after dc1 and 2 but after three I was on codeine for a week it was agony! Not looking forward to them this time around.
Also no one told me that when I heard a baby crying in m and s 10 days after having dd1 that my boobs would soak my breast pads! Didn't realise I would feel the urge to breast feed every crying baby in Cheshire!! smile

thereisnoeleventeen Mon 12-May-14 20:07:58

Just how messy it can be.

That is called labour for a reason, I totally underestimated how much hard work it was.

That codeine can be constipating.

Boys might wee fountains at you, but girls will wee quietly and you won't notice until it's run all the way up the changing mat to their hair.

That they will do their first massive up to the neck poo when you have them dresses in your favorite outfit and are about to leave the house after several hours preparation and faffing about , you might then cry with frustration because not long ago you used to be able to leave the house within minuets and now it's been hours since you planned to go out and you honestly don't know what you have been doing all that time.

That you must must must sit and have newborn cuddles with them, it's not spoiling them or making a rod for your own back, it is truly lovely and not something you should feel guilty about.

To trust your instincts, always, mothers really do just know when things are not quite right or what their baby needs.

PicandMinx Mon 12-May-14 20:20:19

No one tells you how much your bum hurts the day after giving birth. I thought it felt like someone had given me a good kicking. When I looked at myself in the full length mirror in the bathroom, (thoughtfully provided by the NHS), my arse was covered in purple, blue and yellow bruises.

gamerchick Mon 12-May-14 20:23:17

Man you're brave to have a look PicandMinx I was terrified to even take a peek at any of that area grin

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