7 Things You Should Know Before Having That BABY
My sweet sister-in-law Amber, and my cute cousin Mally are about to have their first babies this month! We are so excited!
When Ben (Amber’s husband) called to let me know, “We are getting one Jess!” He was so funny and had so many questions that I didn’t think most dad’s would care about. It was just funny to me how much you don’t know before you bring an adorable bundle of joy into the world. In honor of them, I thought I’d share 7 things that surprised me with each of my pregnancies.
1. No two labors are the same! I mean it! I thought I was so prepared for my first baby. I had read all of the books the doctor gave me, I was on babycenter.com every week reading about how my baby was developing, I read about labor and how it would all go down, and I interviewed my friends that had just had their babies a few months before.
I remember talking to my sister-in-law Brooke and my friend Liz about their pregnancies and they both had it pretty easy when it came to pushing the baby out. I could be wrong, but I remember them telling me it only took a few pushes or about 20 minutes after they started pushing to get the baby out so, once I got to that point in my labor, I thought I was home free!
Oh man! The whole family was waiting in the hall and I could hear them saying, “We have to go. This is taking too long.”
After two and half hours of pushing and pushing, I thought I was going to pass out from exhaustion! My whole body was sore and it felt like I had been doing the work out of my life. I remember telling the doctor, “Just get this baby out of me!” and “Can’t I just have a c-section now?’” I was miserable… Finally, he had to use the forceps and little Max was born!
So, I guess what I’m saying is, don’t think your labor is going to be as easy as your friend’s delivery was, or as hard for that matter. There is no way to prepare for the unknown!
2. Nursing hurts! I was determined to nurse my babies after reading how beneficial it is to their immune systems. I wasn’t prepared at all for the pain that was about to ensue! My mom didn’t nurse any of us and couldn’t offer any motherly advice, so I was left with lactation nurses helping me out. That was awkward.
Anyway, I ended up having to use a nipple shield with all of my babies, it’s a thin plastic shield that helps the babies latch on properly and protects you from a little bit of the pain. It helped, but I still had blisters and the pain was excruciating. Every time I would nurse I would almost cry. I was about to quit right before it got better. The good news is, after a while you get used to it, and it’s much cheaper and more convenient than formula, if you ask me!
3. Privacy? Modesty? You have none while you are delivering! I spent my whole life trying to be modest and when you have a baby all of that flies out the window. When you deliver, there will be a whole staff of people on hand to assist you and the baby, and everyone is staring at your hoo ha! It’s strange, especially when you live in a small town and you’re pretty positive you’ll see these people around town!
Back to nursing…the lactation specialist will touch your nipples… be prepared. I needed help and I got it, but I wasn’t prepared for them to just jump in and grab them. I don’t think you can ever be prepared for that! I was very grateful for their help, but I was super shocked how far they were willing to go to help me.
I had a funny experience after I delivered my sweet Gracie 8 weeks early.
The lactation specialist in the NICU was encouraging me to nurse her, when I told her I planned on doing so, she suddenly asked how large my nipples were and then asked if she could see them?! She was inquiring because she wanted to know what size of nipple shield I would need…but still…awkward. No privacy at all. I didn’t show her though, I told her I’d let her know if I needed a different size.
3. You Are Going to Be Exhausted! No sleep plus a crying baby makes for a very tired mama. I thought I’d be a super mama and let my hubby sleep in the other room, since I was the only one that could feed the baby. That was a big mistake.
It’s amazing how helpful it is to have your hubby bring the baby to you and take it back to his/her crib. If you’re anything like me, you have a hard time winding down after waking up in the middle of the night, which means even less sleep. Take all the help you can get! It’s rough with no sleep!
4. Nothing can prepare you for the amount of love that will burst when you hold that baby the first time! There’s no way to accurately describe it so I won’t even try. Enjoy it and treasure it. Babies are so special!
5. None of your pregnancies/ deliveries will be the same! Thank heaven for this! Each of my deliveries have been completely different. Max was very hard to get here with a lot of pushing. Gracie was delivered by emergency c-section 8 weeks early and Sophie was my easiest born a day after my due date. I have also had 3 miscarriages, all of those were completely different too!
6. Everyone will want to give you advice! Everyone loves to share their stories. It’s fun, but some people feel like they know all the answers. Take it all in stride and smile and nod. Then go home and do what you feel is best for you and your baby. Like I said in #5 no two pregnancies are the same, and that includes your neighbors/friends/mom’s pregnancy.
7. Life is WAY more rewarding with kids! Everyone says it’s the hardest job ever, and they’re right. It’s rough sometimes, you’ll want to pull your hair out and you’ll need to take a break every once in a while. But, at the end of the day, I can’t think of anything better than chubby little arms embracing you and loving you and kissing you. IT IS THE BEST! Savor the moment and realize that it will be over before you know it. Don’t wish any of it away!
And, in case you want to cry, here’s a link to video that perfectly describes how I feel about motherhood.