New Mama Musings

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Things Your Mother (or TV) Never Told You About Childbirth

Caveat: This is based on my experience. Your mileage may vary.

  • At some point during a painful contraction you may wish you weren't having a baby just so the pain will go away. And you may feel guilty afterward for thinking that, even though you know you didn't really even mean it at the time.
  • I'd read that most mothers hardly even notice the third stage of labor (the delivery of the placenta) because they are so happy and in love with their new baby. Bullshit.
  • Even if you avoided hemorrhoids during pregnancy you may not escape them during childbirth. They are huge, they are ugly, and they are on the inside and the outside where they hurt every time you sit down.
  • If you breastfeed, the sooner you learn to nurse lying down and co-sleep with the baby, the better off you will be. Not only will you be sitting less (see above item), you and the baby will both sleep better.
  • Your abdomen may still be huge even after the baby comes out. Not only that, but it will be squishy and flabby. (My stepdaughter actually poked mine and innocently asked if there were another baby in there.) But things will shrink down amazingly quickly.
  • You would think after all the energy expended during childbirth and all the calories burned during breastfeeding you'd be constantly ravenous. However, it may take a while for your appetite to return to normal.
  • You will continue to bleed after giving birth for a long time to come. Stock up on oversized maxi pads.
  • You have up to a year to change something on your baby's birth certificate, at least in Wisconsin. (We've told Henry that he's on probation: it's not too late to change his middle name to "Trouble.")
  • If you yell loudly throughout childbirth, you will most likely have a sore throat for about a week afterward. I'm just sayin'.
  • Even if the delivery went smoothly, your body just went through major trauma and needs time to recuperate. You'll be too euphoric to notice at first, but eventually you'll feel like you've just been hit by a Mack truck. You may be too shaky to pick the baby up. Your muscles may be sore from holding back your legs or otherwise supporting your body in labor. And it may take several minutes just to get off the bed.

  • People send you flowers after you've had a baby. (Now I feel like a loser for not doing the same for all our friends who've had babies recently.) Who knew?
  • You will fall in love with a creature who bears a striking resemblance to E.T. But I know you knew that one already.


  • Ah yes, these are the thing we can only learn from experience. I hope your butt and throat are feeling better. Never send flowers, send food!! Flowers die and are expensive. Cookie bouquets are ok though! Jen

    By Anonymous Jennifer, at 1:23 PM  

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