There are some things that no one will tell you about being in labor and the process of getting a baby out. Here are five that I will share with you today. I promise, there are more. Many, many more…
1. Packing for the occasion: If this is your first baby, then you are probably like me and think that you will need all of the contents of your closet and bathroom with you for your hospital stay. If you are really like me, then you will be packing said items at 1 am while you are in labor. Even though you knew that you had a 9 am induction scheduled. Because you are 10 days past your due date. Anyhow, you will be frantically jamming all of the things into two huge duffel bags that you will need your husband to carry for you. Once you have successfully jam-packed those babies, you will remember that you also need to stuff your $250 Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag full of clothes and other things that you think that you will need for the baby. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Do you know what you really need? Some comfy dark-colored clothes and basic toiletry items – that’s it. Oh, and a big empty duffel bag that you can stuff full of enormous hospital pads and the amazing mesh undies that go so well with them. Just trust me. You will understand.
2. Hospital welcoming committee: When your husband drops you off at the Emergency Room door at 2 am because that is the only door to the hospital that isn’t locked at that time, you are quite visibly 41 weeks, 3 days pregnant (but who’s counting?), and you tell the receptionist that you need to get to labor and delivery, she will ask you if you are trying to visit someone. Ummmmmm, nope.
3. Breaking the water: Before I actually had experienced it, I had this picture in my mind of my water breaking being like one big rush and emptying out like a water balloon. Not the case. That water continues to leak out of you with every contraction, no matter how many hours you are in labor. Here’s what – it never ends and couldn’t possibly feel grosser.
4. The first hours of being a mom: After having a baby, you might not be able to pee. For a week. Yeah, think about that for a minute. Nothing like coming home from the hospital with a new baby and a catheter.
5. The first hours of being a mom (part 2): Babies seem to cough and gag on mucus that they have in their lungs for the first 24 hours of so. If you aren’t petrified enough having this brand new tiny human that you are now responsible for, they will randomly start choking which will make you think that they can’t breathe. You will then panic, grab the baby and run out to the hallway in the middle of the night looking for a nurse. When you find a nurse, she will let you know that you aren’t actually allowed to carry the baby outside of your room, unless she is in her bassinet. She will also tell you that you are in danger of passing out at any moment due to your traumatic delivery experience. It will all be ok because you will be able to follow the nice trail of blood that you left on the floor right back to your room, safe and sound.
The process of getting a baby out is weird, it is sometimes gross, and it is scary, especially if it is your first time. But in the end it is wonderful because you end up with a beautiful little baby that you have waited so long to meet! You will eventually leave the hospital, get home, put the baby down in the middle of the floor still in her carseat, and then you will sit there staring, wondering just what to do next.