As soon as I found out I was pregnant you could not get me off of the internet. I was constantly looking up things about being pregnant, giving birth, etc. I kid you not a lot of my google searches looked like this. "What does pushing a baby out feel like?" "What to do if your baby comes out with 2 heads?" "What is this pain in my breasts???" With all of this research I felt prepared to give birth. Or at least I thought I was prepared...boy was I wrong... I am going to tell you the things that freaked me out, made me call a doctor, or just completely puzzled me after I gave birth.
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1: Period on Steroids
If you ever thought your periods were bad or heavy you just wait until you give birth. Don't get me wrong I knew there was going to be bleeding after having a baby, I mean it makes sense. BUT, the amount of blood...it doesn't even make sense how we are still alive. I feel like we should be hospitalized and monitored with all of this blood passing, but nope you just get sent home 2 days later with a few mesh panties and pads... Every time I went to the bathroom you would've thought I was dying, the toilet looked like all my blood just decided to eject itself from my vagina. But don't worry this only last for like 3 WEEKS!!! I will say the biggest life saver was adult diapers (these are the one's I used). I know it sounds silly but they are so much more reliable than mesh panties. They can be costly but if you use them just like you would regular underwear it is not too bad. Obviously changing them everyday but placing a pad in them to absorb most of the blood and reuse the diaper, unless of course you bleed through. They are very comfortable I almost didn't want to go back to regular underwear but my husband had an intervention for me... I promise no one will judge you for wearing diapers, they will think you are a genius!
2: Swollen is an Understatement
It is very natural to tear when giving birth. I mean a frickin watermelon is coming out of your vagina...and if you didn't know tearing was a thing I am sorry to break the news to you. Not every mom will tear but a majority do, and I had accepted my fate that I was going to tear, better to accept it than be scared of it. So there I am giving birth and I tear, 2nd degree tear is what they called it. With all of the pushing and the ring of fire I didn't even feel myself tear, and I was grateful for that. They stitched me up and sent me home a couple days later. BUT, what I wasn't prepared for was the swelling that came along with it... My left labia was so swollen, I mean it looked like someone had a fat lip from getting punched, and it was not comfortable. I had to sit on my right butt cheek just to help with the discomfort. I told my midwife something was wrong, I was swollen, this wasn't in the books! She laughed and told me to try ice...ICE! I needed more than ice to get this swelling down, but the ice did make it feel better, and the swelling subsided after two weeks. So yes, swelling is normal and a heads up would've been nice.
3: Breastfeeding Contractions
If breastfeeding wasn't already so painful and hard, add breastfeeding contractions to that. I struggled with getting my daughter to latch but once she finally got the hang of it after a week I started having contraction pain. Uhm, excuse me? This was supposed to stop after having her, but nope. When this first happened I turned to my husband and said, "omg I am having another baby." He tried to call me down by letting me know I was crazy but I insisted on calling the nurses, and again I was greeted by laughter. They let me know this was normal and this pain can be intensified by breastfeeding. It turns out when you give birth your uterus is going back to it's normal size and can cause period like cramps, but when breastfeeding these cramps can feel even more intense, almost mimicking a contraction. I am happy to know I wasn't crazy just overly dramatic.