New Mom Tales: What They Forgot To Tell You About Delivery And Beyond
When you’re pregnant, all eyes are on your growing bump and your future addition. When you are in delivery, your focus is on getting through the unbearable to enjoy the unimaginable. But what about the time after the big event? What happens once the delivery table is clear and the lights fade to black? As a new mom, I wish more ladies in my camp would have given me a heads up on the things after delivery as they did while I was still pregnant.
Here are a few of the things that quickly learned after delivering my son:
For starters, let’s talk about the placenta. Sure I knew I had to “deliver” it, but perhaps doctors might want to rethink how hard they tell us to push as my doctor got hosed with blood. It was one of those moments that deserved to be in a comedy as everyone in the room just stopped and stared. Thank God my doctor, while short, was not too short as the blood came up to her neck! I was so embarrassed!
The Hospital Stay
Another thing you may or may not know is that most hospitals have this rule about keeping you short term depending on the type of delivery you had (c-sections tend to stay longer). Okay, so one night in a hospital is cool as I want to make sure my baby and I are okay, but two nights? What is this, a forced vacation? My husband and I made the most of it as the time gave us a great bonding experience with our child. However, just know there will be tons of nurses coming in and out of your room without care throughout the entire night. Just laid your baby down after a 2 a. m. feeding? Forget it, here comes a nurse not only talking loud but also waking you up to make sure your vitals are okay. If you think you you won’t get much sleep with a newborn, add a few nurses into the equation.
Did you ever see the movie There Will Be Blood? Yeah, they might want to redo the script around a woman who just delivered because that will be your status for the next several weeks. Maybe it was my own ignorance, but I did not think there would be so much blood as you expel the placenta among others things during a vaginal delivery. Sure, I knew there would be some blood after delivery, but I had to wear makeshift “sumo panties” comprised of three hospital-grade pads carefully situated in a disposable mesh (good luck trying to sleep on anything but your back without making a mess). It just wasn’t a good look. While most of the heavy bleeding dies down after the first couple of days, make sure you snag some extra pads on your way home just in case.
If you felt like you were going to starve because you haven’t eaten a meal since early labor, fear not as your appetite comes back with a vengeance. The cast of The Biggest Loser has nothing on your desire to tear up the refrigerator. I felt no shame in what I ate after birth because I freaking just gave birth! On top of that, I was very good about watching what I ate and exercised throughout my pregnancy. Should you decide to breastfeed, you’re going to need additional calories as the baby will literally suck them from you as your milk supply starts to come in.
Speaking of milk, should you choose to breastfeed, get ready because your mountains are going to change. I began feeding my baby from each breast every few hours and within a couple days of delivery, it looks like I paid a visit to a Beverly Hills doctor! Your breasts will be a bit hard as your milk supply comes in and accumulates, but it’s manageable if you feed regularly.
Out of all the things post delivery, the hardest for me has been learning to stay still. Even if you think you are Wonder Woman, you will get knocked down to size and sometimes off your feet once you give birth. Your body has gone through a major change and needs time to recover which means business will not be as usual for a little while. I had a pretty good natural birth and am taking it easy with simple things like cooking, or just shuffling through the cupboards for a snack. Don’t feel like you need to do everything. Should the simple things get hard, phone a friend.
Have you recently given birth? What were some of the surprising things that you did not know would happen afterwards?