Note: Not all pregnant women experience these things at the same time nor the same way. But these are the most common ones during your stages of labor.
Whether you are jumping of joy, or in a state of shock, finding out you are pregnant is an announcement of a very exciting journey you are going to embrace.
Family members and friends are usually very supportive, especially women of them that gave birth before, they will advise you to take good care of yourself and to not stress over being a mother, because everything will come naturally. They will also tell you about how pregnancy is such a wonderful experience and that you should not even worry that much about labor. This is probably because they forgot about their misery and their pain was left behind once their baby was born bringing all the joy to their lives.
When I had to ask my mom and aunts about labor, they said that I would get contractions that will not be very painful, and that after I get the epidural, everything will be painless and go smoothly.
Well, my experience with labor was a whole lot different than that. I do not blame them for feeding me lies though, because otherwise I would have been way too scared to ever get pregnant. But I do think it is good to be emotionally prepared for everything that will happen, and indeed, there is nothing to worry about because it is all natural and it is all worth it.
Pregnancy is such an amazing experience and every mother will tell you that she loved every second of it. But let us be realistic, before dreaming about holding your babies and covering them in kisses, you should first think about everything related to giving birth and be prepared. It is also better to do this before your third trimester, and direct your questions to a doctor that will know how to deliver the information in a proper way that will make you feel secure, because family members and friends will probably sugar-coat it to avoid worrying and scaring you.
In my experience, no one told me about many things that happen during labor and that I should have known about. Everything was new to me and it made me very uncomfortable and really scared to say the least. And because I do not want this to happen to you, I’m writing you this article, future mommies, to let you know about fifteen things that happen during labor stages and that people will probably not tell you about. And although they might surprise you a little bit but we reassure you that the experience will be much greater than your expectations.
15 THINGS THAT HAPPENS DURING LABOR THAT NOBODY TELLS YOU ABOUT
- Personality change
Let us call them mood swings to avoid calling you crazy. This is not valid for all pregnant women, but for most of them, the contractions feel like the worst menstrual cramps or gas pain that you have ever had and they will drive you insane.
For my first pregnancy, I did not feel much pain, because the beautiful epidural lady came to save me. But in my second one when I gave birth to my twins, it was much more intense. I felt every bit of it. I can pretty much tolerate physical pain and this was by far the hardest thing I have ever done. They came in varying intensity because I would go from a pretty supportable one to an extremely painful one. If you decide to fight it, it will only get worse. But once you decide to surrender and accept it, it becomes more bearable.
Obviously, this does not put you in a great mood. You do not know what you want nor how to get it. And your poor hubby will eventually try to help in vain, facing a really miserable version of you.
During your stay at the hospital, you will get poked several times. It can get really uncomfortable but there is always a rationale behind it. You will probably have an IV as a precaution during labor. It is a catheter that is going to be placed in your vein, in your hand or your lower arm. It prevents dehydration which can be dangerous on your health, especially when you are not allowed to drink.
You can specify in your birth plan if you want to avoid an IV, therefore they will wait until you are in need of one to put it.
If you are planning on having an epidural though, IV fluids are necessary. They are put before, to prevent any drop of blood pressure, one of the common side effects of the pain- relieving epidural.
- Blood pressure machine
Before giving birth, you will have a machine next to your bed indicating your heart beat as well as your baby’s, to make sure how well you both are, dealing with labor.
Better get used to it because it will stick to you for a while. But there is no bother in checking your labor progress and ensure your and your baby’s health and well-being.
Even after giving birth, nurses will still come and check your blood pressure multiple times.
- A lot of different doctors
Your obstetrician-gynecologist is surely not the only doctor you will be seeing during your labor even though he is the one with most expertise. You will be seeing multiple other doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, and so on. And even though it might be boring to see so many unfamiliar faces asking you different questions and making you sign all types of papers, but it’s a part of their job that has to be done.
- Doctors break your water
In order to speed the baby’s delivery, some doctors do not wait until your water breaks naturally and do the work for you. By that time, you probably got your epidural, and even though you did not, it might feel unpleasant, but you should not worry about it because it is not supposed to hurt you. Actually, the part that breaks, the amniotic sac, does not even have pain receptors.
- Only one person in the delivery room
Having your entire family around when you are ready to start pushing (or even if you are having a C-section) is not really the best idea. When you are dilated enough and ready to give birth, you need to remain in a state of calmness and peacefulness. And having people around will only make you more anxious and nervous.
Also, more than one person is not allowed for health reasons, because after all, it is your and your baby’s well-being that matter the most.
It is more reassuring to know that your family and friends are near, sitting in the waiting area, knowing you are in good hands, and expecting you to deliver a beautiful baby. Their emotional presence is much more important.
- Numbness after epidural
Epidural is such a pain reliever that works immediately after injecting it. It is a serious drug though, it will make you feel numb, not feeling your waist down, not even your toes movements.
But it is still better to feel numb than to endure the unbearable pain.
To be more precise, we are talking about a urinary catheter here. It is a tube that will be inserted into your bladder to remove urine. If you get an epidural, it is normal to have it on, because since you are numb from your waist down, you can’t feel the need to urinate. And even if you are not getting the epidural, the catheter is kind of important because you will not
be able to go to the bathroom once an hour, and a full bladder in labor can easily prevent your baby from rotation into right birth position.
- Perineal tear
Perineal tear can happen if you are giving a natural vaginal birth. It is an unintended laceration of the skin separating the vagina from the anus. The majority of perineal tears are no big deal, they are superficial and only need a basic treatment.
This actually happened to me during my first pregnancy. I got stitches for it and I didn’t even have to go back to the hospital to get them removed, they just fell off after a few days. It certainly made me very uncomfortable but I guess it is a simple price you pay for being courageous enough for a natural childbirth. If you ever have a perineal tear, make sure to take good care of yourself and avoid bending down or lifting anything heavy because you do not want to have any complications and want to recover as soon as possible.
This is a thing that you probably know already. I wanted to mention it though to reassure you that you have nothing to be embarrassed of. There is very little dignity in childbirth, all you should care about is the safety of your baby. Pooping means that the birth is going just like it should, because it means you are using the right muscles, the same ones used during defecation. And, it happens to almost all women during labor, including me. You will not even be conscious that it is happening considering your numbness from the epidural.
- No eating allowed
Eating in the delivery room is not allowed. The best you can get are popsicles, water, and ice.
This is something you should consider, to avoid being a hungry pregnant woman in labor (even though that might help you not to poop…), and please do not get pissed off on your hubby if he refuses to get you food because he is only trying to follow the doctor’s instructions.
If you thought that poop during labor was disgusting, you might also want to know that pushing comes with vomit too for some women. I mean, who wouldn’t being a hungry stressed pregnant woman in unbearable pain? Just put in mind that you should not feel guilty if it happens, it is totally normal and no one will be judging you.
- May not see your doctor until show time
Unless you are scheduled for a C-Section, your doctor will probably not be available until you are totally ready to deliver your baby. Of course, you are not his only patient and he might be delivering other babies meanwhile. You should not worry about it and put your trust in the whole staff, doctors and nurses. They are doing their best and will be there to take care of you.
- You will deliver more than just a baby
Even after your child is born, you will keep pushing. Of course, not for another baby, but for your placenta. You think it is weird? Imagine how weirder it will be not being prepared for it and being all shocked up when the doctor will tell you to keep pushing. It actually happened to me because nobody warned me, and I certainly do not want that happening to you.
- No immediately baby bonding time
Movies will make you believe that the doctors will bring your baby right after being born while they clean and stich you up. Reality is different my dears, you will barely see your baby right after being born because they will take him away to get measured, weighed, and cleaned. Even the first breastfeeding will barely last around 45min before they take him again to do more tests.
You will have to wait at least three or four hours before they are completely finished, and then you will have all the bonding time you need with your precious baby.
Your body will face so many changes during pregnancy and labor especially, and you will be dealing with so many emotions. This is what makes childbirth such an amazing experience that you will never forget.
Not all women experience labor stages the same, some of them spend days in labor while others barely feel the contractions.
But being prepared for everything is always a good thing. The things mentioned above will likely happen to you if you are giving birth in a hospital.
I hope you found them helpful and that you will soon deliver a beautiful healthy baby and be a happy mommy!