I’ll be honest, birthing stories totally gross me out. However, when I discovered that I was pregnant, I started reading every birthing story on the internet to prepare myself for having a baby. What did I learn? People are gross! Simply put, some people are nasty and they share too much information on the internet. I wish I would have read more helpful facts void of all the gory details. Instead, I had nightmares for the nine months leading up to having a baby due to internet TMI.
Good news: I’m sure as heck not going to share private details about my birthing experience here. Eww.
What I do want to share are the 6 things that I did not expect when I was expecting. You know, to help you out if you ever have a baby.
1. No one (besides me) believed I was having a baby
At my ultrasound appointment, I told the doctor that I felt like I was having a baby. She laughed, and told me that I was probably experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions. After she laughed, she told me to expect to feel the same pain for the rest of the week leading up to my due date. Then she sadistically continued laughing and said that if I was truly having a baby I would be in more pain.
Convinced that I was being a baby instead of having a baby, I went home and moped around the house for the rest of the day. As I later discovered, I was actually having contractions that were 4 minutes apart. However, because I had been told they were not real, I didn’t want to look like a wimp, so I skipped dinner, sucked it up and went to bed.
Then my water broke.
I said to my husband “I think my water just broke”.
He said “Are you sure you didn't just pee your pants?”
I said “Seriously!?! Fine, either I’m having a baby or I am a 31 year old woman who has suddenly started peeing my pants. Either way, I think I better go the hospital!”
Then I stomped into the kitchen, grabbed my hospital bag and marched to my car. My frantic husband quickly joined me and 10 minutes later I was being admitted to the hospital.
Lesson learned: If you think you are having a baby, you probably are. Listen to your gut (literally).
2. Pack a bag AND prepare an outfit to wear to the hospital
WE WERE WEARING THE SAME OUTFITS!
We looked like team New Parent prepared to coach our baby into the world.
Lesson Learned: Avoid teaching your children that a family uniform is acceptable. Prepare an outfit to wear to the hospital.
3. They take your glasses and your shirt
Early on in my video viewing process I discovered that none of the women wore shirts.
I didn’t think much of the sans shirt fashion statement because I just assumed these women were more comfortable in their own skin than in their clothes---let’s be real, only women who give zero hoots about modesty record their labor, and I can only assume that those who put their videos on YouTube are nudists. Therefore, I was shocked when the first nurse I encountered told me to strip naked and put on a hospital gown. If that wasn't enough, she then demanded that I give her my glasses for safe keeping so that they wouldn't break.
Based on her reaction, I think the nurse expected the baby to pop out of my armpit and punch me in the eye.
Fortunately, I had done my YouTube research and I knew that this was not how babies came into the world. So, I put up a fight and was allowed to continue wearing my shirt. Once I verbalized that I understood that my 5XL t-shirt might get (gasp!) ruined, they still confiscated my glasses until post-birth.
Lesson learned: Babies don’t come out of your armpit. Wearing a shirt should not interfere with the birthing process.
4. Hunger Pains
No joke, my “friend”* the nurse quietly tiptoed into my room, acted like she was going to be arrested for breaking the rules, and handed me a Dixie cup filled with vegetable broth.
This was the biggest disappointment I have ever experienced thus far in life.
Lesson Learned: Don’t skip dinner the night before you deliver a baby.
*We are no longer friends.
5. Drugs plus lack of sleep make me loopy
I recently discovered that I don’t respond well to drugs or lack of sleep.
Mistake #1: I flirted with an anesthesiologist.
In my defense, everyone in my room was wearing scrubs, my husband said he would be right behind my head, and THE NURSE HAD CONFISCATED MY GLASSES.
It’s only natural that I thought the anesthesiologist standing above my head was my husband. In my drugged out mental state I said “hi handsome” and, for the first time in my entire life, I winked.
Mistake #2: I became nurse gossip.
The whole process of having a baby and not being allowed to eat made me exhausted. It was taking forever to get the baby out of me, and at some point in the night, I just wanted to take a nap. Apparently, I said “Listen up nurses, I haven’t slept in days. I NEED to close my eyes. I’m giving all of you this warning so that you know I’M NOT DEAD.”
I have no recollection of saying this, but my vegetable broth “friend” let me know the next morning that the nurses had been quoting me all night because they thought my “I’m not dead” declaration was so funny.
“Hey Betty, it’s been a long night, if I fall asleep just remember, I’M NOT DEAD!”
Lesson learned: Try to keep your mouth shut when delivering a baby, and never EVER wink.
6. Lack of Privacy
Once my daughter was born, I naïvely assumed that privacy would be restored in my life. As I attempted to nurse my daughter for the first time ever (an awkward enough experience by itself) I turned my back to the door to assure myself some privacy. This is when The Hulk propelled past my window and scared the living bejeezus out of me.
This actually happened.