10 Things You Didn’t Want to Know About Labor (But Kinda Need To!)
posted on July 22, 2018 | by Erika Altes
Hi Loves! My name is Erika and I am the blogger behind Whiskey and Lace. I am currently 8.5 months pregnant with my second baby and I am not going to lie – the anxiety about what lies ahead (aka GIVING BIRTH!) is sort of freaking me out. To be honest, my first time around I didn’t really know what to expect. I ended up giving birth drug free (yes I am that crazy!) which was a crazy experience.
That said, I feel that it is my womanly duty to share all the things I only wished someone had told me my first time around. Some of these things aren’t pretty, but girl, my first bit of advice when giving birth is to throw ALL your humility out the window.
Disclaimer: every birth is different! This was my experience and not everything that happened to me will happen to you.
1. Your mucus plug (so gross I know) may not always come out. Towards the end of my pregnancy, people would ask “have you lost your mucus plug yet?” or “have you seen the bloody show yet?,” like it was an episode of CSI or something. I never lost mine until I was actually in transition (the hump between 7 and 8 centimeters dilated) and it wasn’t a super big deal. It just looked like a light period in the toilet and honestly at this point in my labor I wouldn’t have cared if it looked like I had dropped a bloody bomb!
2. You fart…A LOT! I told you this process isn’t pretty. When I first started to go into active labor, it felt like I was about to have the worst diarrhea of my life. I was SUPER crampy, which in turn made me super gassy. At first I kept apologizing to my husband. But then I made it to the point of not giving a f*ck (ha!).
3. While we are on that very pleasant topic, I also want to inform you that you will most likely poop while pushing your baby out. When I was pushing, I literally looked up at my husband and said, “I feel like I am shitting out my spine!!” So ladies, when you are pushing a human out of you it’s pretty much impossible NOT to also quite literally, “shit the bed” during this process. Fear not though, the nurses are trained to quickly clean it up when it happens.
4. When you think about giving birth, most people think of their water breaking. I waitedand waited for mine to break, but it never did. When I was around 8 centimeters, my mid wife ended up taking a hook, reaching up my you know what and breaking it for me to get me fully dilated. It felt AMAZING but then my contractions got super intense!
5. BREATHE! Seems obvious, but it’s very easy to forget to breathe when your body is in labor. Breathing keeps your mind and body in sync. And I don’t mean the old school Lamaze breath. I found that taking extremely deep inhales and long exhales was much better than the rapid breathing they teach you in Lamaze class. Just channel yoga
6. Let’s chat about the urge to push. Okay, you know the feeling you get in your stomach and esophagus when you are about to throw up? Now imagine that feeling…times a million, but in the other direction! That is exactly what it feels like when your body is ready to push your baby out. It’s the best but most intense feeling in the world. Your
body literally takes over and you must trust the process and go with it.
7. Alright, now let’s chat about the infamous ring of fire…this Is one thing I guess I didn’t really think would happen but it did. In scientific terms, this is apparently when the area between your vagina and your bumhole reach a point of maximum stretching when you’re pushing your baby out. However, the description “ring of fire” is the perfect
description for what it feels like. Good news though, it only lasted for a couple of seconds – at least for me.
8. Tearing! This can sometimes happen if the nurses don’t have enough time to “massage” your area when baby is coming out – or in my case if the baby has to be vacuumed out. I didn’t feel myself tear, but it was uncomfortable when they were stitching me up and it did make the recover a bit longer.
9. The recovery! If you plan on having a vaginal birth, be sure to prepare yourself beforehand and make PADSICLES! These things saved my life and I swear helped cut down on my recovery time. They were soothing and helped with the swelling. You are welcome!
10. It takes a village! I chose to hire my sister in law who is a doula to be there when I gave birth. Both my husband and I agree we don’t think we could have made it through the experience (especially drug free) without her there. Doula’s are extremely knowledgeable and can help relieve pain in natural ways with massage. She kept my
head in the game and kept my fear at bay any time I started to lose control. I was so grateful for the knowledge and stress/physical relief she provided and I plan to have her there when I do this again soon.
My final thoughts: no matter how your birth ends up going, whether it’s vaginally, with or without drugs, a vacuum birth, a VBAC, or a caesarian, you, my friend, are amazing! Giving birth in any way/shape/or form is NOT easy! Forgive yourself and let go of any expectations you had prior to giving birth. Go in with an idea of what you want but know that it may not happen according to plan. The only thing that truly matters is that you and that sweet new baby of yours are safe. Trust your body and be proud of the miracle you created and brought into this world!
Great article! I think equally as important as letting go of expectations is a woman fighting for her preferred method until it’s not medically safe for the baby (whether that’s vaginally with pressure to c-section or vice versa). People may have their preferences or opinions but they should listen to the mother as well 🙂
Chelsea Becker Says
Grace Boerema Says
Love the birthing article! Good info for Moms to be.