As I'm in the final stretch of pregnancy with Jellybean's sister I am trying to recall a lot of things, from what the hospital check-in process was like to the sleeplessness and overwhelmed feelings of the first few weeks.
I can't help but laugh at certain memories, like how I didn't realize that labor pains only increase in strength until the baby is expelled from the body (or a miraculous epidural). Or that the pushing stage is considered separate from actual labor. I had gone online to read (big mistake) about labor and delivery from real women and all I retained were the horror stories of a multi-day delivery process.
Eventually, the reality that every labor is different sank in. In reality I was in labor for 20 or so hours but half of it was menstrual cramp level pain, which was totally and voluntarily bearable (the other half, I had no choice but to bear it). In reality I pushed three times in 15 minutes to birth Jellybean and change our lives forever from that moment on.
So, going into the home stretch I wanted to recall some memories that will make me laugh this time around.
There is no easy way out #1
The pain of labor will only increase in intensity and frequency over time until the baby is ready to be delivered. Do not expect the two dinky pills you get from the nurses to do anything for the pain. Do not expect the nurses to be completely sympathetic to your pain because this is their business and they've seen it thousands of times and they have more faith in you than you have in you at the moment.
There is no easy way out #2
Glorious, glorious epidural! It comes with a catheter to catch your pee because you will no longer be in control of your bladder.
There is no easy way out #3
An elective C-section can spare your lady parts from stretching and tearing but recovery time will be one or more weeks. What no one bothers to tell you is that you still need stool softeners because that first poop is going to hurt, and you still need a lot of thick maxi pads for all that blood and lochia after birth.
There is no easy way out #4
Vaginal birth is the old fashioned way to go. Some ladies will experience tearing of the perineum and will need stitches down there. The first poop is still a fearful and painful process no matter how many stool softeners you take, so eat fiber rich foods now! There is no getting around afterbirth bleeding and lochia. But you do recover so much faster, yay!
There is no easy way out #5
Having a baby is a freight train. There is no slowing it and no stopping it. I am blessed to be a woman who can experience childbirth. Nothing inspired as much confidence in myself as becoming the mother of my husband's children. Don't mind the next few years of lost sleep. Just enjoy these nights when all you do is kiss them and blog.