Babies: 0 - 3 Months

What do you wish you knew before giving birth? (from May 2012 board)

I'm 10 days away from my due date and thought I'd pick your wise and experienced brains.  I'm not as nervous about the birth as I am about being a (hopefully) good mom, but heck, I'll take any advice about anything!

Thanks in advance. :-) 

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"Last night I dreamed I ate a ten-pound marshmallow, and when I woke up the pillow was gone." - Tommy Cooper

Re: What do you wish you knew before giving birth? (from May 2012 board)

  • Just how trying it is...emotionally and physically...the first couple weeks.  I really felt like a zombie some days and other days I felt like...maybe I wasn't cut out to be a mom.  But it's normal and happens to everyone.  If my mom got through it, I can; and so will my daughter when she becomes a mom.  You can't prepare yourself for motherhood...just take it as it comes and you'll be fine.  And remember...your LO is learning just like you are...that little baby isn't born knowing how to breastfeed, comfort themselves, sleep, and even poop or pass gas perfectly  and neither are you born knowing perfectly how to handle it.  LO will cry and you will learn through experience exactly what he/she needs. 

    A bit of advice: even though you become a mom, don't try to be supermom...that first month or so don't even think about worrying about getting things done (cleaning, cooking, etc.) because most of the time (99% of it) won't get done.  Take that time to be with your baby because they won't be that tiny forever.  Let SO, siblings, parents, friends, etc. do things for you (milk it for all it's worth lol).

    Good luck and congrats!  All moms are good moms as long as you love your child and want to do what's best for them...so don't worry about that.  We (at least I) think our moms are the best and that we may never live up to that, but even our own moms made mistakes (my mom always used to put my diaper on backwards LOL when she was tired at night).

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  • I wish I had known to get as much free stuff out of the hospital possible BEFORE leaving! 

    My hospital only provided very minimal products to take home with us :/ so be sure to ask for extras of EVERYTHING!!! (pads, mesh undies, washing/rinsing things, nursing pads, witch hazel, nipple shields, pacifiers, etc.) 

  • image Eveamlizya:

    Just how trying it is...emotionally and physically...the first couple weeks.  I really felt like a zombie some days and other days I felt like...maybe I wasn't cut out to be a mom.  But it's normal and happens to everyone.  If my mom got through it, I can; and so will my daughter when she becomes a mom.  You can't prepare yourself for motherhood...just take it as it comes and you'll be fine.  And remember...your LO is learning just like you are...that little baby isn't born knowing how to breastfeed, comfort themselves, sleep, and even poop or pass gas perfectly  and neither are you born knowing perfectly how to handle it.  LO will cry and you will learn through experience exactly what he/she needs. 

    A bit of advice: even though you become a mom, don't try to be supermom...that first month or so don't even think about worrying about getting things done (cleaning, cooking, etc.) because most of the time (99% of it) won't get done.  Take that time to be with your baby because they won't be that tiny forever.  Let SO, siblings, parents, friends, etc. do things for you (milk it for all it's worth lol).

    Good luck and congrats!  All moms are good moms as long as you love your child and want to do what's best for them...so don't worry about that.  We (at least I) think our moms are the best and that we may never live up to that, but even our own moms made mistakes (my mom always used to put my diaper on backwards LOL when she was tired at night).

    nicely done!

    Not so much about being a mommy but some advice for you that l'm sure you've heard before time and time again on thebump. Take your stool softner afterward it truly was my life saver at times. While in the hospital whenever I knew I had to have a break l let the nursery do one or two of her feedings in a row that way I could sleep a few hours. I for some stupid reason didn't realize how exhausting being a mother to a newborn could be. She's a little over 3 weeks and l'm still trying to get the hang of some things. I'm done rambling, sorry.

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  • I made a labor playlist and it was even better than I'd hoped. I felt a little nervous as soon as we got to the hospital and the music made it feel like home. My iPhone had loud enough speakers so it wasn't anything extra to lug around. Also my midwife reminded us to keep playing it during pushing (at a certain point I didn't realize it had turned off). Now whenever I hear the song that played at the moment of his birth I am immediately back there. I had hoped it would help but I didn't realize just how powerful it would be. 

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  • i wish someone told me i'd still look pregnant leaving the hospital... and days after.
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    After 12 cycles TTC and two losses, our baby boy is here!


    Born in the water, 04.12.12 at 1:04am. 7 lbs 11 oz and 19.5 in.

    Breastfeeding, Cloth Diapering, Babywearing Mama

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    •  More about the baby blues. I had heard about them but for some reason thought I'd be immune to this - the first 3 weeks are hard! My anxiety was through the roof, my hormones made me emotional and I felt like I was carrying the world on my shoulders b/c I was breastfeeding and my husband couldn't do that much to help me out. Everyone says to "sleep when the baby sleeps" but it's not that easy when your heart is beating out of your chest, your overtired, you want to do laundry or the dishes and you're afraid to fall asleep b/c your eyes aren't on the baby at all times. Try to relax and give yourself a break - we all got through it and so will you.
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    • Since I work in L&D the process of birth and postpartum is not at all foreign to me.

      I wish I had known that my baby girl would not be able to breastfeed like her brother did.  She has a jaw that WILL NOT open wide enough to get milk out and we both suffered because of it.  I so looked forward to breastfeeding again and now it is a huge disappointment that I can't.  Plus now I have found out that she has allergies to milk and soy, so not only am I pumping but now I am also making major dietary modifications to do what I can for her.  I know these things happen, but I certainly did not envision this for myself.

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    • Labor was not as bad as I thought it would be.  I really enjoyed the experience (I did get an epi) Although I was extremely hungry and thirsty after my 18 hours of labor, was not prepared for that!

      The first few weeks are HARD, especially the lack of sleep but it does get better!  I cried several times b/c I felt overwhelmed but by 2-3 weeks, it got better.  I felt like it took 4-5 weeks before I REALLY knew my daughter's likes/needs, 

      A happy mom makes for a happy baby!

      I did not enjoy being pregnant but after my DD was born I missed being pregnant so much!  My daughter was 3 weeks early so I felt cheated I guess out of the last few wks of my pregnancy LOL.  I was just emotional after she was born!

       Good Luck!!

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    • In the hospital, advocate for yourself...not all nurses do their job as well as they should.  You will get some great ones and some not so great ones.  Take all the help you can get from family.  Even if you are breastfeeding it will be helpful to have family around overnight so they can help with diaper changes while you are getting ready to breastfeed and they can make dinner/clean so you can rest or spend time with LO.  

      Otherwise the giving birth thing itself isn't such a big deal.  There are doctors and nurses to take care of you and tell you what to do if you don't have a birth plan.  I had an amazing doctor who didn't sugar coat anything when it was time to make decisions and I was never pressured to make a certain decision.  Make sure your support people (mom, DH, etc) know what you want.  The only thing I had to semi-fight for was to have DH in the room when I got my epi.  Apparently 2 people in my state died of infection and now they don't want anyone in the room.  Luckily I got an awesome CNA who was fine with it. 

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    • vszappvszapp
      250 Answers 500 Comments 100 Love Its Third Anniversary
      member

      Echo pps, but a few other things I didn't know....

      That breastfeeding can be HARD in the beginning, but sooo worth it. Lactation consultants are great - use them.

      That I would be sore for 8+ weeks after delivery.

      That weeks 3-7 would be so tough with so much fussing.

      That it is even possible to love a little pink bundle so much, so quickly! 

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    • I wish I had brought food to the hospital. I went so long without food, it made it really hard to push for three hours.
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    • One thing I didn't expect was I had an adrenaline rush that lasted damn near all lo's first week.  I cooked, cleaned, did laundry, and organized as well as took care of lo and I was doing all the feedings.  Then week 2 hit and I was exhausted and slept every time that child shut his eyes lol.  Did not expect that at all
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    • The suggestion about the nurses is great- I was surprised that some were pushy about things like feeding LO, breast feeding, etc...it's hard to deal with especially bc your emotions are going crazy...do what you feel is best- you will get a lot of different opinions from your pediatrician, LC's, and nurses. In the end, YOU are the mother, and the final decision maker. Do what feels right for your baby.

      Also, I didn't realize how much I'd worry after coming home. I was (and still am!) so so worried about her breathing- and it was so hard to rest, I'd constantly want to check on her. Its getting a litte better, but the worry's still there.

      My last thing is don't worry or feel bad about how your l&d goes. It most likely won't go like you planned- I was induced at 41 weeks, went through 30 hours of labor, and in the end had a c/s. my body just wasn't going to let me deliver my baby like I wanted...I was so sad, and felt like I had failed as a mother, but I realized it wasn't true, and it doesn't matter how my daughter got here, just that she was here and we both were safe and healthy. 

      GL, you will do great! :) 

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    • I think I knew just the right amount about childbirth (knowing more would have allowed me to start worrying about the pain prematurely), but I think I might've freaked out less in general if I'd known BFing, recovering from childbirth, the sleep deprivation, and early childrearing wouldn't be nearly as bad or scary as I imagined.  I worried so much about the early weeks PP that it all seems pretty easy comparatively.  You'll do fine!  Just take a deep breath!
    • image kfranck1:
      •  More about the baby blues. I had heard about them but for some reason thought I'd be immune to this - the first 3 weeks are hard! My anxiety was through the roof, my hormones made me emotional and I felt like I was carrying the world on my shoulders b/c I was breastfeeding and my husband couldn't do that much to help me out. Everyone says to "sleep when the baby sleeps" but it's not that easy when your heart is beating out of your chest, your overtired, you want to do laundry or the dishes and you're afraid to fall asleep b/c your eyes aren't on the baby at all times. Try to relax and give yourself a break - we all got through it and so will you.

        This exactly! Before DD was born, I wouldn't have called myself a very emotional person, so when I cried at night after she was born I was almost disappointed in myself. I was definitely not prepared for it! Nights were the worst... my LO had her days and nights switched so it seemed like she cried all night or if not crying, was wide awake...so for the first 2 to 3 weeks I basically never slept! When it started getting dark outside my stomach would basically drop knowing that my night would be hell again.

        BUT it does get better! DD is 9wks now and only wakes once a night. She is now smiling at me and knows my voice! This makes it all worth it! Looking back, I would do it ALL again - the sleepless nights, the bleeding nipples (we had trouble learning to BF), the crazy hormones - all for my beautiful daughter's toothless smile! It is amazing how much love you can have for one little drooling bundle of joy!

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      • papeetepapeete
        Sixth Anniversary 100 Comments
        member

        Aww, thanks so much, ladies.  It's inspiring to hear your stories.

        Thanks again!  (I'll post a link on my board to share your good advice.) :-) 

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        ...............the papeete blog...............

        "Last night I dreamed I ate a ten-pound marshmallow, and when I woke up the pillow was gone." - Tommy Cooper
      • I wish I knew that the shaking was going to be so severe. After my c-section I was shaking uncontrollably. It happened at night and during the day. It's completely normal and all based on your hormones but it was scary. 

        I also wish I knew how much I would sweat at night. I'm now sleeping in just a nursing bra and undies because of the night sweats. I guess they will go on for at least another week- until my body expels all of the extra fluid I retained during the pregnancy.  

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      • I wish I knew that having a natural birth wouldn't automatically make it better than one with an epidural. Although my labor and delivery were relatively fast and early labor was not quite as painful as I expected. Transition was excruciating and I felt I was so focused on the pain I barely noticed that I had just had a baby, I was just excited for the pain to be over. I should have been open to more options.

        I also wish I knew that I might not feel immediately bonded with the baby and that is okay. After the painful delivery and a very fussy baby for the first 6 weeks I felt like I just tolerated the baby's presence. Now just a few weeks later, I can't believe I was ever without her and love her more than I thought possible. Although everyone saying it will get better does not help while you are in the midst of it. It really does get better and once it does you won't even care that it was ever bad.

      • mumegsmumegs
        Eighth Anniversary Combo Breaker
        member
        I wish I knew how bad the recovery was going to be, I feel like nobody talks about the mother's recovery. I'm just now finally starting to stop bleeding, and it was so hard to sit anywhere at first with the stitches. Who would have thought that little squirt bottle and ice packs in the crotch would be your best friends! It's hard to deal with that and take care of the baby 24/7. Also breastfeeding was really painful for me and I wanted to quit, but it really does get better if you can get over the hump of the first few weeks. Definitely see an LC if there is one at the hospital. And you may think you dont want any visitors or help, but it was so nice for me to have my mom over just to cook and clean and hold the baby so I could take a nap every once in awhile.
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      • I wish I would have been prepared for complications after delivery. I went into the experience knowing that birth may not go as expected but I had in my head what I thought recovery would be like and mine has been very different than expected. It has been hard to work through that and baby blues at the same time.
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        BFP #1 4/4/11 - Natural M/C - 7w1d - 4/30/11
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      • 1.  You will have hemorrhoids like nobody's business.  Buy some Preperation-H suppositories because they're a life saver.  

        2.   Don't be afraid to wear the nylon undies from the hospital - they're pretty comfy.  

        3.  I don't know about your area or your birth plan, but you are NOT required to get an IV unless you have an epi planned.  Just have the hep-lock inserted and you can move around and labor wherever you want.  

        4.  Breastfeeding can be very hard!  But be super consistent about it in the beginning.   Even if you have to BF all day, you'll thank yourself later.  

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      • Labor is a btch. Especially if you go the med-free route. I was NOT prepared for all of that. Whoa. 

        Other than that, the only thing I wish I would have known about/prepared for would have been the postpartum hormone crash. I turned into a bit of a crazy person. You should probably warn your H because mine was extremely confused. 

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      • Thank you for sharing all of this information.  I'm 21 weeks and hardly feeling pregnant, but I am certainly nervous for L&D!  It is nice to know the things that are unwritten.  I appreciate everyone's comments to better prepare myself come September!
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