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What They Don't Tell You About L&D

23 March 2013

Ahhhhhh see now here is where it starts to get interesting... And I promise to not scare the ever living shit out of you with gory details.

Every woman, every labor and delivery, and every baby are different. Some women have these awful terrible war/birth stories while others who must have done something right in life have practically painless births. And while we all hope and pray to the delivery gods that that we will be one of the lucky ones, ANYTHING can happen. Some women are so dead set on having everything happen a certain way and while that's great and all you really should have only two things in mind. The health of your baby and you. And trust me, if you over think everything (as I always do) it will just make everything exponentially worse.

Which brings me to the birth plan. Anywhere and everywhere you look they tell you to have a birth plan. Basically it's a list of prego demands and can include anything from the ambiance of the room (lights, music, TV), to who you want at the birth, to the method of birth, to medications and interventions during and after birth. And while I normally never condone preparedness and lists (cause sweet Jesus I love me some lists) it can be a complete waste of time. If you walk into the hospital dead set on how you want to have that baby you are likely to be disappointed. And while it's not impossible to have everything go exactly as you have planned, you really have to consider all your options and KNOW that anything can happen. I am a prime example of this but I will share my birth story another time (be prepared for that one, folks). I will, however give you an example. I went from 0 to liftoff in what felt like the worlds shortest period of time. The nurses had basically put me on the backburner because I should not have progressed as quickly as I did especially as a first timer. Long story short, not only did I NOT have the midwife I was in love with because she wasn't on call at the hospital that day, but the midwife that WAS on (my least favorite of the 4 midwives at my office, go figure) wasn't even able to make it to me in time before I delivered. So essentially I had a doctor of whom I had met 30 seconds prior to her delivering my peanut. Like I mentioned. previously number one is the safety and health of your new little one and you... Everything else should really come second.

Let me take a second to give a shout out to contractions. Ya, that's right you evil bastards, I'm talking to you. Some women (apparently women who hit the freaking childbirth lottery) don't really feel contractions, it's rare but can happen. So it's good to know we are not completely destined to suffer through them. But if you're like 99.9999998% of us, prepare for the shitstorm that is contractions. Now I may be a bit biased as my contractions lasted 3 days (no that wasn't a typo , my early labor was 3 goddamn days long) but still. Nothing was comfortable, and it's impossible to sleep through them. So needless to say I was a very pregnant, very angry zombie lady by the third day. No bueno.

Epidural, oh how I love thee, let me count the ways. I was so beyond misinformed about epidurals so let me enlighten you, please. My pain tolerance is sub par at best when I say I felt almost no pain receiving it, I truly mean it. It may be something to consider however that I had been in labor for 3 days prior to that and I was exhausted and in so much pain from the contractions that the epidural was a freakin breeze. I always had assumed that with an epidural you went all limp noodle from the waist down...also not true, my friends. It may depend on your hospital/ anesthesiologist but mine couldn't have been more perfect...I could just barely feel my contractions but still had FULL CONTROL of my legs. That's right, you heard correctly. And for me it was a lifesaver, it allowed me to relax for the first time in 3 damn days. If I wanted to I could have totally gotten up and taken a short stroll after delivering her, not that I'd want to, or that they'd even consider letting me, but I definitely would have been capable of it. And the best part you ask? I could still feel JUST enough so that when it was time to deliver I wasn't guessing whether or not I was pushing. One side effect I did have from it, which doesn't happen to everyone is itchiness. As annoying as it should have been the feeling of not contracting for me far outweighed the itch.

This post will definitely be continued as I hadn't realized I was blathering on as long as I was, please feel free to stop me if need be or you could just comment and subscribe ;)