I thought I knew all there was to know about birth. After all, I’d taken the classes and I’d done thorough research, but there were just some things that, while I maybe “knew”, I didn’t grasp until I was smack dab in it. Here’s five things I wish I would’ve known:
1. There’s SOOOOOO Much Blood Afterwards: I knew that birth would be bloody, but I didn’t realize how much blood there would be afterwards—for days afterwards. Mamas, be prepared. Immediately after and for several days after, depending slightly on your body, you will experience heavy, heavy bleeding and you will need to wear a pad, as thick as a mattress, which you will have to change often. It’s normal!
2. Pooping is PAINFUL!: People told me that! But, I did not realize it was brace-yourself-with-hands-on-the-tub-and-sink type of painful. It can still hurt for months afterwards, though the pain eases up substantially. Ladies, just relax! The more you relax and stop fighting it, the easier it will be. Not to be crude, but you will want to keep it pinched closed at all costs—do not!—relax and let it happen. It will.get.better!
3. Stretch Marks Itch Like CrAzY!: People told me that too! But, again, I didn’t get it. Your stretch marks, if you were like the majority and had them, will REALLY itch afterwards. My husband called me a chimpanzee because I could.not.stop.itching. Be prepared. Try your best not to itch. There are lotions and creams you can use. I used a Colloidal Silver gel which I ordered online and it worked wonderfully for me. The gel isn’t marketed for stretch marks, but it heals a number of ailments and it just so happened to really curb the itch and minimize my stretch marks.
4. Your Bond With Your Baby Isn’t Always Immediately Strong: When my baby girl was born, I loved her. She was a miracle, and I held her in my arms with such care and gentleness, but I didn’t know her. Like any relationship, the relationship between you and your baby takes time to develop. Your love grows stronger, and stronger, and stronger over time. Don’t feel bad if you aren’t immediately head over heels. You will immediately protect that baby at all costs and fret over his/her well-being and that shows you’re a good mama. Don’t allow guilt to steal from this precious time, allow yourself to get to know your baby moment by moment and in time your heart won’t be able to contain the love you feel.
5. The “Baby Blues” Make You Feel REALLY, REALLY sad: If you happen to experience the baby blues, remember they’re temporary! And, if they last longer than two weeks and you’re not getting better, get help! On the second day postpartum, I began to get really, really weepy. I cried about everything, but it wasn’t just that I cried, I felt incredibly sad and hopeless. I was insecure as a new mom and I felt a deep desperation that felt permanent and more overwhelming than the term “baby blues” lets on. This is normal. These emotions will wind down and you WILL FEEL JOY AGAIN! By two weeks, I was back to myself (well, a more tired version of myself).
By Holly M.