Five Things They Don’t Tell You About Labor and Delivery

Now that I’ve given birth, I can share five things with everyone that you may not know about labor and delivery. When I went to classes I heard the same information over and over, but when I was in labor myself, there were so many moments I thought to myself- “Why didn’t they tell me this?” I’m here to share those things with you today!

1. The first thing they won’t tell you is that your epidural may not work. I went into labor knowing 100% that I wanted the epidural. Many friends of mine had gotten the epidural and told me that after it was administered, they felt no pain, were completely relaxed, and even went to sleep. That sounded amazing to me so I was all for getting one. When I got my epidural, nothing happened. It completely numbed my left leg and that’s it. I felt every single thing except my left leg felt like it weighed 500 pounds. I was later told that the epidural may not work for everyone. Had I known this, I may not have gotten it in the first place. When it comes time for me to have another baby, I will definitely be skipping the epidural.

2. You  may throw up. More than once. No one ever told me that I may start feeling very sick to my stomach and throw up. I kept telling the nurse I felt like this and she said that it happens to most people. I never knew that.

3. Nurses come and go and you only see your delivery doctor at the end. I always thought I would have the same nurse the entire time I was in labor and never realized my nurses had a life outside of the hospital. When their shift is over, they go home and you get another nurse. Be prepared to meet lots of nice people when you’re in labor. I was also under the impression that the doctor who would deliver me would be checking on me the whole time. The nurses really do everything until you’re ready to push.

4. Modesty goes out the window. I consider myself a very modest person and the thought of being in just a hospital gown and everyone seeing me exposed sounded horrible. When I was in labor, I could have cared less who saw me. Bring in the troops if you have to,  just get that baby out!

5. You can do it! Not everyone will tell you this. Some people only talk about how painful labor is and how difficult delivering a baby is. While that’s true, you can do it! If you’re pregnant right now and scared about giving birth, don’t be! Think of all the trillions of women who have given birth, and know that you can do it! You are strong and capable and you are in good hands!

 

I would love to hear from you if you have anything to share about something that surprised you during your labor and delivery. Leave it in a comment below.

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14 Comments on "Five Things They Don’t Tell You About Labor and Delivery"

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Ivelize
Guest

To have that Encouragement at then end, I just want to say thank you! I am one day away from being 39 weeks pregnant, 8 more days to go. Even though I’ve have been a great sport to myself, your encouragement just made me realize I haven’t heard it as often as needed! Thank you again 🙂

Sarah
Guest
Just a note, I had a very similar experience with my first epidural. It was horrible! With my second, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I talked with my very kind midwife and the anesthesiologist. I learned that each epidural is different. Sometimes the needle doesn’t go in quite right; sometimes your body just doesn’t react as expected; a number of things could happen, but just because it doesn’t work once doesn’t mean it won’t the next time. My anesthesiologist agreed with me to wait as long as possible (I was dilated to about an 8 when I… Read more »
Krista
Guest

#3 and 5 are very true!!

Mila
Guest
Fortunately my epidural worked just fine, and yes my legs felt like they were 500lbs each I kept yelling my legs are falling off the bed… Haha I had no control. Talk about modesty… I delivered my baby on all fours. Yup on my hands and knees! Talk about an experience. So many things were going on, my water broke at home( in tub fortunately). The baby’s head wasn’t positioned in the center and we almost went into c-section. Her heart rate kept dropping so that’s why I had to be in the all 4’s position. And finally she wouldn’t… Read more »
Meggan
Guest

I had all of these happened to me! I had chosen to forgo an epidural with my second but ended up having to have an emergency c-section at 36 weeks. I was flaming hot the whole time with both deliveries.

Lindsay
Guest

I was surprised that I heard my water break! There was a distinct “pop!” sound, like a water balloon popping!

Erin Hall {i can craft that}
Guest
Erin Hall {i can craft that}
expect to be hot or cold. and very hungry. when my first was born all i wanted was food, and I was boiling hot for hours. uncomfortably so. With my newest (6.5weeks) I was freezing and shaking afterwards (very quick delivery, under 3 min I would say) So come with a fan and an extra blanket. Also if you have en epidural and some tiem before you are in your perminant room, dont wait to pee. i forgot to ask for a catheter to empty my bladder after the birth, and we were in the labour room for 2 hours… Read more »
Elizabeth
Guest

The thing they never mentioned to me was the rush of hormones that leaves your body with the baby can sometimes make you shiver uncontrollably.

Deadra
Guest
I had the shakes before with my second. I couldn’t get warm enough! I had great labors with both my children. I had midwives for my first and a great Dr. For my second. One thing I wished was that I had drank more water during my labor part at home, I was very dehydrated and needed an IV. Something I didn’t think about was how hungry I would be after having the babies! Use the resources while your at the hospital. I had a hard time getting my son to latch and nurses and lactation consultants were so helpful… Read more »
Jennifer A
Guest
6. The shakes! After I had my first–and only–child, I was brought into my room, and I was looking forward to some much-needed sleep. Didn’t happen! I started shaking so uncontrollably that my teeth were chattering and my feet were bouncing off the bed. Horrible! Re: #3. I have to say I did not have that experience! I had one nurse the entire time and then my doctor checked in on me every hour. I thought that was the norm! Ha looking back on it now though, it may have been because I was an “at risk” pregnancy and ended… Read more »
Cindy B
Guest

Having a homebirth with #2 (attended by a great CNM) was so much easier and nicer than the hospital birth the first time (which included a scowly midwife). The main thing that came as a surprise to me the first time was how many stitches were involved and all the pain with recovery after a relatively easy delivery. Second one didn’t involve any stitches, praise God!

And yes, YOU CAN DO IT! Had two over 10lbs and like I said the second one didn’t involve any stitches.

Bayla
Guest

Here are some-

Embarrassment regarding modesty comes back once the baby is born and it can be difficult to bare your breast for feeding time when your room is full of visitors (even if it’s just your mother in law)

Recovering from an episiotomy is horribly painful

(Usually starting from the 2nd birth) After birth contractions are like being in labor all over again

Milena
Guest
You’re so right! With epidural, throughout pregnancy I kept thinking of giving it a go without any painkillers but when the contractions came there it was, the horrible pain in my lower back that I simply couldn’t stand… So I went with epidural and it was amazing, I couldn’t feel any pain but I still felt every contraction and the midwife didn’t need to tell me when to push. One thing to note and the midwife forgot to tell me was that with epidural I couldn’t eat anything and since coming to hospital the day before I was seriously eating… Read more »
Chava
Guest

Re. #3 – I had that experience with my first delivery which is why I’m so happy I went with a midwife the second time. #5 too. She was with us from beginning to end and very reassuring that I could do it! Choosing a practitioner who would be there the whole time was possibly the best decision I ever made since accepting my husband’s proposal.

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