8 Truths About Labour No One Talks About
I remember going to antenatal classes and reading lots of pregnancy and baby books when I was expecting my first child.
I soaked up every bit of information about birth that I could and even had a birth plan, and lists, lots of lists. But, nobody ever told me the real stuff that happened when you were in labour – the nitty gritty. I was much more prepared for labour with my second child because I knew what was going to happen and how it would all feel.
I can’t help thinking that if I had known about all that for my first that I would have approached it all differently and been more relaxed (maybe – or it may have just scared the wits out of me!).
So, with that in mind, I have decided to share with you a few little truths about labour that the books and classes don’t really touch on. If you don’t want to know and prefer to stick to the books then look away now, but if you are curious, keep reading!
Bye Bye, Dignity
Unfortunately, one truths about labour is that you will be leaving your dignity at the door! Your vagina will be looked at and poked and prodded more than you ever thought possible – and if you are incredibly lucky there’ll be medical and/or nursing students there to see the show too!! Don’t worry – not only have they seen it all before, once the labour pain intensifies, you really won’t give a damn – I promise!
You Will Get Angry
Truths about labour are that you will have a violent side to your personality – you will utter more swear words than Detective Debra Morgan from “Dexter” (what comes out of that girl’s mouth would make a trucker blush!), and you will never want to hurt your significant other more in your life than when in the throes of labour. And if the midwife tells you to breathe through the pain and relax one more time you will seriously want to rip her eyes out!
The anger part of labour is usually when you get close to the ‘transition’ – which is the nitty gritty – getting down to business part. Your body knows what it needs to do – and make no apologies for it! Labour is an incredibly emotional time. Not only will you get angry, you will probably laugh, cry, scream and vomit. All perfectly normal.
One of the most frustrating truths about labour is that you will lose control of bodily functions – yes even the most prim and proper ladies will poo, wee, fart, vomit and sweat – it’s pretty gross!
But, if they offer you an enema (to open your bowels) in the early stages – take it (might save some grossness later on!).
Most women do poo during labour, because really, the pushing of the baby out of your body is very much the same pushing you do on the loo. Whatever you do – don’t take a laxative before labour – it is best that you have a poo during the pushing stage then having explosive diarrhoea!.
There will be blood. Maybe a little, maybe a lot. Have you seen CSI or Dexter? Multiply that by 10 and you’ll catch my drift!
Even the most prudish of us will probably end up whipping all of our clothes off during labour. Because when in full labour, everything irritates you – the gas, the nurses, your hubby, the beeping machines, the pain, the relaxing ambient music and most of all clothes. Truths about labour are that your clothes will come off and your care factor will be nil!
Many will tell you that labour hurts but it’s a “good” hurt (and some will try and tell you it doesn’t hurt at all – well they probably had an epidural!). All I have to say is it really does hurt, but perception of pain is up to the individual – in my experience, I didn’t think there was anything good about it except that it ended!
The body is a marvellous thing. The pain starts out slowly slowly, and builds. Just when you don’t think you can take it anymore, your body will take over. Ask any woman that has given birth, the reason you don’t really ‘remember’ the pain is that your brain just takes over and does it’s thing. It is primal, it is empowering. And you will feel like a super hero once you are done!
It ain’t over til it’s over – once your bub enters the world your work isn’t over – you have to deliver the placenta too!! Once your baby is born, the staff will usually give you an injection in the thigh to help bring on the birth of the placenta. Yes, truths about labour is it hurts, but usually you are so busy examining the new life in your arms, you don’t even notice.
Once delivered your baby won’t look clean and beautiful like in the movies – when they hand you your baby for the first time there will be slimy bits and goo and blood all over it and it’ll look little and scrunched up and really not that pretty – but you won’t care!
At the end of it all, after you have been cleaned up and your little bundle of joy is asleep and all the visitors and medical staff have left, you will go into the bathroom for your first shower after giving birth, look at yourself in the mirror and feel damn proud of yourself for just doing what you did!
Then you’ll look at your flabby, saggy tummy and wonder how there was ever a whole other person in there!
So that’s it – everything you need to know minus the medical jargon.