Hubby and I took six labor and delivery classes; each one lasting 2 and a half hours. Even so, there was a lot I was not prepared for in the labor and postpartum recovery process. I know some people don’t really want to know what’s going to happen, but I am not that person. I want to know as much as humanly possible so I can be mentally prepared.

That said, this post is meant to both be reflective of my experience and hopefully prepare some other people for what may come (you know I wouldn’t forget you Erin!), and hopefully have a little humor in it as well!

And now, what no one told me, but probably should have.

1. You know how your body changed drastically, but it happened over 9 months? Yeah, expect the reverse to happen in about 9 minutes (not literally). And the hormonal changes? Soooo fun. Night sweats, weepiness, etc. are all part of the normal recovery. Personally, I feel emotional now than I did when I was pregnant.

2. Labor is a hot, sweaty business. It was frigid in our room, and I was still burning up the whole time I was pushing.

3. Speaking of pushing, it hurts. It is so not like pushing out poo, or anything else you’ve experienced, though people will tell you it is. Basically, you will push until you feel like your bottom is going to rip into millions of pieces, and then you will keep pushing. Personally, I felt like I couldn’t breathe and might throw up, and just had to push through it.

4. Once you’ve had the baby, you will still be in pain. You may not be able to sit down. You may not be able to pee sitting down because it hurts, so. stinking. bad.

5. If you tear or have an episiotomy, get a script for the strong drugs. Yes, even if you don’t take them in the hospital. Even if you think you’re resting a lot, you are doing more than you did in the hospital, and you will be in more pain. You’ll thank me later.

6. Everyone worries about pooping or screaming or doing something else embarrassing during labor. Don’t bother. When it happens, you will not care. In fact, you probably won’t notice you’re screaming. You definitely won’t noticed if you poop — there’s too much going on and too much pain down there to notice.

7. I heard a lot about how horrible the first post-birth poop is. Maybe it was the stool softeners, maybe it was just me, but the the first was not bad at all; it just kind of came out. It’s the second and third ones, the ones you have to start working for, that are bad.

8. You will need a squirt bottle to clean off after you “eliminate.” Seriously, no use of the TP except to pat dry.

9. If you want to walk while you’re in the hospital after your water has broken, they’ll give you mesh panties and a giant adult diaper. You get to wear this same get-up after you give birth until you go home as well. Even though it doesn’t sound attractive or fun, you may possibly grow attached to them and want to take them home with you. You know, just in case you don’t think you’re ready for big girl panties yet. Or maybe that was just me.

10. Before discharge, you’ll get a few basic instructions about pain medicine, cleaning, and what not to do, but nothing about what’s normal and what’s not as far as bleeding and such goes. You’ll be home, wondering if what’s happening to you is normal or not. Chances are, it will happen on a weekend, when you can’t call your doctor. Good thing though, is that more often or not, you’re totally normal.

Oh, and as a bonus, probably half of what you think you want to do during and after labor or while in the hospital won’t happen. Life never goes according to plan, so things change based on what’s happening. For example, I sent Colton back to the nursery pretty much right after I was finally sewn up. He was born at 2:30 am, and after about an hour of fixing up, I was exhausted and couldn’t even fathom the idea of holding him for more than 10 minutes without falling asleep. Don’t worry, after a little nap I had Hubby bring him back to the room. I never would have imagined I would kick out my kid in favor of sleep, but oh boy was it exactly what I needed.

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This post is linked to Top Ten Tuesday. Go check out Amanda’s blog for more fun lists, and her new “Wilder” series – totally awesome!

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