Katie - I read all the books, I spent way too much time on google, I picked the brains of my already Momma friends. I had a birth plan, I had an after birth plan. I was going to have an all natural birth with no drugs, I was going to breastfeed, I was going to co-sleep and baby wear and cloth diaper and do all the crunchy granola all natural things! And then, I went in for my appointment and Nicholas was breach, because of his position and my low lying placenta, there was no way to flip him and he probably wouldn't do it on his own. So there I was, my entire plan out the window. I walked into the OR at 37 weeks and 5 days pregnant (he didn't want to wait anymore) and delivered my 6lb 12oz baby via c-section. And you know what, it wasn't bad at all! I've had 4 babies, all c-sections. I've bottle fed and breastfed, I've co-slept, I've let my babies cry is out. I cloth diapered and I've used disposable diapers. And you know what, it's all okay.. because different things work for different Momma's and different babies. But the moral of the story is, you can't plan everything when it comes to your babies! And that's okay. As a planner/ nester by nature, this was very hard for me to accept and adapt to. It still is extremely hard when things don't go as planned. But if I can offer any advice to a mommy-to-be or a new mom it would be this.. Just go with the flow (as much as you can) because babies don't like to follow a plan!
Danette- I have spent my entire life just awaiting the day I'd become a mom. It was my biggest dream and has been my biggest accomplishment x3! When I found out I was pregnant for the first time, I ran out and bought all of the pregnancy books, took the pregnancy classes, and had sit downs with my closest mommy friends to get the 101 on everything to expect. Nothing, absolutely NOTHING, prepared me for the uterine massage that immediately follows the birth of your baby and continues for 24 hours afterward. Sounds pretty amazing, right? Uterine MASSAGE?? BRING...IT! BRING...IT...NOW! About an hour after my daughter's birth, the nurse comes in and explains that she's going to be doing a uterine massage and that it will have to be repeated every few hours. You couldn't have swiped the super excited grin off my face if you would've paid me. I gladly handed my new bundle of joy off to her daddy and snuggled down into the (not so) comfy hospital bed awaiting this uterine massage!! The nurse lays the bed all of the way back and lifts my hospital gown up to my swollen, sore breasts, exposing my incredibly fleshy, loose abdomen and the uterine massage begins....I begin to see stars...what...the...F&#%?!?! The pain!!!! The contractions!!!! What. Is. Happening?! She's pressing down on my stomach so hard as what feels like my entire supply of blood is gushing out of my sore, freshly stitched HOOHAW! MASSAGE?!?! This is what you call a massage?!?! I struggle to sit up and she presses firmly on my shoulder to lay me back down. "This is required, Sweetie, to make sure you're not clotting. We don't want you to hemorrhage." GET OFF ME!!!! Give me my baby back!!!!!! HEELLLLLLPPPPP!!! No literature or training EVER prepares you for this! So all of you soon-to-be mommas and anyone that plans to me a mommy in the future...be prepared! That uterine massage is not at all what it sounds like 😫
Jamie- My first son was born when I was 20 years old, I could talk for days about all the things I didn't expect, but I think what has always stuck with me after eight years and two more pregnancies is the way my hormones changed drastically within days of giving birth! It was like I was going through menopause suddenly!
The first symptom I noticed was night sweats and heat flashes. I'm always cold, I sleep in sweats and tee shirts all year and my husband likes to keep the house cold at night. Waking up in the middle of the night, soaked in sweat and throwing the comforter off of the bed was completely out of character for me!
Another nighttime symptom, one that I actually had during pregnancy but became much more bothersome after birth; my arms would fall asleep so easily! The baby would wake up, and I wasn't even able to lift my arms, let alone pick him up! After a few minutes, the numbness would wear off and then it'd be all pins-and-needles-y and then, perfectly fine. It never occurred to me that it was due to hormones, but apparently it happens to a lot of women after birth and during menopause! Who knew?
Finally, my face became so extremely dry and scaly that I had to buy a special intensive moisturizer, and even that burned when I applied it! Usually, my skin is pretty "normal," but I swear, I was shedding a layer of my face everyday. As if I didn't feel gross enough!
I have to say, nothing prepares you for having a baby, but the hormonal changes in your body affect things you would never imagine!
Melissa- I have had 4 happy, healthy, beautiful babies. Everyone tells you how much you'll love them and how you'll forget the contractions once you see that beautiful face. I was 19 when I gave birth to my first perfect baby girl. Nobody told me that even though I was 110lbs, I would be a swollen mess. My hands, feet and face were swollen for the last 4 months of my pregnancy. I gave birth in a quick 5 hours.. And then the real swelling came. Nobody told me my lady bits would become a duck billed platypus. It's funny to say now that I look back at it. I was mortified after giving birth. You want me to put an ice pack where?!?! Thankfully, the swelling, the pain, the worry and your duck-billed platypus all go away in a few weeks and you get left with a beautiful baby.
Stacey- Well lets start here I'm 32 years old. When I got pregnant I was 31, I always knew I wanted to be a mom but I always felt like it would never happen till I met my fiance John.
I suffer from severe anxiety from a terrible accident I was in. I was on quite a few diffrent medicines that I managed to quit as soon as I found out I was pregnant. The psychological withdrawls were hell, spins, feeling like I was in a tunnel and headaches. Now being a first time mom is scary, throw in having major anxiety and you have one crazy woman. Determined to continue my healthy pregnancy, I made an appointment to my psycholgist in hopes there was something he could give me instead of what I was currently on. I walked in an he saod "congratulations, alot of woman get pregnant with anxiety and get through it without meds, unfortunatley since your not bipolar you'll just have to stop taking them" at this point im thinking WHAT? What am I going to do? My anxiety is so bad I cant even function on a daily basis. I walked out of the office that day feeling defeated as I knew I had a very long road ahead of me.
But somehow I got through the withdrawls and by week ten I started to feel myself. I still didnt enjoy pregnancy I act fought with myself quite a bit. " Why did I do this?" "Why dont I love my baby?" " What the hell is wrong with me?" I cried alot and when I say alot I mean I could fill a pool. I had absolutely no attachment to my baby. I was a horrible mom I didnt deserve her at least thats how I felt. These are things that I eventually realized were all normal. That lots of woman feel like this I wasnt alone. You can feel absolutely no attachment to your baby, even after they come out.
So in late September I lost my stepdad someone who had been so special to me. My family came to break the news in person as they knew I'd break down in my state I had had enough of being pregnant, preterm labor and wanted my body back. That night my mom told me
"I have no reason to live, I just want to die" I stood there still then replied " you have Brynlee and I" I didnt know what else to say. Sure enough two days later right before mom was supposed to leave my water broke at 37 weeks. Luckily my mom was still here we rushed too the hospital at 4am. I was scared and crying but took the contractions as well as I could for two hours while they prepped for my emergency c-section. Brynlee was breech head in my ribs, I had gestational diabetes and was in preterm labor. They thought this was the safest route.
Now I'm freaked out because Ive never had surgery. By the time I hit the table all the anxiety I had for nine months seemed to life off my back. They cut her out I heard her first cry and every worry was worth it. She was beautiful her hair was curly she had a smug look on her face. (Which she has from time to time.) I was complete that moment as her daddy held her and I stared at her in immediate love. I could see the water pooling in his eye lids, the feeling was mutual.
A few weeks later I came down with postpardum depression. I cried and cried. I couldnt even understand why. A lullaby would play and I'd weep, she'd cry and I'd cry. I reached out for help right away. And now my lifes complete. I have a perfect little girl who has health issues were working through. But overall shes happy, healthy, and sassy.
I'd like to tell anyone afraid of pregnancy and anxious about getting or being pregnant you can do it. It takes a lot or work mentally and physically but every ache, pain, tear and worry is totally worth it in the end when you see that little face.
And is a picture of my mom who lost her soulmate two days before this and then gained a beautiful granddaughter. Surely a bittersweet moment.