You can be warned, you can be educated, but until you go through it yourself, you cannot fully understand or appreciate what it's like to be pregnant and have a baby. Here are my six life lessons this mama learned first hand through the pregnancy and child birth process...
1. Pregnancy was not all butterflies and roses. It was hard work. For almost the entire ten months, yes TEN!, I was exhausted, uncomfortable, nauseous, swollen, having gall bladder attacks, had high blood pressure and let’s not forget moody! Frank, and my entire family for that matter, deserve a service medal for putting up with me! The ONLY thing I liked about being pregnant was feeling the baby move inside me – that was a miraculous feeling I will never forget.
2. Bring on the water works. You will be extremely emotional for the first week or so after you have the baby. Not post partum depression like they warn you about, but just emotional in general. I cried at the drop of a hat. And I’m not normally a crier, that’s why this was so strange to me. I remember I couldn’t even look at the pictures Frank took of the delivery without bawling! When the baby started crying, I would cry too. It eventually cleared up – but don’t be alarmed if you start weeping without reason.
3. Mass exodus. (TMI warning) Everyone tells you if you have a c-section you won’t bleed nearly as much. They’re lying. I will never forget when the nurse’s aid came in to “clean me up…” I was horrified at the amount of fluids exiting my body. Poor Frank, asleep next to my bed, laid their helpless… keeping his eyes shut for the entire process. I don’t blame him. It’s not something I’d ever want to see… ever.
4. Pain is manageable. Recovery from a c-section isn’t so bad, as long as you keep up with your pain meds. No one’s giving out medals to mama’s that tough out the pain. I’m a huge believer in pain management. When the nurses came to get me out of bed the next morning, they said I handled it better than most!
5. Gas anyone? I was warned about the post op gas pains. But not enough; not nearly enough. Holy cow that was awful! When they open you up, they let all sorts of air in and it needs to work its way out. The nurses encouraged me to take my gas pills and get up and walk around, so I did, slowly – waddling really. When I asked the nurse for something stronger, because this medicine obviously wasn’t working, she threatened me with a suppository. Needless to say, the gas found a way out, but after several hours of being very uncomfortable. You know you’re at your ropes end when you start celebrating every little toot.
6. You loose your hair. You will become semi-bald several weeks after you have your baby. Don’t be alarmed at the clumps of hair on the floor, or after you comb it – I’ve been assured it will grow back. But I no longer have the luscious, full locks I had when I was pregnant.