Labor {and Delivery} Day Surprises


Labor Delivery Day Surprises - Corpus Christi Moms Blog

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By labor, I mean more than just “work”… I mean that type of work that results in a human being.

Yep! I’m talking about the process of childbirth.

I learned a lot in all those classes provided by the hospital, but nothing can really prepare you for the real deal until you’ve been through it. Here are a few things I experienced during labor and delivery that caught me off guard:

1. I didn’t know I was in labor.

Oops! The story goes like this:

Me: “Sure, it hurts a little, but I’m not doubled over in pain like it’s labor or something. Plus, my water didn’t break yet. Yeah, I’m kind of uncomfortable, but as long as I keep pacing the house I’m good. Hmmm… this ‘pain’ is coming a little more frequently and consistently. Fine, we can head the hospital if you insist, but I know they’ll just send us home.”

Nurse: “You’re 8 centimeters dilated.”

Husband: “I told you so.”

Lesson learned – just go to the hospital already!

2. Weird {excuse the fancy medical jargon} Symptoms

Pay attention to your body! I experienced some “weird” symptoms as soon as I woke up the day I went into labor that I later found out were related. My vision was impaired in one eye and I had a really strange episode where I was unable to put together sentences. I forgot, of course, to mention this to my doctor during my visit that day and because I wasn’t progressing, we scheduled an induction for the following Monday. Then, BOOM! A few hours later I’m back and ready to give birth. Looking back, these symptoms seem a little scary! If there is a “next time” for me, I’ll definitely be paying closer attention to things like this.

3. Epidurals – The Good, the Bad, and the Catheter

The first question I asked {yelled?} after the “8 centimeters” comment by the nurse was… “IS IT TOO LATE FOR AN EPIDURAL?”

Luckily, it wasn’t! Getting the epidural wasn’t too painful thanks to a shot they give you {with a much smaller needle!} to numb the area beforehand. However, I did end up feeling what I can only compare to an electric shock that caused one leg to kick and my whole body to flinch. Even typing it makes me cringe! Hard “not to move” when you’re experiencing uncontrollable reflexes like that.

Overall, I felt minimal pain for the remainder of labor and during delivery, so the epidural did its job. I do remember considering not ever having one again though due to how uncomfortable the catheter was. Too much information? Probably. But, I seriously expected not to even be able to feel or notice it. SO WRONG. So miserable. So glad when it was gone.

4. Time Stands Still

Speaking of epidurals, it really slowed things down for me. Up to that point, things had progressed pretty quickly, but afterwards, time stood still. Sure, we had brought some things to do, but not much sounds interesting when you’re in labor. So, instead, I tossed and turned in the bed and watched the machines and complained about the catheter. Rinse and repeat for a couple hours.

No changes until the doctor came in and broke my water himself. Now we’re talking! Back in action and things moved quickly after that. But, I learned that labor can be a real tough pill to swallow if you happen to be impatient or a control freak {not claiming either of those.}

5. “Everything I Need to Know, I Learned from my Labor and Delivery Nurse.”

Not sure if this was just me or maybe my raging hormones, but my heart broke at 7am when my labor and delivery nurse’s shift was over and she was just leaving us. Going home? WHAT? After all we had been through… how could she? She was the first face we saw when we arrived that day and was with us all the way through birth. I remember telling her there was no way I could have done it without her and that is absolutely the truth.

I wasn’t prepared for how attached I would become to my nurse {shout out, Becky!} but I am forever grateful for the five short hours we had together and her help in bringing my child into this world. She directed myself and my husband the whole way. Just the three of us, up until the very last few pushes. It takes a very special person and be a labor and delivery nurse, and next time I’m packing a hefty Starbucks gift card in my bag for them. I owe you, Becky!

So, what surprised you on your Labor Day?

Any tips or tricks? We’d love to hear your story – share it in the comments below!

In honor of Labor Day weekend, we’re sharing our birth stories. Though each of our experiences are different, childbirth is beautiful in all its forms. It creates new life, both in our newborns, and in the lives changed forever through motherhood.

Read more “Labor Day: Birth Stories” from Corpus Christi area moms.