5/31/11

Tips and Tricks - Labor and delivery

Last Tuesday I asked for questions regarding pregnancy and or having a newborn so that I could link up for Tips and Tricks Tuesdays.

I got a couple of questions about labor/delivery so I will address a few things that I think are important.

1. Take a class or not take a class? That is the question.

Early in pregnancy people started asking me if Luke and I were going to take a birthing class. Up until that point I didn't know that classes were something that real people took, I thought it just happened in TV shows for story-lines sake. Upon further investigation I realized that these classes were long and would be several nights or one full Saturday. Luke and I had no desire to take a class and I didn't feel like it was necessary. For whatever reason I was never worried or anxious about labor. I figured the baby had to come out of me one way or another, and I had a Dr. that I trusted to get it out of me, so it didn't seem necessary to go through a class. Now that I am on the other side of giving birth I can say that I am very glad we did not take the birthing class. It seems like there was no reason for us, that we should have taken it. The Dr. and labor and delivery nurse did all the counting for us and explained everything as it was happening. Now, every circumstance is different. Some people enjoy the classes and learn a lot and some don't. But if you don't want to take a class, don't take it. I do not regret not taking it.

2. Epidural; it's your friend, if you want it

I never questioned getting an epidural. Natural childbirth just did not seem like my cup of tea so I knew I would be getting an epidural. I had heard horror stories about the huge needle that goes in your back for your epidural however, when my time came, I had been having contractions ranging anywhere from 5-10 minutes apart for the past 24+ hours. I would have taken a needle through my EYE to get those bad boys to stop. The epidural man came and explained the process to me and then had me lean forward so he could stick the needle in my back. I figured I would get scared at this moment but I never did, I just wanted my contractions to stop. Luke watched the needle go in my back and said it was awful looking and couldn't believe that I didn't flinch. He had no idea the pain that I had been in prior to the ginormious needle going in my back. I know some people are bothered by being numb after the delivery process is over, but that didn't bother me. I was just sitting up in bed holding my baby talking to family members. There was no reason for me to be walking around at that point. I had no complications with my epidural and it is something I will do next time. If you want it get it, if you don't want it, don't get it.

3. Not everybody looks cute during delivery

I had preconceived notions in my head of looking all cute for labor. Hair washed and dried and straightened looking picture perfect, earrings in, lip gloss on, and I even had a super cute purple and pink hospital gown that I planned to wear during labor.
And then one fateful Tuesday night Luke and I found ourselves going 90-to-nothing on the highway trying to get to the hospital as fast as possible before I had our baby on the side of the road for God and all his people to see. CUTE WENT OUT THE DOOR. I didn't plan on having Eli that Tuesday night, so when I got home from work I took off all my makeup, didn't wash my hair, and definitely didn't put on any jewelry. I didn't have time to get cute and I had NO desire to get cute. Contractions hurt. I was a bit embarrassed at first at how awful I looked in pics, I was used to seeing girls looking picture perfect in the hospital bed holding their new baby. And then I remembered I had just pushed a baby out of my body, I'm not supposed to look perfect. So now I proudly have this pictue framed in our house.
Yes I look tired and large and swollen, but I also look happy and full of joy that my baby boy was finally here. It's a moment I will remember forever and it is worthy of being framed. I call this my keeping-me-humble picture. I also make sure to keep this picture FAR away from my wedding pics. No need to compare the two.

4. Get some new clothes to wear in the hospital

This one may sound a bit weird, but stick with me here. A couple of weeks before Eli arrived my mother in law took me to a maternity store and bought me some pi's and comfy clothes to wear in the hospital. Before that shopping trip I had never given much thought as to what I would wear in the hospital. Fast forward 2 weeks later to the hospital. I was exhausted and worn out from days of contractions and no sleep followed by delivery and still no sleep. I didn't feel like myself and I didn't look like myself, and I knew I would be having guests coming in and out wanting to see Eli, so it sure felt nice to put on some new clothes and feel a teeny tiny bit cute. I know I didn't look cute, but it was nice to have something new to put on. Maybe this sounds superficial, but sometimes I'm superficial. I loved having new pi's to wear in the hospital and I would suggest it to all girls. Get some new pi's along with some nursing tanks. It will make you feel good when the rest of you doesn't feel good.

5. Do not send Facebook messages to your nurses. You are hormonal and you are not BFF's with them. Stop thinking that.

This needs no explanation.

So there are some tips about labor that I wanted to share. Well I don't really know if they are tips. They might be just some ramblings. I'm a pretty open book so if you have any other questions regarding labor feel free to ask me. Unless it requires me to relive the embarrassment of thinking my nurses were my new BFF's. Those questions will be left unanswered.

17 comments:

Meagan said...

Love this! Thanks for linking up! I can't believe they let your husband watch you get an epidural! They wouldn't even let mine stand up! I looked awful during and after labor. We were so exhausted we asked people not to visit us in the hospital and I just wore hospital gowns. All the books act like you are going to bleed and stain your new stuff so I didn't want to wear my cute new stuff.

Classy Fab Sarah said...

"Do not facebook message your nurses" I am going to have to bookmark that tip for future use.

Kirsten said...

See, I don't need to take a birthing class after reading pregnancy blog posts! Ya'll are answering all my questions. :) PS- You looked great just after giving birth! You are beaming!

Simply Amy said...

I love the tips! Thanks for sharing them.

Aishlea and Brandon said...

I even put on makeup the morning I had my son, thinking I would just need to touch up later to be picture-perfect when he came. hahahahahaha! I was so delusional. Then came a C-section 12 hours later and I assure you my pictures are not attractive. AT all! :) But I don't care because I worked hard to get that precious baby here and it didn't matter how rough I looked as long as he was healthy and here! Funny how the priorities change, huh?

Perfectly Imperfect said...

Truer words have never been spoken! ;)

I decided classes weren't for me and I'm so glad I did. Class would never have prepared me for my labor. As for the epidural? I knew I wanted it. I never saw the needle, never felt the needle and loved the sweet, sweet release from pain it brought. I also don't remember being that numb after. Hmm...

Since I got induced, I did my hair and makeup super cute for pictures. Then she didn't come for two more days and I could have cared less how I looked. I was just glad it was over!!

I looked my nurse up on Facebook, but I didn't message her. I was close though!

Mary Michal said...

I took the birthing class and the only thing I got out of it was "Husbands, do not talk during contractions." Unfortunately, my husband didn't get that out of the class so at one point during a contraction I had to ask him to stop talking. :)

I wanted to look cute during delivery too, and it DID NOT HAPPEN. I went into labor at midnight when I was sound asleep. When I got to the hospital I found out I was having complications and they had to put me on all sorts of medicines. One of them made me sweat. Not cute...at all!

I recommend getting new clothes for the hospital also. I didn't get to wear mine because of my complications, but I wore them when I got home. They made me feel pretty. :)

Lauren said...

Seriously, THANK YOU for this post! I've been a little bit terrified about the pain and/or huge needle...but I'm so glad to hear the pain from the contractions will make it feel like sweet relief! And such a great idea for new clothes for the hospital! I'm sure I'll be looking for an excuse to shop for myself after so many months of shopping for the baby!

Melissa said...

I love how you are so honest! The FB tip cracks me up though!

Elizabeth said...

Thank you so much for the tips!! Getting new pj's is a great idea!! I will definitely be doing that!!

Sweet Simplicity said...

I saw you in the hospital and you looked so good!

Jennifer said...

I cannot stop laughing about FB messaging your nurse! You're hilarious!

Anonymous said...

#5 is hysterical. You are so funny!!! I second what you said about the new clothes. I bought new PJ's, robe, slippers, AND a going home outfit for me. It was important to me that the new going home outfit was NOT maternity. I called it "transitional clothing". However, the size of the garment had a "1" in front of my pre-pregnancy size. :)

Great advice.

Megan said...

Being almost 29 weeks.. I loved reading this!! I know you mentioned recently about doing a post on BF.. I am still waiting to read that one!

Kristen said...

The FB tip cracked me up! Haha!

I've always had visions of looking cute, too. Gotta say, I'm a little disappointed that may go out the window ;-)

d.a.r. said...

Love love your honesty!!

arsenalfamily said...

I totally remember you talking about how much you loved your nurses, and I loved mine as well. Hormonal BFFS is SO RIGHT. You go through the most painful thing IN THE WORLD with them... Anyway, I had this bright idea to ask my good friend who is a labor and delivery nurse how SHE feels about "us." And she said that the one's she gets close to, perhaps 70% send her, at the hospital, updated pictures of their babies! Um what!? I had no idea they cared. Apparently they do. They might not want to be our BFFs, BUT they do care about our babies. :) Anyway, your nurses might want to see how much Eli has changed.