Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's question asking time.

But this time, it's my questions to you.

Today I'm asking questions to all the newest mommies out there. (The next one is a huge one brewing regarding a new perspective of primary infertility "vs" secondary infertility).

Something I am very interested in is the aspect of expected vs actual. There were so many assumptions I went into pregnancy/labor/delivery with, it made my actual experience not only different from what I expected, but surprising. This makes me question if other's had the same thing happen to them or not.

(If you choose to answer the questions, please cut/paste the questions, minus my answers, as it's hard for me to read through comments of just answers)

1. Early "symptoms" of pregnancy - Was what you actually felt/experienced different from what you thought they would be like?
-- Expected: I assumed when I got pregnant, I would immediately feel nauseated, tired, have a heightened sense of smell, and top it all off with a bad case of heartburn.
-- Actual: I only felt tired and I peed more. Morning sickness didn't hit me until 7 weeks (which makes sense, as m/s is caused by the hcg and it wasn't until my levels were much much higher that I got sick from it). Heartburn didn't happen until late in my 2nd tri at the earliest, since it was the size of the baby pushing up on my stomach, making the acid lurch in my throat. The smell thing was simply an aspect of morning sickness - it's not like pregnant women are smelling superheroes.

2. Many women are afraid they won't be able to tell the difference between a braxton hicks and a real contraction. When you got a real contraction, was there and obvious difference?
-- Expected: I had what I would consider normal BHCs, so I knew those were nothing like real labor contractions. But I did have a few "painful" contractions, which I assumed were totally like the real thing.
-- Actual: I was fucking 100% wrong. Real contractions were so different from what I was feeling and there was no mistaking the real ones for the practice ones.

3. Drug Free Labor. Many women want to do it naturally. Some even go into it without an open mind, thinking drugs==bad, no way around it. A) If you wanted a drug free labor and delivery, did you succeed? B) Regardless of the outcome (opting for drugs or not), has your opinion about natural labor and delivery changed at all?
-- Expected: I wanted a drug free natural labor and delivery, I even hired a doula to help me through it. I was open to changing my plans though, if I needed pain relief, I would ask for it.
-- Actual: After 9 hours of a hard pitocin driven labor and only 1cm of dilation, I asked for an epidural. Unfortunately, due to a back injury where I have scar tissue in my lower spine, epidurals don't work on me, so I still had 3 natural labor and deliveries.

4. Inductions. Many women get tired and uncomfortable at the end and ask for inductions. Did you? If so, are you happy with your decision?
-- Expected: I did ~not~ want any inductions. Period.
-- Actual: I was induced 3 days early with Ella for medical reasons (placenta failing). With Allison, I had 3 days of pre-labor and I was exhausted, so I opted to have my OB break my already bulging bag of water. I would have gone that day on my own anywho, so I don't consider that as an induction, as I didn't get any induction drugs. With Karl, I opted for an induction due to wanting to avoid a c-section. He only did manual versions (turning baby) between 38-39 weeks, so I consented to it as close to 39weeks as possible. Ends up my blood pressure spiked and my placenta started failing, so I was scheduled at 38 weeks instead. I was given cytotec to soften my cervix, but my water broke on it's own, kick starting labor. No pitocin was used. I was happy with all of the decisions, especially the decision with Karl due to the placenta accreta. Having ~my~ OB there to deliver and knowing my history so well saved my life.

5. Recovery. Was recovery as you imagined?
-- Expected: I honestly didn't even consider the general recovery from a vaginal birth. I did hear the stories of how going to the bathroom to poop was scary/painful after an episiotomy or tearing though.
-- Actual: I was ~not~ ready for how painful it was for the next 24 hours. I was literally doubled over in pain where just standing up to shower or to walk to the toilet was hard. I did not know my uterus would continue to contract for days. It got worse with each baby too - apparently this is normal.

6. Post delivery body. Did your own body surprise you?
-- Expected: I actually bought into the "you will look like you are 6 months pregnant" when you leaving the hospital expectation. I brought smaller pants with me to go home in and everything.
-- Actual: The giant "belly full of jelly" freaked me out. I had no clue I would still be just as large, except minus the tautness. I had to go home wearing the same pants as I came in wearing. The after birth belly is the worst part for me, as it's so disgusting.

7. Postpartum bleeding. Were you ready for it?
-- Expected: Didn't really think of this one much at all. I guess I assumed it would be like a period.
-- Actual: I bled for weeks and weeks and weeks. 6 weeks with Ella. 4 weeks with Allison and then again at 6 weeks due to placenta accreta. I'm already starting to taper way off now, only after 2 weeks, but this is due to me getting a d&c immediately following the birth. What I was ~not~ ready for was the first 24 hours and passing softball size clots. They should really tell new moms this.

8. Postpartum period. Anything in this category surprising?
-- Expected: I thought I would ~not~ get AF back because I was exclusively breastfeeding. I knew it was a possibility and I knew I needed (ha!) to use protection because ovulation could happen at anytime, but I just didn't think I'd even get AF.
-- Actual: Imagine my surprise when I got my first AF 6 weeks postpartum and like clockwork after that. With Allison, I had the IUD put in at 6 weeks and I never had a period until I had it removed a year later.

9. Did you experience the "newborn honeymoon"?
-- Expected: I did not know there was a time period after birth where the baby would do nothing more than sleep and eat. I simply thought the personality my baby displayed at the beginning would really be his disposition.
-- Actual: The first two weeks is when I would tell people "Ella is ~such~ a good baby! She only cries when she is hungry or needs her diaper changed!" And then the honeymoon was over. Both my girls really showed their dispositions and turned into a normal baby who cries all the time. I was DUPED into believing I had these super chilled out babies. Sure, some babies are this quiet and chill and never get out of this honeymoon phase, and this is where I get 100 comments from mothers who gloat "oh, not ~my~ baby! My baby was ALWAYS SO GOOD!" But I'm not complaining about my normal loud crying babies at all. In fact, I have actually heard there are definite pros to having a baby who expresses themselves via crying as opposed to a quiet baby.

10. Sleep deprivation and general feelings of taking care of a newborn. Did you have any idea just how fucking hard it would really be?
-- Expected: I knew it would be "hard" and I knew I would be "tired". But how can you really be ready for something you have no clue about? I had been around newborns when my sister lived with us after she had both her babies, so I thought I had a leg up on the knowledge.
-- Actual: No clue. No fucking clue at all. I still can't believe how hard it is to take care of a little being who doesn't do much at all. But I soon learned that out of 24 hours in a day, 22 hours are needed to take care of your newborn. The other 2 hours? That's for you to sleep, eat, shower, etc. And sleep deprivation? Holy shit. I used to party like a rock star back in my college days and afterwards, so I knew what it was like to be tired and hungover. The sleep deprivation from a newborn is nothing like I have ever felt. It's all encompassing. I won't even try to explain it here, as it just can't be put into words.

Extra Credit: Is there anything else in regards to expected vs actual you would like to share?

17 comments:

Amanda said...

1. Early "symptoms" of pregnancy - Was what you actually felt/experienced different from what you thought they would be like?
-- Expected: I assumed when I got pregnant, I would immediately feel nauseated, tired, have a heightened sense of smell, and top it all off with a bad case of heartburn.
-- Actual: All of them were true, but it was due to the double amounts of hormones. I never expected the nausea/vomiting to be as bad as it was. The heartburn didn’t come until sometime after the first trimester, and it was also worse than I imagined it could be. This was due to the complete lack of room for my poor stomach.

2. Many women are afraid they won't be able to tell the difference between a braxton hicks and a real contraction. When you got a real contraction, was there and obvious difference?
-- Expected: I expected BHC to not be painful and real contractions to hurt like hell.
-- Actual: The BHC were just what I expected. I never got to feel what real contractions were like. The only ones I felt were pointed out to me by the nurse right before my C-section (they were like mild cramps).

3. Drug Free Labor. Many women want to do it naturally. Some even go into it without an open mind, thinking drugs==bad, no way around it. A) If you wanted a drug free labor and delivery, did you succeed? B) Regardless of the outcome (opting for drugs or not), has your opinion about natural labor and delivery changed at all?
-- Expected: I knew I’d be all about the drugs but admire women that can manage a natural labor.
-- Actual: I had a C-section. Enough said. 

4. Inductions. Many women get tired and uncomfortable at the end and ask for inductions. Did you? If so, are you happy with your decision?
-- Expected: If I would have had a single pregnancy I would only have done an induction if it were medically necessary, regardless of the discomfort.
-- Actual: Again, C-section. I wasn’t given an option due to the fact that I was carrying twins and neither were turned properly.

5. Recovery. Was recovery as you imagined?
-- Expected: I was terrified of having immense pain (from vaginal delivery or c-section…I’m a wuss). I was also petrified of having a bowel movement after either.
-- Actual: The pain didn’t live up to my fear. I guess that’s the one good thing about being such a wuss…the pain rarely lives up to your expectations. Of course, the drugs helped, too. As far as the bowel movement…thank you milk of magnesia!

6. Post delivery body. Did your own body surprise you?
-- Expected: I expected to be fairly large. (Like you said, 6 months pregnant.) I expected to lose a lot of the weight fairly quickly. I knew I’d have some excess skin.
-- Actual: The week after delivery I had what I expected; I looked almost full term with a single baby. Six weeks after delivery I’m way larger than I expected and have much more skin than I expected. I’m ready to hurt the next person that tells me “You’ll be back down to your normal size in no time! Those stretch marks will all go away! That skin will shrink right back up!” This is probably my only serious let-down as far as expectations go.

7. Postpartum bleeding. Were you ready for it?
-- Expected: I expected to gush for a while.
-- Actual: Apparently you don’t bleed as badly with a C-section. I’m still spotting, but the Dr. and I both feel that I probably started a period at about 4 ½ weeks postpartum.

8. Postpartum period. Anything in this category surprising?
-- Expected: I expected to not get a period for a long time due to my screwy hormones.
-- Actual: Looks like I got one about 30 days after delivery. Wow.

9. Did you experience the "newborn honeymoon"?
-- Expected: I expected the babies to scream a lot. A whole lot.
-- Actual: I loved the “newborn honeymoon”. It was amazing! And even now the boys are pretty good (knock on wood). They cry when they’re hungry, soaked, poopy, or overly tired. Of course, like all babies (right?), sometimes they cry for apparently no reason. In general they’re pretty damn good. Thank God. I don’t think I could handle if they were both screamers. Of course Jack cries more than Trip but Trip cries louder than Jack. As I’m typing this Jack is screaming for no reason that I can discern.

10. Sleep deprivation and general feelings of taking care of a newborn. Did you have any idea just how fucking hard it would really be?
-- Expected: I expected to be a walking zombie. I figured I would get one hour increments of sleep. My nephew had lived with us for a few months so I thought I had some idea of how it would be.
-- Actual: It honestly wasn’t as bad as I expected. Even with two I’ve managed to get a decent amount of sleep. As far as getting anything else accomplished…not so much. I can get dishes done (because bottles go in the dishwasher) and dinner cooked most nights. About once a week I get too run down and start feeling like crap, but other than that it’s not as bad as I expected.

Jason and Samantha said...

1. Early "symptoms" of pregnancy - Was what you actually felt/experienced different from what you thought they would be like?
-- Expected: I would have bad morning sickness, pee all the time.
-- Actual: I got morning sickness the day after my positive HPT, I peed constantly, and I was so exhausted. I never threw up, but the overpowering sense of smell made me gag more than ever want to again.

2. Many women are afraid they won't be able to tell the difference between a braxton hicks and a real contraction. When you got a real contraction, was there and obvious difference?
-- Expected: That BH would feel like a tightening and maybe a little pain.
-- Actual: The BHC were mostly like what I expected, except they were painful after sex. I knew the difference with my first real contraction. There was no mistaking that pain.

3. Drug Free Labor. Many women want to do it naturally. Some even go into it without an open mind, thinking drugs==bad, no way around it. A) If you wanted a drug free labor and delivery, did you succeed? B) Regardless of the outcome (opting for drugs or not), has your opinion about natural labor and delivery changed at all?
-- Expected: I wanted an epidural free labor.
-- Actual: I had 5-6 hours of labor and only dilated one cm, because the baby wasn't on my cervix properly. So she wasn't forcing it open. There was only 30-45 seconds between contraction, so I had the epi. Which turned out well, I relaxed, she moved down and I gave birth an hour and a half later.

4. Inductions. Many women get tired and uncomfortable at the end and ask for inductions. Did you? If so, are you happy with your decision?
-- Expected: I only wanted one so I could have family visit, since we live hours away from them.
-- Actual: I went into natural labor the day before my induction. I will never, EVER ask to be induced. Real labor is painful enough.

5. Recovery. Was recovery as you imagined?
-- Expected: I honestly didn't think about it too much. I just hopes I wouldn't tear.
-- Actual: I was scared to have a Bm, and it was just different than I expected. Not too painful, just a lot of pressure, and the pressure was killer.

6. Post delivery body. Did your own body surprise you?
-- Expected: I expected to have a belly walking out of the hospital and it taking a few months for the weight to drop off.
-- Actual: I walked out of the hospital looking 3-4 months pregnant. My belly as just jiggly and gross. I hated that part. I dropped all the weight in 3 weeks, but most of it was water anyway.

7. Postpartum bleeding. Were you ready for it?
-- Expected: I expected to gush for a while.
-- Actual: I bled, forever and a damn day. Then I got my period right after I stopped bleeding. So I bled for six weeks.

8. Postpartum period. Anything in this category surprising?
-- Expected: Not really.
-- Actual: I don't think I was surprised by anything.

9. Did you experience the "newborn honeymoon"?
-- Expected: I expected to be up 4-5 times a night, and maybe having a colicky baby.
-- Actual: Well, Charleigh has been a very easy baby. No colic, not fussy in the least. She slept 3-4 hours from the get go. She is just an easy going baby. So I don't know if I got the newborn experience. Don't get me wrong, I was sleep deprived, but not nearly like I thought I would be.

10. Sleep deprivation and general feelings of taking care of a newborn. Did you have any idea just how fucking hard it would really be?
-- Expected: I expected to be tired, but happy. I honestly wasn't too worried about it, I just wanted to meet her.
-- Actual: In some ways it was a lot harder than I expected. ONLY because I had PPD. I was miserable. When I finally sucked it up and took anti-depressants, everything was so much better. Like I said, Charleigh was an easy baby. She also became happier when I wasn't so stressed out.


As far as extra credit - if you suspect you have PPD, get help sooner than later. I regret that I didn't because I lived in a fog for six weeks. Its bad enough being sleep deprived and adjusting your whole life to this new human, you don't need to add having a sobbing fest every 10 minutes, or not having the energy to move or eat.

areyoukiddingme said...

1. Early symptoms - expected: I expected everything to be like the first (lost) pregnancy (no nausea, but I HAD TO EAT! NOW! NOT IN 10 MINUTES!, not excessively tired or anything else)
Actual: when I was shooting up the heparin, I was exhausted (falling asleep on the couch at 7:30 pm). I couldn't stand the smell of weird things, like...um...soap. Mild nausea, from the smells, but not bad. I also could not eat as much as I was used to eating. In the first trimester. That was odd and went away during the second.

2. Contractions: No expectations - I had no idea and kept asking my doctor what to expect. "You'll know" is NOT an answer!!!
Actual: Never had a contraction. Had supposed pitocin-induced contractions because my water broke and I wasn't contracting, but they were more like...episodes of increased painfulness. Didn't feel like anything was contracting. (Actually, when I miscarried the first time, those felt like contractions)

3. Drug free labor - What is this and why would anyone want it? I'm of the opinion that if it hurts and something will make it stop hurting (without major side effects, that is), bring it on! To me, it's like having city water, but digging a well because that's how my ancestors did it. Silly. Sorry your stuff didn't work, because a working epidural is the best thing ever. (SIL had drug free, because she was scared of potential complications of epidurals. BFF had home birth. I think they're both crazy)

4. Inductions - I thought that was how everyone did it - going into labor on your own was a thing of the past (unless you were early). My doctor's office would not talk about it before 40 weeks, since I had no issues. To clarify, I wanted a long term (what if I don't go into labor by my due date) plan, not to be induced. I wasn't terribly uncomfortable at 40 weeks, but I wanted to know what would happen.

As far as my delivery, I jokingly told people that I'd be in labor for 24 hours and then have to have an emergency c-section, just so I could get all of the painful experiences and some fear too. Oddly, I had a c-section 25 hours after my water started breaking, but it wasn't an emergency (no fetal distress, just no progress and increased infection risk).

5. Recovery - I was swollen due to all the IV fluids. My legs were the same size from my thighs to my feet. Disturbing. But, I was not particulary put out by the c-section. My mom and MIL thought I was doing too much. I was just careful about how I moved and I know my limitations and my body well enough that it wasn't a problem. Just happy that I had no issues with the undercarriage - the only benefit of the c-section!

6. Post-delivery body - I was a swollen mess for 2 months before I had the baby. The swelling started to go down by the time I left the hospital, so that was a drastic improvement. By my 6 week check-up, I was looking good, thanks to breastfeeding. Then I stopped breastfeeding at 12 months and it's been downhill from there.

7. Postpartum bleeding - instead of telling me to call the doctor if I passed anything larger than my fist, I would have liked to hear, "You may pass some disturbingly large blood clots. This is normal. If they are larger than your fist, you should call for evaluation." Because that softball sized one...wow. That was freaky. Other than that, my bleeding was pretty textbook.

8. Postpartum period - came at 9 months, since I was on the "breastfeeding birth control pill." Dr. told me I might or might not get a period, so I was neither surprised nor unsurprised by it. Otherwise, though, it took my immune system in excess of 18 months to return to normal. Pregnancy immune suppression gave me an HPV/dysplasia flare up that would not go away until my immune system righted itself. I could tell when the immune system started kicking again because the dry patches on my shins came back. Shortly afterward, no more abnormal PAPs.

9. Newborn honeymoom - we're still in it, as she was the cutest baby ever! And the cutest toddler ever. And so funny! But, no, she had her days and nights reversed, which was not good for me. But, she was quite the good baby, if not as much of a sleeper as all of my friends' children. No colic, little unexplained crying that couldn't be solved by the swing or swaddling or some holding.

10.Sleep deprivation - Hmm, this is an odd one. Yes, I was exhausted most of the time. Yes, my husband couldn't do much since I was the main food source and he was intolerable at 3 am. But, due to unusual circumstances, we were both home most of the time until she was 5 months old. So I didn't have to worry as much about household stuff, because my husband would pick up the slack. If I cooked, ran errands (yay to getting out of the house!), and did most of the baby stuff, and helped out when I felt up to it, he would take care of the rest. But I used to be an 8 hour a night girl, who couldn't function with less sleep. Now, I feel rested with 6 or 7.

Extra credit: I did not realize that I would become completely neurotic. Every day I would torture myself with images of horrible things (falls, drops, smothering, you name it) happening to the baby - which helped me be more careful than I normally am. I couldn't breastfeed her in my bed, because I have a nightstand with sharp corners and I was afraid I would drop her on it. But I realized I was crazy one particular day... A friend from work had passed away after a long battle with cancer. He had recently reconnected with a priest from his childhood. The priest served at a parish in the most crime ridden part of the area in which we live (if I told you the name, you would probably know the reputation), and the friend's funeral was held there. I work for a law enforcement agency. There were probably 50 cops at the funeral. The town had cops patrolling and stationed outside. My husband and the baby came to the funeral with me, but only stayed for the visitation part. I stayed for the mass with another friend. After my husband left the church with the baby, I could not stop picturing him walking down the street and getting shot/carjacked/beaten and someone taking or hurting the baby. I have never been that anxious about anything in my entire life, even though logically I knew that they would be perfectly fine. The anxiety - it was horrible and completely unexpected.

Jewels said...

1. Early "symptoms" of pregnancy - Was what you actually felt/experienced different from what you thought they would be like?

-- Expected: w/#1 I had no idea what to expect, guess I hadn’t thought of it. With this one, I expected it to be something that resembled my previous pregnancies.

-- Actual: with #1,2,3, I had symptoms that alerted me that I’m not alone, so I took a test. With the last 2 (holy shit I’ve been pregnant 5 times) every time I thought I knew something, I was proven wrong, I had no symptoms with pregnancy #4 until after my bfp, and with #5, the spotting really threw me. Still does. “they” were right when they said “No 2 pregnancies are alike”

2. Many women are afraid they won't be able to tell the difference between a braxton hicks and a real contraction. When you got a real contraction, was there and obvious difference?

-- Expected: I was so afraid I would be wrong that I just thought “well, if it’s real, eventually I’ll know, if anything there will be a head popping through between my legs”. But I figured I’d feel the pain, tightening on a consistent pattern, got the hospital, and deliver maybe 12 hours later at the most.

-- Actual: When I had Braxton hicks contractions, I didn’t even think twice about it being real labor, but they didn’t have the pains, just the contractions, then I’d have severe cramping that woke me out of a sleep, but no tightening of the belly, so I didn’t think it was real labor, It was when I was having both for about 11 hours, consistent in rhythmatic patterns of about every 12 min that I thought “This could be it” so I went to the hospital, they said “Yep-you’re in labor, go home and wait for the contractions to be about 5 min apart, which I gave up waiting for that f*ing 5 min mark by 10pm because of the pain. So I sat in the hospital having contractions (Instead of at home) until about 1am when I finally got the pit and epi. I was dilated to a 2 at that point (labor was NOT what I expected)

3. Drug Free Labor. Many women want to do it naturally. Some even go into it without an open mind, thinking drugs==bad, no way around it. A) If you wanted a drug free labor and delivery, did you succeed? B) Regardless of the outcome (opting for drugs or not), has your opinion about natural labor and delivery changed at all?

-- Expected: I wanted to shoot for a drug free labor, open to changing my mind, I just though “My cramps are so bad, I think I can handle labor”

-- Actual: After being in labor since 4am, and it was now 1am and I was only dilated to a good 2, I was like F* THIS – GIVE ME DRUGS!! Then my epi wore off when I was dialated at a 7, I still cry at how painful it was, It literally felt like my lower half of my body was on FIRE, I was screaming at the top of my lungs, bawling in my pillow to make it stop, I was the nightmare labor woman who turned into the devil, pissing of the staff and calling everyone in sight names, if looks could kill, everyone would have been dead, expecially my poor anesthesiologist, I was expecially calling him names for alloweing this to happen to me, then when he gave me more meds (45 F*’ing minutes later) I literally fell in love with him. He was my Jesus, my savior.♥♥♥

4. Inductions. Many women get tired and uncomfortable at the end and ask for inductions. Did you? If so, are you happy with your decision?

-- Expected: I never thought about induction as an option unless I was a week overdue and the baby was in danger.

-- Actual: I just waited until I went into labor, very uncomfortable, miserable, I was anxious and cried that my due date was not here yet. But induction? Never crossed my mind.

5. Recovery. Was recovery as you imagined?

-- Expected: Oh this one pisses me off, I thought I’d be sore, have a jelly belly, take home baby and just start being a mom. To me- the only thing traumatic was the Labor and delivery.

-- Actual: NOBODY EVER WARNED ME of how painful recovery “could” be, I prepared for 9 months for labor and delivery, but to have it thrown on me that I’d have hemorrhoids, the pain of the episiotomy, blood loss, fainting, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion (not from staying up either) water gain, engorgement, latching/nursing pain, all this AND have to care for a brand new human life – so then the Baby Blues, I got in the shower one day and didn’t EVER want to get out. I just bawled.

6. Post delivery body. Did your own body surprise you?

-- Expected: I had seen the Jelly Belly before with my friends so expected the same

-- Actual: Yep, got the Jelly Belly, didn’t freak me out though, I kind of got a kick out of it.

7. Postpartum bleeding. Were you ready for it?

-- Expected: I thought it would be really bad bleeding for weeks

-- Actual: Initially I bled so much I was passing out. But my insurance booted me out of the hospital 24 hours after delivery, I remember bleeding a lot for weeks, so other than the initial bleeding, it was what I expected.

8. Postpartum period. Anything in this category surprising?

-- Expected: I thought it was vacation time for the mom - not really necessary but according to studdies, best for the baby to bond.

-- Actual: The Hemorrhoids! OMG the Hemorrhoids!! PLEASE Women beware!! Get your creams and butt pads now!! You may not get them but if you do – be prepared, and if you can, get some of that episiotomy numbing spray and use it for both!! Ask your DR for and extra can!! (Am I a little out dated here? Maybe there’s something new, it has been 14 years), and just caring for a new born, I was so overwhelmed with his finger nails and having to clip them, I just knew I'd fail as a mother because I couldnt remember how often to clip his nails. (so more baby blues - but really all of it)

9. Did you experience the "newborn honeymoon"?

-- Expected: I thought it would be like when I babysat new babies.

-- Actual: I don’t remember much crying from Dylan, I know he would wake up in the night, I’d feed him, and I even remember just hearing him awake, start crying a little after eating and a diaper change, but putting him in his swing, he’d sleep and so would I on the couch next to him. know what I ate affected my breast milk and would affect his tummy, if I ate chocolate, onions or broccoli, he’d scream and cry, but after he got that one tummy ach –
Oh I do remember one time at a friend’s baby shower, Dylan got a tummy ach, and I remember thinking “I wonder if the ‘crying baby’ syndrome is kicking in” it scared me because there was no consoling him, I wished I could say I remember if it continued, but I don’t – but it must have because I remember some Dr. appointments and getting a couple different scans for reflux, so it must have been bad, I just don’t remember.

10. Sleep deprivation and general feelings of taking care of a newborn. Did you have any idea just how fucking hard it would really be?

-- Expected: I don’t know that I had any idea what I was in for, I think I thought I was just going to have a baby and just be a mom. No big deal. Baby cries, take care of it, and move on.

-- Actual: Ditto! No clue. No fucking clue at all. And I’ve forgotten so much but remember enough that I’m scared, I wasn’t miserable really, like not in a bad sort of way, but I just remember so desperately wanting and waiting for that next nap. And sometimes it just never came. And if or when it did, it was minutes before I was up again.

Extra Credit: Is there anything else in regards to expected vs actual you would like to share?

Yes, my favorite part.

The moment you lay eyes on your new child, the love you feel vs the love you could only imagine before delivery, especially if you were in any sort of hopes for the opposite sex.

-- Expected: I knew I’d love my son, but was bummed I wasn’t having a girl, I really wanted a girl because I was a single mom and didn’t know anything about boys (heh- really I knew nothing about babies, silly me) so I just hoped I’d love him the way I loved my cousins daughter whom I was so attached to.

-- Actual: I feel more in love with him when I saw him on the u/s, I didn’t want a girl so much as I just wanted that baby I was looking at on the screen, but still hoped he was a girl, he had his legs crossed on my 20 week u/s. But the day I had him, the second I heard his cry I felt this shift – then when they put him in my arms, I was taken and gone, I was from that moment forever changed and in the deepest love that is so totally unimaginable before or during pregnancy. I wished more mom’s would comment on this moment. The girl I knew moments before was gone, and I was a new woman. I couldn’t imagine having any other gender – body or sole than him, I was home. Words will never describe that moment. But I still feel these moments with him, I’m still captivated in the very person he is, he makes my heart jump and my knees week.
This love got me thought all the after pain, fatigue, fears, screams and cry’s. Yes it’s hard, but the biggest joy of an entire lifetime.

Jenera said...

1. Early "symptoms" of pregnancy - Was what you actually felt/experienced different from what you thought they would be like? I expected it to be a lot like my first pregnancy. I didn't have many symptoms with the exception of the sore boobs both times. But with Sam's pregnancy, every symptom hit like a freight train about 10 weeks.

2. Many women are afraid they won't be able to tell the difference between a braxton hicks and a real contraction. When you got a real contraction, was there and obvious difference? I had no BH with Aidan so I was not really prepared for them with Sam. But I was able to tell the difference because of the pressure.

3. Drug Free Labor. Many women want to do it naturally. Some even go into it without an open mind, thinking drugs==bad, no way around it. A) If you wanted a drug free labor and delivery, did you succeed? B) Regardless of the outcome (opting for drugs or not), has your opinion about natural labor and delivery changed at all? I did not have a drug free labor for either. The closest I came was with my first labor the epidural quit working minutes before it was time to push. when I am in a lot of pain I get panicky and so for my mental health chose to go with drugs and epidurals.

4. Inductions. Many women get tired and uncomfortable at the end and ask for inductions. Did you? If so, are you happy with your decision? I was scheduled to be induced with my 1st after he was 8 days late but he decided to come on his own. I was also induced with my 2nd about 5 days prior to my due date for a variety of reasons. The main because my husband could only be home for a certain time. While that may seem unimportant to some, I HAD to have my husband there. I get panicky and having a full blown panic attack during delivery would not be beneficial. While I didn't ask for one, my doc offered it if I was already progressing. I was so I got it. I didn't know what to expect. I don't think I would do it again only because it seemed to be too involved. I was constantly hooked up to something to monitor me and the baby and so I couldn't sleep like they wanted me too. Though my labor with Aidan was fast I think Sam's was faster and so as a result I got a bit overwhelmed which may have led to some of the complications. It's a toss up for me whether I would change my decisions with the induction.

5. Recovery. Was recovery as you imagined? Yes and no. With my 1st it seemed to take awhile to be able to walk and sit right but I had a nasty tear. Within a couple weeks though I was back to my normal activities. Though while in the hospital I was drained and could barely function. With my 2nd, I was unable to move my legs for several hours due to the massive epi for the almost C section. Which also meant no going to the bathroom which led to a second catheter. Once we got to our room though I was pretty good to go. I was up and moving and taking care of Sam. Within days at home I was back to normal with no problems. I expected to have it be a little more rough recovering after the 2nd.

6. Post delivery body. Did your own body surprise you? Yes, both times. I think because I gained so little weight it helped a bit. I was able to wear my pre pregnancy clothes fairly quickly and feel good in them.

7. Postpartum bleeding. Were you ready for it? The first time oddly enough yes. The second time no. the second time was much more heavier and lots of clots so I was a bit freaked out for the first few days. The first time was just like a heavy period.

8. Postpartum period. Anything in this category surprising? with my first, I had my period at 5 weeks and an IUD put in at 6 weeks. I had some issues with having a period every 3 weeks and them being heavy but it was nothing I didn't expect. With this second one, I had a period at 4 weeks and I bled heavy for almost two weeks. I started getting a bit nervous but my doctor said it was normal.

9. Did you experience the "newborn honeymoon"? I didn't have it with either kid but I think it was because the hubby left back to work immediately after. I admit I struggled a bit from day one because of feeding issues with Aidan from the get go and new routine issues with Sam.


10. Sleep deprivation and general feelings of taking care of a newborn. Did you have any idea just how fucking hard it would really be? I would say that I was a little bit prepared but with the feeding issues we had with Aidan it made it worse than I imagined. the daily tasks were okay though. With sam, I'm having a hard time because you have to add a toddler into the mix so it's much more difficult than I thought it would be. I'm not dealing well with the lack of sleep.

Jennifer said...

1. Early "symptoms" of pregnancy - Was what you actually felt/experienced different from what you thought they would be like?
Expected - I knew about morning sickness, aches and pains, and tiredness, but had not idea exactly what it would feel like.
Experienced - I had lots of morning sickness that seemed to take forever to go away. I didn't realize I'd feel sick ALL day. I was exhausted and fell asleep on the couch many nights after teaching. Heartburn was much later, but it was pretty bad..it made me sick to my stomach.


2. Many women are afraid they won't be able to tell the difference between a braxton hicks and a real contraction. When you got a real contraction, was there and obvious difference?
-Expected - I had heard of braxton hicks and I knew the contractions would be painful. I figured once the epidural was in it'd be much better. I thought that I'd feel my stomach tight with the contractions.

Experienced - I know I had contractions and some were "bad," and I'd wonder if that was it...but it wasn't. The real contractions were back labor which I heard of, but never quite understood. I questioned whether they were contractions for quite awhile before actually going to the hospital, but when I think back on it they were definitely labor contractions. By the time I got to the hospital, I was 6 cm. Oh and the epidural didn't work like I expected.

3. Drug Free Labor. Many women want to do it naturally. Some even go into it without an open mind, thinking drugs==bad, no way around it. A) If you wanted a drug free labor and delivery, did you succeed? B) Regardless of the outcome (opting for drugs or not), has your opinion about natural labor and delivery changed at all?
-- Expected - I wanted an epidural and knew I'd take that route. I figured it'd go in and then the pain would go away and I'd just feel the pressure.
--Experienced - I was ready for an epidural when I got there and it took FOREVER to get it. They could not get the epidural in and almost gave up after 4 tries and 45 min. He finally got it in, but it only numbed my right side. The contractions were better, but I could still feel the pain. Left leg was mostly numb at "push time," right, not so much, but I could total feel everything...the contractions, the burning!! ouch

4. Inductions. Many women get tired and uncomfortable at the end and ask for inductions. Did you? If so, are you happy with your decision?
-- Expected: I wanted to go naturally, but was okay with inductions if approved by the Dr.
--Experienced - Baby was measuring big and the fear of a huge baby kicked in. My Dr. left the country during my due date and new Dr. wasn't as willing to induce. He wasn't going to induce unless I was two weeks late. I saw him at 2 days late and he estimated baby to be 9lbs 6oz and said suggested I let her come naturally and have a C-section if she's too big and the LAST thing he suggested was induction. I went with induction and scheduled it the next morning...I was in full labor that night...no induction for me. :)

5. Recovery. Was recovery as you imagined?
-- Expected: I don't know what I expected. I knew it would hurt, but wasn't sure about how it would be.

--Experienced: I had blocked a lot of it out and now it's coming back to me. I had a tear so that was probably the worse part. It's not pleasant having stitches down there and it didn't feel to hot.

6. Post delivery body. Did your own body surprise you?
-- Expected: I knew I wouldn't be the same right after (I had been warned).
--Experienced - I didn't realize how different my body would be afterward. I've never been skinny, but everything adjusted and the sizes changed in different ereas

7. Postpartum bleeding. Were you ready for it?
-- Expected: I hadn't really thought of this. I guess I thought it would be like a period. idk
--Experienced - I bled for at least 6 weeks and I had NO idea how much I'd bleed. I didn't want to move much after because I was worried of leaking everywhere. I'm seriously wondering if a depends diaper or something would hold better. I know it wouldn't be comfortable, but it can't be much worse than the hospital (the ones I brought would not have been enough) double pads with the plastic sheet thing and net underwear. It was such an ordeal to go to the bathroom and a MESS.

8. Postpartum period. Anything in this category surprising?
-- Expected: I figured I wouldn't get it since I was EBF.
--I didn't get my period until about 9mos PP.

9. Did you experience the "newborn honeymoon"?
-- Expected: I expected the first few weeks to be lots of crying and sleepless nights. I guess i thought the opposite that it would start worse and get better.
--Experience - I remember the first night home she would NOT stop crying. I was SOO tired and she just wanted to nurse ALL the time. It almost seems like I was right in my thinking. Of course she did sleep a lot at the beginning (mostly daytime). She has not always been the most mellow baby. I recall very frustrating days of trying to get her to nap - in retrospect a lot of our problems may have been the babysitter letting her get overtired. She is a REALLY great baby/toddler though.

10. Sleep deprivation and general feelings of taking care of a newborn. Did you have any idea just how fucking hard it would really be?
-- Expected: I knew it would not be easy since I have lots of younger siblings.

--Experienced: It's MUCH harder than I realized. Not even just the physical exhaustion, but the emotional toll of being responsible of a life and the anxiety that something horrible could happen.

Extra Credit: Is there anything else in regards to expected vs actual you would like to share?

--Expected - I expected my DH to have the immediate mother nature kick in to take care of a newborn like a it does in women (or in many at least).

--Experienced- it has taken a while for DH to feel comfortable taking care of DD. He's just now getting to where I can leave and not give any instructions at all. 15mos.

Jennifer said...

Oh yeah...I totally didn't know they had to push down on your stomach/uterus so much after delivery. I had a good size bruise on my stomach.

margelina said...

I wish someone would have told me how weird/crazy/awful those post-pardum hormones make you feel! I only had a couple days of that bizzare feeling, but it was enough for me! I wish someone would have told be about that BEFORE I thought I was losing my mind, lol!

Krista said...

I'm not the "newest mom" with a 2 year old, but with only 1 kid so far, my first pregnancy impressions are still pretty fresh in my mind.

1. Early "symptoms" of pregnancy - Was what you actually felt/experienced different from what you thought they would be like?
--I thought I’d feel different, right away, but it was gradual.
--The only early symptom I had – before missing my period – were cramps such that I thought AF was coming early. I cried more than normal. In the earliest weeks I had more gas pain than nausea. I also thought I’d be done puking by the end of 1st tri, but no such luck.

2. Many women are afraid they won't be able to tell the difference between a braxton hicks and a real contraction. When you got a real contraction, was there and obvious difference?
-- When I was in labor, I was in denial. I didn’t believe the contractions were real at first, but they were. I honestly had a hard time determining when my contractions were coming, but it seems from what my SIL told me later, I would have a hard contraction and an easier one, then a hard one. I wasn’t counting the easy one between, so my contractions were much closer together than I was timing them. I didn’t know that could happen.

3. Drug Free Labor. Many women want to do it naturally. Some even go into it without an open mind, thinking drugs==bad, no way around it. A) If you wanted a drug free labor and delivery, did you succeed? B) Regardless of the outcome (opting for drugs or not), has your opinion about natural labor and delivery changed at all?
-- I wanted a drug free labor. I was only open to change if it was for medical necessity of a c-section. Not because I thought drugs were bad, but I was dead set on not having them, partly influenced by bad aftermath from a spinal tap I had as a teenager.
--I had a drug-free labor. I never asked for drugs during the birth. It was about what I expected, but pushing for 3 ½ hours was longer than I thought it would be.
--I did not want an episiotomy. I was prepared to tear. When I was told we’d need to use the vacuum or change course, I accepted the episiotomy. I’m not sure that was the right choice. With as tight as my scar is, I really fear what will happen should we be able to have another vaginal birth.
--I wished I had had some GOOD drugs when my 4th degree episiotomy/tear was being sewed up.

4. Inductions. Many women get tired and uncomfortable at the end and ask for inductions. Did you? If so, are you happy with your decision?
-- Expected: I did ~not~ want any inductions.
-- Actual: none needed. I went into spontaneous labor at 39 weeks. I was actually hoping to make it a few more days and was not overly uncomfortable, but I had no swelling.

5. Recovery. Was recovery as you imagined?
-- Expected: I wasn’t sure what to expect. I did think having a drug-free labor would help me bounce back a bit quicker.
-- Actual: It did not help me bounce back quicker, at least it didn’t seem to. Pooping was the most painful and scary experience of my life thus far. (4th degree repair.) It took me nearly two weeks to be able to walk and sit normally without fearing my stitches would split. I thought sex would be fine after the normal 6-8 weeks. In reality, I still had pain with sex until about 9 months post-partum.

6. Post deliIvery body. Did your own body surprise you?
-- Expected: I thought it would take a while to be back in my normal clothes. I prayed I’d be able to get there by 6 weeks PP when I needed to go back to work.
-- Actual: I was in my normal pants just over a week after delivery. What does surprise me, is that now, being the same weight as I was before getting pg, my pants are snugger. My fat has shifted or something.

7. Postpartum bleeding. Were you ready for it?
-- Expected: I too thought it would be more like a period. Mine lasted about 2 weeks and then was like heavy spotting for 2 more weeks.
-- Actual: I was also not ready for the clots and feeling them come out into the toilet was a bit scary. I actually called the nurse to see if it was normal.

8. Postpartum period. Anything in this category surprising?
-- Expected: I thought I’d lose weight by breastfeeding. -- Actual: Nope. It made me super hungry, all of the time.

As for period returning, I was paranoid about it. I was 13 1/3 months pp before mine returned. I had stopped pumping at work at 12 months pp, but was still nursing at that time.

9. Did you experience the "newborn honeymoon"?
-- Expected: I expected a newborn honeymoon and then for reality to set in
-- Actual: No honeymoon. B needed to be held, or she was crying and wailing. Round the clock. I called my mom several very early mornings and asked her to come hold her so we could sleep for just an hour or two. Cradles, swings, swaddles….not much would work unless she was also being held. She also would not take a paci when we tried to get her to after the first two weeks.

10. Sleep deprivation and general feelings of taking care of a newborn. Did you have any idea just how fucking hard it would really be?
-- Expected: I knew it would be "hard" and I knew I would be "tired", same as you
-- Actual: It was indeed much harder. I imagined putting her into a swing or bouncy seat and taking a shower. I couldn’t do that without her screaming the whole time.

Extra Credit: Is there anything else in regards to expected vs actual you would like to share?

Expected – pumping breastmilk would be fairly easy
Actual – I was a terrible pumper. I stressed about this for 9 months solid. I had to pump at least 4 times a day in the earlier months to get by and did not drop to 3 times a day until she was over 8 months old, gradually stopped pumping over 4 months after that. It was hard. It was work. It was time consuming. For me, I think it was worth it in the end though, and we managed to get by without supplementing. I can see why many women don’t keep it up that long though.

Fath_after_Journey said...

1. Early "symptoms" of pregnancy - Was what you actually felt/experienced different from what you thought they would be like?
-- Expected: I assumed when I got pregnant, I would feel nauseated and tired.
-- Actual: I felt exactly what I thought I would. Tired all of the time; probably the first indictator that IVF worked and I was pregnant. Food did not appeal to me much at night and any type of meat turned me off. Pizza did too. Some food sounded good until it was put in front of me to eat.

2. Many women are afraid they won't be able to tell the difference between a braxton hicks and a real contraction. When you got a real contraction, was there and obvious difference?
-- Expected: Contractions that were infrequent and less painful than the real thing.
-- Actual: Never really got there. I was induced, but had to have a section because induction would not work. Apparently I was having some good contractions but they did not bother me.

3. Drug Free Labor. Many women want to do it naturally. Some even go into it without an open mind, thinking drugs==bad, no way around it. A) If you wanted a drug free labor and delivery, did you succeed? B) Regardless of the outcome (opting for drugs or not), has your opinion about natural labor and delivery changed at all?
-- Expected: I signed up for drugs when I pre-registered at the hospital ... no just kidding. I would have if I could have though. I was in full support of a pain free delivery. God bless women who want to do it naturally; it just is not for me.
-- Actual: Since I had a section,I got a spinal. Kind of wierd how my legs were so numb and how quickly it happened.

4. Inductions. Many women get tired and uncomfortable at the end and ask for inductions. Did you? If so, are you happy with your decision?
-- Expected: Never really thought about it too much until my LO was not growing well.
-- Actual: I was induced at 37 weeks because my LO was not growing. They had been monitoring his slow to no growth, and their goal was to get me to 38 weeks then deliver; it was in the 10th percentile. I was going for weekly scans; at the 37 week scan, they drew the line, and said I was going to have the baby that day because some "s/a ratio" was going in the opposite direction than it was supposed to be going. Induction did not work after 27 hours, so they sectioned me and Nick came into the world weighing 4 lbs. 12 oz. 19 in. It was a good decision to get him out early because he never lost any weight once born ... he has just gained.

5. Recovery. Was recovery as you imagined?
-- Expected: I thought I would be layed for a weeks upon weeks helpless.
-- Actual: I was out of bed the next day walking the halls in the hospital. The only thing that bothered me for a couple of days was getting in and out of bed. Our bed at home is real high, so we had to get a step stool to get me up there. The incision never bothered me. My right hip has been the trouble for some unknown reason.

6. Post delivery body. Did your own body surprise you?
-- Expected: I would fit my pregnancy pants for some time.
-- Actual: I wore my pregancy pants for a little while just becuase they did not press in on my tummy and cause discomfort. I fit into my own shorts pretty quickly.I had not gained too much weight during the actual prenancy; I had lost it all plus some before my 10 day follow up at the doctors office.
7. Postpartum bleeding. Were you ready for it?
-- Expected: Didn't really think of this one much at all. I guess I assumed it would be like a period.
-- Actual: I bled for 3 weeks.

8. Postpartum period. Anything in this category surprising?
-- Expected: I did not know what or when to expect anything.
-- Actual: AF showed up about 7 weeks pp. It was a little longer than normal and a lot heavier than normal. Hope they go back to normal soon.

9. Did you experience the "newborn honeymoon"?
-- Expected: Eat, sleep, poop. Eat, sleep, poop.
-- Actual: Eat, sleep, poop, snuggle, eat, sleep, poop, snuggle.

10. Sleep deprivation and general feelings of taking care of a newborn. Did you have any idea just how fucking hard it would really be?
-- Expected: I thought the nights would be long.
-- Actual: Nights at really long. DH sleeps the whole night so I get everything that happens at night. It is frustrating when I cannot figure out what he wants and he just cries and cries. He likes to fuss any time I or we sit down to eat .... that kid can tell when it is our time to eat ... I tell you what.

Extra Credit: Is there anything else in regards to expected vs actual you would like to share?
-- Expected: He would eat a lot.
-- Actual:He eats us outof house ans home! He has grown soooooo much that the decision to have him early was such a wonderful one. In 6 weeks, he had already put on 5 lbs and 5 lbs. weighing in at 9 lbs 15 when he was 6 weeks old.

-- Expected: He would be the light of our lives.
-- Actual: He is the light of our lives and then some. It is such as miracle that I have beautiful son and wonderful husband in my life. Many times I just sit and cry when I have my son in my arms and I am cuddled with DH.

PLease excuse any typos or sentences that may not make sense as I am home alone with the lil' guy and do not have time to go back a proof read.

Lisa said...

1. Early "symptoms" of pregnancy - Was what you actually felt/experienced different from what you thought they would be like?
-- Expected: I thought that I would be throwing up a lot and have morning sickness only in the morning.
-- Actual: I only threw up a half dozen times and most of those were either caused by brushing my teeth or from my first prenatal vitamins. I felt nauseated all day long which was a huge surprise.

2. Many women are afraid they won't be able to tell the difference between a braxton hicks and a real contraction. When you got a real contraction, was there and obvious difference?
-- Expected: I did not know what a Braxton Hicks contraction was so I had no real worries about this.
-- Actual: I never had Braxton Hicks contractions or real contractions for that matter so I still don't know if I could tell the difference.

3. Drug Free Labor. Many women want to do it naturally. Some even go into it without an open mind, thinking drugs==bad, no way around it. A) If you wanted a drug free labor and delivery, did you succeed? B) Regardless of the outcome (opting for drugs or not), has your opinion about natural labor and delivery changed at all?
-- Expected: I wanted drugs for my labour right from the start. I also wanted a natural delivery since the c-section was such a huge possibility.
-- Actual: I was induced and got the epidural at 4 cm. I was so happy that I opted for the drugs. My labour lasted over 19 hours (even with the induction).

4. Inductions. Many women get tired and uncomfortable at the end and ask for inductions. Did you? If so, are you happy with your decision?
-- Expected: I knew from the start that I was more than likely going to be induced for precautionary reasons.
-- Actual: I was induced at 37w3d and gave brith at 37w4d. My doctor wanted to have my induced for 2 main reasons. One was at my last u/s (at 34w) the boys were already measuring 6.5 lbs each and she was worried that if they got too big, a vaginal delivery would not even be an option. The second was that she wanted to make sure I gave birth during the day (the boys had another plan we were not aware of!) so that the OR staff was on hand in case we needed an emergency c-section. I gave birth vaginally to my two boys just after midnight in the operating room. The OR staff was ready and waiting...

5. Recovery. Was recovery as you imagined?
-- Expected: I thought recovery was going to be horrible.
-- Actual: I was in good shape after birth. I needed a little help to pee for the first time, but I had a bowel movement (on my own) less than 12 hours after I gave birth. I was a little shakey from being so tired but I was able to walk around.

6. Post delivery body. Did your own body surprise you?
-- Expected: I also bought into the "you will look like you are 6 months pregnant" when you leaving the hospital expectation. I had maternity clothes with me.
-- Actual: I was still pretty huge after I gave birth. I found it disturbing that the belly was so jiggly and big.

7. Postpartum bleeding. Were you ready for it?
-- Expected: Didn't really think of this one much at all. I guess I assumed it would be like a period.
-- Actual: I had issues with the removal of the placentas after the boys were born. They were stuck and the doctor almost had to cut me open to go get them. I never knew this was possible and was not at all prepared for it. It took them over 45 minutes to finally get them out with one doctor basically pushing on my stomache and my OB pulling on them with all her might at the other end. During this process, she "cleaned me out", which made it so that I had hardly any bleeding after birth. It was much less than a light period.

8. Postpartum period. Anything in this category surprising?
-- Expected: I had no thoughts on the matter prior to it happening.
-- Actual: I had an IUD put in at my 6 weeks check-up. There was no way I was taking any chances... So, I have not really had a period since giving birth. It has been wonderful!

9. Did you experience the "newborn honeymoon"?
-- Expected: I did not erally knwo what to expect.
-- Actual: My boys are truly wonderful and are good, happy babies. They do not cry a lot and are extremely smiley! It is a good thing since there are two of them!!! They are almost 9 months old now and most days I have to say that they are amazing little men that brighten up my days!

10. Sleep deprivation and general feelings of taking care of a newborn. Did you have any idea just how fucking hard it would really be?
-- Expected: I knew I would be tired and not get much sleep.
-- Actual: I did not realize that, especially at the beginning, they would be nursing constantly. Between the two of them, I had a baby on at least one breast at all times. The growth spurts were the worse since it was non-stop. I am still extremely sleep deprived, but it is getting much better...

Extra Credit: Is there anything else in regards to expected vs actual you would like to share?

--Expected: I thought that my husband would help out with the boys.
--Actual: I did not realize just how much help he was willing to give. He helped me get the ready for night feedings when they were newborns. He walked up and down the hallway with them to get them to sleep on a regular basis. He has been a huge help and I would never have been able to do it without him. I did not realize how great of a Dad he would really be.

sara said...

Early symptoms: didn't really have many...I always thought I'd have more.

At first I thought I was having BH at 17 weeks and it took me awhile to realize they were real contractions. They stunk because they hurt more than I thought they would before being in actual full blown labor.

Drug free labor...well I'm a CRNA so we love lots of drugs. Bring on the drugs!

Inductions...I always wanted to avoid one. At the end though due to the silly reverse peristalsis I was begging to be induced.

Recovery...was what I thought but was much slower because I was already so run down from bedrest.

Postpartum bleeding: Way worse than I thought, but I ended up having a D & C at 6 weeks postpartum. Then it got better.

Hollie said...

1. Early symptoms - Expected to feel crappy and sick. I did feel crappy and sick at 5 weeks.

2. BHC vs real contractions - Expeced to just know the difference. Still not sure about this one. I consider that I went into labor Wed. night at 8 pm and had baby Fri. at noon. For a while contractions weren't too bad, but they kept getting worse. I had some false labor a few weeks before that felt very similar, but not quite as painful. Then at 6 pm Friday night, they got more painful. I was pretty sure it was the real deal, but not 100% till a few hours later at the hospital.

3. Drug Free Labor. A) If you wanted a drug free labor and delivery, did you succeed? B) Regardless of the outcome (opting for drugs or not), has your opinion about natural labor and delivery changed at all?
I totally wanted drugs during labor and delivery. I seriously thought that delivery would be super easy due to epi, like I see on tv. BUT epi did not work for me. My legs were dead and vaginal area dead, but I felt everything in my belly due to scar tissue in my spine. So no, L&D was much more traumatic than I expected.

4. Inductions. I didn't really want one, but dr scheduled for 39 weeks. Baby decided to come at 38 weeks. BUT they did have to use pitocin on me due to magnesium sulfate used for blood pressure slowing things down. Pitocin is EVIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5. Recovery. Was recovery as you imagined? Recovery is so much harder than I thought. I expected to come home and spend maternity leave playing house, cooking, going on walks... I had episiotomy which is horrible and painful. After two weeks and 3 days, I can finally sit in a chair for a little while and not cry. It's so hard to get up and down out of the bed. Things are getting better, but this is way worse than I imagined.

6. Post delivery body. Did your own body surprise you?
I expected to look 6 months pregnant, but I only had a very small pouch going home. I've already lost almost 20 lbs of 34 gained. I'm not dieting or exercising of course. I have had tummy problems and not much appetite. So my appearance is much different than I expected.

7. Postpartum bleeding. Were you ready for it?
I expected super heavy flow for weeks, but it was only heavy for about a week. Now I'll have heavy flow every day or two, but no huge clots. PROBABLY because the OB who delivered me... pushed with all his might on my belly after delivery. I screamed my head off for real. But I guess he got everything out.

8. Postpartum period. Anything in this category surprising?
Haven't had yet.

9. Did you experience the "newborn
honeymoon"?
YES!! First week home, he only woke up one or two times at night and went right back to sleep. Week two we were in for a rude awakening!! 3am till 6 am is wakey fussy time.

10. Sleep deprivation and general feelings of taking care of a newborn. Did you have any idea just how fucking hard it would really be?
I'm crying right now typing this. Sleep deprivation is so hard. There is no way to describe how it feels to wake up for an hour to feed, then sleep for one hour, then do it again. Then sometimes he cries all the way through till it's time to eat again. The first few nights of this, I was still feeling horrible, and Nathan did not help. He got mad at me when I woke him up. Now he rocks the baby so I can sleep for a little while between feedings. I keep telling myself that eventually this will pass. It's so hard.

Extra Credit: Is there anything else in regards to expected vs actual you would like to share?
This sounds corny, but I had no idea I could love somebody this much. Even with all of the crying and not sleeping, I just can't get mad at him. I can cry about it, but I can't get mad. I love him so much. The thought of something happening to him makes me seriously panicky. I have dreams about people trying to take him and waking up to check on him. I check on him to make sure he is breathing. One more - I thought I would be anal about other people holding him, but I'm really not. People can hold him all day as long as it's not eating time. I don't even remember usually to ask people to wash their hands (maybe not good). I guess I'm proud of him and want other people to experience his sweetness.

Anonymous said...

I have been following your story since about Oct. 2006 on the webmd TTC board. I think I was Honeybee615. I gave birth in October 2007.

1. Early "symptoms" of pregnancy - -- Expected: All the morning sickness, wretching etc.
-- Actual: No morning sickness ever, hevey and sore girls and so tired. Little did I know that that tired was nothing compared to a newborn.

2. Braxton hicks and a real contraction. When you got a real contraction, was there and obvious difference?
-- Expected: Figured they were hurt like a cramp.
-- Actual: Never had one.

3. Drug Free Labor.
A) If you wanted a drug free labor and delivery, did you succeed? B) Regardless of the outcome (opting for drugs or not), has your opinion about natural labor and delivery changed at all?
-- Expected: Was trying to keep an open mind. I know a lot of people that I don't necessarily think are stong or in shape and figured if they could do it, so could I.
-- Actual: Within minutes of my water breaking my contractions were so hard. I started to panic. I was all over the room for about 3 hours when the nurse asked why I didn't want drugs and said I was afraid of the needle. She told me that was the least of my worries and that it was like a bee sting. I was begging to get him to come and talk to me. Unfortunately, after having it zing down my leg three times (that electric pulse) it only worked on my right hemisphere. Very strange. He tried to top it off about 2 hours later which was a complete waste and the baby was born 1.5 hours after that. I couldn't move till 4:00 that afternoon.

4. Inductions.
-- Expected: I did not want to be induced. Heard horror stories from my mother.
-- Actual: I was induced at 36wks 6 days for low fluid and gestational diab. I was already 4 cm and 80% when I went in. They had the pitocin cranked and I wasn't feeling any contractions until my water broke at 3:00 a.m. They had been building for 6 hours and were so strong so fast. It was like I would slam into a brick wall and then come down. I couldn't breathe, couldn't think, nothing.

5. Recovery. Was recovery as you imagined?
-- Expected: to be worse.
-- Actual: I felt pretty good by the time my legs were back. Couldn't wait to take a shower. Stiches from 2nd degree tear weren't too bad, but still have some scar tissue that gives me issues if you know what I mean.

6. Post delivery body. Did your own body surprise you?
-- Expected: To be huge. Even looked at my 6 month pics for guidance of what I was wearing.
-- Actual: When home in my "fat" pants with elastic waist. I was huge from the water and weighed the same before and after his birth. By the time my milk came in 3 days later, my body was really surprising me...

7. Postpartum bleeding. Were you ready for it?
-- Expected: Large scary clots. My mother said her shower was like a slasher movie.
-- Actual: I bleed for 2 weeks then spotted for 2 weeks. Largest clot was a peach pit. I am a red head and they had concerns that I was hemmoraghing, so I had a bag of oxitocin in the delivery room and major stomach pushes. My DH said that the blood was just gushing out.
8. Postpartum period. Anything in this category surprising?
-- Expected: No periods for a long time due to BF'ing.
-- Actual: Only had two in first year due to bfing. Have had regular periods since. Much lighter then ever before, but lots of cramps.
9. Did you experience the "newborn honeymoon"?
-- Expected: Never heard of it before.
-- Actual: I was yelled at by the ped nurse for letting him sleep through feedings. How was I supposed to know 5 hours was too long. Most is a blur because I was so tired. I couldn't tell you how long it lasted. It was bliss regardless of how exhaused I was.

10. Sleep deprivation and general feelings of taking care of a newborn. Did you have any idea just how fucking hard it would really be?
-- Expected: Like you, I knew it would be hard and I would be tired.
-- Actual: I had no idea. My family was actually concerned for my being (I didn't have ppd) but it was the lowest point in my marriage.
Extra Credit: Is there anything else in regards to expected vs actual you would like to share?

How long the Adrenaline of having a baby would last. I wasn't really tired for a couple days. Then it hit like a ton of bricks.

How trying it would be on my marriage. I don't know if all DH's act like mine, but he was so disconnected and jealous of the time needed to care for baby. He didn't even stay the night in the hospital.

Geohde said...

I can comment on the symptoms one- I've had very litle in the first trimester in either my singleton or twin pregnancy. I like to joke that I'm immune to HCG. I'm just very very greatful the worst I've had is an odd off colour feeling if I don't eat enough around 9-10 weeks.

But I got to make up for it with a horrid second/third tri so I don't feel too bad about my luck in that department :)

J

PS- jelly belly- yes, urgh. I also had a big muscle split, so my bowels were literally hanging out.

MrsSpock said...

1. I was worried when I didn't feel anything but AF's 'a comin' cramps. I started getting nauseated at 6 weeks, with full-blown nausea at 7 weeks, and no throwing up ever. The boob soreness I expected immediately wasn't really that major until 8 weeks or so.

2. I couldn't tell the difference between my fibromyalgia-induced back spasms and contractions. But my body is fucked up. I had to feel my abdomen harden to tell a contraction was here. Since I felt that pain often from 20 weeks on, I have lost all my sympathy for other women. Really. I lived like that for 20 weeks with no epidural.

3. Since I had already been living with "gnarly back-labor-like pain" for months, a drug-free labor was no issue. At least until they wanted me to lay way over on my left side. And max out the Pitocin. The spasm around my scoliosis site was out of this world- I couldn't lay on my left side because of it until I started Lyrica in November. I did an epidural and, even though it was the first time in 16 years I was pain-free, I despised it. And it ended up useless because my son couldn't tolerate my left side or the Pitocin either.

I would totally do a natural labor again if my body doesn't eff everything up again.

4. I didn't want one, and was waiting patiently for labor to begin when J stopped moving. An induction is never on the table for me again because of the c/s, but I will say it is not a comfortable way to labor, when you are strapped to the required monitor. If I had my wish, I would never have left the hot shower.

That said, I don't think mentally I could ever go past 40.5 weeks again, because that is when J stopped moving and could have died.
I just have no trust.

5. I had expected a vaginal delivery and a discharge home after 24 hours. Instead I had a c/s after a 36 hr induction and 40 pounds of edema. I don't even recognize myself in pictures from then. I couldn't even lift my leg on my own. I couldn't climb our stairs. It was very different than what I envisioned.

6.Um, yeah. Did you know the loose postpartum skin tends to make a little flap over the c/s incision.

7. My bleeding was done at 4 weeks and actually quite light. I'm thinking the OB must have taken the Hoover to it when I was hemmorhaging after my c/s.

8. Yeah. I expected BF to work. That was horrible.

9. Honestly, it took 6 weeks to feel in love with my baby. I started to reject him during the BF hell, and really felt a dip into PPD, but we found our footing after I weaned and went to formula.I just remember the first month being hell- because everything had gone wrong- not a honeymoon at all.

10. I was very afraid, because my fibro is managed by adequate rest. I would literally shut off at 1030 pm, and my husband would have to take over until 2 AM. I'd unintentionally fall asleep with J on my chest every night. I couldn't sleep in the day, and it really sucked.

sacredandscarred said...

1. Early symptoms
E: Nothing. Too many failed “false hope” cycles under my belt.
A: Nothing until I started puking at 7wks. Excruciating back pain from soon after that.

2. Contractions
E: To know when I was having BH.
A: Only figured out on reflection that that’s what “that” was. Knew about PP ctx but was shocked by just how much they hurt.

3. Drug free labour
E: Knew high chance of c/s because of my UU, hoped for natural birth though.
A: Breech from about 20wks onward, so c/s and no labour.

4. Inductions
E: To be pressured by hosp to induce at 41+3, and to refuse.
A: c/s at 39wks

5. Recovery
E: It to be pretty awful in the first days but to feel much better by 6wks
A: Horrible. Still have pain at 9 months PP.

6. PP Body
E: Fat flabby stomach.
A: Got said stomach. Ass disappeared.

7. PP bleeding
E: To be done by 6wks PP.
A: Still passing golf ball sized clots at 8wks.

8. PP period
E: To get a good year’s break due to BFing.
A: Just ovulated at 9 months PP. Disappointed.

9. NB honeymoon
E: To do little else but BF for the first couple of weeks.
A: Did little else but BF for first 3 months. After surviving TBB nothing could compare.

10. Sleep deprivation etc
E: To never ever sleep ever again, like with TBB.
A: Nowhere near as bad as I’d feared with TTG.