Contractions feel like you've been stuck in the belly with swords.
Not going to sugar coat it. It feels like you are literally being ripped apart from the inside! Some women can handle it, some can't. If you can't then do not feel bad for needing some relief-after all you want to enjoy this precious time, not hate it.
Epidurals do not affect baby... But IV pain meds do.
One of the biggest misconceptions I had about epi is that it would cross the placenta and affect my son. Lo and behold, my son was born eyes open and just as alert as can be-and 11 weeks later, he is still the same! Now, pain meds via IV such as Fentynl or Morphine, on the other hand, can and will affect your baby by making them sleepy and less responsive (most of the time.) It also may drop their heart rate. I did not get this due to this fact.
You might have a tummy, you might not.
Every woman wonders what she will look like upon giving birth. I will tell you the truth-there is no way to tell! I know some ladies who ran marathons and who had a mommy tummy for days after birth. If you have a tummy, give yourself a break-you carried a tiny human for almost 10 months and it takes some people just as long to lose it!
Your mind will go hazy.
I am not sure if God created this to erase any negative pains or emotions during labor and delivery, but I personally could not recall much. It might have been due to fatigue from being in labor for 22 hours and pushing for 2 hours without food and water. The key moment I remember the most was when they put Grey on my chest and he stopped crying when I said "Hey Greyson" and then he looked at me with one eye. It was the best feeling ever. However, I don't remember my husband cutting the cord and little things like that. I was pretty weary! This is a good reason to take pictures!
Epidurals are not THAT terrible.. But you might throw up and get a catheter.
Getting the epi did not hurt that bad-just a pinch. However, the patient controlled button that they gave me to press whenever I was in pain made me so sick, I did throw up twice. The epi also takes a while to wear off postpartum-I think my toes were numb for up to a month afterwards! This is normal. If you choose epi, you 98% of the time will get a catheter because you cannot stand up and go pee afterwards. It does not hurt! Why? Because of the epi! :)
Breaking your water is painless.
I unfortunately did not have my water break on its own. I did want that whole cool "Ooops my water broke" experience but it just was not in my cards. If you are scared that yours has to be broke, please know you cannot feel it! No nerves in the sac :) They will use a small little hook that looks like a knitting needle. Simple.
Your labor might last up to a day.. and pushing might take up to a few hours.
Just because I was in the best shape during pregnancy, I had this idea that I would be in labor for 2 hours and push my son out in 10 minutes. HAHA BOY WAS I SO WRONG! It honestly does not matter what shape you or your body is in. Every body reacts differently to labor. Just because yours lasts a while usually does not mean anything is wrong-babies come on their time! So be prepared for a long stay either way.
Eat before you go to the hospital.
When you go into labor at the hospital, they won't let you eat or drink anything due to a risk of having a C section if something were to happen. So...... when your contractions start at home or your water breaks, for God's sake EAT SOMETHING or you will be so pissed later.
Day two in the hospital is the hardest.
I had my baby at night and the next day went pretty well. It was not until day 2 that I felt like I was hit by a Mack truck. Also, the first night you and your husband gladly want to stay up with your new addition because you are just so darn excited. Let me tell you something... PLEASE SLEEP!!!! Because come night #2, you are going to feel so tired you will regret not taking a nap. As a new mama, you NEED that sleep. Do not feel guilty for asking the nurses to take your newborn to the nursery for a little while so you and dad can rest so you can fully enjoy your baby when you wakeup.
You will bleed like a stuck pig.. and your vagina hurts bad!
I probably bled through 3 bedsheets in the hospital. It was like the worst period I ever had. The smell was also very strange too. They will give you an ice pack to place onto your lady parts, but oh man, walking hurts a bit. You will have to take it slow. I remember showering the day after giving birth and I had to sit in a shower chair because it hurt so badly and my legs were still slightly numb.
It will hurt to pee and poop... and yes , hemorrhoids will happen.
Oh Lord. The first pee and poop after birth is nerve wracking! And pretty painful. Thank goodness, they give you a spray bottle in the hospital and some numbing spray. It will take time for it to heal, but those first couple of weeks, every bodily function might hurt some. Hemorrhoids usually do go away, but wiping will be a pain in the ass-literally.
You will have the worst separation anxiety when they take your baby away for procedures.
I had my son circumcised and when they took him away for that, I had never felt so scared, lonely, and quite terrified! You will feel this way, but know most of the procedures such as hearing tests, billirubin scans, or circs take up to 30 minutes. You will have your baby back in no time!
You will love your baby more than you will ever know :)