L&D also known as labor and delivery is what naturally comes next in this segment. There are some great tips and stories for you to learn from, or just laugh at while relating.
1. Just get the epidural 😉
2. I didn’t know my water could just slowly leak out. It didn’t really “break” it just leaked…
3. Be nice to your nurse and she will be nice to you.
4. Know yourself. This is about YOU! No one else. Don’t feel obligated to have a mom in the room.
I had no expectations for labor or delivery but I expected to be fully recovered in six weeks. Due to complication during and after delivery it took me 12+ weeks to be back to “normal.” During labor (the actual pushing portion) I felt pain that was only outmatched by the sensation to drop a deuce. I asked the doctor-while pushing-if I could please take a break to go to the bathroom. I only remember asking once or twice but according to Dane I asked about 30 times!
When I first got my period, my Mom wouldn’t let me use tampons, which was terribly embarrassing, obviously. She said they were dangerous and yet I just couldn’t let it go. About a year later, she finally allowed me to use one, and of course, I was terrified. I had waited for that moment and begged for it, and then when it came down to it, I had to stick that thing, where!? I finally got the courage and it got stuck. Terribly stuck. Don’t ask me how, and I can’t even begin to explain it without further embarrassing myself, but my Mom wasn’t home and I called her in hysteric tears. So then here I was, sitting in the bathroom with a stuck tampon, with my Mom racing home to save me. And even better than that, within the next few moments, I was on that same bathroom floor with my Mom trying to take the stupid tampon out of me. It’s ok, you can laugh. If it weren’t weird to put emojis in here, I would be crying laughing with you. Probablynot our best Mother-Daughter moment!
So what’s this have to do with labor? Well, that tampon ended up creating this really strange tear. Every Gynecologist I ever saw, said it wouldn’t be a future problem, which always weirded me out. I couldn’t use tampons much because of it, so how would it not be a future problem?
Then I got pregnant with my first baby and I was in labor, and I kept telling the Doctor about the tear. I had this fear that the baby’s hand would pull it on the way out and make everything worse, as crazy as that sounded. And trust me, they let me know how crazy it sounded.
Sure enough, it became a big problem. It was the worst experience of my life, and it all started because that little baby hand pulled at the small tear and made it so much worse.
Not only that, I was at a terrible hospital, with a Doctor who wasnt present, and the nurse helping me was even worse. I kept telling her that I could feel my legs still and I was panicked. She kept telling me I was wrong.
And I felt wrong. I felt like since it was my first baby, I must not know anything; that since they were Doctors, they must know everything.
But here’s the thing; they don’t know me, and they don’t know my body.
You don’t need to know everything, but you do need to know yourself and know your inner voice. You need to trust your instincts. And that goes with being a Mother as well. With my second and third, I was extremely picky with my Doctors and did tons of research. With my third, I even switched Doctors when I was 30 weeks along because I didn’t feel right about going through the labor experience with the office I had been seeing. And I was incredibly grateful I did that.
No one told me how much I needed to trust my instincts.
There’s a lot no one tells you about labor, and I have stories for days of terrible experiences I had with my first. However, there is one thing I wish I would’ve been told that first time, and that is how important and vital and necessary a good nurse is. The Doctor? I’ve had a rainbow of them, and that doesn’t matter as much. But a bad nurse!? That could literally make or break the entire experience.
Some might disagree with me, but you have to think about the time they spend with you. In labor, you are with the nurse longer than you are with a Doctor. That nurse is tending to your needs, she is coaching you through contractions, and she even coaches you through pushing correctly if she is a good one. Because yes, there is a wrong way to push! If you need more epidural (that was me), she is the one that gets the right people, and she is the one who needs to be listening to you. The nurse makes ALL the difference. I honestly cannot stress that enough.
So then you are probably wondering how the heck you choose a good nurse.
With my third, I had thought I researched the Doctor heavily, but then there were many things within the office that were unorganized and appointments of mine were rearranged without notice. It made me uneasy, and even though I enjoyed the Doctor, I was not confident going into labor with that office. So at 30 weeks, after a lot of research, I switched Doctors. The first thing I did was ask to meet the nurses that had the potential of being with me through labor. It sounds so crazy, but I even had to go to the hospital at a random time to meet one of them. But this was my body! This was my baby! I needed to make sure I would be taken care of.
So meet those nurses. Make sure you know your team. And trust yourself and your instincts. Don’t feel bad if you have to tell someone they can’t work on you because you don’t feel comfortable.
Focus on getting a good team, not just a good Doctor.
I had a legitimate fear of pooping during delivery. Thankfully, I had a c-section and didn’t have to worry about that. It’s silly to even worry about something like that — the doc is up “in your business”, a little poop shouldn’t be a big deal!
During delivery I wish I would have been calm enough to appreciate that first view of my babies. I was so worried about their well-being, it was hard to be calm and appreciate that first look into their eyes. My babies went to the NICU, so I really feel like I missed out on that initial bonding time.
Get yourself a special robe and hard soled slippers for the hospital stay. Something just for YOU!
Hopefully you have found some helpful hints here. What are some of your L&D experiences? Want to share your experiences? Let me know!