Congratulations, Moms-to-be! You are at a very exciting crossroads in your life; parenting will be one of the most exhilarating journeys you will embark upon, and it will change every aspect of your view of the world we live in.
Whether this is your first pregnancy, or you have been pregnant a number of times, no mom is quite prepared for her personal experience in the delivery room. Some roll in and have a bouncing bundle of joy within fifteen minutes while everyone is smiling and happy, while others have a few more tales to tell about the way that precious baby entered this world.
The following information is not meant to scare you, but rather, to prepare you for the experience you may encounter as you go through labor and delivery. The process of birthing a child has some interesting twists and turns; knowing what a few of these more extreme experiences could be will hopefully put you at ease should the unexpected happen to you. Here are some little known things that could happen in the delivery room–get ready for a wild ride!
1. Nausea and vomiting
It’s not just morning sickness anymore—nausea and vomiting can occur throughout delivery, especially when you are taking a more active role of pushing baby out. If you have received an epidural, the chances of this occurring are higher due to drops in blood pressure that can induce vomiting. A word to the wise–don’t attempt to eat a big meal within an hour after delivery; your body has just been through a trauma, and you are likely to lose what you’ve attempted to eat!
No, we’re not talking about crying, we are talking about tearing. As miraculous as a woman’s body is, there are times when the girth of a baby during delivery is too much for her body to handle. As a response to this stress, the flesh between the vagina and anus tears to a degree, allowing for a wider birth canal. Mom, this is the least of your worries during delivery; your doctor will know what to do when a tear presents itself. After delivery, make sure to follow doctor’s instructions to ensure that you heal quickly and efficiently; there will be some tenderness there, so be patient and compassionate when moving around for the first few days after delivery. You’ll soon recover.
3. Bowel movements!
Oh no! Bearing your soul and your lack of toilet training control during delivery is enough to make any mom stress out. During labor, you are likely to temporarily lose control of your bladder and bowels; doctors have been trained to both anticipate and deal with this mess. You just concentrate on getting your little one into this world safely.
4. Black eyes and ruptured blood vessels
During the stress of pushing, it is not uncommon for women to push so hard that they damage the delicate area in and around the eyes. While this may at first be an alarming and unsightly side effect of childbirth, the effects should go away within a few days, and it should not affect long-term vision.
Your body is a veritable floodgate of both emotion and hormones right now; all systems are go in anticipation of welcoming baby into the world. Cortisol and adrenaline are both in abundance, causing a case of the shakes that rivals the best horror movie out there. It looks and feels worse than it is, actually; this is your body’s way of releasing pent up energy and excitement for baby’s arrival.
6. Passing blood clots
After delivery, it is not uncommon for women to bleed excessively, sometimes for weeks. Passing large blood clots is also quite normal; your body has spent nine months building up a cushion for your growing baby, and now it must slough off all of that extra tissue it no longer needs. This too, shall pass, but make sure you are prepared for this extra blood loss with some extra padding, or you’re likely to incur a few surprises along the way.
7. Rapid or prolonged labor
Regardless of which one you experience, there are unique experiences in both that need to be anticipated. With rapid childbirth, there is a risk of not being able to receive medical care in time, lack of time to administer proper pain management meds, and little time for mom to adjust to all the changes happening around her.
Prolonged delivery can be its own challenge, as all of the buildup and anticipation of receiving baby into this world can seem to take forever, and it’s exhausting. Keep your chin up, realize that the inevitable WILL happen, and know that it will all be worth it in the end.
These are exciting times! Hopefully we have not scared you, and you have a few more tools to equip yourself with as you enter the delivery room. The best of luck to you as you embark on the wonderful journey of parenting and the joy of having a child!