This list is a fantastic read for any first time mothers...
You’ve made lovely plans for the beginning of your maternity leave, the house is spotless, the bath is your sanctuary and you’re eating all of the chocolate. You are feeling rather “together”, if you do say so yourself.
You’ve gotten your head around the fact that labour is going to hurt. “Sure they don’t call it labour for no reason”. That’s what your mother told you. It’s just a waiting game now.
You’ll pop in, have your baby, and bounce back out with a gender declaring balloon and a comfy pair of leggings.
But what happens in the hospital? You’ll have your baby of course. But what about the other stuff? Here are the things that surprised me about giving birth.
- When you enter the hospital in labour, it’s just a normal day of antenatal appointments for other people. Ever sit there during a particularly long wait for an antenatal appointment and secretly look everywhere for a sign of a woman in labour? Tell me it’s not just me. I sat there, week after week, and I didn’t see one woman enter the hospital in labour. Alas, I ended up being one of them. I entered the hospital at 9am, in the throes of labour, waters still breaking (tmi? never) and it would seem that nobody really noticed.
- In between each contraction the pain just disappears in to thin air. Someone described it to me as “just dropping off a cliff” until the next one, and that describes it perfectly in my opinion.
- Birth plans can end up going out the window. I was all for a natural birth and in the end pain relief made it a much more pleasant and gentle experience for me. An open mind could serve you well.
- After you have given birth you will be given tea and toast, and I can tell you with absolute certainty, that it will be the most delicious morsel of food that ever touches your lips. It is divine. Just wait and see.
- On the contrary, you may be offered boiled eggs with your breakfast. Now I know that the hospitals want to veer away from the soft boiled eggs for bacterial reasons (or something), but mother of God these are the hardest eggs you will ever meet. But you’ll eat them, and it will probably amuse you. If nothing else it will get you talking to the woman in the bed next to you.
- You have to fill out a form every day detailing when and how much you fed your baby, along with specific details about nappy changes and poo. I had no idea about this.
- You will laugh during labour. It seems strange but it’s true. Something will make you laugh. Embrace it, I say.
- You will feel like a celebrity during visiting times. It’s a surreal experience - introducing your perfect little human to your loved ones. Never a prouder moment.
- Your baby is tagged. This one really surprised me. As soon as your baby is born a tag is placed on their leg which has a unique code on it. This code is for security reasons, but it just looks and seems very peculiar.
- Before you leave you will be checked over by an Obstetrician and your baby will be checked over by a Pediatrician. In my opinion, the standard of care is second to none.
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