Attention First Time Parents: Expect the Unexpected

11 Things Often Unknown About Having a Baby!

Expecting the Unexpected
Now that you're pregnant, you're probably attending childbirth classes and reading everything you can about labor and birth? But classes and books tend to give you the big picture, not the surprising - and sometimes embarrassing - details.
Get ready, we're spilling the beans on the common (behind-closed-doors -talked-about) scenarios. Keep reading – preparation is king!
#1 Your water doesn't break in a triumphant whoosh on the ground
Unlike in every television programme and movie ever, when a woman's water breaks, it usually doesn't look like a water balloon shattering on the floor. It’s likely more like a gradual “flow” (a little like peeing yourself actually!)
#2 Getting an epidural is like medical approved ecstasy
“It doesn't even hurt at all”.  “I loved him- he numbs the area before hooking you up with a totally free high!” “Contractions evaporates within minutes, causing a sweet, gorgeous numbness in your area”. “Your epidural will even come with a handy pump, so you can self- medicate”. "I can't feel my bum!" “I told the anesthesiologist I loved him".
These are all the stories my girlfriends had to report about their experience – they told me these after I had my baby!
#3 You may throw up
Who knew that vomiting during labor is normal? I didn't - until the birth of my first born eight years ago. One reason it happens: Epidurals can cause hypotension, a sudden drop in blood pressure and an early sign of this is nausea and vomiting. But throwing up can occur even if you haven't been given an epidural, either because of the pain you're experiencing or as a result of food sitting in your stomach from earlier (digestion usually stops during labor).
#4 You feel like you have to go and do a number two
This is gross, but you'll know it's time to start pushing when you feel an intense desire to run to the loo and do a number two. That’s all I am saying on that subject except for there's very little midwives and doctors haven't seen before, so if it happens – who cares!?
#5 Your teeth chatter
Lots of my friends complained of shivering and chattering teeth. They said it had nothing to do with being cold. They had no idea what caused it.
#6 You make strange "noises"
As a baby descends through the birth canal, air gets forced out, so be prepared to pass a little wind! This is especially likely if you have had an epidural, which paralyzes that whole area.
#7 You might act like a lunatic
During labor - especially if you haven't taken any pain medication - you may find yourself screaming, crying, even swearing at your husband or doctor. Or you may strip. Yes- strip! One of my friends was so uncomfortable that she pulled off her gown and delivered her baby naked! Crazy reactions are common; they're simply a response to pain and exhaustion. You can also blame your hormones- that’s always a safe bet!
#8 If you are under a consultant, the person who delivers your baby might not be your doctor
Consultants split hospital rounds with several consultant partners, which means you probably have a 25% - 33% chance they will deliver junior. To be fair they can’t be everywhere all the time- but just a heads up! And honestly when the time comes to push- you sort of don't care anymore. You just want the baby out and whoever’s qualified to help make that happen – that's all good!
#9 Labor's tough for Dads, too
The nerve-racking sound of the beep-beep-beep of the baby fetal monitor. Lots of talk of bodily fluids. Your own roller-coaster of emotions. Childbirth can be just as difficult for Dad. My brother was asked to leave the room!  I’ve heard from another lady I spoke to that her husband fainted when she delivered! He broke his arm and had to be admitted to the hospital! If you suspect your other half partner might not be able for the labor ward, maybe consider bringing a back up- maybe someone who has given birth herself and knows just what to expect!
#10 The Tea and Toast
It seems like such a simple meal, tea and toast, it’s meagre almost- but the tea and toast they give you after you have given birth is possibly one of the nicest things you will ever eat! I’ve eaten some beautiful food in my time, don’t get me wrong but this is something that sticks in my memory!
#11 Memories fail you
You’ll likely block most of this out about three months after birth. Otherwise, who would ever have a second (much less a third) child? When I was reminded of some of my “stories” I was like "Oh yeah, I totally forgot about that!" Looking back, birth is like a bizarre but realistic dream that you have hazzy recollections or it’s a crazy, adrenaline-fueled stage recital performance in which you passed out amidst the lights and the cheering!
What remains so clear is that you love your baby from the moment you see them. Some of what we need to pack in our hospital bag is disposable, but this gorgeous baby is forever.

*Note, these are anecdotes from friends and family and personal experiences.

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