It was just two years, two weeks, and one day ago my Lil Diva entered this world. It has brought a flood of memories barreling into me, both from her and The Tackler’s births.
Naturally, it makes the perfect fodder for my next top 10 list…
Top 10 Misconceptions & Tips About Childbirth & Newborns
10. Second children always deliver faster. How I wish this was true. What they mean to say is “the pushing part is likely to go faster because your body has “been there, done that”. Lil Diva is proof birth order does not effect the rest of the labor process.
9. It does not take long to get an epidural. This varies greatly. The Tackler took 90 minutes. Lil Diva took about 35 minutes. Both involved paperwork and being pumped full of fluids prior to the drug doctor ever showing up.
8. They won’t give you an epidural if you’re close to delivery. FALSE. What this should say is, “They won’t give you an epidural if they know you’re close to delivery.”
Which means they have to check you. My doctors hadn’t in an hour. With both children I was pushing less than fifteen minutes after receiving the epidurals. With Lil Diva, I wanted to push before it had even taken effect.
She was born ten minutes later.
7. Beware of the evil adhesive tape. I didn’t have this with Lil Diva, but I did with The Tackler. Whatever the tape consisted of that was used to secure my IV line and my epidural was evil. It would not come off of my skin. The only way to remove it, was to have someone actually scrape it off with their nails – a challenge with a newborn who despised being set down for second.
6. You are better off using a laptop to watch something instead of the TV. In my hospital the TV was tiny and far away. The remote was about as useless as Facebook’s new revamp. You couldn’t type in a number, and every time you turned on the TV, you started on the beginning channel. This meant you might have to scroll through over 100 channels to find the last station you were on – the TV lagging several seconds with each click.
5. Your feet can swell after pregnancy. This is especially true if you had any drugs while in delivery because they pumped you full of fluids. My feet swelled to twice their size with both kids, and when I walked you could see the water swishing beneath the skin. They looked like water balloons.
4. A fever and chills post-labor doesn’t always mean you’re sick. It could be the Super Secretive Milk Engorgement Fever/Chills. I had never heard the slightest hint something like this could happen until I happened to me. Twice. And I read a lot of baby books and online websites.
During the first 24-36 hours my milk came in, I had the worst cases of fever and chills since I had the chickenpox in third grade. I actually woke up CG during a very rare Both Parents Are Sleeping at the Same Time moment because my teeth chattered so loud. I bounced between roasting and subzero – with both children (one when it was 96 degrees outside, another in the 60s).
I was prepared for night sweats, but not this. I concluded it was milk related because every time I bent over, gravity would give a slight twinge to the porn star sized D cups I sported and a chill would race through me.
Every. Damn. Time. The shiver always began there.
Do you know how many times a you have to bend over with a newborn?
True to mommy brain, I had completely forgotten about this odd side effect until the exact same thing happened with Lil Diva.
3. The mother’s bladder function is unlikely to work at 100% ever again. The best kept secret, until you join our club.
2. Your child has to sleep in a crib or bassinet and always on their back. No and no! I slept five hours total over four days, because I thought this had to be true. Instead, my son would only sleep while being held, usually on me.
We learned to adapt. The Boppy was our friend and I would transfer him to other laps after nursing so I could sleep.
The infant car seat became his pseudo crib until he was two months old, because he would actually sleep longer than ten minutes in it.
He slept in the baby carrier.
And when we moved him to a crib, we learned he liked to sleep on his side – he naturally rolled that way. So we let him and wondered if that was the real reason he wouldn’t sleep as an infant in a crib.
So the rule about sleeping newborns? Let them sleep anywhere they want.
They’ll grow out of it. Eventually.
1. If someone offers you help, you say yes. In theory, you’re prepared for the lack of sleep a newborn brings. But when you combine it with swollen feet, stitches, adhesive tape, cracked skin, sore breasts, and an already crying baby – it overwhelms you.
So if someone asks “do you need anything?” say “yes please”.
And thank them. Profusely.