ARE YOU READY FOR WHAT TO EXPECT DURING LABOR?
When you go into labor you are fully aware that you are going to have contractions and that at some point you will push your baby out into the world.
That’s pretty standard stuff.
But do you really know what to expect during labor? I’m talking about the stuff that no one really shares with you, perhaps because it’s a little embarrassing.
I want you to be fully prepared so I’m going to go through a list of (quite frankly) embarrassing things that can and do happen during childbirth.
Some of these things you may already know about and others you may even have obsessed over before you went into labor.
The funny thing is that once you do go into labor, nothing much will matter to you anymore, you will only care about getting your baby out safely.
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I remember being really obsessed over being cleanly shaven “down there”. I was constantly trying to shave but the bigger I grew the more I couldn’t see what was happening in that region.
In the last couple of weeks, I gave up because I could not see a thing. Ok honesty time – I tried to shave and I cut myself just a week before I was due.
It was so painful and I was too scared to try again.
I didn’t know what to expect during labor so just tried not to think about it too much.
The day I went into labor I didn’t even give it a second thought. I left my modesty at the front doorstep of the hospital and I went in to give birth.
My point is that although I was terrified about being seen unshaven, in the end, it didn’t matter.
All kinds of embarrassing things are probably about to happen as you go ahead and deliver your baby.
If you think about the embarrassing things too much you can easily get stressed about things. Things which you soon won’t care about anyway.
Once those contractions start hitting you, modestly heads out of the door.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING LABOR
1. WATER BREAKING
Your water breaking is a funny one. Not as in Haha funny but as in strange.
When your waters break, they don’t break like how you see on the TV. There is no gush of water then the baby immediately comes out.
When your waters break its more like a trickle of water coming out of you. I guess you could liken it to wetting yourself without actually being able to control it.
If you are out and about, that water could easily start to run down your legs and look as though you have wet yourself.
Not very flattering I know!
In your final days before you deliver it’s a good idea to walk around with a maternity pad in your knickers (just in case).
This way if your waters do break you can make sure everything is safely locked up and not running down your legs.
Being in labor can cause you to vomit. Sometimes it’s from the drugs you have been given, sometimes it could be because of the pain you are experiencing and sometimes it could be because there is food in your system.
Having a stomach full of food whilst you go into labor can cause you to vomit. This is the reason that some hospitals don’t allow you to eat once labor starts.
Whichever reason it is for you vomiting, just know that this is not the first time your midwife or doctor has seen it.
Even if you manage to somehow puke all over your midwife, I’m sure you weren’t the first person to do it or will in fact be the last person so don’t get too embarrassed about it.
Pooping is my favorite because it is that one truly horrifying thing that everyone hopes never happens to them.
Usually, before you go into labor your body has a way of getting rid of all the food waste in order to make way for your uterus to have space to contract.
There are instances where this might not have happened or perhaps it does and you still manage to poop.
When your final few pushes of labor start, the contractions are much more intense. These contractions have to be very strong in order for your baby to be pushed out and through the vagina.
You might hear your midwife telling you to push down as though you are doing a big poo.
This is because the same muscles you use to push out a baby are the same muscles you use to poop.
Lovely isn’t it?
I’m just trying to prepare you for what to expect during labor.
Sometimes if the “channel” is not clear when you are doing your final pushes you can poop instead.
Doctors and midwives are used to seeing this and are really good at picking it up and moving it out of the way when it happens.
Of course, this has never happened to me *wink*.
To be fair, if it does happen to you, at that moment you won’t even care because if you remember, you left modesty at the hospital entrance.
You are totally allowed to not care at this point.
4. PEOPLE ENTERING THE ROOM WHILST YOU ARE IN LABOR
On occasion, you might find that whilst you have your legs fully spread apart with all to bare someone could walk into the room.
Midwives are usually quite good at covering you up but just be aware that it does occasionally happen.
At times it could even be that the person delivering you has asked for an extra pair of eyes.
This is not the time to get all embarrassed.
- What you need to understand about the pain of childbirth
- 10 Signs labor is approaching
- 10 Facts about your body after childbirth
5. RING OF FIRE
The ring of fire is often used to describe those last few moments as you push your baby out.
It happens once you are fully dilated and your baby is ready to come out.
I can only describe the ring of fire like a burning sensation as your cervix stretches and enables passage for your baby.
In the moment it will feel as though you just can’t take anymore.
Whilst the ring of fire by its self is not embarrassing the noises women make in that moment are.
I will be the first to admit that not every woman will shout as the baby begins to come out but some definitely do.
This kind of shouting is not the normal type that you hear people doing randomly. It’s more of an animal type sound.
I remember hearing this sound coming from one of the delivery rooms just as I got to the hospital to give birth.
Little did I know that in a few short hours I would be doing the same perhaps even worse.
If you get a perineal tear during labor you will need stitches.
Stitches are awful and they really are the last thing you want to experience after just having given birth.
The thing is after you have just given birth your modesty is halfway back.
Now you have to open your legs again whilst someone stitches you up.
It’s not really what you want to experience after just having given birth.
7. VAGINAL EXAM
Vaginal exams happen at varying times when you are in labor. Often the midwife or doctor will do them to establish how far dilated you are.
These exams can be a little embarrassing but also uncomfortable. It consists of the midwife putting 2 fingers inside you to see how far your cervix has opened.
You will certainly have to have one done as soon as you get to the hospital so the doctors can know if you should stay in or if you should be sent home again for a few hours.
8. DON’T FORGET YOUR PLACENTA
After you take delivery of your bouncing baby you must not forget that you still have to deliver the placenta.
Thankfully the placenta is not as painful to deliver.
Its a fairly straightforward process that requires more looking between your legs.
If you prepare yourself in advance for what to expect during labor then nothing will take you by surprise. Or at least that’s the plan.
If you are keen to know more about what to expect during labor and beyond delivery, you should take a look at the Pulling Curls online prenatal class.
The class is run by Hilary at Pulling Curls who has years of experience as a registered nurse in labor and delivery.
What you can expect from a prenatal class:
– How to know if you are in labor
– Everything you need to know about c-sections
– Routines and inductions
– The first few days and months at home with your new baby
The class is super informative and will teach you things you didn’t even know you needed to know about (if that makes sense)
The class is perfect for couples who want to do this together.
You can check out the class right here.