As I've reflected on the birth of my baby and our first month together, there are a lot of things that have happened that I didn't expect. Here's my list of things I learned about labor, delivery, and those early days with a newborn that no one really warned me about....
1. If you have a c-section, be prepared to be covered in tape and sticky tape residue. I think I was about 3 weeks postpartum when I finally realized that I wasn't scrubbing tape residue off in the shower anymore. It didn't matter how hard I scrubbed, I kept finding more sticky stuff all over me.
2. It's normal to be REALLY hot after the baby is born. And there's a good chance that will continue for weeks after the baby is here. I am constantly sweating these days. Hormones + pain drugs can do some crazy things to you.
3. Those pain drugs they send you home with after a c-section aren't just for a c-section incision; you may end up taking them to relieve back and neck pain. The pain in my neck and back those first 3 weeks of nursing was awful. You may also need that heating pad that become so handy in the third trimester.
4. If you nurse, you might feel like you live in a swamp. I am always covered in milk. On more than one occasion, I've woken up just soaked. And disposable breast pads work way better than the reusable ones.
5. If you do any pushing at all in labor, even if you end up having a c-section, ask for ice when you're in recovery. Trust me on this one. No one offered me ice since my chart said "c-section," so I didn't get any until 48 hours after her birth when a friend told me I needed to ask for it. What a difference that made. It would have been nice if I had gotten it earlier.
6. The hospital is a funny place. So many people come in to see and check on you, and they all represent a different "camp." The OB is looking out for you and your health. The pediatrician is their for baby. The lactation consultant only cares about successful breast feeding. The nurses all vary. This makes it hard because you can ask them all the same question and get completely different answers from each person. I guess what I learned was I need to go with my gut.