If anyone else is at the same point I am … I’m 38 weeks and 4 days pregnant, 4-5 centimeters dilated and beyond ready to get the process of labor over and done with. As a first-time mom, what some describe as the “beautiful experience” of labor and delivery has been looming over and following me around like a case of bad B.O. for the last several weeks.
I’ve been researching, Googling, reading and trying to gather as much information as I can on the experience as a whole, but I can’t say any of them have brought me any peace of mind. And while our earlier child-birthing classes were extremely informational, I’m pretty sure that’s where my fear of labor actually began. There’s so much that goes into such a seemingly “quick” process (as opposed to the nine months it took to get there), it makes my head spin. From early labor to pain management to aftercare, the questions I’ve started to ask myself have at times seemed so ridiculous, but at the same time, totally valid.
Surely, I cannot be the only one living in anxiety about this anticipated journey, worrying about the fact that you are the one responsible for getting this perfect little stranger here and whether or not you’ll be paralyzed if the anesthesiologist messes up the epidural. So, in my quest of sharing pregnancy things and also making sure others don’t feel like they’re the only ones feeling a certain way or asking themselves certain questions (because you’re not), here are some of the questions I’ve asked myself about labor and delivery along with answers/advice I’ve found through friends and family, research, and my own answers, of course.
How long is it going to last?
Even though this is something I find myself dwelling on, it is kind of ridiculous if you think about it; dwelling on it that is. Every pregnancy is different, every woman is different, and every baby is different. There’s really no telling how quickly or slowly the process of getting your little love lump here may be. My conclusion to this question has been to just take a big ‘ole chill pill. We’re going to go through this whether we want to or not, so try (keyword, here) the best you can to appreciate this crazy, cool thing your body is doing!
Will I know if my water breaks?
I’ve never done this before, though I’m fairly certain you’ll know. It could happen one of three ways. One: your bag of waters could hath fury, releasing itself from cushioning your baby and barreling down your cervix madder than the raging white rapids of the Grand Canyon. Two: your waters could ever so tranquilly drip like a leaky faucet on a dreary afternoon during a light rain shower in mid-spring. Or three: it could not happen at all, on its own at least. If you want to get an idea of what it might feel like, go ahead and stick your crotch under a running faucet while wearing jeans. What can you do about this unpredictable affair? Get yourself a pack of highly absorbent adult diapers and rock those suckers harder than Beyonce in her Crazy In Love music video. You might be heard before you’re seen with that cute swooshing noise of the material, but you’re prepared, and there will be no “clean up on aisle 5’” while you’re grocery shopping. That’s what matters here.
Will I poop while I’m pushing?
According to What To Expect, if you’re pushing correctly, chances are pretty significant that something is going to sneak out of your poop shoot. The muscles used during childbirth are the same muscles you use to drop the kids off at the pool. There’s no shame in that. All you can do is look it straight in the brown eye and let it know who’s boss. Do not let the poo define you. That might be a little dramatic … just know that it’s pretty much out of your control, and it’s cleaned up and taken care of before you can even know it happened.
Is my butt going to explode?
It’s no secret that pregnancy takes quite a toll on our bodies, but rest assured your butt is not going to explode. Sure, some unpleasant things like tearing, anal fissures and hemorrhoids might happen, but luckily for you, those are all pretty treatable from what I understand. Just make sure ya girl, Hazel …Witch Hazel, is free to hang out with you for a few weeks after delivery. Ya’ll are gonna be BFFs!
Will it hurt?
I mean, you’re pushing a spaghetti squash through a standard-sized straw. I’m fairly certain there will be some level of extreme discomfort, but keep in mind that everyone is different. Unless all these women who’ve given birth in the past have signed a secret confidentiality waiver and actually spend all those hours “in labor” at the spa getting their feet exfoliated while being fed fresh fruit and cheesecake. One thing to keep in mind if the pain element is weighing heavily on you is how many woman have undergone this miracle and lived to tell the tale. You’ve got this. We’ve got this. Now I really want some cheesecake …
When will the baby come?
He or she will simply come whenever they are ready to! Believe me—I’ve tried everything to jumpstart labor: miles of walking, squats, lunges, dancing, spicy food, etc. Why is she still in my belly and not in my arms? She’s just not ready yet. Either that or she’s extremely embarrassed of my dancing …
In the weeks and days leading up to getting your pregnant self to the hospital to have this baby, it’s important to relax the best you can and rest as much as possible. Listen to me—I should really learn to take my own advice. I’m Miss “make homemade doughnuts as push presents for all of the doctors and nurses.” Does that make me seem “extra?” I might regret not taking that time to sleep later on, but I don’t regret it at the moment. Plus, look how cute those tags are! Doughnut party in the maternity ward—Holla!