What No One Tells You About Labor & Delivery

You Might Puke/Vomit/Throw Up whatever you want to call it. And it might be in your kitchen sink. You might also almost forget to brush your teeth. Sick, I know.  About five minutes before we headed out the door to drive to the hospital, I vomited in my kitchen sink. That hasn’t happened in many, many years. (The vomiting part- I’ve never done so in a sink before.) My husband reminded me that it might be a good idea to brush my teeth. Can you imagine? Being in labor, meeting your sweet baby with disgusting breath? Ick. 
Rule #1: Always bring a toothbrush and toothpaste with you to the hospital. If you forget, they’ll most likely provide you with one, just expect it to be about the size of a kid’s brush and have maybe, five bristles, if you’re lucky. 
Peeing on the floor is totally normal. And funny. 
You could possibly faint. I had to urinate so bad after pushing my seven pound babe out, that the minute the nurses gave me permission, I walked to the bathroom. And fainted. People caught me and I came back to life, but it was still a little scary. 
Rule #2 Even when you think you’re strong enough, bare up and let others take you hand. Accept the wheelchair and remember this is the only time you’ll ever get royal treatment. 
The showers in the hospital rooms are pathetic. Don’t bother showering. I was really looking forward to taking a nice shower, so I walked into the “shower” to realize it hurts to sit, I can’t bend over very easily, who knows how many other bloody bums have touched this old seat, and the water pressure is horrible. All that trouble to get my clothes off for nothin’. I would recommend washing your face, brushing your teeth, and putting deodorant on however. That felt amazing and I saved the shower for home. 
Rule # 3 Don’t forget your favorite face wash. You don’t want to be stuck using hospital bar soap that leaves you with dry, itchy, irritable skin. 
I was blessed to have a fairly easy and complication free labor. I don’t recall anything too crazy happening, and I don’t have any crazy stories to tell. Well, except for fainting and peeing. But that’s normal, remember?   If you will, share with us- what do you wish someone would have told you about labor and delivery?

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

14 thoughts on “What No One Tells You About Labor & Delivery

  1. As a culture we are sadly uneducated about labor. There is so much that can happen that is totally normal, and we don’t have a clue.

  2. i thought that recovering from a vaginal labor would be a piece of cake, since I didn’t have any incisions in my abdomen from a c-section. I did, however, experience a thrid-degree tear and I am STILL having issues because of it 2 months later! Granted, my little lady is TOTALLY worth it, but holy moly…..that hurt!

  3. Ha! I <>couldn’t<> pee after I had Peanut. The nurse was standing over me threatening to cath me if she didn’t hear a tinkle soon. Excuse me, but I just had a <>person<> come out of me. Things are a little swollen in that region!

  4. I never heard that my memory would be so foggy about the whole day. I’ve asked Jared a hundred times what happened when… He remembers more than me. My friend calls that mom-nesia.

    And I don’t know if this is normal, but I lost all sense of time during labor. I was induced so I was at the hospital for the first real contraction and I couldn’t believe it when he told me I’d been in moaning and groaning (but NOT screaming) for over two hours. Not that I was enjoying myself and lost track of time, though! Somehow, I just zonked out, but I’m not complaining!

    I wish somebody had told me to have the doctor do something about my cough BEFORE my baby was born. Recovering from a mean tear with an equally mean cough was AGONIZING!

  5. Oh man — the vomit! I got sick (multiple times) during every labor. With my first labor, when I pushed for 1 hour and 40 minutes, I must have gotten sick during the pushing at least 20 times. My Mom was there with us, and she finally said, “Can’t anyone give her something for the vomitting?” And, then they promptly did. Why did one of the actual medical people not think of that without my Mom needing to suggest it?

    One thing that I enjoyed after I had my second and third kids (that I didn’t think about the first time) was that I brought my own pillow, pajamas, and underwear. Very nice!

  6. I really wish I had learned more about natural childbirth before I had my first. I was induced, had the epidural, and ended up with an episiotomy that took 40 minutes to stitch afterward! It was all worth it and my experience on a whole was incredible. It was one of the best days of my life, but man if I had known about different birthing positions and such that could have helped avoid the episiotomy, I would have done it, but since I had the epidural, I couldn’t move. I guess it takes experience to learn what we wished we could have known. That’s why baby #2 is going to be all natural!

  7. I had two of the easiest labors ever… I pushed 6 times with my son, 4 with my daughter… I didn’t get sick, didn’t pee or poop on anyone and generally loved the entire experience. I did have to have an episiotomy with both babies, but that was not a big deal at all and didn’t hurt as much as I had thought it would.

    I did shower- because I have this “thing” about not showering (it really grosses me out)… But my shower in my hospital was not bad at all.

    The thing that creeped me out the most was when the nurses checked my stitches and changed my pad for me (I felt like I was having my diaper changed!) and also when they asked me about having passed gas. Really? I understand why they ask that, but it is such an odd thing to just chat about…

  8. I LOVED the shower at the hospital. They had a fancy sitz bath thing in it so you could sit and use a hand held sprayer to get clean. Plus the hospital never runs out of hot water!

  9. I wish I knew to research things instead of relying on a the doctor telling me things would be fine.

    And I wish my mom had told me that cesareans aren’t easy to recover from.

  10. I have to laugh so hard at this. I had no idea I would pee on the floor. I did all over the birthing ball and I was so embarrased about it.

  11. I make sure to inform ALL my students about just what you described, so they aren't taken by surprise. Seems like there is a shroud of secrecy surrounding labor and birth that no one wants to let anyone else in on! So, I have found that teaching childbirth education (The Bradley Method) is a great way to inform couples about the good, bad, and just plain weird regarding labor and birth!! It is actually very cathartic. 🙂

  12. I expected the birth of my second child to be much quicker than my first. My first labor was 19 hours. My second was 6 1/2. However….a shorter labor does NOT mean a less painful labor. I had read the stories on the internet about painless birth. I was soooo set in my mind that that was what I was going to have the second time around. I took vitamin C mega doses, calcium & magnesium supplements like suggested for an easier labor. I think they helped in the beginning, but once the contractions got more painful, forget about it…

    Just a quick note, I read on a website that rolling and rocking your pelvis back and forth would help you get through the contraction. For the first 4 hours of labor IT REALLY DID! However, no one told me how silly I would look 🙂

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