13 Labor & Delivery 'Surprises' We're Kinda Glad No One Told Us About

Wendy Robinson | Dec 7, 2016 Pregnancy

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One might think that with nine months to prepare, it would be hard to be surprised by anything related to actually having a baby. I sure would have thought that ... until my second delivery, when I had complications that I never expected. It was incredibly scary, and in that moment I was really worried about what else could happen to me. But the thing is, I am sort of glad that I didn't know every complication that happens during pregnancy -- I would never have gotten any sleep! 

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Shortly after my daughter was born, I suffered a fairly serious hemorrhage -- something I had never worried about before labor or had any reason to suspect would happen to me. When I reflect back on my pregnancy, major postpartum blood loss wasn't something that had been on my list of worries, mostly because nobody ever mentioned it to me as a possibility!

To be honest, I think it is probably a good thing that I didn't know that was possible. There is no way it could have been prevented, and it sure wouldn't have done me any good to stress about it for 40 weeks. 

Sometimes ignorance is bliss, so I asked some other moms what things they found out during labor that they were glad they didn't know before. If a mama is pregnant right now, she can read on at her own risk!

  • The Naked Truth

    1

    "I'm a pretty modest person by nature, so my labor surprise was that once I was 15 hours into an unmedicated birth, I didn't care AT ALL who same me naked. At one point, I was buck naked and on all fours, screaming, and I didn't care at all who was in the room.

    I would have been appalled at the thought of this, had I known before labor!" -- Kelly S., Tucson, Arizona 

  • A Lot of ... Stuff

    2

    "Babies come out with a lot of stuff on them. I wasn't expecting all the blood and white gunk. It was pretty gross, actually. I'm glad I didn't know about that." -- Laura N., Toledo, Ohio

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  • Best Laid Plans

    3

    "I really thought that my birth plan was going to be my BIRTH PLAN. I had this whole plan, down to music and a special gown to deliver in. Then I had a kid who went into distress and ended up with an emergency C-section.

    In a lot of ways, I think it is good that I didn't know how quickly birth plans go out the window. It let me believe I had a lot more control than I actually did and that probably kept my anxiety lower." -- Marisol Y., Oakland, California

  • Dr. Who?

    4

    "After all the research and delibration I did in choosing the perfect OB, I wasn't expecting that she'd be out of town that day and that my baby would be delivered by a total stranger. I can't even remember the name of the doctor now. 

    That would have been depressing or liberating to know in advance. I'm not sure which." -- Amy L., Saint Paul, Minnesota

  • The IV

    5

    "Needles make me woozy. I hate shots. So it was probably better that I didn't know that I'd end up with an IV in my hand for over 48 hours due to an infection I caught. I would have spent the whole pregnancy dreading it." -- Maura E., Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • Stuck in Bed

    6

    "Like other people, I can say that it is probably good that I didn't know in advance how my labor would be. I for sure didn't expect that I'd end up flat on my back in bed for most of it. I didn't expect that I'd find all the contraction monitors so annoying, especially the internal one. 

    I had felt like I had less choice about interventions than I expected because my baby had some signs of distress." -- Beth T., Austin, Texas

  • The Cry

    7

    "Sometimes that first cry takes a minute or two to happen and that is the longest minute of your life! My kid had crap Apgar scores after birth and it took a little time to get him breathing and looking pink. It was way scarier than I would ever have guessed (but he is totally fine now!)." -- Miranda R., Kansas City, Missouri

  • The Quitter

    8

    "Um, I guess I'm glad I didn't know that I'd be a total wimp and give up all my plans for an unmedicated birth 45 minutes after I got to the hospital! I talked big before birth and then I was six days overdue and I was like 'sign me up for the Pitocin and a nice epidural!' 

    I really overestimated my committment to being crunchy granola." -- Lexi C., Shreveport, Lousiana

  • Epidural Discovery

    9

    "I didn't know exactly how awful it would be to have to sit still for the epidural when I was being hit by a contraction. Yeouch." -- Ainsley N., Saint Paul, Minnesota

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  • Puker Problem

    10

    "If I had known that contractions would make me vomit, I would never have had a big meal of Indian food the night I went into labor. Probably better not to know. That dinner was pretty good." -- Shirley T., Grosse Pointe, Michigan

  • Number Two

    11

    "I feel like everyone but me knew that pooping during labor was possible. I pooped so much that they had to bring in the cleaning crew three times to change my sheets. I would have died of embarrassment in advance if I had known that would happen." -- Name withheld by request

  • The Drive-By

    12

    "I didn't know that your L&D nurses are WAY more important to your birth experience than your doctor is. I was with my nurses for hours and hours. My doctor bascially did a drive-by when I was crowning, caught the baby, and was gone. My nurses were my cheerleaders, my support team, all of that. 

    Who knew that this major expereince would rest on the shoulders of people I had no choice in picking?" -- Terrie J., Lexington, Kentucky

  • The End

    13

    "Nobody really knows before labor what it will really be like, the highs and the lows. A pleasant surprise was how amazing I felt after the baby was born. I felt amazing, like I was high on all the endorphins or something. I love that feeling; I'm glad it was a surprise, I think." -- Dannie W., Tucson, Arizona

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