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Were Labor and Delivery What You Expected?

I came across an article in Parents Magazine today about the myths associated with child birth. Some of them are promoted in TV and the movies, and some of them are real situations that just don’t happen to everyone. My child birth process was nothing like what I have seen in the media, but I was pretty prepared by my doctor and friends to not be too attached to my plan during this process.

My water did break at home, but it was nothing like the gush that we see ruining shoes on our favorite shows. It was more like a trickle, and I didn’t really know what it was until I spoke to the doctor! He advised me to eat a snack, take a shower, and take my time going to the hospital, as I was having baby #1, and it would likely be a few hours before we had any real action. He was right.

I had the notion that my doctor would be in or near my room most of the time until the baby was born, but this was not quite right. It turns out that he actually takes appointments at his office (across the street from the hospital) in between deliveries. This makes sense if you think about it – otherwise, how would he ever see non-delivering patients? I was also amazed at how calm the nurses were at every step. They actually gave me a time frame of when I could start pushing babsed on when the doctor would return. Amazing.

About halfway through the process, we had a slow down in dilation, and I was given a labor-inducing drug to help things along. I expected it to be fast, but it was a couple more hours before we were at 10cm. When it came time to push, this part of the festivities only lasted about 15 minutes, and Baby was welcomed to the world.

Of course, the part that no one tells you about is passing the placenta. I won’t go into detail here (Moms – you know the drill already), but it was definitely a lesson in anatomy and physiology, up close and personal. This I definitely was not expecting, and I have never seen it on TV, even on the TLC child birth shows, which I watched incessantly from month 8 forward. Someone should really mention that to first-time Moms. :)

Other myths listed in the story were that having intercourse will trigger labor, when your cervis is dilated, your labor will start soon, and your milk comes in immediately after birth.  Overall, my birth experience was uneventful, thankfully. And I have shared more information with my friends than was shared with me in the spirit of helping out the next generation of first-time Moms.

If you want to read the article, it’s in the March issue of Parents ( I couldn’t find it on the website. I hope you will share birth stories with us here!

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