You would think that having been through labor twice before, this time I would have known exactly what to expect, but, like many things in life, labor doesn't always (or ever) go as planned. So, it should come as no surprise that there are many things I wish I'd known about labor before actually going through it, even this time around.
I just brought my third child into the world two weeks ago, and I can safely say it went completely differently than my other two labors. There are so many things I wish I had known about labor those three times and, now that my uterus is done carrying babies, of course I've learned them all. Figures.
Things like, did you know that if you are being induced, you may be able to get an epiduralbefore induction? That's right. Before the party, Pitocin starts. Why didn't anyone tell me that when I was induced last time and went through 18 hours of back labor? Also, while your spouse might be a complete jerk during labor (my first was), they also might be the one thing that makes you feel loved and supported during one of the hardest days of your life. Thanks darling.
You are bound to feel many different emotions. Across three labors, I have felt them all: hope, anger, happiness, sadness, fear, loss of control, pain, relief, shame, a complete loss of shame, hunger, constipation, gas. You know, all the emotions. However, the one thing all of my labors had in common was the moment of pure joy when my baby cried or let out a little squeak, and the nurse let me know that they were OK. It was the most beautiful sound in the world.
Read on for some of the many things I wished I had known. I'm going to share with you in hope that you have fewer surprises than I did.