Not sure about you guys, but I was warned many times that it was pretty difficult to prepare for childbirth. Sure, it was nice to have a plan and to read up on what happens and to talk to the doctor, but the reality of how it would all go down was anyone's guess until, well, it all went down. I did my very best to try to keep an open mind. However, I still had some ideas creep up about how I thought — or rather, hoped — it would all go. Like, it's pretty much impossible not to try to picture picture at least a few times in the entire 40-ish-week duration of a pregnancy, especially if you attend a birthing class that freaks you out (*aggressively raises hand*).
Alas, hindsight is 20/20, isn't it? Now that I'm on the other side of the childbirth experience, I can say that birth was everything and nothing I expected it to be. I had a (fairly loose) birth plan that was only kinda followed, I barely used anything that I thought I had so carefully packed, and I closed my eyes for, like, whole hours of the entire process. Here's a few more examples of just how different it turned out to be from what I expected:
What It Would Be Like To Go Into Labor In The Middle Of The Night
Because I spent so much time trying to figure out if I was in fact in labor [spoiler alert: I was], and even when I woke up my husband, I was not 100% certain, our escape to the car was, uh, slower than I thought it would be.
When The Nurses Tell Me To Walk Around So I'm Further Along Before Before I'm Admitted
OK, so, I get why it's better to admit someone who is definitely in labor than just maybe-kinda-sorta in labor. But still, I would have rather enjoyed not walking laps around the hospital at 2 a.m.
How I'd (Hopefully) Feel During Birth
I mean, Rihanna is pretty much always #goals, and I know this would have been super aspirational. However, I'd heard stories of women who were weirdly at peace with the birthing process and super calm about it, seeing as it's totally natural and a miracle, and all that jazz. I was not one of these women.
How I'd Feel After Giving Birth
I mean, I felt great mentally, but physically? I felt like I'd been turned inside out.
How I'd Feel About The Cheerful People Around Me
I had some sample birth plans which asked for dimmed lights and silence and I immediately though, "Meh, that's not me." But in the thick of it, I would have loved to have had both of those things because it was totally sensory overload.
How It Would Feel When My Son Arrived
Um, you guys, I had never given birth before. Yes, there was lots and lots of build-up and preparation and many hours spent hooked up to machines and pushing, however I still felt like my son showed up, like, "YO SURPRISE I'M HERE." And then, my head and my heart pretty much exploded.
How I Hoped Breastfeeding Would Go
Tales of breastfeeding struggles had been shared with me from various friends, so I was not immune to the fact that it could be a struggle. Still, I hoped that it wouldn't be. I hoped that it would work smoothly. I was, unfortunately, super wrong. It eventually turned out just fine, but it was a hot, awkward mess for a while there (which pretty much sums up every single thing about having a baby).