Monday, November 12, 2012

What I Wish I had Known Upon Delivering Destructo

A post on one of my message boards got me thinking about all the things I wish someone had told me before I gave birth to my first child.  And in reality, someone probably did tell me these things but either I wasn't listening, I couldn't possibly understand them until I had a baby, or I choose to ignore them thinking it wouldn't happen to me.  But they did and I am here to share with you guys.

I wish someone had told me about the insane amount of sweating (especially at night) that I would do immediately after having Destructo.  Hormones be crazy!  I had the air cranked up so high I was freezing my mom out the second night in the hospital and the nurse actually turned it way up and told me I would freeze my newborn.  (He was in a sleeper and wrapped in two blankets so that wasn't the case at all.)  But I was dripping sweat like a soaker hose.  I literally woke up with the sheets soaked and my clothes nearly able to wring sweat out of.  This got better within a few weeks so don't despair!

I wish someone had told me that at least in my case recovery after giving birth even with a second degree tear wasn't that bad.  I was uncomfortable and couldn't move very fast, but by day 3 or 4 I was just a bit sore.  I never had to take anything stronger than 800 mg ibuprofen the entire time.  Honestly the itching as the tear healed was the worst part of the whole experience.  (I realize that this isn't the case for everyone.  But for me recovery wasn't nearly as scary as I figured it would be.)

Which leads to, I wish someone had told me that the first postpartum bowel movement was kind of liking giving birth all over again.  It hurt so bad where the stitches were that I thought I might pass out.  I lied.  This was by far the worst part of the recovery.  My only words of wisdom are apple juice and fiber foods.  Trust me.

Speaking of pain, I wish someone had told me that the uterine cramps that come while nursing your baby are awful. And that breastfeeding really hurts at first. Although I didn't experience this as much as I would have liked to since Destructo wouldn't latch on at all and I ended up pumping more the first few weeks than breastfeeding, I still got to experience it to some extent while pumping.  Trust me.  They go away within about the first week.  Just another stop on the crazy road of my breastfeeding journey.  (Oh and if you want to read my top ten things I wish I had known as a new breastfeeding mom, click  here.)

I wish someone had told me that mastitis is the devil.  Truly it is.

I wish someone had told me I would be completely exhausted literally to the bone.  Oh wait.  A bunch of people did tell me that.  But honestly it isn't something you can really and truly understand until you are in the midst of a screaming newborn who has his days and nights mixed up, isn't nursing well, and won't sleep laying down.  I was told this, but assumed I would do better than most since I am the world's crappiest sleeper (you know besides my son) and a good night of sleep for me is 7 hours with one wake up.  I regularly run on 3-6 hours with a wake up.

No the sleep deprivation when you have a newborn is something totally different.  I actually slept great those first few months due to the exhaustion.  No insomnia for this girl.  I was so exhausted before he was even born from not sleeping well while pregnant (thanks carpal tunnel and charlie horses) and then you add in a 74 hour labor med free for 70 of it and having been awake a straight 92 hours and tired takes on a whole new meaning.  The first week Destructo had his days and nights mixed up and slept all day and was awake unless being held all night. Then he was the typical breastfed baby waking every 3 hours to eat.   My only words of wisdom for this are to take any help that is offered to lessen your load, try your best to sleep when the baby sleeps, and don't be afraid to use a swing, bouncy seat, rock n play, whatever.  I worried so much that Destructo would never sleep in a crib that I fought using the swing 24/7 at first.  It was a moot point because around six months he effortlessly transferred to the crib in his room without any trouble.  Your kid truly won't go away to college with their baby swing.

I wish someone had told me that between the hormones, the bone weary exhaustion, and the uncertainty of whether you were screwing up your child for life that some days you will feel like running away and never returning.  You might even wish you had your old life back.  This is okay unless the thoughts consume you.  I also wish that someone had told me more about postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression.  I knew a little bit about it but not really what to look for.  You know the saying hindsight is 20/20.  It truly is.  Looking back I realize that I definitely had PPD and even a bit of PPA.  I will be on the look out for signs of this again if I have another baby and talk to my doctor about it.  Luckily around nine months, I just woke up one morning feeling more normal and happier.

I wish someone had told me that not every mom has that magic moment where she looks at her baby in the delivery room and is engulfed by a wave of love for her baby.  After 74 hours in labor, I looked at Kai and I felt relief that it was over and extreme exhaustion.  I always knew I would give my life for his, defend him with every inch of my being, and do whatever I had to do to make sure he was happy and healthy, but love wasn't there instantly   And this is okay.  By six weeks, I was head over heels in love with my baby and to this day prefer not to do things if I have to leave him behind.  But it wasn't immediately after birth that is for sure.  (I really really hope if I have a baby number two that I get that magical moment in the delivery room where our eyes lock and I am instantly in love.  We shall see.)

I wish someone had told me that when your newborn, baby, toddler, etc cry, it physically hurts you.  I mean I had heard that babies crying would make your boobs leak and all that.  But it actually makes me anxious and hurts me when Destructo is crying inconsolably   I guess this is God's way of making sure mothers take care of their babies.

Speaking of pain in your heart, the love you have for your child is actually painful.  I love Destructo so much that it hurts.  I have so many dreams for his future and all I want for him is happiness and health and good things.  Sometimes as I watch him sleep, I am so overcome by love that all I want to do is hold him for all time.  Each little milestone makes me grin like a fool and weep a little on the inside because I know all the love in the world won't keep him little for long.

Motherhood and raising Destructo truly are the best things I will ever do with my life.  I sometimes look back and don't even recognize the woman I used to be before Destructo.  What did I do with my spare time?  What made me laugh because nowadays the things that crack me up are nearly always Destructo?  Did my life have meaning because my son gives my life its meaning today?  I know that while it is a crazy ride, I wouldn't trade a second with Destructo.  Not even for a night with no wake ups, quiet lazy morning, and a day to myself.  Haha

Proverbs 6:20-23: "My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother; bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck. When you walk about, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk to you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life."

Linked up at:  
Better Mom Mondays 
Mama Moments Monday 
 Mommy Moments
Monday Mom Musings 
Tuesday Baby 


  1. Great list! I love the part of not being instantly in love. I labored for 14 hours then had a csection and then I didn't get to see them for 8 hours because I was in recovery and they were in extended observation, with premie twins it's rough. You're right it didn't take long to get there but sometimes society can make you feel guilty and like you missed out or are not a good mother for not having that moment. I think this is something that is important to talk about.

  2. This is awesome! There were actually a few things in there I didn't know, so I'm glad I can be forewarned:) Thanks for linking this up to Mommy Moments!

  3. Hi i'm your newest follower from All Things Baby link up, would love if you could come by and follow back?

    1. I followed you back! Thanks for reading.

  4. It's amazing how much having a child changes your life, isn't it!

  5. I think it's funny that I almost always link up at blog hops (in this case Monday Mom Musings) either right before or right after you :). We have some great timing, huh?

    I totally understand what you mean by loving your children so much it hurts. Just looking at my boys as they sleep... "heart-wrenching" pretty much sums it up.

    As far as 1st BM... one of my nurses gave me the suggestion to use a maxi pad. Press it against your incision/tear as a splint while you push. It works! Also, stool softeners like Colace and drinking lots of water make it to where you don't have to push so hard :.

    I was also a guest host for this week's Mommy Moments. Thanks for linking up!

  6. Some of these things you wish you'd known, I wish I hadn't. You see, I was expecting the 1st bowel movement to hurt, so I got scared and it ended up being a completely unfounded fear in my case. I worried about mastitis, and breastfeeding was a breeze. In most of these scenarios, I was prepared for the worst, which made me a little frightened of being a new mom.

  7. What a great list! I didn't find the first post baby bowel movement to be too terrible, though, because the hospital gave AMAZING softeners for that. The flu that I came down with when I had my last child was far worse. ;)

    1. The mastitis I got two weeks after I had Destructo was the worst thing about delivery/recovery of them all. Geez running a 103-104 fever for three days with a newborn sucks.


Thanks for leaving a comment! They really do make my day. I make every effort to reply to each and every comment.