One Born Every Minute
Going Into Labor? Get Your Hair Done and Hit the Drive-Thru
Sometimes I just can't believe that my oldest child is eleven years old, because the memory of my labor and delivery are as vivid as if they were yesterday. As a first-time mom, I had no idea what to expect during delivery. It took several hours for me to even realize that I was actually in active labor, and I was so ridiculously calm about it, my own mother did not believe I was actually in labor until my water broke on the living room floor.
Oh yeah, the reason why she didn't believe I was in labor was mostly because I was having contractions for hours and they were now nearing 8 to 10 minutes apart and I had the wonderful idea (ok, demand) that I go to the hairdresser.
It suddenly dawned on me in a panicked way that I needed to get my hair done. I don't think its fair to welcome a small human who's been trapped in a dark pool for 9 months into the world with split ends and uneven color. I mean I'll probably be sweating and out of breath already, no need to add a bad hair day into the mix.
So, I headed to the hairdresser and clutched my belly through several contractions, while the hairdresser sassily screamed at me with every cringe, "don't you have that baby in my chair!"
And so begins my list of the things you should do when you are in labor, even though people will tell you not to do them.
- Look at good as possible. I'm not saying put on a fully made up face, but do something that makes you feel sexy and powerful. For me, if my hair ain't right, I'm not in my best place (don't judge me). It could be as simple as your favorite lip gloss or a spray of your favorite scent (not on any body part a new baby may be laid on).
- Don't let them starve you. My nurse friend told me a long time ago, that the only reason why the hospital folks tell you not to eat before delivery is so that you don't poop on the delivery table. But there is no medical reason why you should walk into the biggest test of endurance of your life, without any sustenance except ice chips. Even marathon runners are encouraged to carbo-load the night before a long race. I'm not saying stuff yourself--that won't help, but having a light healthy snack before going into delivery can be a really smart move. I actually made my mother take me to the Wendy's drive-thru on the way to the hospital--which isn't really healthy but makes for a much better story...
- Walk it out. Before I went to Wendy's and after I got my hair done, I walked all through the mall for hours. I was determined to walk this baby out and not be stuck in a hospital bed with no movement for hours until I knew this baby was ready to go. Be clear, when you get to the hospital you may not have much leeway to walk or try various positions for encouraging labor.
- Plan everything but be prepared for nothing going as planned. Sure you may have wanted hypnotic music and gentle cheering, but your baby has another plan. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that your baby comes out healthy and you are healthy.
- Pack a one piece pajama. Despite my best efforts, I ended up having a C-section. I was slightly disappointed, but more importantly it hurt like hell afterwards. I mean blinking hurt and don't even mention coughing or laughing. But having a one piece pajama with no pesky waistbands touching that area was the best comfort ever. Sometimes it's the little things that mean so much.
Want to see more delivery room drama? Lifetime's unscipted series “One Born Every Minute” is back! Don’t miss the Season 2 premiere November 29 at 10 pm/9c. Watch a preview: