One Born Every Minute
What They Don’t Tell You About Childbirth
By Mollee Bauer, Pregnancy.org
Hollywood might have you convinced that birth takes five minutes, your baby arrives in a fresh and downy blanket and you don’t even break a sweat.
This could be the ideal birth scenario if we were all cartoons or lived in an alternate universe, but we know better. Reality is just a wee bit different.
To help you avoid feeling cheated and disillusioned, we’ve pulled together some important points to remember about childbirth that folks just might not tell you.
When your water breaks, it isn’t like Niagara Falls
Some moms-to-be do experience a flood when their waters break, but most pregnant women only notice a trickle. The baby's head prevents most of the amniotic fluid from escaping in one big whoosh.
Labor Can Last Forever>(Or Feel Like It)
We can almost guarantee your labor will be longer than five minutes. From the first early twinges to your active labor can be hours, even days. Here's what you can expect during <a href="/article/what-expect-early-labor"><strong>early labor</strong></a>. Guys, birthing a baby takes time. The last thing mom needs to hear is the labor room equivalent of “…are we there yet?"
As you're squeezing your baby down the birth canal, you might push something else out. Passing an 8-pound baby through your body compresses the intestines and tends to push any fecal material inside of it out. We know, yuck right? There will probably be at least 10 people in the room watching it happen, too.
Unless you're anticipating a cone head covered with white stuff, your newborn's appearance might not be quite what you expected. Just after birth, many babies are bluish or purplish. They may be covered in blood and vernix (that white, cheesy stuff). Some babies are born wrinkled or with swollen, bruised or discolored faces.
Here Comes the Placenta
The placenta resembles liver. However, if you're not too squeamish and examine it closely, you'll see the veins form a pattern almost like the tree of life. We find that quite appropriate, considering this organ’s been nourishing your baby for months.
Cutting the Cord?
It's not some simple string you cut, like at the grand opening of a deli. It's up to half-an-inch thick, with a large artery and a large vein. Cutting it requires "chewing" through it with a pair of scissors. Nobody told me that!
Disappearing Baby Bump
While your new baby's snoozing contentedly in the bedside crib, you catch a glimpse of your profile on the way to the bathroom. Yikes! You expected to wake up flat and trim. Ha! The "baby bump" doesn't magically disappear when the baby arrives.
No one tells you mothers suffer from a very specific form of memory loss. Because of this malady, you'll hear moms holding a newborn talking about their next baby. Amnesia!
What's surprised you?