After 40 long weeks of pregnancy, my little guy made his entrance into the big wide world one day past his due date. Leading up to my due date, I felt a little apprehensive about knowing when exactly it would be time to head to the hospital. But as it turns out, my body gave me pretty clear-cut signs that baby was on the way. My contractions were timing out by-the-book, and I just knew that it was time to go.
Once we arrived at the hospital, it was a whole new world to navigate. Obviously as first-time parents, we were new to the labour and delivery experience. I told myself going into it that I would ask any question I had, even if it felt stupid or simple. And if there ever was a time that I was glad I made that deal with myself, this was it.
There’s so much that can happen so fast, and in a haze of pain (or pain medication), you want to be sure that you feel comfortable with everything that’s happening around you. During our experience, here are a few things I asked about that ended up being good for my comfort level and state of mind before and after the delivery.
1. “What does that mean?”
Lots of medical lingo and abbreviations were getting thrown around, and I wanted to be informed. When I arrived and they told me the baby was “minus one,” I never would have known they were referring to his position, or how it played into the labour if I hadn’t asked.
2. “Can I have more (or different) meds?
During my pregnancy, I question whether an epidural was for me and it definitely was. I had a super-positive epidural and pain medication experience. And partially it was so positive because we kept open communication with the anesthesiologist and midwives about what I was feeling and how the pain meds were working. We worked together to keep the pain at a manageable level and keep me alert and aware about what was going on with my body.
3. “What should this feel like?”
With each stage, I was a little nervous about what to expect. What would the epidural feel like? Should I be feeling faint? Is it normal to be shivering? I asked everything I could and when the answer always came back that things were completely normal, I was put at ease every time.
4. “Do you have more socks/ice/sick bags/tissues?”
This is a moment when the people surrounding you are willing to do anything within their capability to make you comfortable. Don’t be shy about asking for what you need.
5. “Are we doing this right?”
After the delivery, you’re catapulted into the world of caring for the baby, immediately after you’ve been through this whole crazy childbirth thing. It can be overwhelming, but there should be a nonstop parade of people coming through your door to ask whether you need help. If you have even the slightest doubt about something to do with your new little one, ask. Are we wrapping right? Does this latch look good? Should we wake up the baby more? There’s no stupid question when it comes to learning how to care for that tiny new person.
Wishing all of you mamas-to-be out there an easy labour and delivery. And if you’ve got more words of wisdom about the experience, do share with us all in the comments!
More advice for you on labour and childbirth:
- 6 Things I Packed in My Hospital Bag (But Never Used)
- Red Leaf Raspberry Tea: Benefits During Pregnancy & Labour
- Top 20 Songs on My Labour & Delivery Playlist