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Here are things they don't tell you about pregnancy labor

From my personal experience

By Adrianna Anastasiades Published 3 months ago 3 min read
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Here are things they don't tell you about pregnancy labor
Photo by Sean Musil on Unsplash

I recently gave birth to a beautiful little girl in South Korea. It was my first time giving birth, and before that I was feeling anxious, nervous and worried of how labor would be. Each woman has a different story, good or bad, so we cannot really compare our experiences, but only share them.

There are three different stages to labor: early labor and active labor, the birth of your baby and the delivery of the placenta. Each stage takes a long time, and the first stage can even take from a day or more before you feel the contractions.

I also learnt that no matter how prepared you may be and how much you could read about labor, there are things you also learn from your own personal experience.

By Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

Your blood vessels can pop

Once I gave birth and I was alone in the bathroom, I saw my face and it had changed. There were little red spots all over my face, and I can only compare them to looking like freckles, and a vessel in my right eye had popped.

I asked the doctor why my face was like this, and she explained that its due to the pressure of pushing. I was pushing so hard during labor that the blood vessels in my face and right eye popped. My face has now gone back to normal, and my eye is still healing too.

By Marcelo Leal on Unsplash

Your feelings are all over the place

Yes, postpartum depression does exist and it's very common for women to have it. However, once I gave birth my emotions were all over the place, and I was feeling different things at the same time. This I did not expect, because it was instant. Giving birth is mentally and physically tiring, but of course it's a joyful experience, because you are bringing your baby into this world. However, you can't help but to feel overwhelmed, happy, emotional and helpless all at once. For example, I would just start crying for no reason, or because of a happy thought and then I would be calm again. Your mood changes into different phases very quickly after giving birth.

By David Becker on Unsplash

Your water doesn't always break

We have always been told that a strong indicator of going into labor is when your water breaks. That's not necessarily the case for all women, including myself. The first stage which you are educated about is the mucus plug, and then you can have a bloody discharge. That was what indicated for me that I was going into active labor, so I never had that 'classic moment' like you see on television of the woman's water breaking.

By Sam Moghadam Khamseh on Unsplash

Pain relief doesn't always work out

You can read about different pain relief medicines and shots that they can give you when giving birth, but in reality it's still immensely painful. I opted for the epidural and was given it 2 hours before I gave birth. It kicked in and only worked for a little while, which helped me with the pain I was feeling from the contractions. But then it wore off quickly and I asked for more, which they gave, but it didn't work at all. So when it came to pushing, I felt the pain - a lot.

By KOBU Agency on Unsplash

You cannot drink water during labor

It is recommended to have your last meal the night before you give birth and to not drink water before midnight. You'd think that you could drink water or have ice chips, just like you see on television, but the truth is I was not allowed to drink water at all. I didn't have a drop of water from when I arrived at the hospital until two hours after I gave birth, so my mouth was very dry and it was very unpleasant. In fact, I puked a lot due to the dryness of my mouth.

The takeaway from this experience

Giving birth naturally was one of the most unpleasant and painful experiences for me. However, I would do it all over again just to bring my daughter into this world.

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About the Creator

Adrianna Anastasiades

Born and raised in London. Living in Seoul, South Korea. Studied BA (Hons) Magazine Journalism and Feature Writing at Southampton Solent University.

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