KC Moms Share Labor and Delivery Surprises
Just like each pregnancy is different, every labor and delivery is unique. Each mom and baby have their own story, unlike any other. Especially for first-time moms, the prospect of labor and delivery is exciting but scary. “With my first, I was freaked out,” says Michelle Turner, Kansas City, MO, mom. “I wanted the baby to come. I just had no idea what labor would be like and, honestly, I was so afraid of the pain!”
To combat the nerves, many moms spend a good bit of time researching and reading up on what to expect during labor. “I spent so much time on Google, asked my friends a ton of questions and always had a list of questions for my OB,” says Jessica Gardner, Lenexa mom. With so much available information, moms can go into the labor and delivery process with some idea of what to expect. So how do real experiences match up with those preconceived expectations? From the hilarious to the heartwarming, metro moms open up about what caught them by surprise during labor and delivery!
“After a triage trip that turned into an emergency c-section at 30 weeks and five days, I realized how much stuff you don't actually need to take with you. I had ChapStick and a hair tie for the first part of my stay after delivery and can't really say that I missed much,” says Laura Oliver, Lee’s Summit mom.
“I was amazed at how different my labors were,” says Dana Perino, Shawnee mom. “With my first, un-medicated with the help of a doula. My second, I was begging my doula and the nurse for an epidural 12 hours in, which didn't end up happening because I entered the pushing stage right then and there.”
“I was surprised at how much connection I came to have with the nurses. I was really happy to have some familiar faces every day. They were wonderful and so were the lactation specialists who came multiple times a day to try to help,” says Cara Braune, Olathe mom.
“I was surprised I didn't poop—either time,” says Jessica Powell, Prairie Village mom. “Everyone warns of this, like it’s inevitable.”
“I was surprised by many things and expected to be. But the one that really resonated was the intense connection I suddenly felt with my husband,” says Katie Uhlenhake, Overland Park mom. “He's my best friend, and we had a really rough go getting pregnant, so I thought we already had an extremely deep connection. But then after some serious post-delivery complications and experiencing things you can't plan for, I realized our connection suddenly grew 10-fold.”
“I was also surprised that there were 26 people in the delivery room with me. (I made my husband count them.) Believe me, once [everything hangs] out in front of 26 people while you look like a beached whale strapped to a crucifix, you lose your shyness and discomfort with the whole process,” says Nicole Henderleiter, Overland Park mom.
“I loved hearing her little cries,” says Trisha Marrone, Kansas City, KS, mom. “I loved seeing her beautiful face for the first time.”
In addition to having surprises during labor, many moms reported that their overall birth experience was not what they planned for. “I had a whole birth plan and none of it went as planned. But the end result, my little boy, was amazing,” says Melanie George, Leawood mom. Whether they had an epidural, chose the birth position, succeeded with a water birth or ended up needing medical assistance, most mothers report feeling their birth experience was positive overall if they felt they were respected and treated with kindness. Having an understanding of what you can control and what you can’t also helps to set expectations for the big day and keep the details in perspective.
Fact vs. Fiction
Television and movies like to show a woman’s water breaking with a huge gush. It can be quite a dramatic scene! The fact is, only one in 10 moms’ water breaks before labor starts. And if it does break, it is a slower, more gradual flow.
Planning your baby’s arrival may not be as easy as planning around your due date. The fact is, only 5 percent of babies arrive on their predicted due date. So give yourself some flexibility! Additionally, 50 percent of babies are born within a week of the due date, and 90 percent are born within two weeks of the due date. Wondering what day of the week your baby will arrive? Tuesday is the most popular day for babies to be born, followed closely by Monday. Sunday is the day of the week with the fewest births.
Wondering about the size of your bundle of joy? The average size of a full-term baby in the United States is 8 pounds. This is an increase from an average size of 6 pounds in the 1980s.
- If you think you have that pregnancy “glow,” you could be right. While you are pregnant, the amount of blood in your body increases by 50 percent. This extra blood can show through the skin in many areas, particularly in your cheeks!
- Trying to decide how you might be most comfortable during labor? Lying on their backs is what 74 percent of moms choose, while 23 percent deliver upright (propped up, squatting or sitting). Only 3 percent of moms deliver lying on their side, and 1 percent opt for their hands and knees.
Melissa Bellach is a freelance writer and mother of two living in Overland Park