30 things you want to know as you prepare to give birth

by Kalli Pavon (of Kalimana Film Stories)

written 2/7/2015

  1. Labor can be spiritually uplifting (for any form of belief).
  2. You might surprise yourself and opt for an epidural at 3cm.  And that's OKAY.  You chose it.
  3. Labor can be enjoyed - you will smile and likely even laugh (between contractions ;) ).  Yes, even without medication.
  4. Short labor isn't always "the easy way" - it has been, at times, compared to being hit by a freight train. Sometimes slow (albeit not too slow) & steady is better.
  5. This labor & delivery might be completely different from your first.
  6. You might be surprised how many hours (or days) your family will happily wait in a waiting room.
  7. A VBAC turned C-section can still be breathtakingly beautiful.
  8. Your little one might need forceps to help them out (we have one of the best specialists at Vanderbilt Hospital, Dr. Spetalnick).  The room will fill with doctors (for you & baby), but you'll be in good hands if that is the suggested route at a reputable hospital.
  9. If you choose to, you can labor in the hospital for 3 days without requiring pitocen to strengthen contractions - just be sure to have a fabulous support system, a dedicated doula, and a strong resolve.
  10. Moms, walls come falling down when dads become a dad.  Be prepared to feel like you never truly knew him.
  11. Dads, women become super heros in your eyes after giving birth.  Be prepared to feel like you never truly knew her.
  12. Chat with your unborn baby about 3 things regarding timing:  Keep labor to 6-12 hours; no coming during rush hour; and tell him or her to join us around sunrise or sunset (ok, ok, somewhat of a joke... but try it, for my sake at least ;) )
  13. Baby #1 (especially if age 3 and under) may not be as interested in seeing their new sibling (at first) as you expected they would.  But that's ok. They'll come around.
  14. The cord being wrapped (around wrists or neck) is more common than you may think.  Doctors and midwives know what to do when this happens - they unwrap cords often.
  15. Dads, waiting outside the Operating Room doors while she is getting prepped for a C-section may be the scariest thing you've done. Keep breathing. She's in good hands.
  16. They say that after you've had 3 kids, it just gets easier with the 4th (and each after that).  They might be dead wrong.
  17. You might have a bowel movement during labor and/or pushing. Maybe several. And you'll care about it a lot less than you'd imagine. And so will we.  Poop happens. ;)
  18. Moms, dad might not stay right by your side.  He might need to keep a distance for his (and your) own good.
  19. Dads, she might not want you by her side the whole time. She might want someone else (who is present) holding her hand instead.  She might want you by her side, but in silence (even if she told you beforehand to keep talking to her).   You are still needed. On the other hand, she also might want you by her side 24/7 - you may even have to pry your hands free in order to go to the bathroom.  Remember that your doula (or family/friend support) isn't just for her, but for you too.  Know you are helpful & needed - no matter what she ends up ask you to do or not do.
  20. You may find out things about your baby that ultrasounds & prenatals didn't reveal.  You'll be prepared to face them. You created this child, and you'll rise to the challenges, and love more than you ever imagined.
  21. Grandparents can be wise (and, in granddad's case, even entertaining) members of the birth team.
  22. Watching your child wake up to meet a new sibling might just be the sweetest thing ever.
  23. Sometimes when a mom feels intuitively that baby is coming too fast to get to the hospital, she might actually be right.  And if she is, don't stress. You can do this.
  24. You might just look at him (and him at you) at some point during labor and immediately kick everyone out of the room for a while. And that's ok (even good)! :)
  25. If you want it, you can have an all-natural home birth the first time around (and every time after that).
  26. The second labor might actually be harder than the first.
  27. You might surprise yourself in adding "crying" to your list of hobbies the moment baby is born.
  28. Your nurse/doula/midwife/doctor might become a superhero in your eyes. Who knows, maybe your birth videographer too. ;)
  29. A dad is always more attractive to a new mom than he was before she delivered.
  30. A new mom is always much more attractive to a dad than she would ever imagine.
  31. You'll never regret capturing this.  Once it's happened already, it's too late to go back.  Contact Kalimana now to have your birth story captured.