It has been almost two months since I gave birth to my daughter, Alani Reine Cuevas. Leading up to my due date, I read plenty of articles and watched videos to help myself prepare for the big day. Honestly, the information I found on my own was beneficial for me. I did not want to take a child birth class, but I also did not want to be completely uneducated either. I was often questioned for my personal choice or given strange looks. Who am I to give advice? I am a woman who heard these four pieces of advice and never truly understood why until I experienced them myself.
- Just because you “feel” good, doesn’t mean you are healed. Take the suggested time to let your body recover from childbirth. As soon as I came home from the hospital I unpacked, cleaned and showered. I had 2nd degree tearing, but I felt great. Nothing was going to stop me… until something did. I tore my stitches the first day home. From that point forward, I experienced extreme pain when I did anything. I cried when I had to use the restroom. I will save you a call to the doctors office; they do not restitch you. All you can do is manage the pain. Just remember if you’re breastfeeding, whatever medication you take will also effect your child. It not worth the pain, trust me. Take the time your body needs to recover so you can heal faster.
- Expect the unexpected. As many times as my doctor told me that it is common for first time mom’s to deliver after their due date, I was sure I wouldn’t be one of them. I was. I went in the hospital a week later to be induced and before they induced me I started having contractions. Again, not what I expected. The morning I delivered, a nurse came to check where the baby’s head was and not two seconds later she was lifting my legs and telling me to push. There was no doctor, rene was still sleeping and I was half asleep. What was going on?! My experience of labor and delivery had been nothing I expected.
- Giving up your plan of having a birth without medication, does not make you weak. Sure, I may be bias because I ended up getting an epidural. I had terrible contractions where I began throwing up for three hours and I was still not dilated; not even a little. We decided it was best if I got he epidural so I would be able to get some rest since we didn’t know how long it would take me to dilate. My strong contractions lasted 9 hours before the doctor broke my water. Without the epidural, I don’t think I would have had the energy to push. Since I was able to get a little rest, I was able to give birth after 15 minutes or so (with a little help from a vacuum).
- You don’t have to listen to anyone’s advice. At the end of the day, it’s your child. As helpful people try to be, sometimes it’s stressful hearing contradicting opinions or it makes you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing as a mom. Being a mother is a learning experience and every woman should be able to raise their child without unsolicited advice. (Obviously as long as the child’s needs, health and safety are taken care of.) Even if you ask someone’s opinion, it is your decision whether you follow it. Never feel pressured into doing something you do not want to. This is particularly important with cultural differences as I have experienced.