The idea of birth is glorious. Bringing a new little life into the world is beautiful and wonderful. The actual birth itself? Not so much. In fact, it’s so far from glorious women often wish they didn’t have to be present for their own labor and delivery experience. From the moment the contractions start—or the water breaks—it’s a race to see what’s going to happen next.
In our heads, we have a general idea. We’ve seen it in all the movies. We’ve gone to our birthing class. We know we’re going to be sweaty and that we’re going to smell. We will make sounds we didn’t know we could make and say things to our significant other that we’ll regret and apologize for later.
We know we’re going to have our feet hiked up and our lower lady on display for everyone to see. If it wasn’t for the baby trying to slide its way out of us, we would be highly embarrassed by the entire situation.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop the embarrassment from happening. It happens beforehand—when we’re having conversations with our labor and delivery nurses. They start asking questions and we suddenly feel self-conscious about the choices we’ve made. Will they judge us? Will they think we’re not as good of a mom for the words we say?
15 Do You Have A Birth Plan?
It is the revered birth plan. We hear about it from our friends and in our birthing class. We research it online as we try to figure out exactly how we want our birthing experience to go from start to finish. We put hours into it and make our significant other memorize every detail just in case. However, when the moment comes that our nurses ask us if we have a plan, we hesitate.
We have already had so many people tell us that we should not worry about it—that birth never goes as planned. Babble spoke to a labor and delivery nurse that discussed birth plans. She says that many nurses will respect them, but if something happens to endanger the baby, the birth plan is going out the window. Therefore, we need to learn to be flexible.
We find ourselves wondering if that’s what our nurse is going to think, as every nurse is different. We wonder if she is going to simply dismiss our plan instead of working with us. Will she make us feel stupid for it? Will she judge us for wanting our baby to enter this world while we listen to Ed Sheeran?
14 Do You Want An Epidural?
Natural birth versus medicated birth. It’s the age-old debate we hear going around. Both sides of the story are argued—how one could not handle the pain and the other could not imagine not feeling it. We hear the passion behind the opinions and are told that we are less of a woman if we desire an epidural. Told that it is the easy experience. The little voice in the back of our head debates the question for nine months.
Even when the nurse asks us if we plan to get one, we really do not know what to say. Is she going to think less of us because we don’t want to deal with the pain?
Will she think we are less of a woman if the pain—this natural birthing pain—is just too much for us to handle?
According to The Bump, an epidural can take up to forty-five minutes to kick in, so we will have to decide at some point. At that point, we can no longer walk around, which can make us feel trapped and anxious. If we do not get an epidural, we will be allowed to walk around, but we will have to face the pain.
13 Do You Want Something Else For The Pain?
We have concluded that we want a more natural birth, but that does not mean we are not open to mitigating the pain. Sometimes a little reprieve from feeling our body literally change on the inside would be nice. It would give us the chance to breathe—to rest as we build up the energy needed to conquer that last leg of our journey and deliver our baby.
Nurses have several things in their toolkits that they may offer us. According to The Bump, a nurse may recommend that we take a bath to ease the pain or to walk around and keep moving. Apparently, some nurses will offer some moms other medication that may help with the pain, other than an epidural.
Unfortunately, it is just not any easier to admit we need it when the nurse asks us. It feels like we are admitting that we are strong, but not quite that strong. It is as if the moment we say it aloud, she is going to give us a comment of that sort. It is almost like we are giving up. We feel a bit less of a woman for it and we are positive she is thinking the same thing.
12 Have You Eaten Recently?
We do not have a clue when labor is going to hit us. All we know is that we are pregnant. With being pregnant comes being hungry, and we are doing our best to feed the baby and us well. It is the right thing to do. That does not change the dread that builds in us when our nurse asks us if we have eaten lately. Some nurses may get super judgmental about what we ate before. Some nurses may even accuse us of sneaking some food in, according to Babble.
Sure, we know it can make a difference if an emergency C-section is needed. What we are more worried about is the dreaded “P” word.
We are worried about the bit of brown extra that is probably going to come out of us when we push.
We also know that—while she may not say it aloud—our nurse is definitely thinking it.
We are just waiting to see it all over her face when we admit the atrocious amount of food we devoured before labor struck. She is also going to be paranoid that we are going to vomit all over her, according to Babble. Nausea and vomiting walk hand in hand with labor.
11 Will You Hold Him Right Away?
After the hours of laboring and the long process of pushing, it is only natural to want to hold our little baby in our arms. At least that is what we’re told. However, for some of us, it is not exactly what we want. Whatever the reason may be, we need a minute. Maybe it is to quell the sheer amount of overwhelming emotions we cannot handle or maybe to process everything that we just did.
Whatever it is, it is our right to say that we will hold our baby in a moment. Saying those words aloud? Well, that is a different story.
We are waiting for our nurse to judge us heavily. Even Baby Center says that we should hold our baby after delivering to help regulate their temperature post-delivery. Generally, the only time this is not recommended is if the baby needs medical attention. The nurse is probably thinking we are already a detached mother or a mother who does not deserve her child if we do not want to hold them right away. We know she is thinking something along those lines even if the words remain unspoken. Even the doctor may cast some judgmental glances.
10 Should We Clean Him Up First?
When our baby comes out, they are slimy and wet. He or she is covered in a slick coating we know is meant to protect him on his way out into the world. That being said, it does not make it any less gross—which is hard to admit out loud.
We are supposed to want to pull our baby to our chest, hold him as he cries and gets used to the world. We are not—by the standards of onlookers—supposed to want to have our baby cleaned up first. Therefore when our nurse asks us that question, we are not sure how to answer. We do not want to be perceived by her as a bad or selfish mom.
We do not want her to think we love our child a little less than other moms. We just want to hold a clean baby. Baby Center informs us that our baby should remain on us as much as possible. This means that a variety of tests and cleaning should be done while the baby is on us. After being surrounded by our own mess for so long, we just want to feel clean again.
9 Do You Want To Cut The Cord?
There is something almost proverbial about cutting our little baby’s cord. We hear the question asked of our significant other quite a bit as we get closer to birth. It is something we talk over with our significant other in depth and even look up online for some advice on what makes the most sense.
In the end, we decide it is not something that matters to us.
After all, people do not talk about when they cut their baby’s cord, unless they had a horrific experience. They talk about holding their baby for the first time.
Still, it seems like it is such a tradition that we are a little off-put at the idea of telling our nurse that neither of us has an interest in cutting the cord. We are more excited about holding our baby and bonding with him or her. It seems so outside the norm, and we are certain she is thinking it.
According to Baby Center, the doctor can cut the cord on behalf of the parents immediately after delivery. It is more common for a partner or someone that accompanied mom during labor to cut the cord, but it gives some people the creeps.
8 Do You Plan To Breastfeed?
Do we plan to breastfeed our baby? It is thrown in our faces from the very first moment we start telling people we are having a baby. We are told of the benefits, and that it is what moms were made for. Some of us just cannot picture ourselves becoming milk machines and would rather bottle feed. How are we supposed to say out loud that we have no real interest in breastfeeding our baby? How do we say that we have done all our research and a lot of thinking, but feel breastfeeding would not benefit us—as a mom?
They are some of the hardest words we will say, because we know our nurse is going to try to convince us into trying it anyway. She will tell us that we will feel different once we nurse our child and talk to a lactation consultant. She will hear our words, push against our decision, and we will feel belittled by it.
Right after we hold the baby for the first time, the nurse will likely try to get us to breastfeed, according to Baby Center, as that is when our baby is alert. A simple no thank you will get us some looks.
7 Do You Have To Go To The Bathroom?
Once our little baby is out, everything feels so different down under—which we expect. We know it is not an instant recovery situation. It takes time and we are okay with that. What we are not so okay with is the number of people who get involved in our recovery right after delivery. We are over the number of people staring at our lady down under and just want some peace.
However, we are not allotted that quite yet. According to The Bump, an OB will check on us multiple times per day during our stay at the hospital They will see if we are starting to heal and will monitor for any issues. That being said when our nurse asks if we have to go to the bathroom, we want to say no.
We want to say that we are all good to go.
We are mortified by the idea of her following us to the bathroom and checking to make sure everything is in working order.
We rather like the idea of just reporting back and shutting the door for privacy.
The nurse will also introduce us to our “special” diapers, the perineal bottle, and other devices to use to make it a more pleasant experience.
6 Do You Want To Be There For The First Bath?
After our baby is born, our nurses are fantastic at keeping us involved while making sure to take care of both us and our babies. There is no denying that they are amazing. Even still, there are just some things we feel we are not going to want to be a part of. The first bath is one of them. We are going to be there for every single bath following.
While we appreciate the gesture, we just want our rest. Labor is exhausting no matter which path you take to get through it. While those hormones come rushing along afterward that boost our energy levels and leave us reeling with excitement, per the American Psychological Association, eventually they do wear off and leave us all too aware of our physical condition.
Saying that to the nurse when she asks it just feels wrong, though. It feels as if we are saying we do not want to be involved in everything about our baby. As if we are just waiting for her to judge us—with her words or by her body language. We cannot help but wonder what she thinks of us as parents for saying no.
5 Would You Like The Baby To Go To The Nursery At Night?
We planned for this baby. We wanted this baby. We have plans for our future with this baby. One would think that we would naturally want to have our baby around all of the time—especially in those first few days after he or she is born, right? We are so exhausted, though. We just want some rest. Still, we feel incredibly guilty when the nurses ask us if we would like them to take our little baby to the nursery for the night. We just wish to say yes!
We do not want to be thought of as less. We do not want them to think we are too overwhelmed as parents. We can handle being the parents—we know we can. We just know that birth was a really big ordeal and a tiny break for a deep sleep would be fantastic.
According to Baby Center, determining if we want to be present for the bath will determine if the bath will be in our room or the nursery. By having the baby stay in the nursery just a pinch longer, we can take a nice nap. Some nurses will try to convince us to watch the bathing process so we do not have questions later.
4 Do You Plan To Vaccinate?
To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? It should not be that big of an issue, but it really is—especially over the last couple of decades. While pregnant, we are faced with an onslaught of pros and cons to vaccination. We read all the scholarly research to see what makes more sense, weigh all of the options we have in the matter and try our best to make an informed decision. We even talk to doctors and other parents whose opinions we respect for recommendations—hoping that the day our baby is born we are going to have a solid choice.
That first day he or she is supposed to receive several vaccines and we have to be ready to voice our choice right then and there. With all the controversy, we struggle to tell our nurse our choice. We know that she is instantly going to voice her opinion. Some of us may opt out of vaccines, due to the potential dangers that they can cause for our baby in the future.
Those of us that have our babies get the vaccines, our littles will be taken away from us for a moment while the doctor or nurse gives them these shots. Some of us may choose the shots but plan to start detoxing baby, per Learn The Risk, right away, and nurses may question this decision. There are so many arguments for both sides that there is no winning everyone over.
3 Do You Plan To Circumcise?
Almost as controversial as vaccinations, we debate whether or not to circumcise our son. There has been an uprising in the number of parents choosing not to do so, and we have heard a lot about it. It becomes a back and forth discussion in the months before we give birth—trying to figure out what is best for our son. In light of the controversy, we are hesitant to state what decision we have made. While some parents opt for circumcision for religious reasons, many believe Christianity requires it when the New Testament actually makes it quite clear that the procedure is not necessary, according to Bible Hub.
Others circumcise merely because they think it's medically necessary or supposed to be done. We now know this is very outdated information and that circumcision does not protect baby from infection, and actually causes unnecessary deaths of infant boys each year, per Circumcision Information Resource Pages.
Sensitive subjects are so often judged, and we know that. We are afraid our nurse will look down on us for the choice we have made or think we are not as good of parents as the next ones. We are concerned she will try to convince us otherwise or give us the facts—as if we did not do our research. We are worried we will feel less than adequate as a new mom because of her opinion. Once our minds are made up based on informed research, we should not let anyone impact our decisions, no matter how intimidating they may be.
2 When Do You Want To See Visitors?
During the hours or even days after we give birth, we feel off. We are euphoric and so in love with our baby. We are in pain and uncomfortable with the state of our bodies. We feel like another person entirely—desperately searching for the person we were before. We need a shower, rest and just really want to cuddle our baby. Therefore when the nurse comes to tell us we have visitors, our hearts beat a little bit faster.
There is the moment of excitement to show off our sweet baby, but that’s quickly followed by the anxiety of what we look like and how we feel. We do not feel like entertaining people.
We worry the nurse will feel put out for having to dismiss our visitors. Will she spend hours wondering why we want to be by ourselves rather than celebrate with others?
Having a plan of action going into the hospital can help the parents and baby. According to Parents, many parents have a rule that they will not allow visitors while the baby is sleeping, especially since that may be when mom catches up on sleep. Other parents may have a code word to get their partner to make visitors leave.
1 Do You Need Help With That?
We are strong and independent women! We carried and gave life to a precious baby! We can conquer anything—almost. We are told to slow down and relax—that our bodies need to recuperate. We are told by not doing so, we could actually hurt ourselves more. We struggle with this concept as we want to prove to ourselves—and our baby—that we can do this. We have got a handle on it all.
It is during this time when the nurses pop in and out asking if we need help with anything. We want to say no. If we feel so strongly about being able to do it, surely they are going to think less of us if we say we do. We do not want them to think that we cannot handle bringing our baby home simply because we ask for so much help.
In many cases, we are not allowed to lift anything over the weight of our baby, as mandated by a doctor, according to Health Pages. Our body is recovering, which means we need to rest as much as possible. If we had a C-section, we often are not allowed to bend over. We have to follow the doctor’s rules in order to be allowed to go home.