A lot of mothers will agree that once that first contraction hits, a lot of things tend to fly out the window. For example, sanity. That first second a mother realizes that her baby is about to make their debut into this world, a lot of things tend to slip the mind.
Some of those things are quite normal, like forgetting about appointments or calling loved ones and letting them know that the game is about to start! Other things that moms forget about are also quite common, like their packed hospital bag, their smartphone, or even their birthing plan.
Whatever the case, a lot of things end up going through a mom’s head once that first sharp pain hits, while other things completely go out the window.
The first and most important thing to remember, of course, is to keep calm. But that’s not always possible, especially when there are so many emotions running high. After all, every woman knows that everyone has different labor and delivery experiences and there are no two that are the same. With that said, here are 20 things that moms will forget about the moment that first contraction begins. Check out our list below!
All those things that you have learned prior to experiencing your first contraction? Forget it. Everything ends up getting thrown at the window. And if you don’t think we are serious, just wait until that first sharp pain hits you on the side and all of a sudden you don’t even remember your first name. Okay, we might be exaggerating just a little bit here, but don’t expect to follow your game plan to a T because chances are, it’s not going to happen. Remember those breathing techniques and the patterns that you learned? Just remember that you have to breathe, mama!
Sorry to tell you this, but all of those classes you took that were supposed to prepare you for your labor and delivery were great and everything, but they might not have been all that useful. Okay, that might not be completely true because you will appreciate all of the diagrams, the effort it took for your doula or midwife to prep all of her material for you and of course, some of the couples that you will meet in class that will turn into life long friends (trust us, it happens). But as far as actually remembering little things like how to relax or letting your shoulders drop at the right time… nah. It’s not going to happen.
Many health and baby experts suggest that you not only pack a hospital bag for yourself but make sure that you have one for your newborn, too. After all, he or she will need to go home in their first onesie and a few other necessities, too. Baby and Company suggests, “If you find yourself feeling excited or restless, focus your emotions by preparing to welcome your baby into the world. Double check that you’ve packed everything you might need for the birth center, including baby’s first clothes, the clothes you want to labor in, a camera, and anything else you want to have with you for your delivery.”
As the memes like to remind you: stay calm and remember that you are having a baby! This is one of the most important moments of your life so you don’t want to mess it all up by doing something stupid like freaking out or hyperventilating for no reason. Giving birth is no walk in the park and yes, you need to keep in mind that anything can happen at any time and without reason. Now, that’s not to say that you need to worry endlessly about it. Instead, just prepare for the good, the bad and the ugly. Everything else will fall into place, trust us.
That birth plan that you’ve been talking about for the last several months now? Yeah, you might not even remember what the first thing was on it, let alone what your Plan B was. More often than not, many mothers like to have a plan written out in advance about her preferences for labor. They also like to organize their thoughts and put a plan in motion as far as their choice of birth setting and their methods of pain relief. Before your first contraction hits, make sure that your loved ones are well aware of your birth plan. That way they can advocate for you, should you be too preoccupied trying to get your baby out!
Believe it or not, a lot of parents find themselves forgetting about their older kids once they go into labor. But don’t worry and don’t feel guilty about it because it happens more often than we would like to admit. That’s why in addition to your birthing plan, make sure that you have a plan for the other siblings, too. Have a trusted friend or family member look after your child or children while you and your partner are waiting for your new bundle of joy to make his or her first squeak into this world. Make sure everyone is aware of the plan, too.
A lot of first-time mothers have this notion that labor and delivery is a beautiful thing that turns out to be this picture perfect moment that the camera is ready to capture. But in reality, that often doesn’t happen. When you are about to give birth, being social media ready doesn’t sound very feasible anymore. In fact, the last thing you might think about it posting anything on your social media accounts at all. That’s why we are here to tell you this: don’t worry. It’s not important. The only thing you will find important is the little baby that you just made that you are now holding in your hands.
If you ask many moms what they were doing right before they went into labor, there’s a very strong possibility that they will tell you they don’t remember one darn thing. And it’s true! That’s because you end up having a hurricane of different emotions. You become nervous, excited, scared and you find yourself incapable of relaxing, let alone remembering to flush the toilet or take the dog out one last time before you hit the road for the hospital. And yes, there’s a very good chance that your partner will be equally as nervous as you! The two of you will be very excited about meeting your newborn baby.
A lot of people think that they should fight the process once the contractions start. They try to calm themselves using different methods and techniques. And while some things might sound like a good idea on paper, more often than not it’s a whole different story once you go into labor! You have to remember: focus is key. Baby Chick writes, “Since labor can take many hours and sometimes days, you don’t want to burn out before you can reach the end. This is why resting in between periods of activity is the best thing to do for your mind and body.”
If you find yourself starving before your first contraction hits (and that’s something that you might not be able to control), grab a bite to eat. As a matter of fact, make sure that you remain well fed, happy, and above all, healthy and ready during that last home stretch of your pregnancy. Because the moment you go into labor, it might be a very long time before you can eat a normal meal again. And no, ice chips don’t count as lunch. According to WebMD, doctors advise that you stay away from food until everything is said and done.
This might sound very superficial but at the same time, it’s highly important: your phone. Not only do you need your phone to stay in contact with your friends and family but by all means, you also need it to take that all-important first photo of your baby! While it might be hard to remember all of the necessities before you go to the hospital, remind your partner to pick them up for you. Also, don’t forget to take a back up charger with you to the hospital. You can’t expect the nurses to get you one when your battery dies down on your phone.
Try not to schedule any appointments during the same time as your due date or even during the last few weeks of your pregnancy. Instead, focus on the task at hand, and that’s prepping for the arrival of your little one. When week 38 hits, relax, recharge, and forget about everything that has been on your mind lately. Baby and Company writes, “When you first go into early labor, try to rest or sleep as much as you can. Don’t deplete your energy, especially if your labor begins at night. You’ll need to be revitalized and ready for active labor later on.”
Give yourself that much-needed break that you’ve been talking about and order take out during that last home stretch, mama. The last thing you want to do is be in the middle of preparing for your family’s dinner before going into labor. Instead, try relaxing or kicking up your feet at home. Catch up on your Netflix shows or visit with friends who can help you de-stress. Baby and Company writes, “Aim for any activity that helps you let go of physical and mental stress. Consider trying deep breathing exercises to connect your breath with your body in early labor.”
Believe it or not, a lot of moms tend to lash out at their partners right before they give birth. Now, we don’t know why this happens, but it might be because dad isn’t feeling the same kind of pain that mom is going through! Try keeping yourself calm by thinking about positive thoughts or what brings you joy in general. In other words, do what makes you happy. Baby and Company says, “While you await the arrival of your baby, focus on distractive activities that bring you joy. Creative outlets, nonstrenuous activities, and hobbies can be great ways to help you stay positive and take your mind off labor.”
Yes, this is true and yes it’s happened before: you might end up leaving the house looking like ten shades of hell before you go to the hospital. That’s because you might find your water breaking—in bed, no less—during the middle of the night. Or you might be having a pajama and no makeup day when your child decides to make his or her grand debut. And in all honesty, who cares? It’s your baby that is going to end up being in the spotlight. Plus, you can always fix things up by bringing your hairbrush and makeup essentials with you in your hospital bag.
And while straightening your hair or dabbing a little concealer shouldn’t be your biggest priority before giving birth, brushing your teeth is kind of up the on the list. Either way, don’t forget about yourself. You are important, too and so are all of your personal needs. Baby and Company puts it this way, “Talk with your significant other in advance and plan anything that you would enjoy, from eating at your favorite restaurant to getting a massage. Time will pass faster when you’re focused on an activity that you love – especially if you don’t normally get to do it.”
That first contraction truly is a magical moment because more often than not, you might forget what you were angry about before going into labor! This might be good news for your partner, especially if he was on the receiving end of your undeniable fury over something that might have happened or hasn’t happened yet. Either way, you’ll end up forgetting about it. And does it really matter? No way! You are about to have a baby. Your life is going to change forever. You will have plenty of opportunities to get mad about the little, insignificant things in life much later on.
Calm? Who stays calm when there’s a baby that is about to be born? Okay, we might be kidding here but if you were thinking that the whole process was going to be a “calm” one, you might want to rethink it. You are going to end up moving and maneuvering more than you initially expected. Baby Chick writes, “If you want to move into another position because you’re uncomfortable, go for it! It’s your body and your labor so listen to your instincts and do what feels best. The nurses will be able to work around you and keep moving the monitor until they have your baby back on the monitor.”
Right before you give birth, you’ll find yourself thinking more about your baby than about yourself. And that’s completely normal! Your hopes, your dreams, and your future? Yep, that’s all on the backburner for now. And your dinner? Forget about it. That’s why you have to plan, plan, and then plan some more to make sure you are ready and energized. Baby and Company says, “Have your favorite healthy meal or snacks on hand. Choose easily digestible foods that give you lasting energy, such as proteins and carbs. Rice, oatmeal, veggies, and eggs are all great options. You should be focused on your comfort and encourage nourishment while you labor.”
No one is going to tell you this, but after several hard hours of pushing and labor, you might end up losing control and you might not like that feeling, either. Trust your doctors and trust your nurses and if all possible, follow their lead. Baby Chick writes, “You also want to make sure that you aren’t holding your breath during labor. The oxygen that you are breathing in is also giving oxygen to your baby. If you hold your breath, your baby’s heart-rate can start plummeting which will then cause your medical team to panic and want to get baby out immediately.” You’ve got this, mama.
Source: baby chick, baby and company, babble, today show, scarymommy