“Personally, I started feeling like a mom after giving birth” — an interview with a brand new mom after her very first pregnancy.
Every mom is different, and no pregnancy is ever the same, no matter the craving, pregnancy symptoms, or the delivery. This is only one mom’s experience; there’s no need to worry if her story sounds different than yours.
In the first 3 months, I really couldn’t eat much and threw up a lot. But the real hurdle was in the last trimester. My skin got very itchy. Rashes appeared all over my body. I couldn’t take any medicine for the symptoms, so I just had to live with it. I remember having acid reflux every night because my belly grew very big.
Craving was the symptom I really looked forward to. I waited for two whole trimesters and nothing happened. Then in the last trimester, I finally found my craving for ice cube!
Altogether, I gained about 11 kilos. My weight went up very fast in the last trimester.
Going into labor
I felt light contractions every 15 minutes, so I went to the hospital. They told me that it was a false alarm, and I went home. After 24 hours, the pain got more intense and more frequent, and there was a little blood. I went back to the hospital. The doctor checked my cervix and decided that I should stick around at the hospital this time since the signs are quite clear, and I was already full term. The pain got even more intense and frequent as I waited. Altogether, I waited for about 36 hours. But the real labor pain lasted 12.
I originally planned to have an all-natural delivery without any pain killers. But when the time came, the pain was too much, and it dragged on for too long. If I held on like that, I would not have enough energy to actually push. So after 6 hours of pain, I had to accept epidural and got to sleep for 2 hours before actually giving birth. The actual birth process wasn’t that long, I remember pushing for a little while. It wasn’t that difficult; I felt like I handled it well.
The drug would not make you completely numb. It would lower the pain but still allow you to feel a little bit. You need to still feel something in order to acknowledge the contractions to know when to push.
After the birth
We had requested to spend a little quiet time with the baby right away after he was born. We had half an hour with the baby laying on my chest, getting introduced to his mom and dad. Then, the doctor took him away for inspection. He was perfectly healthy and was very big:)
I was slightly worried about breastfeeding. I thought that it would hurt, but it didn’t hurt that much. My baby sucked on it pretty hard; he ate every 3 hours. Luckily, I have enough milk right from the beginning. He takes about 15 minutes on each breast.
I had baby blues at about 2 weeks after giving birth. I remember crying while singing him a lullaby. I suddenly felt a surge of happiness for having this little life in my arms, for having this chance to sing to him. I guess it was more of a mood swing, an intense emotional experience rather than the blues.
I sleep when the baby sleeps. I try to get some sleep during the day too since he only sleeps for three hours, and then stays awake throughout the day and night. I think I had a lot of practice getting up to pee at night from when I was pregnant.
How do you feel about the entire experience?
I felt like the world stopped. There’s only me and him. We wake up together, shower, breastfeed, and go to sleep together. I feel so honored to get to take care of this life I’ve created, feeding and cleaning, taking care of all his needs, and seeing that he needs me in return. Playing with the baby is the best joy. I think mom and dad are the best toys in the whole wide world.
Dr. Wanwadee Sapmee Panyakat, MD. (5 July 2020)