I recently learned this phrase - I don't know what I don't know.
And it speaks to me and will to you if you are a mom already or a mom-to-be.
It's the first day at your new job let's say, and although you've read through the employee binder and have done your research on your new role, there will be things that you will not know or even realize you should know.
Imagine it's your first day as a mom or you are about to be a mom again for the second or third time. Childbirth and all that is connected to it before and during and after can be overwhelming. Perhaps you've read on your own or with your partner, several books, ebooks, websites, blogs, articles, etc...about giving birth and you are curious about how you will feel being a mom.
There are no books or websites or blogs etc...that can give you the exact feelings you will experience, as we are all different and feel differently. There will be wonderful midwives, nurses, doctors, doulas and more possibly assisting and offering all they can to prepare you for this life-altering event. It is truly the most incredible feat a human being can do - create and birth another human. But it's a subject you cannot possibly know all about until you are experiencing it. The best advice I can offer is to just feel good about what you have learned and trust yourself and your support team.
Sure, I read a few books. Talked to a few moms, as well as my mother who had 6 natural childbirths. I felt I had just enough information to go ahead and give birth and just go with the flow afterward. But I didn't know what I didn't know.
Here is what I didn't know:
- I was being induced with my first baby (overdue by 6 days) and after 2 bags of the drip and all that fluid, I didn't know that my uncomfortable pain I was feeling wasn't just contractions but an extremely full bladder. I remind all my friends and clients to remember to go pee if they can, regardless if they are being induced or not. I just didn't know or realize.
- After my second baby was born, I had gained a lovely 40+ pounds that were everywhere. My daughter was a healthy 6 lb 13 oz, however, I carried around 15 extra pounds after her birth. I thought I would lose all the weight quickly what with running around with my first baby and now breastfeeding my second. But I didn't know that I would have these extra pounds over my back that would change my shape forever, or so it seemed. I had beautiful dresses that I just couldn't do up. It was frustrating to now be in a different size body that I have never lived in before. I kept this extra weight on for 2 years. I didn't realize how my shape would change and it was difficult to accept going up 2 sizes, not knowing this new larger body I now lived in.
- Here comes baby number three and with it a complete meltdown and loss of milk. I knew about postpartum depression and was concerned that I was experiencing this but I didn't know that the production of my milk would suffer because of how I was feeling. I thought I was eating and drinking enough however my family life was crumbling and I was losing myself. I wish I knew more moms back then to have as support.
If you are perhaps wondering about a certain part of the birth process or after giving birth, trust yourself to learn all you can. But also know that sometimes you just have to be okay with going through it as each day presents itself. Knowing how to get help or have a laugh along the way will make all the difference - a positive difference.
Right here with you,