11 Things I Didn't Expect During Labor

1. Contractions can start slowly and then come very quickly. 
Consider that when deciding to head to the hospital if it isn't nearby. 
2. I only felt the contractions in my back. 
My doctor had told me I would know I was having contractions because they would be my across stomach. When I got to the hospital a nurse told me that back labor is common. I wish I would have known that hours before when I was at home thinking I wasn't having "real contractions".
3. I had hard, uncontrollable shakes. 
Is hard the right word? Maybe big? Let's just say they weren't small shivers or a nervous shake. I saw my body trembling, but couldn't stop it. For some reason this embarrassed me a lot. 
4. So. Much. Sweat. 
I was dripping sweat. Way, way more than I imagined and I was so hot.  Ryan kept getting me wash clothes for my forehead. 
5. Everyone else seemed to be moving so slow. 
On the drive my contractions were less than 1 minute apart. It felt like Ryan was driving so slowly. Then we got to the hospital and they had to do admittance stuff. It felt like they were moving at snail pace. That's what happens when you are in pain. Just a warning. 
6. I was completely out of control in regards to my body. 
The contractions, sweating, pain, shaking, etc. were happening at their own pace. 
7. I was able to control other things. 
My reaction and attitude about what was happening was within my control
8. My manners didn't go completely out the window. 
In movies you always see women just losing it and cursing. I did at one point try to leave my purse with the woman at the entrance area so she could get my info. Things were happening too fast by the time I got there and answering those questions was taking way too long, but I still was nice about it. 
9. I said silly things. 
I told the anesthesiologist he was my superhero at least four times. Maybe that wasn't silly. He kind of was my hero. 
10.The epidural didn't slow things down. 
The doc warned me that once I got it things would move slower. It didn't. Things still moved quickly and I could still feel enough to push. Obviously, this is different for everyone. 
11. I wasn't left with the feelings I expected. 
I have heard people say that labor is beautiful. After my c-section and reading about how happy other women felt after a VBAC, I assumed I would feel the same. My baby was beautiful. Meeting her was beautiful. The labor was like nothing else I have ever experienced. I don't have a word for it, but beautiful wouldn't be my first choice.
12. Not so surprising: It's 100% worth it. 

Thanks for stopping by Off The Vine! 
Leave a comment and let me know what things surprised you about labor. 
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This post has been linked @ Mommy Moments, Monday's Musings, and The Monday Mommy Blog Hop.


  1. One of the things that surprised me about labor was that I actually felt very connected to my husband during the labor. In movies, you see the woman screaming at her poor husband "You did this to me!" Not me, I never felt closer to my husband that when I was in labor.

    1. I definitely didn't feel anger towards Ryan during labor. I wonder how many women actually do that. Movies make it seem like most women do, but I don't believe it. Thanks for stopping by!

    2. I have to agree with you ladies - for both my births, my husband was actually my focal point .. my point of calmness ... I thought I was crazy after watching all those movies - && since I normally do yell at him all the time haha

  2. Number 11! This is why I struggle to explain my labor to anyone, because it is like nothing else ever. There is no way to really explain the pain, the emotion, the whole 9 yards! Great post!

    1. I usually can find the words to explain how I feel, but not with labor. I think it because I'm not sure how I felt about it. So many feels :) Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I don't think you can ever be prepared for labour. Everyone's experience is completely unique, even if you have more than one baby. My first was long and tiring. My second popped out almost in the car park! #TwinklyTuesday. x

  4. Great points - I have to agree with the point you made about everything moving slow - I mean, I understand that they (Dr.s and Nurses) see these things everyday, but I felt like "Jeez, can you hurry it up over here, I'm having a baby!" But in the end, they knew what was right!

    1. For me I think it was about the pain, but we waited way too long to head to the hospital. I wanted to hurry into the room and get the epidural. If I have another, I will definitely leave my house before the pain reaches that point.

  5. Thank you for sharing these thoughts - I'm hoping for a vbac in september so it's really good to read these things as I have no idea what to expect! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  6. I had contractions in my back too - nothing at all across the front! #twinklytuesday

  7. The shaking- I forgot about that! My second birth was so fast- no time for an epidural fast and I definitely screamed, a lot!

    1. I almost didn't make it in time for the epidural. The nurses kept warning me. I was freaking out. And the shaking surprised me a lot. I didn't expect it to be that intense.