Things I Wish I Had Known

In no particular order, I wish I had known in my first pregnancy:

- A midwife. Not that all midwives are equal by any stretch, but I wish we had interviewed some in California.
- I wish we had hired a doula, but I don't think we had even heard of them yet. I LOVE OUR DOULA and I will not ever give birth again (if I give birth again) without our doula. With all of the benefits of a doula, what a tiny, tiny financial price to pay for the priceless peace of mind of having that support and lowering your risks of various interventions.
- The olive oil on the baby's rear end trick to avoid the meconium mess.
- That it was worth paying out of pocket and doing more research to find a midwife to work with in order to avoid the OB/hospital. DId I mention midwife already??
- That even if I chose to be in a hospital, I was not a prisoner and I was free to tell them NO to anything and everything.
- Read "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" & "Birthing from Within" and the Dr. Sear's "Birth Book" or any Dr. Sears book! (That links to the Amazon site where I dumped all the books we love.)
- That breastfeeding is hard but very, very worth it. But it's still hard. And even if I know how to breastfeed a baby, that doesn't mean the next baby will know how to breastfeed, it's a whole new ballgame with each baby.
- That postpartum hormones are powerful things.
- Lansinoh breast pads & Depends for postpartum.
- Birth centers. I cannot say that enough. Birth centers. I wish I had explored options more and not assumed that a hospital birth was my only alternative since it was all insurance covered. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN WORTH PAYING OUT OF POCKET, especially considering a birth center delivery including EVERYTHING from labs and prenatal care to delivery and center fee and postpartum visits are around $3500 in our part of town. That's less than some people pay in co-pays & deductibles for a hospital birth.
- Pictures. I wish I had hired a photographer for our births before my sister was in town and I am so very thankful she's in town now because wow - those pictures are incredible at capturing the experience.
- That postpartum is HARD and the only thing that matters in these first days is sanity & sleep. Everything else can wait.
- The crib was a waste of money. And babies do NOT need a lot of stuff.

- I wish I had known I could give birth without drugs and that I did not necessarily need a hospital. That I'm strong enough to cope with the pain and intensity, and that it would be something that I would actually enjoy - so much so that I would choose to do it again and again. I wish I had more faith in my body and its ability to handle the challenge of labor. I wish I had gone into pregnancy and birth with more faith in myself and my ability to cope and grow from the experience. But either way, I got to this point and I'm thankful. 🙂

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