It's early December and I'm compiling a list of questions I want to remember and answer after the baby comes. Some of these won't be able to be answered right away, but since everyone has been so kind in sharing their experiences and I have filled my mind with horror stories, I'd like to look back and chime in after the baby comes.
Is the baby bigger or smaller than you expected, given the size of your belly? Bigger
Was labor and delivery easier or harder than you expected? Labor was much harder and delivery was easier. I guess I expected labor to be uncomfortable but not painful, so getting to the point where I could get an epidural (4cm dilated) lasted a lot longer and was much more intense pain than I expected. The delivery was the easy part because my OB sectioned me before I needed to push.
Was recovery easier or harder than you expected? Much easier. I had been told I'd need to sleep propped up or have a pulley system to get out of bed after a C-section, but for me it was easier to get up than when I was still pregnant. Of course I took the advice of the nurses and didn't try to be a hero with pain management. That being said, the Baby Blues were about like what everyone says. I'm normally fairly prone to choke up with stuff that's really cool or awful, but for the first two weeks postpartum I cried every day for any reason. I'd lie in bed at night and soak Steve while telling him how wonderful he is and how much I miss him when he travels. I'd cry when breastfeeding. I'd cry when my friends would call to check in and tell me that it gets better. I'd cry during dinner, thinking about the night ahead of me: trying for hours to get the baby to go to sleep, getting up every few hours to feed her, being unable to go back to sleep, and then trying to function the next day. I'd cry because I was frustrated that I couldn't keep from crying. And then, like a switch turning off it stopped and I was myself again and I didn't cry for weeks.
Was breastfeeding easier or harder than you expected? Harder. I had even heard it described as feeling like being stabbed with hot pokers, and I still didn't expect it to be as hard as it was. My skin was so sensitive it was painful to even take a shower, let alone dry off. I had pain shooting up my armpit and down my side when Oliva nursed. I tried different positions. I tried lanolin. I tried pumping. I tried a silicone shield. I came very close to quitting many times, but I wanted to keep trying for Olivia. And after 5 weeks of pain and frustration it finally got better, I didn't have pain, and I could enjoy the bonding. I do supplement with formula to keep Olivia nourished and keep from getting sore again, and I'm not likely to nurse until she's 4, but I am glad I stuck with it.
Foot size before pregnancy: 7
Foot size afterward: 6
That's right, I got measured by a shoe store professional and she said because my feet are so wide it makes various shoes fit differently. That being said, most of my pre-pregnancy shoes are too small now, so maybe my feet got wider.