Expectation vs reality... what actually happens when you give birth

Giving birth is a wonderful experience.

A hard, gruelling, incredibly exhausting but wonderful experience.

And as your due date approaches it is important you take off any rose tinted glasses and get the low down on what happens when Baby decides to make an appearance.

The reality of which is pretty far removed from what most of us first time mums expect it to be like (unfortunately).

1. Expectation: You'll be 7cm dilated when you arrive at the hospital

Reality: You'll arrive at the hospital when you're just 2cm dilated and end up having to go home (maybe even more than once) and wait until you're "just a little bit further along". All the while you'll be stressing that you'll end up giving birth on your bed. 

2. Expectation: There will just be you, your birthing partner and a few medical staff in the room with you

Reality: If you honestly thought this was the case you're in for a bit of a rude awakening. Speaking from my own experience, you may have a few people that you weren't expecting pop their head in and out of the room… like students who are trying to learn the ropes.

3. Expectation: The epidural will take away all of the pain

Reality: We're sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but even with the epidural you will still feel some kind of, dare we say, tugging…

4. Expectation: You'll get a couple of days to recover in the hospital while nurses tend to your baby and visitors bring you an unlimited supply of grapes.

Reality: Unfortunately, life doesn't work like that. Yes, the nurses will be on hand to give you advice, but you'll be the one changing nappies and cleaning baby sick (well, unless you can get your visitors to give you a dig out). 

5. Expectation: You'll be at home finishing off your morning de-caf coffee when your waters break 

Reality: You'll be doing some last minute shopping when you'll feel something gush between your legs right there in the pizza aisle. 

6. Expectation: You'll be ticking things off your birth plan like nobody's business

Reality: After spending days, even weeks on your plan you'll end up leaving it on your hall table in your panic to get to the hospital. 

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