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10 Things I Worried About Before Giving Birth That Didn't Matter At ALL During Labor

Woman giving birth

Yeah, my clothes are my biggest concern right now. Oh, wait. No, no they're not.

Vanessa Minnillo, the wife of Nick Lachey (the former Mr. Jessica Simpson), is due to give birth any day now, and recently mused about how she’s trying to figure out what to wear during labor.

“I just found out I don’t have to wear a hospital gown during labor & delivery,” she Tweeted, according to People magazine. “I got very excited! Hmm, what to wear. #ItsTheLittleThings”

And all I could think when I read that was, “Ha.” Then, “Ha Ha.” And then, “Ha,” once more. Because after having gone through the birthing process twice, it’s so not the little things. It’s the very, very big things.

Here are the 10 things I worried about most before giving birth that I realized did not mattered AT ALL once I actually did it:


  • My water breaking 1 of 10
    My water breaking
    I was utterly frozen with fear that my water would break at the most embarrassing possible moment. Like, in the middle of a business meeting, in the checkout line at the supermarket, while having sex with my husband (although, of course, who's really having sex during the time in which they think they might be eligible for their water to break?).
    As it turns out, when I was pregnant with my older daughter, my water broke at 2 in the morning when I was dead asleep and it took me four hours, three books, two calls to my obstetrician and, ultimately, a test in the hospital to determine that, yes, in fact, my water had broken and I hadn't just peed the bed.
    In retrospect, given that only something like 13 percent of pregnant women actually have their water break, it was a pretty silly thing about which to worry.
  • What to wear 2 of 10
    What to wear
    What to wear? What to wear? This isn't the prom, people. The jig is up. I'm giving birth for chrissakes. What I'm wearing is whatever the hell is going to get that baby out of me fastest and with the least amount of pain.
    What I'm wearing? Sheesh.
  • Giving birth on the way to the hospital 3 of 10
    Giving birth on the way to the hospital
    Granted I only live about ¼ mile to the hospital as the crow flies (when you live somewhere rural, you're allowed to say that with a straight face and no irony). But still. I read all of those stories about women giving birth in cabs, on sidewalks, and on transatlantic flights, and I was mortified at the prospect. Even though my water broke at 2 a.m. with my older daughter, it wasn't until 8:30 p.m. that night until I actually gave birth.
    It can get really slow, people. That's why it makes news when it's not.
  • Farting during labor 4 of 10
    Farting during labor
    Oh, for Pete's sake. If that was really the worst of my fears then I really didn't know what I was in for. It's all so much worse than farting, people.
    So. Much. Worse.
  • Pooping during labor 5 of 10
    Pooping during labor
    They tell you to push like you have to poop. So guess what you do? Thankfully my husband is a real gentleman and refuses to admit to this day if I actually did a No. 2 while in the process of birthing Baby No. 1. It's either a testament to his love for me or they made him sign something swearing his secrecy when we checked into the hospital.
    Either way, if I did or I didn't, I brought a life into the world. The least they could do was lie to me about whether I pooped while it was happening.
  • What to listen to 6 of 10
    What to listen to
    A birth mix? Music to have contractions by? Admittedly, my only birth plan was to give birth. But I guarantee you that 9 out of 10 women with birth plans give up somewhere around the 19th contraction and change tunes, as in, turn off the music and scream, "Get this sucker out of me!"
  • Everyone looking at me down there 7 of 10
    Everyone looking at me down there
    I was all insecure at my vagina hanging out for so many people to see, what, with nurses and doctors and other strangers walking in and out of the hospital room.
    When it came down to it, however, I was all, like, "If you staring at my vagina is going to get this thing out of me faster, then let's make it the 8 p.m. showing at the local movie theater. Hell, let's turn it into a freakin' national release."
  • Screaming inappropriately at my doctor 8 of 10
    Screaming inappropriately at my doctor
    I was worried I might not do well if circumstances beyond my control meant I couldn't have an epidural (as it turns out, in my first pregnancy I got one but they turned if off after an hour of pushing because they were concerned I "didn't feel the urge to push strongly enough," to which I replied, "F**K YOU. TURN THAT F**KING EPIDURAL BACK ON YOU MOTHERF**KER. I FEEL THE GODDAMN URGE!").
    As it turns out, I was right — I was totally inappropriate. And yet my doctor still agreed to deliver my second baby, which means either I wasn't as bitchy as I hoped in the moment, or she gets it's all part of the job and that's why my insurance company paid her the big bucks.
  • Screaming inappropriately at my husband 9 of 10
    Screaming inappropriately at my husband
    I don't handle pain as well as, say, everyone else on the planet. So I had some concerns I might take out the frustration brought on by the blinding pain of labor on my darling husband, which had me worried that he might, in turn, finally realize after years together that I am an incurable bitch.
    As it turns out, I didn't say a word to him but took it all out on his hand. So that was totally not worth worrying about, even if his broken hand might have argued otherwise. You know, if it could speak from beneath its cast.
  • How I’d look in the first pictures with the baby 10 of 10
    How I'd look in the first pictures with the baby
    At that point, who the hell cares? I have a baby. There are pictures. Hallelujah and pass me some pain meds.

Photo credits: iStock

More from Meredith on Baby’s First Year:

Read (even) more from Meredith at Babble’s Strollerderby, follow her on Twitter, and read her weekly syndicated newspaper column at MeredithCarroll.com

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