When a woman is pregnant, she often prepares for childbirth by taking classes about what to expect and reading books about the topic. She probably fills out a birth plan and packs a suitcase for the hospital well in advance.

What most moms know, is that your birth plan doesn’t always pan out. Sometimes, even people who plan on having a natural, non-medicated childbirth experience end up gratefully pumped with painkillers and wheeled in for an emergency c-section.

While many moms don’t choose a c-section as how they want to give birth, it is sometimes necessary. If you’re pregnant or know someone who is, it couldn’t hurt to know what to expect after a c-section. Elizabeth Rodwell shared her experience including some things she didn’t read about in any of the childbirth books.

  1. Getting out of Bed Was Difficult

    woman after birth in hospitalAriel Panowicz

    Without the help of ab muscles, getting out of bed and walking can be very, very difficult. It’s possible, but it takes learning how to use your arms and legs to propel yourself off the bed.

  2. Peeing Didn’t Come Easily

    Sometimes you have to relearn how to pee if your body doesn’t naturally tell you it’s time to go.

  3. Denied Water

    glass faucet waterCBS Dallas Digital

    Doctors and nurses might be hesitant to give you water after a c-section even if you’re really, really thirsty. This is a precaution in case the new mom coughs or gets sick.

  4. Couldn’t Stop Shaking

    Expect shaking after childbirth. You might be surprised how much your body shakes. This is normal.

  5. Husband Might Fainted

    If your husband is joining you for the procedure, he should probably stick to staying right next to your head. If he peeks over the curtain, it’s hard to unsee what’s going on down there.

  6. Husband Might Not Be There the Whole Time

    When you’re first moved over to the c-section room, your husband might be put in a separate waiting room for a short period of time. Don’t worry. They’ll eventually let him join you.

  7. Still Numb

    Many of the things listed above are very temporary, but even months later, your pelvic area might still be numb. It’s normal for the numbness to last a year or even longer.

  8. Permanent Puffy Stomach

    While the numbness should eventually go away, the puffy stomach will probably outlast it. Don’t beat yourself up over it. You created a child (or two).