Disclaimer: By no means, do I mean that these things will happen to you. Every mother, every baby, and every pregnancy are so different. We’re all unique. This is just my experience and meant more to be funny than anything. Plus there are some weird things that happen and you just gotta talk about them.
Moms are so cool and so supportive especially with your first. They’re so quick to help you with your registry, to soothe your worry and panic, and give extra hands. I’m not sure how many times I’ve insisted I didn’t need help carrying anything, but the diaper bag flings out of my hand into the kind hand of another who was once there.
With that said, maybe you don’t need every single thing off of your registry? The one thing I didn’t get ended up being the most expensive and the one thing I actually needed: the beloved baby carrier. Thanks, Ergo. But I have not put my kid in 99% of the socks or mitts I bought, nope on the shoes, most of the clothes I’ve had her in have only been worn a few times, and she has enough bath supplies to last her until her first second grade field trip.
Sex after childbirth? That’s funny, right? Not only does the desire just slip away for some, it seems physically impossible. Besides doctor’s orders of waiting, it literally is a mess down there, and should be avoided at all costs initially. None of those baby books, mom groups, or Google searches prepared me for the pain I was going to experience. Trust me. It’s true when they say it’s like starting over from the first v-card ever played. Good luck ever having that pain go away. I’m still waiting patiently almost six months into the game.
You also might bleed for six weeks straight. That’s lovely right? But then if you breastfeed, you may or may not get a period until you’re done.
Your heartburn may get so bad that you wake up choking on lava right on time for your third pee. I mean, “gasping for air-I’m dying” choking. Guess it’s true what they say about heartburn and babies being born with a full head of hair.
That’s another thing. Don’t be so quick to tell everyone about your “old wives tales”. People WILL jump on you the first chance they get. Some, with proven scientific information, will still go on and be the first to tell you that it was absolutely not true. That’s because there’s something about the same hormones that cause hair growth and the relaxation of the sphincter in the esophagus, thus tying the two together. It’s not fool-proof but it has been tested which means that it is possible to be apart of the smaller percentage that had heartburn, but no baby hair. No but really, I’m joking, but let’s all just humor each other, shall we? If someone says something, let them have it! Don’t shoot them down. There is no set anything when it comes to pregnancies and babies. We’re ALL different.
The nurses helping you deliver WILL do everything they can to keep you positive… even if they’re driving you crazy with the “you can do it” babble. Eventually you WILL do it and prove yourself wrong but do you want to know how many times I wanted to tell them to shut it for just two seconds. *side note. I am so thankful for the nurses that assisted me in my 24-hour labor. You guys are the real MVP.
The epidural may not go in correctly when you’re 6 cm dilated and going through the most painful contractions- six hours after your first one wore off. Especially when sitting still is virtually impossible. Thus resulting in a withdraw and re-poke. You can in fact receive two and a half epidurals. And you might still feel it from time to time many months postpartum.
You will lose friends. Some way or another. It actually does happen. I don’t know how but it’s just a switch that just flips like clockwork.
Labor can and will last 24 hours. It will last as long as you can tell yourself it won’t be.
You may not be able to eat anything. Except ice chips. So even though they will probably say otherwise, try to eat something before you go into the hospital. I couldn’t even have water. They made me go without anything until that little baby was OUT, even after not eating since 10 PM Sunday night but not actually delivering until 3 AM Tuesday morning. Mmm.
You CAN sleep. I honestly thought you weren’t allowed to. Like there was some rule or that you couldn’t physically sleep. I was in and out of a drug induced sleep the entire day. Until it got real.
You may spend a month packing a hospital bag…and using almost none of it.
You will feel an intense rectal pressure when you’re getting close. Seriously. You’ll feel like pooping yourself. You may tell the nurse you have and although she says you haven’t? You may still continue to be convinced. You may even try to in order to relieve the pressure. Go before the big stuff kicks in. Trust me. Even if you poop yourself, it’s okay. Chances are you won’t, even if you try.
You probably will not be able to pee after you give birth. It may take trial and error runs before you can. You may try as hard as you can just so they won’t give you a catheter after you’ve been poked and prodded for an entire day. You may visualize the water-iest of waterfalls and beg the nurse to give you just two more minutes. When you do finally go, it may feel like tiny needles for a few days.
Postpartum depression is so real and can be intermittent. Please don’t think there is anything wrong with you. Even when people call you an emotional mess or say you have issues. You don’t. And postpartum isn’t just when the baby is first-born. People should always cut some slack for new mamas and spread kindness.
You don’t owe anything to anyone. Visitors can wait. It is okay to cry. It is okay to be topless for two weeks on the couch while you figure you and your baby out. It’s okay to eat all of your food in bed. As long as you take care of that baby, the world around you can wait.
Don’t be so afraid of germs but don’t be afraid to put your foot down when it comes to kids and other people holding them. I legitimately took my 2-month old infant to a Chuck E. Cheese for her cousin’s 7th birthday party. She survived — of course I exercised the utmost precaution; keeping them close, lots of hand sanitizer, and so on. Babies are far more resilient than you are lead to believe.
Your body does a weird shaking thing while you’re in labor. It’s hardly controllable. It can freak you out but it’s completely normal. It’s probably not the best time for your husband to get back from the cafeteria. Seeing your wife shaking uncontrollably, under three blankets, and then throwing them back off seconds later… with an oxygen mask on, isn’t the most soothing of sights.
Breastfeeding is amazing, free, and helps you lose all of your baby weight. I’ve lost the 50 pounds that I gained while pregnant without doing any exercise and eating 3x what I ate while pregnant. Seriously, you will feel like a bottomless pit while doing it but it is very much rewarding. Some can’t, and it is very hard in the beginning: it will make you cry and question why you can’t do anything right by your child, but do yourself a favor. Join a breastfeeding support group and if you really want it, never give up.
Your child will be the most beautiful creature you’ve ever laid eyes on. You will lay there some nights, trying not to cry because of how perfect your child is. You will stare at this being in your arms and be content with only that.
And yes. It does fly by. So cherish it while you can. Get newborn pictures taken. Take videos of their small movements in the beginning. Snuggle with them while they’ll let you. Don’t, for a second, let this scary newborn stuff scare you from enjoying the precious memories you will experience for just a short amount of time when they’re so very tiny.
From one mama who has no idea what she’s doing but is okay with that to another.