Like moths to a flame, veteran mamas always seem to flock to expectant women in order to share their terrifying labor play-by-plays or graphic pregnancy war stories. I can't imagine they believe this information is truly helpful; they just need someone to commiserate with I suppose. Either way, I hated these women when I was pregnant. I didn't care to hear the tale of an epidural gone terribly wrong, or a story about a women's tailbone snapping while pushing out her baby, or about the onset and treatment of pregnancy hemorrhoids. I didn't want any negative energy affecting my own experience.
With that said, there are some things I think need to be discussed. My intention here is not to scare any of my childless friends from ever getting pregnant (because trust me, I want each and every one of you knocked up, like yesterday), but I wish someone had prepared me for what takes place after pregnancy and labor. These are the things no one ever seems to talk about, probably because they are busy kissing all over fat new baby cheeks. But I want to change that. It's time to get real. Ready? Go.
First, you will not want anyone else holding your baby for a while. Don't get me wrong, you want to show off your new bundle of joy, but you are also convinced visitors will either drop her or give her the ebola virus.
It will hurt to poop for months after childbirth and you will experience PTSD-style flashbacks each time you head to the bathroom.
After having a baby attached to your boobs every two hours for the last three months, you will no longer view those things as anything other than life-giving milkshake dispensers. They want no part of being fondled by your frisky partner.
In the first weeks after your baby is born, you will dread the nighttime. While it used to foster feelings of peace and relaxation, it now brings with it bleak isolation and exhaustion. You will see the clock read 10:00pm, midnight, 2:00, 3:30, 5:30 and 7:00am while you feed your baby in a groggy state. You will resent your husband for sleeping like a rock through it all. (Normally, you would have said, "sleeping like a baby" but it turns out babies don't actually sleep and you realize whoever came up with this term is full of crap.) You will also do some of your best thinking at these ungodly hours. You may even scheme up ways of selling all your belongings just to afford a night nanny.
Much to your husband's dismay, you will have no interest in sex. The term "Irish Twins" makes you shudder as you question how anyone gets pregnant so soon after delivering a baby because THIS.SHOP.IS.CLOSED for the foreseeable future.
You want to kick everyone in the shins who tries to convince you that you'll feel back to normal after 6 weeks. 16 weeks seems like a more reasonable expectation. Yes 16 weeks. You're still hopeful for 16 weeks.
You think it is very likely that your heart will explode from the love you feel for your child. It is an all-consuming, scary kind of love and you have to convince yourself daily that she is not yours– not really. She doesn't belong to you and as hard as you try, you can't will her to keep breathing while she sleeps. You must give up control and just accept each moment with her as a gift if you wish to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So there you have it– a few things I would have appreciated a heads up on as I blindly walked into motherhood.
Is there anything you wish someone would have warned you about? Feel free to add to the list!