Why didn’t anyone tell me ________?
So much of what we experience as pregnant women, natural birthers and new moms is rarely discussed. Let’s stop that cycle and share some of the insights we discovered on our own.
Why didn’t anyone tell me how much it hurts to have a natural childbirth?
It’s true, at least most of the time. Pushing a child out of your vagina without pain medication hurts like nothing you have ever felt before. Therefore, it’s basically impossible for any of us to have explained how it will feel. It can’t be explained. But we can say this: you’ll live. And the rewards of natural childbirth are life long lasting.
Why didn’t anyone tell me I would still look pregnant two weeks, (or two months) after giving birth?
Your stomach may never really look the same. Not exactly anyway. You will always know that extra skin wasn’t there before, even if everyone tells you look great in your bathing suit. It’s something we have to live with, and we can be proud of if we look at it that way. Speaking of the “still looking pregnant two weeks later,” don’t worry. I promise – you won’t look pregnant forever.
Why didn’t anyone tell me I would be able to fit a quarter in my belly button?!
Oh dear. I remember looking down at my belly button a few hours after giving birth to my daughter. I could have fit a quarter in there! It was huge! But it shrank back. Almost 90%!
Why didn’t anyone tell me I would miss being pregnant?
You were SO over being pregnant. SO ready to meet your baby. Why then, how could you possibly be missing being pregnant now that your little one is here? It’s totally natural to feel that way! Being pregnant is a miraculous thing – to carry a growing life inside of you. It is a time that many women feel proud of their capabilities. It’s hard to let go without mourning a little bit. Let yourself feel whatever you are feeling. If you don’t fight it, you can feel and move on.
Why didn’t anyone tell me I would miss being childless?
Do you ever look back on your life without baby and wish you would have done something you didn’t do? Do you have regrets? I felt that way. I procrastinated on doing things I really wanted to do because I naively thought I’d have the rest of my life to do them. Life really changes when you have a child. Your one main concern isn’t yourself anymore, it’s for your baby. When I thought back on the things I could have done but didn’t, I felt sad. Then I thought of it as an incredible learning experience. Now I don’t hesitate if there is something I really want to pursue.
Why didn’t anyone tell me everybody and their brother would try to give me parenting advice?
I know right? Who do these people think they are? First it was about where and how you were going to give birth. But now, oh now it’s so much harder to take. People ask you how long you’re going to breastfeed, how often you breastfeed, if you’re going to give your child a pacifier, inquire about your sleeping arrangements, vaccinations, circumcision – YOU NAME IT. No topic is safe from often well meaning friends, family members and perfect strangers. How to deal with it? Well…that’s kind of up to you. You could tell them the intimate details of your life, even though it’s really none of their business, or you could politely decline answering…somehow.
Why didn’t anyone tell me being a stay at home mom meant taking on all the household chores?
Now that you’re staying home full time, it’s time to realize what this actually means for you. You’re not just the mother of your child. In some cases, you are now the mother of your partner. Haha! Okay, that may be a bit harsh. But in some lives, it is true. Dad (partner) goes to work all day, which means he’s paying for you to be at home. At home where all you have to do is rest, take care of the baby, do the dishes, laundry, walk the dog, change the little box, plan meals for the week and manage in between it all to shower and shave your legs (not to mention hanky panky). Or do you? If you feel over your head, don’t let it go on and on. You’ll only get more and more resentful of your partner and the situation you’re in. Find a way to communicate feeling overwhelmed, (or just the simple fact that it is unfair for you to take on so many domestic duties) and work out a system.
Why didn’t anyone tell me I would need more help?
Speaking of partner going to work all day, who is going to take care of the new mom? You have to remember to eat and drink plenty of water caring for a newborn. Some of the best advice out there is to “sleep when baby sleeps.” But when does mommy get to eat? Not only is it nearly impossible to cook a meal, eating can get delayed by hours and if the meal has been prepared by someone else, mommy can guarantee eating cold food for a while. What is a new mom to do? Get help. From anyone. Get on the phone and order take out
whether it be from a restaurant or friend. Have no shame.
What didn’t you know about pregnancy, birth or life with a child(ren)? Please share your experiences with us, and solutions too!