Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Few Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me BEFORE I Had My First Kid

There are some things everyone knows to expect when they find out they're pregnant; nausea, heartburn, swollen feet and ankles. There are a few things, however, that I certainly didn't expect and would have liked a little warning about. So, this post is to give a little heads-up to anyone getting ready to have their first child, and what to expect in the first few days to months post delivery.

First, let's talk about boobs. More specifically, how freakin' big they are going to get! Don't get me wrong, I figured they would get a little bigger while I was pregnant, but I'm talking about the ones that would appear overnight about 3 days post delivery. I remember going in to the bathroom one morning, looking in the mirror and saying, out loud, "holy shit, look at those things!" Move over Pamela Anderson. I felt like a porn star, seriously. I was part in awe, part afraid. How could they possibly grow that much in once night?

My advice: expect it, and roll with it. Enjoy your new girls. Don't be caught off guard like I was. Take a picture. Really, I almost got the camera and took some. Trust me, they will NEVER look like that again. Ever.

In keeping with the porn star theme, have you ever wondered what those poor girls must feel like sometimes after shooting a few takes? If I could imagine, it would feel similar to how I felt after giving birth for the first time. I don't know what I was thinking it would feel like down there after pushing the equivalent of a bowling ball through one of those little cartoon mouse doors, but I...well, I guess I didn't think about it at all. All I was concerned with was making sure my pain was under control during the labor and delivery, not after. My doctor wrote me a prescription for percocet, which I didn't fill because I thought for sure it would get to my baby through the milk my gigantic tits were producing. (This was 8 1/2 years ago. After the birth of my 3rd, 7 1/2 months ago, they didn't offer me anything other than Motrin. Not sure if this is because they figured after 3 it didn't hurt anymore, or if they don't hand that out willy-nilly anymore.) I did break down and buy one of those little doughnut pillows to help with car rides. I felt like my vagina had exploded off my body, never to be seen again, for a good two weeks. Thankfully this got better with my second child.

My advice: keep on top of the Motrin. Don't let the pain get ahead of you and take comfort in knowing that it is temporary. If you catch yourself in a moment of weakness, questioning why you ever signed up for this, hold that little baby close, breath in his/her intoxicating scent and it will all least until you get up to move again.

Finally, the hormones. (Know how you make a hormone? Don't pay her. Badum-pschhhh.) We have all heard of the baby blues and we all know that our hormones are going to be out whack both during and after pregnancy. What I didn't realize is that they would help contribute to me becoming a stark raving, lunatic. Add that to the sleep deprivation, and I was seriously out of my mind.  Take the day I was in my daughter's room changing her (we lived in an apartment) and heard the upstairs neighbors bumping uglies. I actually got the broom and banged on the ceiling so that my precious, innocent little angel wouldn't be subjected to listening to it. Or the time I called the front office because it sounded as though the same neighbors were throwing weights around their apartment and kept waking me and the baby up. I left some garbled, incoherent message, sounding much the same as a rabid dog would sound (if they could talk), throwing around some inane empty threats. Oh, and then there was the time I made my ex husband put bars up on our second born's windows because I was convinced someone was going to break in and steal him. (Yes, really. Yes, I know.)

My advice: some women get it bad, others claim they don't get it at all. Wherever you fall within that spectrum, know that it is normal. Eventually everything will level out again. (If you feel you are not coping well on your own, please, please speak to your doctor. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help.)

In all honesty, I'm not sure that it would have helped even if someone could have told me I was going to go through all of the above things. I probably wouldn't have believed them if they did. I would have smiled and nodded, but the full extent would not have been comprehensible. Like when everyone tells you how having a baby is going to change your life. You know it will, but you have no way of knowing exactly how much until you are actually going through it. Like how spontaneous sex on the couch (or in the kitchen or in the shower or in bed) will be few and far between. Or last minute weekend excursions now take 3 days of planning and an entire minivan full of baby supplies.

In the end, all the advice, warnings and stories that you may hear from others will never fully prepare you for what is coming. What is coming, exactly? A whole new world of ups and downs, giggles and cries, but most of all, the greatest gift that has ever been given to you; the unconditional love from the sweetest creature(s) you will ever meet.

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