What to expect AFTER you’re expecting – Part 1
Let’s admit it! We all read the famous worldwide best-seller “What to expect when you’re expecting”. After all, it’s your first baby and for how much you’ve always desired to be a mom, it’s always good to know what happens during pregnancy. I get it! Actually, I bought it too and I found it fantastic and horrifying at the same time. It’s certainly full of amazing tips and info (for daddy too) from conceiving until up to 6 weeks after giving birth.
But it’s also so full of creepy details that I just couldn’t take it. It made me wanna skip entire chapters and run as it was some sort of plague. Call me coward, but I really didn’t have any intention to ruin the experience by reading about things such as hemorrhoids, tearing and medical exams that would make Frankenstein himself feel like a pretty flower compared.. I just couldn’t do it.
But, on a more serious note, I truly recommend it to every future new mom. For real.
What to expect AFTER you’re expecting though, is a whole different story!
After all, it’s a book about pregnancy, not about what being a mom in every day life means. So here I am. I’m going to disclose all the UNTOLD secrets that you’ll most likely have to face after your baby is born.
Ready? Great, let’s start with this short list which will give you an idea (clearly in a bad-news-to-good-news order because I like happy endings) 🙂
Just to be mentally prepared, it’s always good to ask yourself:
1.What to expect after you’re expecting? To not being able to sit anywhere
In case of a C-section the story changes, but if you experienced a natural labor, from the luckiest to the most unfortunate, the rule doesn’t change: you will NOT be able to sit down for a good bit!
For a week (or longer, depending on the situation) arm yourself with pillows of any sort, because if you think you’ll comfortably sit on a wooden chair, FORGET IT!
The first day after birth the nurse suggested to enjoy a good hot shower. Gosh, I couldn’t wait, but I was also afraid to pass out since in the past 3 days I had barely eaten a small sandwich, a couple of jellos (disgusting) and maybe a fruit juice that I vaguely remember throwing up during labor. When I confessed my fear to her, she happily informed me that the shower was equipped with a seat…..
I wanted to ask her if she knew why I was in the hospital. OOOOOOkay!
After a couple of days we went home and my father in law decided to take a beautiful family picture. The only problem was that he wanted everyone to stand up besides me, while I was holding my baby. According to his photographer’s eye, I had to sit on the couch’s armrest. I mean, with all the pillows we had ON the couch, why the armrest?? Whyyy!? “And my dear, make sure to stay there until everyone’s ready” Holy crap!
2. What to expect after you’re expecting? A baby-milk-sucker-vampire
Yep! That’s right! Be ready because breastfeeding is wonderful but also
N-E-V-E-R ending. Every two hours (sometimes even less) the little Drac will need to eat and YOU are her food. You think she’s sucking milk, when in reality it’s your soul that she taking.
The book doesn’t mention that now, does it? If you consider that in a 2 hours cycle the baby-camel will latch for about 30 minutes, then you need to rock her and make her burp, in the end you’ll feel like you just put her down for her nap when she’ll wake up for another dose, with red pupils and the creepiest sounds you’ve ever heard (with a Transylvanian accent). So much for those Twilight losers!
3. What to expect after you’re expecting? Psycho-killer thoughts.
Yeah, O.K.! The book does warn you about being exhausted with advice on how to best handle the situation (because there’s no final solution), I’ll give you that. What it doesn’t tell though, is that sleep deprivation will make the worst things pop up in your mind.
You get bitten by a mosquito and you’ll want to bang your head into a brick wall. You stumble on a slipper randomly abandoned in the middle of the room by your spouse (exhausted too) and you’ll picture yourself while bare hand strangling him. So hide all possible blunt weapon for at least 6 months. And do some yoga meditation. Ooohhmm!!
4.What to expect when you’re expecting? That your house will stink like a harbor dump
Since it’s necessary that you take advantage of every single chance you have to close your eyes, dishes will pile up, as well as dirty laundry and, to add some fun, there will be lots of poopy diapers.
The book says it’s normal, but it doesn’t quiet specify that after few days it’s so horrifying that you can’t even sleep. Basically, a never ending circle.
5. What to expect when you’re expecting? The damned baby colic
I really, from the bottom of my heart, wish you it’s not your case, but if shit (literally) happens, know that you can overcome that too. If you need advice on this topic, read my article on how to survive baby colic to be ready in the eventuality.
6.What to expect when you’re expecting? Having to go back to work
…And you’ll feel like it’s been only few days after your baby was born. Maybe it’s been 3, 6 or even 9 months, but you won’t even remember your name, leave alone thinking about going back to work.
You’ll feel like you’ve been on another planet and that your job was just a memory. As soon as you get back to reality, you might start thinking about alternative options. In case, I also wrote an article about how working from home can be a great option for new moms. You see? I gotcha!
7.What to expect when you’re expecting? To burst in tears.. A LOT!
At her first gaze or smile, at her first spit up (no joy involved here) and at her first word. At her first goofy attempt to crawl, not to mention her first steps. Basically at her first of everything.
Even if you’re not an ” easy cryer” like me, it’s your duty to expect to poor a lot of tears (so bring the kleenex box everywhere you go). At first, you’ll blame the post-partum messed up hormones, then you’ll clearly think it’s the sleep deprivation.
But it’s not exactly like that.
You’ll weep with joy even after the second night she’ll finally sleep through the night. You might wonder why the second. Because you’ll spend the first crying after realizing that you could have slept too instead of waking up in panic because she hadn’t made the usual creepy noises. All this, including a run to check if she’s breathing, painfully smashing your pinky toe against the leg of the bed. A profusion of tears, I promise.
8.What to expect after you’re expecting? To talk about her all the time
Eh, you’re a mom now. You’ll bust everyone’s balls about it. Eventually you’ll calm down and you’ll go back to talk about other things too, I promise.
9.What to expect after you’re expecting? To be surprised
..In finding out that you really are able to adjust to everything, more than you could possibly dream of. And they say I’m not reliable 🙂
10. But most importantly…
Expect to feel the deepest love you could possibly imagine. And even after picturing it in your mind, you still can’t quiet get it yet. But you will.
This is just a short list, let’s say the very first part of what your tragic-comic life will look like from now on.
But what you’ll definitely will NOT expect, is that, for some weird Nature’s big mystery, you’ll be so happy that you might want to expect again 🙂
P.S.= if you liked this article, don’t forget to share it! 😉
P.P.S.= in the Italian version of this blog you’ll find the full series in collaboration with other parent bloggers. Click on the link and scroll down to find them all.