Friday, August 16, 2013

21 Things That No One Ever Tells You Before Your First Baby

***Added 9/11/13... I am overwhelmed by the number of people who have visited my little blog because of this article. I never imagined that this many people would see it! I hope you enjoy it and stay a little while. Feel free to browse my other posts or leave comments! I love feedback :) Have a great day from my little family to yours!***

When I first learned that I was pregnant, I didn't really believe it. T and I had given ourselves a year to conceive because we were in the middle of baseball season and he was gone every other week. Plus, we'd heard that it could take a couple that was actively trying up to 9 months. 

When it only took 1 month I was convinced that the pregnancy test I had taken was expired and faulty. Well, let me be honest. I was convinced that the first 11 tests I had taken were faulty. Then I Googled (ugh) faulty pregnancy tests and learned that there was a brain tumor that could cause raised levels of HCG. Well, I had been having some headaches so yes... that must be what it was. A brain tumor.

My first OBGYN visit didn't alleviate my fears. He didn't do an ultrasound and told me I "may be pregnant but it's early and hard to tell". 

Ummm... OK.

I wasn't having any other symptoms aside from headaches and getting fat. I honestly spent a month after my initial at home test believing that there was a good chance I had a brain tumor and not a baby. I was a little paranoid and suspicious. 

Anyways, once we found a (better) doctor in Atlanta, he did an ultrasound and we got to see our tiny jumping bean in my belly, I finally believed I was pregnant. I quickly found out that when you're pregnant people want to give you a lot of unsolicited advice. They'll advise you on everything from how to get your baby to sleep, what kind of diapers to use, what kind of food you should/shouldn't be eating, how far you should bend over, and what kind of unicorn you should kiss to tell the baby's gender. It never stopped.

After having Cali I decided, that while everyone seemed quick to tell me all sorts of nonsense, no one seemed to want to tell me the real stuff.

So here it is. 21 things that no one tells you before your first baby. 

Before and After Labor
  1. Those breathing exercises everyone wants you to do? They're CRAP. They do NOT help lessen the pain of labor. Don't waste your time.
  2. Speaking of labor... I had contractions 55 seconds apart from the get-go. When I finally got to the hospital (in an ambulance because I thought I was going to give birth in the car) I was dilated to a ZERO. I had no idea that could happen.
  3. When your water breaks, it feels like you're peeing on yourself. It doesn't *gush* (sorry for the descriptive wording) like it does in the movies. (**Apparently, according to commenters, it actually CAN gush! It just goes to show you that every pregnancy is different. Maybe I'll have my own "gushing" experience with the next child. Though I really hope it's not in public!**)
  4. Your butt will go numb from sitting in the hospital bed so long after labor. The more you can move, the better.
  5. If you go into labor "after hours" the anesthesiologist isn't actually at the hospital. They have to call him when you reach a 4 and it can take him an hour and a half to get there (This may actually vary from hospital to hospital but go ahead and ask just to be prepared).
  6. Your baby will not look like a cute cherub all cooing and pink like in movies when it first comes out. They will most likely look like a wrinkly, slimy, mix of an alien and old man.
  7. Get thyself some Colace and start taking them as soon as you give birth. That's all I'll say.
  8. You'll also want to soak some granny pads and freeze them to have on hand. Just trust me.
  9. A hot bath is OK and delightful (I should probably say "ask your doctor" or some such mumbo jumbo but my nurses had me take one 24 hours after delivery and 1 a day for the first 4 weeks post partum). (**According to a nurse in the comments, this advice is controversial. So I actually will say "Ask your doctor"**)
  10. You won't actually get tons of sleep in the hospital because the nurses will come in every 30 minutes. Go ahead and stock up now.
Bringing Baby Home

  1. You will never be as terrified as you will be the first night you bring your baby home. Feel free to take turns staying up all night holding them and never once laying them in their crib if it makes you feel better.
  2. There is a good chance your baby will choke. They won't do it in the hospital where there are nurses and doctors everywhere. No. They'll do it when you're vulnerable and alone at home. Feel free to panic if it makes you feel better but this is completely normal. 
  3. The cliche advice of "sleep while the baby sleeps" is bologna. 
  4. Even if you're an independent person and don't like people in your space, utilize every available helping hand you can get that first week home. Let them clean, cook, fold clothes, etc, while you hold your new one. They'll soon all forget about you and you'll be left to do it all yourself.
  5. Take as many pictures as you want. You'll be a little overwhelmed those first few days home but try to remember to take just a couple of snapshots.
  6. You'll still look 6 months pregnant for a while and feel really jiggly. Go ahead and order a Bellefit. BEST. INVESTMENT. EVER. I can't say that enough.
  7. Get all your TV watching in now while they sleep 22 hours a day. It will only be about 6-8 weeks before they'll require a lot more attention.
  8. Any time some random stranger decides to stop you and tell you how you should be parenting (Which will be every single time you step out in public), try not to hit them. Smile, nod, and walk away. 
  9. Your post partum hormones are a doozy. You can't prepare for the onslaught of emotions that will come with giving birth. It's completely normal to feel scared, nervous, and like you're not cut out to be a good parent (If these feelings get worse and not better or last longer than a couple of weeks, talk to someone).
  10. That hideous linea nigra? It will still be there up to a year after you give birth. Yeah. I know.
  11. The first time you decide to workout (or laugh too hard/climb the stairs too fast/etc) after labor, you'll probably pee on yourself.

So there you have it. The 21 things I felt like you should know before your first baby.
You're welcome.

Oh. And one more...

You'll grow to love this child more than you ever knew you were capable.

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