So you’ve had your baby and you are absolutely, head over heels in love with this little person although there are some things you were just not prepared for. Here’s what they don’t tell you / what I wish i’d known…
1. BABY SHOWER – No-one buys you newborn stuff and goes for the safer option of 0-3 month clothes, cue the dash to Asda for some newborn onesies and outfits. The mums out there that do attend will buy you the essentials (sanitary pads, big knickers, Lanisoh nipple cream, nappies, wipes, nasal drops, infant calpol, more nappies…)
2. BLEEDING – I had a C-section and despite the no damage to my perfectly formed foof, you will bleed afterwards (hence the mamas in the know providing you with sanny pads!) and this usually lasts around 6 weeks. However, if you are breastfeeding, don’t expect a period until you stop.
3. C-SECTION NUMBNESS – you will probably lose all sensation in the area above your C-section scar… forever.
4. The PREGNANCY MASK (Chloasma) – During your pregnancy you may notice what you think are a few cute freckles appearing, they then start to get bigger and turn in to patches. This is the pregnancy mask and can last well after you’ve had the baby. Women have it in different places, unfortunately for me it’s on my cheeks and muzzy area … FIT. Apparently eating leafy greens can help it fade – just call me Popeye.
5. CHECKING BABY IS BREATHING – Putting your baby down for naps is terrifying. You keep checking on them to check they’re still alive and have a near heart attack when baby discovers it’s new trick of holding their breath which then lead you to poking them to see if they react and then ultimately waking them up… oh well who needs sleep anyway?! Following on from this a few months in when your baby decides they don’t like sleeping on their back and prefers burying their faces into you/their mattress – equally traumatic.
6. You develop NINJA SKILLS once you’re a mum which usually include getting into mad positions (that your husband would have appreciated in the earlier days) to get into bed without making a sound. You learn to do everything with one hand and anything you can’t do gets left.
7. Around 4 months in you will experience HAIR LOSS – apparently you lose approx 100 hairs a day which stops when with child! The estrogen you were producing when pregnant (and had hair to make Cheryl Cole jealous) decreases and causes your hair to come out, sometimes in clumps. You prob wont notice as much as washing and styling your hair becomes a thing of the past anyway! Do not, like I did, get a fringe cut in and expect it to compliment your bald patches.
8. PLOTTING YOUR HUSBAND’S DEATH – usually this comes just after you’ve gushed over him being the most loving; caring father that your baby could wish for, just before you all get into bed for the night. He then falls into a coma-like state and you are left breastfeeding in the dark, wondering how hard you can actually punch him in the ribs before he wakes up.
9. PSYCHOTIC THOUGHTS – I was a bit embarrassed to admit to this one until recently when driving back from Liverpool. Lovely husband was driving, baby was sleeping all was going well until we hit traffic – my head flushed with thoughts that we were going to be stuck there for weeks, miles away from any service station, the HGVs at the side of us were going to take a dramatic turn and crush us all to death. I burst into tears and the following came out of my mouth “If we have a crash and Layla dies and i’m on a life support machine, I just want you to switch it off” … luckily my gay husband was also in the car and told me to calm my tits and stop being so dramatic. I can laugh about this now but at the time I couldn’t explain it. Since talking to other mums it seems to be a thing, i’ve heard stories of “what if this stranger throws acid in my baby’s face in Tesco” or “what if my pram rolls off in front of the tube”. Having looked into it further, apparently this is all to do with your maternal instincts and your mind preparing itself for worse case scenarios to protect your baby.
10. You have not experienced pain until you have experience NIP-LASH – baby is mid-feed, baby is now more alert and likes to look around, something catches their attention, they jerk their head and take your nip with them. I can only imagine that this is what it feels like when men get kicked in the balls… worse than coming down too hard on a see-saw
Above everything, through the pain, tears and joy – you will feel a sense of the most OVERWHELMING LOVE that you can’t describe. There are days when I sit and stare at this little person wondering what path her life is going to take… I can’t wait!