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Monday, March 18, 2013

The List I Wasn't Prepared For

With the recent births of beautiful new babies and the pregnancy announcements among so many of my lovely family and friends, I have been thinking back to the moments my little ones came into my life.

Yes. I get all sappy-dappy-lovey-dovey when I think about this.

The cuddling of my newborn children.

The overwhelming amount of love you never even imagined you could feel.

Sigh. It really is a beautiful thing.

But, there's the other stuff too. The not so Hallmark card stuff.

Guys, I'm giving you a fair warning. You may want to skip this post.

I give you my:


1. You may not know if you are peeing your pants or your water has broke.

I had always pictured the classic woosh of fluid, and then off to the hospital we would go. Like in a sitcom. Because TV is always the best source of reliable information. 

Not so much. It took me a full hour to realize my water had indeed broke, I was in labor, and I was not experiencing severe incontinence. 

That's the other thing. I never really thought about CONSTANT LEAKING during the labor process. It was one of the most uncomfortable and surprising things that came along with the labor of my first child. For some ignorant reason I was still picturing WOOSH. Done. Which makes absolutely no sense now that I think about it...but meh, you live you learn. 

2. Breastfeeding doesn't always happen in an instant magical natural way. 

Never had I been so devastated, than when I tried to feed my newborn girl for the very first time, and she wouldn't latch. I was so let down, and spent a lot of time beating myself up about not being able to cut it as a mom. When you're naked from the waist up, crying, holding a crying newborn like a football, and a nurse is trying stick your nipple in your baby's mouth...the magic just isn't quite what you pictured. 

A side note with this topic - Thrush. My second child I did get my "instant latch magic." But eventually we both got Thrush. You know knives? Pins? Swords? Needles? All of them combined? Every feeding. I cringe thinking about it again. 

3. Maxi Pad ice packs and Witch Hazel. 

That's all I'm saying about that. Just...I wasn't prepared for any of that.

4. You may feel like a farm animal. 

Because my first wouldn't latch, I wanted to pump milk for her. When you pump milk in a hospital (or at least THIS hospital) they wheel in an industrial grade machine and hook you up. For someone who has never pumped before this is a little intimidating. And maybe, just maybe you might hysterically cry while your husband looks pitifully at you strapped to this machine as you wail, "I feel like a cow!!" 

5. You might cry in Target.

My pregnancy hormones were a breeze compared to the shocking mood swings I experienced postpartum. I threw a temper tantrum in Target (my first outing since I gave birth) when I had mentioned I wanted to maybe get some hair dye. The only thing my poor husband said was, "Do you think you really need it?" I lost any shred of dignity or common sense I may have had. I started crying that "ugly cry" because how could he say such a thing? He must not love me. Oh no. Now my breasts are leaking through my shirt. Cry harder.  

My mom bought me the damn hair dye. She knew...

6. You will soon become an expert in poop.

Never did I realize the importance of poop. Smell, texture, consistency. It all played a role. And your beautiful, sweet, cuddly little baby would at some point cover itself and you in it. Over and over again. I have left many a public place with at least a little poop somewhere on my clothing. 

7. Every pregnancy, delivery, baby is different.

Now, I should have been prepared for that, because this is something everyone tells you. But I was way over-confident going into my second pregnancy because I really did have a fairly easy pregnancy, birth, and an easy going newborn the first time around. Little Dude knocked me down a few notches, because nothing was the same about any of it. I was uncomfortable when I was pregnant with him, I had a much more painful labor/delivery with him, and he was more fussy than Sassy Girl was. Also I had a toddler when he came into the world, which really shakes things up at home a bit more. The guilt I felt bringing another child into the home was unexpected, and was tough to adjust to at first. In the end, I feel silly for all the worry. My kids are so close now and I am thankful that they have each other. 

8. In a blink of an eye they grow up. 

You've heard this before, too. But I'm serious. A blink of an eye. We spend so much time waiting for that next milestone, or daydreaming about the people our little ones are going to become. And then, before you know it, you are sobbing as you walk to your car on the first day of preschool. Or you get in your car and follow the bus all the way to the elementary school. And they just keep growing and growing. We don't deal with too many sleepless nights anymore around here. But we continue to glide right through milestones and defining moments. Little Dude will be starting Kindergarten next year, and he has already lost his first tooth. Sassy Girl amazes me every day as she starts to mature into a young lady, so fast. I was marveling the other day at the realization of how I can have a conversation with her and she just seems so grown up. With independent thoughts, suggestions, solutions to problems. It's no longer "No. No. Don't touch." She's growing up and it's happening fast. 

9. You would do it all over again in a heartbeat. 

There's a lot of nitty gritty that goes along with this whole parenting business. But I think we can all agree that it's all worth it. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the simply amazing. 

Please feel free to add to this list in the comments below! I would love to hear some of the other things parents just weren't prepared for!! 


  1. I forgot to say it with my previous comment but your new blog design is stunning.

    I remember I called my Grandmother and told her that I could not stop weeing, could it be my water had broke?

    As for breastfeeding, you will be so jealous, it came so easily to me. My daughters all latched on immediately no problem.

    I am looking forward to having grandchildren somewhere in the future but I would not be able to cope with a baby of my own now.

  2. I was right with ya, til that last one.

  3. You really don't want to hear the things I wasn't prepared for, but prison is a top contender.