You’ve just had a baby. You’ve survived the contractions, the crowning, and the whole gooey mess in between. Nothing can phase you now.
Well, almost nothing.
Because the thing about the first few days of new motherhood is that there are A LOT of things people seem to conveniently forget to mention.
Yes, you will be tired. Sure, breastfeeding is hard at first. Yes, babies require your undivided attention. And yes, you will be overwhelmed with emotions.
But let’s delve a little deeper shall we? Behold the truths about new motherhood that most people fail to mention. Because there is more to being a new mum than lack of sleep.
It’s not possible to sleep when baby sleeps.
Attention well-meaning people who don’t have babies. STOP TELLING US TO SLEEP WHEN BABY SLEEPS. Baby sleeps for like six minutes before waking up again.
You try to get a decent sleep in six minutes.
Your breasts SUCK at supply and demand.
Your baby’s stomach is the size of an almond. Yet your breasts decide to produce 190 litres of milk every hour. Seriously, breasts, get it together.
You become acquainted with the joy that is adult nappies.
“Yes, I am wearing an adult nappy. Thank you for asking.”
Turns out, after you have a baby, your body decides to make up for the nine months of skipped periods ALL AT ONCE. Best to accept that adult nappies are now part of your life.
People SUCK at driving.
Baby on board, dammit. Slow the F down.
People also like to smile creepily at new babies.
Why do strangers gawk at newborns with weird grins and hungry baby-oogling eyes? Yes, she’s a newborn. Yes, she’s cute. No, you can’t eat her.
After pains are pretty much death.
So, after you have the baby, you get to birth the placenta, which we all know, right? But what you might not know is that after you give birth you also get to experience this excruciating pain pulsating through your uterus and radiating down your legs known as after pain.
This is caused by the uterus contracting and feels like someone is trying to stab you to death. Oh, and it usually happens when you are mid-breastfeed so you can’t even wriggle around in fear you might drop the newborn attached to you.
Where’s the freakin’ epidural for after pains?
You crave cabbage (but not to eat)
Hello cabbage leaves. Welcome to my engorged, swollen, lumpy breasts. Get comfortable. You live here now.
Mastitis is the female version of man flu.
Only 8 GAZILLION TIMES WORSE BECAUSE IT’S ACTUALLY A THING.
Unlike man flu which is not really even a sickness, mastitis is an infection of your breast which can leave you wondering what circle of hell you have just entered.
Happy Hour gets replaced.
Sorry new mums, Happy Hour has now been moved to never-o-clock. The hours between 4pm and 8pm are now hijacked by your screaming infant who refuses to sleep. Instead screaming infant prefers to cluster feed, ensuring you, once again, skip dinner and any chance of “me” time.
Experts call this Arsenic Hour. I call it “Honestly, someone bring me chocolate before I eat my arm off.”
Nipflash is a thing.
Nipflash is this fun game where baby decides to unattach from your boob, meaning you get to flash your nipple (and the milk oozing out of it) to anyone in the ten meter splash zone.
Not to be confused with Niplash, which is another fun part of breastfeeding which occurs when bub is a bit older. Niplash happens when bub decides to look around while keeping your nipple in his mouth, leaving your nipple stretching like a bungee cord. Feel the burn.
People care A LOT about whether you’re breastfeeding or not.
“Yes, I am breastfeeding.” “No, I’m bottle feeding.” “Go away and stop talking about my breasts.”
Losing weight isn’t as easy as just breastfeeding.
Sure, you burn heaps of calories while strapped to the couch with an infant attached to you ALL DAY AND NIGHT LONG. But you also get so ridiculously hungry being a new mum that you eat the equivalent to a baby rhino in each sitting.
You develop a pouch.
Yes, a pouch. A droopy, floppy, pillowy pouch. The pouch, formally known as “your baby” is comprised of saggy skin and unused uterus that wobbles when you walk and looks like it something out of a horror movie.
Alfred Hitchcock’s The Pouch. It has a nice ring to it.
You also develop an excessive network of veins.
In addition to The Pouch, being a new mum means you also get to experience the nightmare that is The Veins. Big, bulgy, blue veins. All over your legs, your stomach, your breasts, your face…
Pregnant women glow with new life. New mums glow with ugly veins and a paunchy pouch.
The sound of your partner sleeping may send you insane.
Cue pillow being casually thrown across his peaceful, non veiny face.
You start to hear things.
Like your baby crying. ALL THE TIME. Especially when you’re in the shower. No, you’re not going crazy. Blame the lack of sleep. Oh, and the crying baby.
Visiting the toilet becomes a quest.
Bring tools. Like something to bite on as you attempt to do your first bowel movement.
4am is actually kind of pleasant.
The world is quiet. The sun is beginning to come up. And, even though you haven’t been to bed yet (and you’re not stumbling home from a night on the piss), you feel a strange calm come over you.
It’s almost like you and your newborn are the only two people that exist in this crazy, sleep deprived world. And that’s a pretty awesome feeling, even if you’re plagued by pure exhaustion.
So there you have it, new mums. The non-sugar-coated sweetness of new motherhood. Make sure you share the love with other unassuming new mums. And be sure to also check out the truths no one tells you about childbirth.
Because birth is also full of unexpected surprises…