Hey! How's it going? I know, this is weird right? It is I, future you. Almost 7 months after you gave birth actually. Don't worry -- the baby is great, he has two teeth now and he's crawling around and babbling. Totally impatient to see him, wondering who he'll look like? *spoiler alert* He's an adorable teeny-tiny version of your hubby with your blue eyes. Tugs at your heart strings a little? Well, enough of that. I'm writing you because no one is going to tell you the truth about what is about to happen, and I think you (*cough*...we) have a right to know. Prepare yourself, this is the "What to Expect, the Honest Edition."
You've read about labour, and you already know that nothing I tell you will prepare you for it. But take this advice. Stop worrying about how the drugs will effect the baby and whether or not it will make him sleepy. You will not have a quick labour like some fictional women (who can push a child out in 52 minutes from start to finish) and you will feel indescribable pain. So don't be a martyr, take the drugs --if they weren't safe, they wouldn't offer them. Fentanyl is your friend (...and nitrous is a joke...you'll be too far gone for that shit to work). And regardless... six weeks from now, with no more then 62 minutes of uninterrupted sleep, you'll be wishing for something...anything that will make your child sleepy.
Planning on curling your hair and wearing that cute black sundress to Labour and Delivery? Picked out a pretty new sports bra with matching underwear to look nice in? One, why the hell do you need pretty underwear? You do know how the baby has to get out of you, right? Two, don't bother with it because there is nothing pretty about labour. By the time your hubby brings you to Labour and Delivery because you 'just can't take it anymore' (oh, boy... are you in for a surprise if you think you're in pain now...) you'll throw up ALL over your bra, hair, and dress within 10 minutes of being there. It'll be embarrassing at the time, but 14 hours later you'll be naked from the waist down with your knees at your ears and you'll have an audience... trust me, this is nothing. So, when the nurse hands you the kidney basin-- you're right in thinking it's not going to hold your vomit. Take the garbage can from your husband when he offers it to you.
While we're still on the topic of labour, remember that 'class' you went to that was supposed to prepare you for the big day? It was a load of bullshit. Complete and absolute bullshit. That exercise ball you nagged your husband into getting because you were certain it would be the best way to 'labour'? Newsflash. It stays at home and you stay bedridden by dibilitating pain for 16 hours of hard labour. Oh, and toss the crossword puzzles and snacks in the garbage. Unless of course your husband plans on eating while finding another word for boring while surfing the internet on his iPad in between your contractions when you're trying to rest. And the rolling pin? Really -- did you actually think for a minute that was going to be useful? You know what, on second thought... keep it to throw at the anaesthesiologist. He's going to miss the block for your epidural right after you've mentally given up and want to feel nothing ever again. But don't worry, you'll feel every last bit of it because sadly you still have 5 hours and 4 centimeters to go.
Time for some good news. Surprisingly enough they weren't lying when they told you that you'll somehow forget the pain of child birth and that it's all worth it in the end. The pain magically gets compartmentalized as the universes sneaky way of populating the planet. But what they don't tell you is that walking will never feel more difficult because it will feel like someone kicked you as hard as they can with a steel toe boot in your lady flower. It takes her a solid four weeks to recover along with your ability to hold your urine. Be careful when you sneeze, laugh, or even sit down.
It'll be ok though, because you have this beautiful baby boy that you both created. Take a good look at him sleeping. Awww, make sure you drink it in. Because in four days when you get your professional 'newborn' photos done, he'll scream for three hours straight, and both you and your husbands blood pressure will go through the roof (...such a stressful day...). Apparently there are babies that stay asleep and relaxed through the whole photo shoot, your son is not one of them.
Oh, and take a good look at your nipples, because they have no idea what's about to hit them. Breastfeeding may be natural, but it is NOT easy. Believe me when I tell you that the only thing you did that actually prepared you for anything was taking that breastfeeding class. Stop making fun of it. Yes, you're right -- it was totally creepy to 'pretend' nurse a dolly. But you met Lianna the Lactation Wizard. She will become your Saviour. She deserves to be cannonized. Call her sooner than later--because your nipples will fall off if you don't.
|Here's the before... isn't it sweet? |
Imagine doing this exact same
shot as an 'after' picture?
Where's the kidney basin now?
Oh and just so you know, you won't look as good as you hope in that sundress that you're planning on leaving the hospital in. You think you look like a hippo now, at 39 weeks pregnant? Your thighs may rub together but at least your belly is hard and filled with a baby. It will look like a doughy enormous mess afterwards. And you will still look pregnant... for months. So make sure to bring your baby with you everywhere so you don't get into that awkward, "When are you due?"..."I'm not pregnant." conversation.
Next topic: Maternity clothes. Don't pack them up. In fact, you're going to fall in love with the pregnancy band because it will smooth out the muffin-top that overfloweth your 'regular-people pants'. Some of your maternity pants will even make it into your regular clothes rotation (...shhhh...no one will know!). Think of the belly-band as built in spanx. Oh yeah, and you'll buy a pair of those too. You're now that woman that goes into a lingerie store owned by a 63 year old lady with a short permed hair-do and asks her where the spanx are. She'll say, "Oh, honey -- you don't need these at all!" but don't be fooled. You do have a belly. Sadly, it will be the last thing to go. So just decide whether you want beige or black-- pay for it, and walk away with your brown paper bag purchase with your head held high. You're a Mom now, this is a totally acceptable purchase. We all secretly own them.
Remember your perky apple bottom? It's gone... and in it's place is the saggy diaper bum. That's right. Even though you'll lose the pregnancy weight, you'll gain a Mom-Bum (..get ready for some squats at bootcamp!) You don't have to trade in for mom-jeans just yet but good luck if you think you'll ever wear your old jeans again. Why? Your hips widened to push an 8 pound human out of your vagina. (Oh common, if the word vagina scares you---wait until your first poop after delivering the baby, now THAT'S scary.) But what an excellent reason to go out shopping. Get excited to ask that young whipper-snapper for where the non-low-rise-I-need-to-get-control-over-this-jelly-belly-and-muffin-top jeans are. Don't worry, they exist and they're stretchy. Thankfully, leggings are still trendy.
Last, but not least, is the most important piece of information. Trust yourself with your baby. You actually know exactly what to do, even when you think you don't. Be insecure about a lot of things, like the fact you haven't showered in 3 days and have been wearing the same pants for 34 hours. But your ability to mother your child? Never question it. As this little person grew in you, so did your Momma's instinct superpowers. Your baby was only ready to come out and greet the world because your Mom-ninja skills were fully developed -- it had nothing to do with your water breaking or losing your mucous plug.
You are all this child knows of the scary new world he just entered. He will get to know and love his Dad, and all the other important people in his life. But he already knows you and you already know him. The bond between you and this child is nothing that can be described. You grew him inside of you for 9 months-- think about that, actually inside you. While it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders because you're his Momma (and you're supposed to somehow know how to do everything)...feel the love he has for you already in your heart, because you're his Momma and no one could possibly know him better. Remember this the first time your in-laws tell you that they think the baby is hungry when you know damn well he's just gassy but you don't want to be that Mom that seems like a know it all. You do know it all and everyone else will catch up eventually.
Well hopefully this helps a bit, enjoy your last week of sleep for a long time. This is the final time you will ever feel bored, so do something or better yet do nothing. Take a long shower. Eat a hot meal. Sleep until you can't sleep anymore. Oh, and stop hanging up his baby clothes. I know those cute little hangers seemed like a genius purchase but you'll be lucky if you can shove his wrinkled sleepers into the proper drawers by the time he's two-weeks old.
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