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Being pregnant is a milestone in the lives of millions of women. It’s such an amazing thing to see a little being grow inside of you. The first flutters, the first kicks, the first hiccups- it’s the most incredible of feelings! But is it all fun and games when your little nugget makes their appearance into the world? No, not always. Looking back, there are so many things I wish I could’ve known before giving birth that no parenting book could prepare me for.
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5 things I wish I knew before I gave birth
No amount of sleeping in the third trimester prepared me for the sleep deprivation.
- Everyone told me to rest so I could be ready. I took good care of myself and rested but still faced serious sleep deprivation. I figured “Hey, I can stay up late and get up to work now so I’ll be fine.” Yet, the sleep deprivation you face as a new mom is like something you’ll never ever face again. I remember waking up after falling asleep on the couch nursing my baby and thinking about how bad I needed to call someone in to take the baby so I could sleep. It was awful. I remember the first night that the baby slept 5 hours and I didn’t know what to do with myself because I felt so rested!
Expect the unexpected.
- Once I hit the third trimester, my OB suggested doing my birth plan. Y’know the one where you decide if you want pain relief, the method of birth you want, etc. I spent forever weighing EVERY option trying to decide what I wanted. Yet when I gave birth, all of that went out the window super quick.
- I went in not wanting an epidural unless it was necessary. After 12 hours of back labour, I was begging for one. However when I had one, my blood pressure tanked, which meant they needed to let it wear off while keeping me on medicine to bring it back up, and then I had to give birth without anything that would take the pain away!
I think the harder you plan for things to be perfect, the more things change. You need to be able to roll with the punches.
The baby blues are no joke
When the ob warned me about baby blues. Again, thinking I knew it all I said, “Meh. Probably like having a period. A little more emotional than I normally am.”
I was so wrong.
Every night for two weeks my husband would walk in while I was rocking Sophia and I would be sobbing so hard I couldn’t talk. Half the time I was crying just due to sleep deprivation and frustration, but half the time there was no reason! It’s just like my face was leaking! It was awful. But eventually, it got better. It wasn’t an easy few weeks, but it was like a hump, and now that I am over it, all is okay! (See my post on how to survive the baby blues!)
Sometimes you’re going to wonder why you had a baby, and that’s okay.
Going back to the baby blues for a second. I remember it was 3 am. Sophia was crying her head off, even though she was fed and changed. I was sobbing because all I wanted was sleep and I remember saying. “Why did I do this. I can’t handle this.” Immediately as soon as that thought crossed my mind, I felt so guilty. I had this little, innocent being in my arms and I was feeling like that! But I couldn’t shake that feeling.
I felt like the worst mom until I talked to other mom friends and I realized that is a normal feeling with the baby blues. Not only is it normal, but it’s also okay because it goes away. Now I can’t picture my life without my girl.
You’ve never known love until you’ve had a baby.
I’m not saying other types of love don’t matter or they aren’t strong. But before I had my family and my husband and I knew was love was, but when this little thing came out of me, I have never ever ever felt such a love as I had before. My mom always said that a mother’s love is a different kind of love, and it so is. I never knew I could feel a love so deep into my being before.
There are soooooo many changes that come with motherhood. But there are so many changes that you can’t prepare for. These are my top 5. What are some things you wish you knew before giving birth? Comment below!