Five Things They Never Dare Tell You About Pregnancy

When you become pregnant people have all sorts of advice and nice things to tell you, like, “Oh, your hair is going to look amazing!” And, “You’ll have such a beautiful glow!” And, “Don’t worry! Breastfeeding makes those pounds just melt off!”

Well…here’s a list of things that people don’t tell you about labor and birth:

1. That baby is gonna come out when that baby is good and ready and not a minute before. Don’t listen to all that ‘BS’ people tell you… (“Go for a nice, long walk!” “Have sex every day!”) It’s not going to work, trust me. And sex every day when you’ve gained 40 pounds all in your belly region is not fun. So don’t kill yourself walking and having sex, hoping to speed things up. Not unless you’re some kind of masochist who enjoys waddling for miles and then coming home to ‘do it doggy style’ with what feels like a giant iron weight strapped to your middle.

2. If breastfeeding is something you really want to try, then by all means, try it.  It is supposed to be better for you and your baby. But, if it’s not something you want to do, do not let the ‘Breastfeeding Nazis’ get to you. Also, if you are medically unable to breastfeed for whatever reason, don’t let them make you feel guilty or inadequate. While I did breastfeed, I would never judge a woman a poor mother for not wanting to breastfeed. It’s a lot harder than you’d think.  Cracked nipples are not for the faint of heart.

3. And related to the above, your boobs will never go back to the way they were before you got pregnant, no matter what those damn mothering message boards tell you. They’re all lies. This is the God’s honest truth: They will never be the same again. Ever.

4. I never had hemorrhoids until I gave birth. If I’d known about the hemorrhoids, I would’ve asked for a damn c-section. (And, since they were in there anyway, a tummy tuck and my tubes tied!) I think hemorrhoids are God’s way of punishing me for some sin I committed somewhere along the line, because they’re the worst. And even though it’s been more than two years since I had my daughter, every once in a while, I still get hemorrhoids. They’re probably here to stay until she heads off to college.

5. Also, when you push that baby out, your ‘ladyparts’ will swell. A lot. They will droop down on either side, too, like Fu Manchu’s moustache. And if my friend hadn’t warned me about this, I probably would’ve wanted to die when I saw myself down there. But unlike your boobs, that goes back to normal, thank God.

But I promise you that all this horror is worth it. All of it.

Unless you actually have a child, you probably won’t believe me, but all of these superficial changes that happen to your body mean nothing compared to when your child calls you “Mama” for the first time. Or when you see that first smile and hear that first laugh. And those disgusting, slobbery, delicious kisses are the highlight of my day. I’m a strong woman, but I was reduced to tears the first time my little girl said, “I love you, Mama, oh, so much.”

When my daughter laughs, I laugh out loud with her. I sing along with her when she sings in that little tone deaf voice of hers, and when she dances, I dance too. And there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for her. Having my girl is the most wonderful, uplifting, experience of my life.

And pregnancy isn’t all bad, either. Your hair actually does look amazing! And everyone treats you like a queen. Seriously. If you’re lucky enough to be carrying the baby of a man who loves you, he’ll be so fiercely protective of you, it’s actually kind of cute. Also, there is something so beautiful and intimate about knowing that the child growing inside you belongs to the man you love.  Oh, and then people give you gifts and throw you parties. See? Pregnancy can be fun!

But most of all, having a child will expand your world. You will see things differently. You will become a better person because of your child. And you’ll want to be a better person simply because you’re a mother.

I know that Having a child brings out the best in me. And everything is a little brighter because of it. Seeing life through the eyes of my child is an amazing experience. I always believed that I could be completely happy by myself. Then I met my husband and I believed that everything was as perfect as it could get, with just the two of us. But when I had my daughter, I learned what true love really is.

I hope I can teach that lesson of love to my daughter, when she gets pregnant.

…That and about getting a good support bra and some Preparation-H.

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