Goodbye dignity. Hello motherhood.
I’m calling it – the first hours after giving birth are pretty intense. And gross. And can leave you in a drug-induced, physically-exhausted, mentally-dazed state where you’re not really sure whether you should shower, sleep, or just sit and stare at this amazing being you’ve just given birth to (the latter wins).
And while you may know you’re going to be tired and sore, here are some of the brutally honest (and awkwardly hilarious) things you probably didn’t know.
1. New babies look kind of odd
They are covered in white goo, dried blood and have funny-shaped heads. But they are still really cute and small and amazing!
2. Plus, their bits are seriously massive
Swollen baby balls are pretty standard.
3. After-pains are the devil
Just when you think your uterus has done enough, after-pains strike (this is when your uterus contracts back to size after birth, normally when breastfeeding bub). And it pretty much feels like someone is stabbing you in the guts and possibly down the legs as well.
Ask for painkillers. A lot of them.
4. And bowel movements are no picnic either
‘Grin and bear it’ takes on a whole new meaning.
5. Baby’s first poo will probably require fifteen towels, a shovel and three workmen, possibly in hard hats
Because it’s not poo. It’s black paste. And changing your first nappy is not as simple as wiping poop off a little bum. It’s a lesson on how to remove glued-on-tar from a very sensitive surface. A trade certificate may be required.
6. You’re going to be a bloody mess
Not just emotionally. But literally too. Just prepare for blood. In the shower. On the sheets. On your massive granny undies. It’s normal.
7. You’re going to walk like you’ve … well, just given birth
Think you mastered the waddle during those final weeks of pregnancy? The after-pushing-baby-out waddle is even more distinctive.
8. If your baby actually does fall asleep at night, then the newborn next to you in the hospital ward will pull an all-night screaming match
And you will go from feeling sorry for the new mum to wanting to kindly shove her crying baby back inside her uterus.
9. When people come and visit you, it’s pretty much standard to have a boob out
Because all newborns want to do is suck on your breast and sleep.
Oh, and poop tar.
10. Your baby will be upset but don’t take it personally
He just likes to cry. And he is probably a little annoyed at you for forcing him to exit his comfortable womb home.
11. Your stomach looks ridiculous
Like a bowl full of jelly. But not even the slightest bit jolly.
Your tummy will be wriggling with saggy skin and stretch marks and may possibly resemble a jumping pillow that small dolls can bounce on.
12. And your lady bits aren’t looking too hot right now either
They definitely hate you right now.
13. In fact, you pretty much look like a swollen, battered version of your previous self
But, hey, you just had a baby. So at least you have an excellent excuse, right? And, trust me, the little one in your arms is worth it all!
What’s next on the parenting journey? Just you wait and see – here are a few more things to expect once you bring your newborn home.