5 Things You Really Didn’t Expect About Having a Baby

Things you didn't know about having a baby

When I was pregnant, I read books about what to expect and I even read a ton of lists just like this one in a desperate attempt to obtain uncut, behind-the-scenes info from elusive Mummy Land. I was told I’d be tired (hahahaha… yeah) and have very little me-time (make that NO me-time EVER unless you include pooping with the bathroom door closed), but no-one ever told me this stuff. I have to warn you, it’s not for the faint of heart.

1. You might poo yourself

I’d heard about how you could poo yourself while you were giving birth and it terrified me for months in the lead-up to my due date. ‘What if I push out last night’s dinner at the same time as my bundle of joy?’ I panicked. Well, ladies, I’m going to cut to the chase and tell you that I did. But I really, truly didn’t give a rat’s ass about it when it finally happened because, well… I don’t want to break the Mama Code here, but suffice it to say that I had other things on my mind at the time.

2. You might pee yourself

Once you’re past the pooing panic, you’ll have to contend with this next-level paranoia. For months after you give birth (or even the rest of your life if you’re unlucky), every sneeze and giggle could send you into a state of panic because these formerly innocuous events suddenly hold the power to make you wet your pants. I mercifully escaped this indignity through a combination of luck and obsessive pelvic floor exercises, but many of my friends weren’t so lucky.

3. You may never experience a rush of maternal feelings

When I reached the size of a small orca towards the end of my pregnancy, I started to freak out that I had yet to feel that intense rush of maternal gooeyness I believed was supposed to have come over me by then. And now I see that same anxious look in the eyes of so many other first-time mums-to-be. I know it’s scary, but try to trust the process. You might not even experience that ‘big moment’ when you hold your child for the first time, but the love that will grow in your heart for your baby is like none other. You will become maternal. I promise.

4. You might get too skinny

Before you start furiously typing out a hate email addressed to me, hear me out. For most women, losing the baby weight can be an extremely difficult battle for a variety of very legitimate reasons. On the other hand, before I became a mum, I’d watched a few of my friends morph into emaciated Bobbleheads mere months after popping out their babies. “Wow, you’ve lost all the weight, good on you!” I congratulated them, thinking that was the right thing to say. Fast-forward to me six months post-baby and I was thinner than I’d ever been. Unfortunately, it wasn’t because I had returned to my wholesome pre-pregnancy fitness regime and healthy diet, but rather because I was burning a million calories a day due to breastfeeding, sleep deprivation and stress. It cut like a knife whenever someone commended me on my weight loss because I felt so disconnected from the healthy person I was before. Things soon started to look up and my weight went back up to a healthy level, but I’m careful now not to assume that a thin mum is a perfectly happy one.

5. You will think about your child every single microsecond of the day

You might think that you want nothing more in the whole world than to escape from the wailing poo factory for one whole hour to get your nails done and read a magazine. But mark my words, you’ll be flipping through photos of Bub on your phone and telling your nail lady all about how they said ‘ba’ that morning. For the first year of their life, that is. After that, you’ll stop being such an obsessive freak.

Are there any other things you didn’t expect at all when you had your baby?