Shit They Don’t Tell You, Vol. I

There’s a ton of books, websites, blogs and other resources out there for parents and expectant mothers, full of advice on what to expect and what to do and how to prepare for baby.

They tell you about the pains of pregnancy, the pains of labor and birth, the pains of recovery and the pains of postpartum. They tell you warning signs of pre-term labor, how to tell if you’re actually in actual labor, and how you might (gasp!) pee or poop during delivery. They tell you that you might get stitches down there because of the ripping/tearing, that hormones are still going crazy even after your pregnancy is over, and that breastfeeding isn’t always easy.

But there’s a lot of shit they don’t tell you. This is some of that.

NOTE: I talk about vaginal bleeding below. You’ve been warned.

They don’t tell you pregnancy pains come is all shapes and sizes. They talk about back aches, but what about those two ribs that you’re pretty sure are dislocated? They don’t tell you that, for the last month or two of your pregnancy, you may or not be able to breath.

They don’t tell you that your tailbone could pop during delivery, causing you to think for weeks that your tailbone is actually broken. I didn’t even know tailbones could pop, but apparently… they can. Because mine did. TMI ahead: P said he heard my tailbone pop during delivery, but didn’t know what it was at the time. When my doc came to check on me before I was released from the hospital, she told us that my tailbone had popped, and P said, “THAT’S what that noise was?” He said it sounded like a really dry, thick stick/twig snapped in half. And then he looked horrified. And I whimpered in pain. My tailbone is still sore, and it’s been almost four weeks since E was born.

They don’t tell you that walking after delivery is a very, very bad idea… and the more you’re on your feet, the more you’ll bleed. They warn you to stay off your feet as much as possible, but seriously, stay off your feet as much as possible. They’re not fucking around with this one.

They don’t tell you how badly your stitches will itch and be uncomfortable, and that you may want to actually rip your vagina off because the itch is so intense. Discomfort doesn’t even begin to describe it. The itch is so bad it hurts, but you can’t describe it as a “pain.”

They don’t tell you that you’re probably going to threaten your baby in one way or another. “You’re are SO going to be an only child.” “I’m just gonna throw you out the fucking window.” “SHUT UP!” It doesn’t mean you don’t love your baby. It just means you’ve gotten precisely ZERO sleep and are clinging to your last bit of sanity by a thread.

They don’t tell you that you may, at some point, want to actually kill your husband. Because, as a friend said to be earlier this week, you couldn’t kill your own child, so you’d rather just kill the man who helped you create that child. Because everything he does is wrong. Baby’s crying and he rushes to the rescue, to help you help the baby not cry? I AM HIS MOTHER I DON’T NEED YOUR HELP. Baby’s crying and he leaves you alone? WHY THE FUCK DON’T YOU COME IN AND TRY TO HELP ME? You’re feeding the baby but you’re hungry, too, so he goes to make dinner? WHY AREN’T YOU IN HERE SPENDING TIME WITH US SINCE YOU’RE NEVER HOME? Husband goes to work for 10+ hours a day to “bring home the bacon” so Baby can have everything his little heart desires? YOU’RE NEVER AROUND THIS CHILD ASSHOLE SO DON’T TELL ME HOW TO RAISE HIM. Oh, hormones.

They don’t tell you that breastfeeding is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, even if it seems to be “working” for you. You’ll have feedings that you deem complete disasters. Milk will fly everywhere. Before your milk comes in, you’ll stress that your baby isn’t getting enough to eat. After your milk comes in, you’ll rue the day you decided to breastfeed exclusively because when the FUCK are you supposed to sleep? They don’t tell you that, on more than one occasion, you’ll shoot your baby in the eye with an uncontrollable stream of milk.

They don’t tell you you’re going to lose your fucking mind.

They don’t tell you you’ll want to give up, or that you’ll wonder why (why, why, WHY) you thought it was a good idea to procreate in the first place. They don’t tell you you’ll hate yourself, hate your husband, hate your child, hate everybody and everything. They don’t tell you you’ll second guess your ability to be a parent, let alone a good parent. They don’t tell you about the hours (and hoursss) your newborn will spend screaming, and that you’ll scream right back (and threaten, and throw things, and and AND AND AND…). They don’t tell you how often you’ll cry, or how angry you’ll get, or how sometimes you might not feel like you love your child because of All The Screaming.

They don’t tell you any of that.