Before you have your first baby, well-meaning parents stare at you with a wistful look in their eyes and tell you that your life is going to change and to sleep while you can. While these things seem obvious, there were a few things I was not expecting. So I thought I’d share the 7 things I wasn’t prepared for before having my son, 7 weeks ago.
1. There will be lots of tears, and not just from the baby.
No matter how much exposure you’ve had to little people, it’s universally known that babies cry, A LOT. What people don’t warn you about is that you will cry. Often.
I was expecting to cry on day three, as I’d been warned that you get ‘baby blues’ when your milk comes in. But it’s not isolated to this one day. You’ll cry because your baby is really cute, or because they’re crying. You’ll cry because you feel guilty that you miss your old life, or because your partner ate the last serving of hokey pokey ice cream. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have postnatal depression (although you should always talk to a medical professional if it is becoming too overwhelming) – there’s just something about having a baby that brings all the tears.
Whether it lasts for days or weeks, you will cry. There are hormones raging through your body and you're recovering from childbirth on minimal sleep. Plus, you’re in charge of this tiny, helpless human who needs you 24 hours a day. It’s ‘normal’ (whatever that means).
2. Breastfeeding can be really hard.
I’m not talking about sore nipples. I expected sore, cracked, bleeding nipples, but what I wasn’t expecting was that it just wouldn’t... work. I thought I would put my baby on my breast and it would take a bit of practise and I would get there eventually.
Watch: Explaining nipples to my baby. Post continues after video.