You won’t find this list in any baby book. But luckily for you, you found it here, because you’ll nod along with every one…
For a couple of my girlfriends, last year was the Year of the First Baby.
If it was in Chinese horoscope, it would mean ‘the year of blubber, blubbering, boobs, bottles, and Ellen’.
As a mother of one, I know it is not wise to freak out pregnant women with weight gain and birthing tales. No, no, no! Instead, I go for a stronger line – the things you don’t expect after you’ve expected.
My copy of ‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting’ was well-thumbed and I’d even highlighted sections of ‘interest’, such as episiotomies and epidurals. However, after baby Betty was out, I had absolutely nothing.
So, to the first-time breeders out there who will multiply this year, here is the ‘Top 10 What Not to Expect After You’ve Expected’ list based on the personal experience of yours truly:
1. The lactation consultant
In the haze of Day Two cluster feeds, I was visited by the hospital’s lactation consultant. She was of formidable visage and literally bursting at the seams. I could see a snail trail where two buttons had popped, which complemented her moustache rather nicely.
She asked me to take off my top and Betty’s clothes and nappy. She placed Betty on my chest to wiggle her way over to the goods. Hmm, I thought, I wonder how this will go down at my local Westfield where norks out and nude baby isn’t a regular sight. Then she went and got my camera (*cringe*) and started snapping away, all the while telling me if I wanted to continue breastfeeding until Betty was three or four, that would be wonderful. I beg to differ.
Anyway, I pretended to agree and the moment she left the room I leapt up and was mid-singlet-pull when she barged back in to retrieve her demonstration doll. Busted, custard! And then I deleted all the photos she took. Seriously, who does that?
LESSON 1: Extremists of any kind are often bonkers.
2. The hair loss
When God was creating me, he must’ve decided to give me one flaw (just the one) and this was fine hair. Over the years, I have become a hair magician and can turn fine hair into a head of locks Miss Texas would envy. Give me a can of hairspray and a teasing comb and WE ARE SET, people!
However, nothing prepared me for the post-partum hair loss. It started 11 weeks after Betty’s arrival, and lasted until she was eight months old. By this stage, we’re talking about a receding hairline. My hairdresser told me my hair reminded her of Abby’s from NCIS. She is now my ex-hairdresser.
LESSON 2: Buy Draino, and lots of it.
3. The muffin top. It’s still here, although has reduced to more of a cupcake level.
LESSON 3a: Elasticised waists will be your friend.
LESSON 3b: Avoid putting on 23kg when pregnant and only having a 3.2kg baby. (It was NOT all water retention, liars!)