Things They Don't Tell New Mothers

Once people knew I was pregnant the stories of motherhood began flying my way. I was told I was going to fall head over heels in love my baby (and I totally have). Everything that my baby does will be adorable (I somewhat agree). I was told to take all the medications that were offered at delivery time (I never got any medications as we went directly into delivery upon arriving at the hospital). How I would love the cuddles, giggles, the milestones, cute outfits, tiredness and body changes. What I was not told about was the realism of motherhood.

Once I had my daughter I was not ready for what was about to happen. The true experience of motherhood was nothing like what I had been told. I do not want you, my awesome blog reader, to go blindly into motherhood without knowing the untold stories of motherhood.

Tiredness. Yes, I have experienced it in the past and I was told about tiredness. I would gladly take tiredness. However, since the beginning of my pregnancy I have been EXHAUSTED! My body went through 9 months of growing a baby while on bedrest. You would think I would have gotten a lot of sleep. My husband naively asked why I was so tired all the time. My response was you grow a human for 9 months, have it ripped from inside you and as your body is trying to heal you become a 24 hour vending machine. Walking away…grumble, grumble, ask my why I’m tired…grumble, grumble…

Childbirth is not as painful as the horror stories you hear.  I had my daughter without medication. Before it sounds like I am bragging, let me say she was a fast delivery where there was no time for mediation. The worse part was the “ring of fire” as her head pushed out. This is coming from a woman who has multiple health issues and takes numerous pain control medications.

The Heartburn never goes away! My heartburn was so bad that I had to see a specialist who scheduled me for surgery to remove my gall bladder. I had excruciating heartburn that caused me to double over in pain. The only way I got the slightest relief was by having to make myself throw up. This was horrible in itself. I was told that gallstones were a common issue for women after childbirth. Even after having my gallbladder removed I am still on prescribed medications for the heartburn.

Stretch marks everywhere. I have stretch marks on places I never thought possible. My toes and feet swelled three times their size during weeks 36-38 and then swelled more after giving birth. It hurt to walk for weeks. I now have stretch marks on my toes and feet. I also have stretch marks on the back of my neck, armpits, butt, hips, and arms, stomach….EVERYWHERE!

Time alone ceases to exist. You no longer have time to read that book you just got into. You now read The Very Hungry caterpillar a bajillion times. No more quiet refreshing showers, now you have to find ways to drag in some baby contraption to hold the child and toys to keep her happy while you quickly shower before she screams uncontrollably. (P.s. keep the shower door ajar so she can see you for a longer shower). Gone are the days of peeing in peace (have you read my Mommy Potty Chaos Post?). Ironically as I write this I am in the dentist’s waiting room using my “alone time” to finish this post.

Overwhelmed is the new normal. I used to juggle a million things very successfully. Now I can’t seem to get through one morning without losing my composure. I was once told I come off as unfazed…where is that person now? Balancing household bills and squeezing out money for baby needs, housework that never is caught up, friends are put on the back burner, finding time to buy groceries. Now the baby needs more attention, other child needs attention, your needs don’t count. Don’t forget the husband needs attention and by the way your legs would embarrass Chewbacca, a fact that my husband let me know by buying hair remover cream “so it can work while you do other things.”

I was never told these things could become part of my daily routine! I think that as our babies grow the sting of the events we deal with are covered with fluffy cute loveable moments. We forget the pregnancy struggles and how hard it was to walk, breathe, and function. We forget the “ring of fire” during birth. As sleep patterns form we forget the length of exhaustion. We also forget those unimaginable monster mommy moments we dealt with.

I do promise that when a naïve young woman asks what motherhood is like, I will share the horrid untold stories of motherhood. I will not sugar coat a thing. It will either make her stronger in knowledge of what is to come or make her think twice about becoming a mother.

Ooh, yeah the dentist is calling. I wonder if I ask nicely they will sedate me so that I can also get some sleep while I am here?

deb editDebra is a first time mom to her beautiful rainbow baby Skyler, a wife, a blogger and an ordained minister. She enjoys crafting and creating educational fun for her step sons and decorating her home. Find Debra at Crossing New Bridges on Facebook and on Twitter.

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23 Comments on Things No One Tells You About Motherhood

  1. Personally I Childbirth is different for everyone. It was worse than I expected it to be that’s for sure. My last two were extremely quick labor (think1.5 hours and 45 min from first contraction to having a baby) with no medication (there wasn’t time). I only had one with medication and the mental fog was just as bad as the 12 hour labor that was both mentally and physically exhausting. But for me the pain quickly subsides after the baby was born.

  2. I think that everyone experiences something different, but there are many similarities. Take it day by day and little by little! 🙂
    Karen |

  3. I snorted when I read about the sedation, then I though, hey, why not? All of what I read is what I experienced. I can just promise that over time it all gets better. Hugs.

  4. Lol, yes! And the list goes on….I had 2 kids with pain meds and 4 without. I would take no meds anyday. The heartburn….I have been a long time sufferer, but found a few things that have helped. The biggest for me is to remove gluten, actually most carbs. Happy to chat more if you’d like.

  5. Ah yes, the secrets of motherhood that we all figure out eventually lol. This was a great read, so real and true!

  6. I was warned about these when I was pregnant with my first child. It’s still different once you start experiencing it for real. I think these are all worth it though. Definitely!

  7. Great post – and one of my additions is that having a birth plan is a great idea, BUT, be prepared to throw it out the window and trust yourself to make decisions if everything goes sideways during labor. It might even be helpful to allow yourself to talk about what happens if every plan you had goes out the window. What do you really need, support-wise, from your partner? What do you need if you have to have a c-section? It’s great to plan out the ideal situation, but I found that it created a truly false sense of control over a situation that can be completely out of one’s area of influence.

  8. Luckily, my heartburn went away and I think that the childbirth experience is very subjective. Overwhelmed is certainly the new normal.

  9. Overwhelmed. Aint that the truth? I feel like I am overwhelmed everyday. But I have to keep toughing it out because so many mothers before me have done so and I feel like there is no reason for me not to. But at the end of the day, when I see a soundly sleeping baby, I feel it’s all worth it.

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  10. Everything is true except that childbirth was the most excruciating painful experience for me! 🙁 I had my children naturally as well, plus I have a high tolerance for pain. It’s mostly probably because I went through a long labor with both children, though!

  11. Ahhhhh I feel you on never having time! My daughter is now four and I’m finally just starting to get a little bit of me time since she’s older and doesn’t need my constant attention.

  12. This cracks me up!!!! Seriously child birth wasn’t AS bad as I was expecting, it was AFTER that I wasn’t expecting to be so awful LOL!

  13. A very honest post. I agree with you, I left my first birth and thought “wow, that wasn’t all that bad!” I mean, don’t get me wrong it hurt….but once the baby was out it was over…and it was all for a good cause LOL

  14. I remember that child birth to me was okay. I did prenatal Yoga and lamaze really helped me. But I had a more difficult time after birth because I was groggy all the time. I was not used to breastfeeding every 3 hours. And I was still very weak.

  15. Great post! We also had the “advice” that we wouldn’t be able to handle being new parents, which personally made me unhappy hearing this. In the end it is what you make of it. If you decide you are going to have a great time being a new mother and parent than so it will be – exhaustion, alone time and all. I don’t bother to even close the bathroom door when I have to go, because I know my three year old is right on my heels “What you doing, Mama?” 🙂 We just have to learn to love ourselves and press on.
    Great post, really enjoyed reading it!

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