Swollen Feet: Alright, I’m sure there are a few things that should be prioritized on this list above this one. However this was the thing that I found the most upsetting. As labour approached I started getting really excited to be able to wear shoes again. And then wouldn’t you know it, two days after I got home my feet were bigger than I ever thought possible. They were quite literally the size and shape of foot balls. I felt like they might burst. I remember calling my sister-in-law and asking if it was normal. She assured me that it was. This more than anything else really made me feel sorry for myself. I know it was just the hormones but wow, I nearly cried (okay fine, I did cry). So be prepared for this. The swelling should last no longer than 5 days. There is no way to make it go away faster either. Believe me I tried.
You Will Feel Better! Every symptom of pregnancy vanishes after you get that kid out of you. The sore hips and back, the joint pain, everything that I couldn’t stand anymore was instantly gone. It was quite an amazing feeling. I thought it would take weeks to feel normal again.
You Will Start to Shed Your Hair: Again, totally normal. It takes several weeks for the estrogen to lower to normal levels and when it does all that beautiful pregnancy hair slowly disappears. Although when you are pulling handfuls of hair out of your brush every morning it doesn’t feel so slow.
You Will Lose Your Pregnancy Weight: Most people drop their pregnancy weight fairly quickly. In the last month of my pregnancy I gained 20lbs. It was a terrible feeling. I was really worried about how long it would take me to lose it all. I stepped on the scale after about one week and I had already dropped 25lbs! Don’t worry about it. Your body knows what it’s doing. There was a reason for gaining all of that weight.
You Will Experience Some Cramping: Your uterus will cramp as it shrinks back down to its normal size. It’s about the equivalent of a really bad period. This cramping lasted for about a week for me. The cramping becomes more intense when you are breast feeding. Luckily you will be able to take Advil again!
The Nurses Don’t Really Care About Your Car Seat: I can’t really remember what book it was from but one of the books I read said that the nurses at the hospital won’t let you leave unless you have the right car seat. This caused me a little stress. I had the right kind of car seat but in the back of my mind I was worried that somehow we would fail the car seat test. This is nothing to worry about at all. Of course you will want to buy the very best car seat that you can for your baby’s safety but don’t worry about anyone stopping you as you try to leave the hospital. The nurse that I had said that she actually had parents sneaking out of the hospital because they were so concerned about the car seat thing. The nurse will want to make sure that you feel comfortable using your car seat but that is really just to help you.
You Will Suddenly Understand Your Friends With Kids: There is no way in this world to understand what it’s like having kids until you have one. Is bed time really that important? YES! After you work really hard to get your baby to sleep so that you can finally get some sleep there is no way you’re going to throw it all away to go to a BBQ. If you make decisions that will make your kids cranky, like skipping nap time, you may have cranky kids for a couple of days after that. It’s just not worth it. I can’t tell you how many times I said the old “when I have kids…” Your baby is an individual. They are not actually an extension of you. If you get a baby that needs a schedule your choices are keep your baby on a schedule or have a baby who is never happy. I don’t know anyone who would pick their own happiness over their baby’s. Having a baby is the perfect way to learn that everything that you thought that you knew about babies was a little idealistic.
You Will Become Very Brave: In my opinion there is nothing that a woman will experience in her life time that is as anticipated as giving birth. It is an event that you know will be painful and you have nine months to think about it. The anticipation is huge part of pregnancy. Most women hit the point of no return in their pregnancy where they realise that there is no other way of getting this kid out and they have a brief moment of panic. After having my daughter I have to say that a side effect of that is that I am not afraid of anything any more. A spider fell into my bra once while I was breast-feeding my daughter and in the past that would have made me freak out and dance all over the room but instead I just squished it with my fingers. It’s crazy what you will do when you feel that you are protecting your baby. Its amazing what you will be capable of when you remember that you can do anything and you proved that to yourself by giving birth.