What do you wish you knew? (Prior to having a baby?)

posted 2 months ago in Babies
Post # 46
38 posts
  • Wedding: November 2019 - Orland Park, IL

It goes fast. Everyone says this…I’m telling you, it FLIES by. However, don’t beat yourself up for not ‘enjoying every second’ like people try to feed you. I had ppd (BAD) and I didn’t realize it until a few months later. I felt guilty every second of the day because my baby had colic and cried for hours on end and I had people telling me to ‘enjoy it’ (I was not enjoying it, I was MISERABLE). You do what you have to to get through the first few months. And try to keep in your mind that no matter how long the days seem, you WILL get through it and they will grow and become easier in some ways/much more difficult in others.

One thing that NOBODY told me was about the hot/cold flashes after birth. The night I gave birth I woke up shivering completely soaked in sweat, like my hair was dripping wet (no exaggeration). I was so freaked out, they told me it was normal. I don’t know if this happens to everyone, something to keep in mind.

Breastfeeding does not come natural or easy for everyone. My baby would not latch right away, and honestly I was in no mental state to have this shaking screeching baby trying to latch on to me. I probably gave up ‘too fast’ but oh well, I pumped for 4 months (not fun). Make sure you have good creams for your nipples, they will be chapped if you pump or breastfeed.

And finally, colic. Gas drops and gripe water seemed to help occasionally, but honestly it was just time that finally made it ease up.

Oh! And I second one of the girls here who said buy everything used. It’s CRAZY how much stuff is marketed to you and at the end of the day you need almost nothing. Your baby needs YOU, diapers (lots of them) and some sleepers.

After all that I will say she is 18 months now and literally my whole world. Worth every moment of the shitstorm! Best wishes to you laughing

Post # 48
210 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Everyone’s experience and journey is different..

Postpartum depression is real! 

I wish I was better mentally prepared for the irritation and fatigue taking care of a baby would be (I didn’t have any friends share that with me and I don’t spend time around babies in general).

I wish that I had asked my ILs and parents to stay longer (they both live out of town) just for an extra set of hands. In my case , I needed all the help and relief I could get! Even having my husband at home wasn’t enough for me.

Try to breastfeed, but it’s ok to supplement with formula and exclusively pump (which is what I ended up doing). I stocked up on freezer bags that I didn’t need since I didn’t pump enough to freeze.

I don’t feel the same awe and wonder and never loved anybody as much as I love my baby that some other mom’s do and I accept that’s me and thats ok.  I am happy that we made it thru the newborn/baby phase and I don’t feel like my life is a complete crapshow now.



Post # 49
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Here’s what I wish I knew: almost nothing you stress about early on will have any kind of lasting effect. I exclusively and painstakingly breast fed until I puréed all my own baby food, I went 1.5 years with shitty sleep because I didn’t believe in sleep training, I still don’t allow screen time. I now have a two-year-old with a perpetual cold who licks the garbage can and would eat exclusively French fries if I let him, just like every other toddler out there. I’m proud of the goals I established and met, but I’m not sure they were all worth the all-consuming hassle and energy. There’s no medal for who went to the most trouble to parent their child!

Post # 50
698 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

Be prepared for the birth you want, but don’t beat yourself up if you have a totally different birth experience than you planned. And do have someone with you to advocate for your choices as long as  it’s safe for you and baby! 

Breastfeeding isn’t possible for everyone. I have PCOS and barely produced any milk plus had a baby with latch issues. I spent so much time trying and feeling guilty that it wasn’t working, and I wish I could have given myself permission to quit earlier and lose the stress. If it’s important to you by all means try really hard, but don’t feel guilty if you choose not to for ANY reason.

C-sections are not easier. They aren’t the end of the world either, but be prepared for a painful and rough recovery either way. Have good support people for the first few weeks so you can rest and focus on baby while they do everything else that needs done. 

Screen time (within reason), processed food, and non-organic products will not hurt you or your baby. Don’t let people make you feel guilty for your choices.

Your relationship with your partner will almost certainly suffer for the first few months. Sex after childbirth is hard, and you probably won’t feel like getting back in your normal rhythm right after your 6 week check. It took me 4+ months and even then it was painful. Not to scare you, just be realistic and make sure your partner is too. Also no sleep plus being constantly touched by baby plus the stress of parenting will probably make you both snippy and cranky for a while. It does get better though. 

Dont stress too much about milestones, but also trust your instincts. Babies teach things at different times, but as the mom you know if something seems off. If you feel baby needs some extra help don’t be afraid to speak up! 


Post # 51
18 posts
  • Wedding: September 2020 - Las Vegas, NV

One huge thing I wish I had known and also just experienced when my sister had her first in March is that when you leave the hospital, it is going to feel like a huge loss of a support system. Your doctor and nurses and family will be there surrounding you will positive energy and love, help, care and doting. It will feel as though there is a huge hole in your heart from the lack of all that afterward. It’s almost like “Well, you’ve had the baby so off I go. See you soon and good luck!” It hurts and you will be uber emotional on top of that. Make sure to keep in close touch with family and close friends afterward so you don’t feel so alone. I’m not a doctor or a medical professional at all but if that strange  “alone, sad and emotional for no reason” feeling sticks around longer than you think it should-see your PC immediately.  

Post # 52
1917 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

Totally forgot about the sex part. The first time we tried it wasnt happening, i was totally freaked out, thinking how am i ever going to have sex again. It will be a slow and possibly painful process unfortunately. 

Post # 53
38 posts
  • Wedding: November 2019 - Orland Park, IL

Ah just a couple more things! That supposedly magical moment when you meet your baby didn’t happen for me. We didn’t bond until she was about 2-1/2 months old. Do not let anyone tell you how to feel!! The pooping after thing, seriously just relax as much as possible and take your time. Take the stool softeners!!!!! Fully agree with the leaving the hospital thing, we stayed for 5 days because my insurance would pay for it, we could’ve gone home at 3 but I was terrified.

Also worth noting that a lot of heAlth insurance will pay for a breast pump!! I absolutely recommend getting one before you give birth, you may think you won’t need it but if you do you won’t regret having it!

Post # 54
4503 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

bmartinsgirl :  yesssss! Brilliantly put. I loved my ob so much, I felt so supported throughout the pregnancy, all the appointments, then going to see him and the nurses for the weekly appointments near the end, having the whole birth experience, etc. The support you got was so amazing and you get used to it! Then they send you off to fend for yourselves. I cried after my 12wk pap because I knew I wouldn’t see any of them again. 

Post # 55
108 posts
Blushing bee

Wish I knew some baby furniture could take *weeks* to get in. 

Darling Husband and I were at a box baby store. And almost everything was 2-3 months to get in. Which freaked me out because that would mean only a month before baby came. What we picked wasn’t some fancy thing either. 

The “leap” days/weeks. When he was 5 months old- we went back to waking up every 45 mins. Newborn stage all over! When he was done this phase- he started rolling around like crazy- so I guess he was preparing for that. 

Vaccinations… those appointments are hard! I have cried at all of them so far. His 4 month shots were 4 needles and an oral. His poor little body was aching for 2 days. 

Sometimes it’s the little things that entertain the kid. I could put him on his playmat in front of the washer/dryer and he would watch it for hours. After his 4 month shots- that’s where I got him to sleep. 

Post # 56
207 posts
Helper bee

I skimmed this so I’ll drop a few of the things I was gonna say that has been said. A couple I know have been said but are worth repeating:

-Some people say “you don’t know love till you have kids”… I always thought this was super condescending, and still do, but I’ll admit I’d never known this specific, terrifying, love. It’s not so much that the happy feeling is more intense, it’s the realization that your world will crumble and you will be destroyed if anything ever happens to your baby.  Your terribly fragile baby who can die in a million easy ways. (even just sleeping, wtf?) 

-This one may just be me but if you breastfeed you need to have sex with a bra on or else you start spurting milk everywhere cus of the friction. 

-If you don’t like your nurse (during labor and delivery OR postpartum), at least at my hospital, you can ask the charge nurse to replace them. I sort of knew this was an option but was in too much of a fog to do it, and I wish I had, or my husband had. The first 12 hours postpartum was psychological torture and in large part it was because the nurse taking care of me was a special kind of terrible (honestly bordering on cruel).  I didn’t realize how terrible she was until the next 3 nurses were all lovely, amazing, angels. I wish I’d just asked them to give me someone else.

– C-sections really aren’t that bad, and in some ways are very nice (e.g. no tearing)

– if you do get a c section, order a compression band ASAP. Night and day with vs. Without. I felt totally fine with it on, I felt like my body was falling apart without.  (Just for the first couple weeks. I was fine without after that)

– it’s worth it

Post # 57
619 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

Thank you for this thread! I’m TTC-ing now and this thread just tells me the reality. All I’ve ever seen on facebook was new moms’ happy, smiling faces and post-partum skinny bodies, sharing photos of their happy babies and how great and idealistic motherhood is, but rarely do I see the “darker” side of motherhood and the PP poop stories… Thank you, bees.

Post # 58
207 posts
Helper bee

Oh and you find yourself very, very, very often wondering how the fuck babies survived 100s of years ago. Or how anyone grew up to have an IQ above 100. (The answer is always: we had way more babies per capita)

Post # 59
732 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

This thread is very helpful! Thanks to all the bees and to OP! 

Post # 60
1373 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

Sleep isn’t linear and baby’s don’t just wake because they’re hungry.

Night wakings are both biologically and developmentally normal.

The majority of baby books and experts give advice from a position of fear (“if you don’t do abc, your baby won’t xyz”) but as long as you’re responding to your baby’s particular needs then you’re going to be fine!

Life is about seasons and your baby will grow up so don’t feel like you’re going to be stuck in your current phase forever.

All the tips and tricks work until they don’t but you’ll find new tricks and tool or time will sort it out. 

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