My Journey

Things I Wish I Knew Before Having a Baby

Everything I learned about pregnancy before having a baby I learned from television and movies so that means I really didn’t know much and it was almost all wrong. No matter how much advice your mother might give you or how she might try to warn you of the perils of pregnancy, one of the biggest things I’ve learned was that everyone is different. That means every pregnancy is different and not just a little but a great deal.

Things I wish I Knew Before Having a Baby

Before having a baby

1. The Pregnancy

  •  You don’t vomit just once at the beginning of the pregnancy as a way to tell you you’re pregnant. The term morning sickness is completely deceiving. Some woman will be sick all the time. Some won’t. It is different for everyone.
  • The water doesn’t always break first.
  • You don’t rush to the hospital at the first sign of labor and then give birth immediately.

2. The Birth

  • The labor is scary and painful. Enough said.

3. Baby comes home

  • Babies are expensive. Don’t buy too many stuff for them. A 5-6 two-piece outfits for the first 6 months, and the same amount of two-piece outfits for the next six-months is more than enough.
  • Babies require constant supervision. Any spare time you think you have is now eaten up by your little bundle of joy.
  • Breastfeeding can be tough for a first-time mom. It can hurt as hell. Stay strong.
  • You will be tired all the time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • The methods that work for your friends may not work for you.
  • Everyone around you is going to have an opinion on how to do things. Listen to your gut.

Even though most of my observations about period before having a baby are negative, there is nothing more enjoyable than holding your child. When we all think that we can’t do it and we’re so sleep deprived that we’re sure we can fall asleep standing up, we can’t wait for the baby to grow up. Eventually though, we wish they were babies again when having to deal with an older child’s problems.

What do you wish you knew before having a baby?

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  • Reply Tamara June 15, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Yes, the morning sickness is more like.. all day sickness sometimes. And then with my daughter, I had no nausea at all! Not even in the beginning. So strange.
    I wish I had known that your water can break without you knowing. Weird, right? That happened with my son – it was a painfully slow leak and not a gush. It was like that for over 24 hours and it caused complications, but luckily he was fine.

  • Reply Becca @ The Earthlings Handbook June 16, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    Television and movies are weirdly unrealistic about pregnancy and babies! So are a lot of fictional books. I’m reading one now in which the mother and father do the deed at midnight and the mother’s having nausea by dinnertime–it does NOT work that way! The fertilized egg doesn’t even implant in the uterus for several days and doesn’t start causing symptoms for at least a week after that.

    I hope that if you have another baby, you’ll be better informed not only by your experience with your first but by doing some more research. The Pregnancy Book and The Baby Book by Dr. Sears are wonderful resources.

    I can’t agree that “scary and painful” is enough said about labor. Yes, you can expect to have both of those feelings, but there are zillions of techniques to help you through it and many ways to prepare yourself to do it well. I thought labor was very exciting, too, and an interesting challenge like a sport. Here is my best labor tip.

    One thing I wish I’d known before having a baby is that a mother with Type O blood and a father with any other blood type have a high risk of having a baby with severe jaundice. It’s no big deal if you get the right treatment, but because the treatment has to start 2-3 days after birth when you’re so overwhelmed, that is no time to research the treatment or find out how best to do it! I was very upset that nobody told me about the possibility during my first pregnancy. Here’s more about blood types and jaundice treatment.

  • Reply Sarah Washburn June 16, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    I am not married or have children of my own yet, but I enjoyed reading your post! I love babies (and I’m one of 7 children) and I enjoy listen to others and taking tips for when I am a mom one day (hopefully!). When you said everyone around you has an opinion it reminded me of an email a friend sent me last year. She had her first child and really knew nothing about babies and how to care for them! Anyways, I got an email from her and she said that the whole country where they lived was telling her how to care for her son! It was so funny. She said she finally had to just pray and see what the Father led her to do as the opinions often contradicted each other:) Thank you for sharing. ~Sara (visiting from Radical Femininity)

  • Reply Jennifer S. June 17, 2015 at 4:01 am

    The thing that surprised me the most was the amount of time one little baby requires, but as you said – it is all worth it.

  • Reply Amber @ Slim Pickin's Kitchen June 23, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    I can’t say it enough: You think you know what it’s like to have a newborn, but *YOU’LL NEVER TRULY UNDERSTAND* until you have one yourself. I was totally one of those people who thought, “Oh, I’ll be fine. I can handle this!”, and I was a complete disaster after our son was born. Granted, he was born 6 weeks premature, and he was in the hospital for the first 13 days of his life so that didn’t help with an already stressful situtation! He is happy and healthy now, and I adore him <3

  • Reply Christy June 23, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    i wish I had known that there are free resources for helping new moms. For example La Leche league for breastfeeding.

  • Reply Stacey June 24, 2015 at 12:51 am

    There’s a lot you don’t think if, like complications! My son came early (3 months) and that was something that I never even thought would happen. I also spent 1 month on hospital bed rest before I gave birth. You really don’t think of all the possibilities.

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