What to REALLY Expect When You’re Expecting

Jess Dickison, a tired single mom. Jul 29, 2022

5 things I wish someone had told me pre-baby

1. That mom bod tho.

99.9% of women do not give birth and immediately look like Gisele Bundchen. She also said childbirth doesn’t hurt, convince me she isn’t an alien. I remember expecting to look exactly as I did nine months prior and the disappointment that came with looking more like a turtle without its shell, who also got brutally clawed by a lion. Then after feeling sorry for myself a bit, I realized something. My body grew an ENTIRE HUMAN BEING. A head. Eyes. A nose. Limbs. Bones. The works. Not everyone is lucky enough to say they’ve done that, and it’s a privilege to have been able to do so. So, I flipped that self-loathing internal dialog and now am a proud member of the #mombodclub. This body did WERK and did it well, so if you’re feeling self-conscious post-birth, please remind yourself of the above and turn your internal dialog into Paris Hilton whenever you look in the mirror because babe - that’s hot.

2. You’ll be so, so constipated.

Listen, we’ve all been there before. Picture the last time you were so backed up you thought you were going to die on the toilet seat, and times that by at least 20. Do yourself a massive favor, stock all the way up on some stool softeners, and try to keep yourself hydrated. Here’s a helpful link fully loaded (pun intended) with medically reviewed tips: Everything You Need to Know About Postpartum Poop

3. You’ll be stressed AF those first few weeks.

The "baby blues" are no joke, and your body is literally in mama-bear survival mode. Even with family and friends there to help, the racing thoughts and brain fog are also still (unfortunately) very much there. (It's normal, don't worry, babe!) I remember all too clearly the day the L&D nurses cleared me to go home and that wave of fear washing over my entire body, realizing that it was all on me to keep this sweet Lil poop machine alive.

Nobody talks about the loneliness that comes after bringing your new bundle of joy home for the first time. It's an all-consuming, overwhelming, and scary new job that you're trying to navigate, which is a new routine that takes time to adjust. After the first few weeks, your body is mostly recovered, and after you get into the swing of things - it's not so bad, I promise! But, with that being said - postpartum depression is a real b*tch, and if you need help (like, not your mom's help), there are so many excellent resources out there! My favorite, 7 Cups, which ranges from $0-$150 per month (the $150 includes a licensed therapist), is an online platform that offers 24/7 support, regardless of whether you can afford therapy. Their community forums and chat support are 24/7 and include peer-to-peer support, which will match you with available listeners when you need to talk. It's a 10/10 from me, dawg.

4. You will be terrified to leave your house.

After you've recovered a bit and your battle wounds are healed, you'll eventually need to leave the house to get some sunshine and interact with the outside world again. Pre-baby, I wouldn't even think twice about going anywhere and everywhere. Post-baby, not so much the case. We needed groceries, so after about three weeks of total isolation - I gave myself the pep talk of all pep talks, put on my suit of armor (leggings, a pad that may as well have been a diaper it was so big, a nursing bra stuffed with reusable nursing pads, and a hoodie) and got us into the car. The racing thoughts of "what if she has a blowout in the store" and "what if I crash the car" even down to "is she too hot? Too cold? Did I buckle her in the right way?" I want you to know, after those first few trips of white-knuckling that steering wheel and neurotically checking your mirror to make sure they're still breathing - it DOES get easier, and you'll be slingin' that babe around everywhere with you once you find that comfort zone. Just keep reminding yourself that meth heads keep babies alive. If they can do it, SO CAN WE. (Or another mantra, that was just my go-to.) Hot tip: stay comfy, mama; nobody cares. They will be looking at your precious babe instead. Make sure your diaper bag is stocked with the necessities, and you'll both be just fine.

5. All the emotions.

Through the good, the bad, and the ugly, you will always have a mini-you who will forever be your ride-or-die. While they will have 0 problem humbling you, (looking @ you, toddlers) they’ll also teach you love, empathy, and patience like you’ve never had before. Watching your sweet teeny babe growing before your eyes and finding their own quirky personality is truly one of the most amazingly mind-bending experiences, and while yes - they will find and push every single one of your buttons, the bond and deep rooted love that comes with parenthood is truly unmatched.

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