Things I Wish I Knew Before Our Baby Arrived (quotes from other moms too!)

Things I wish I knew before our first baby arrived. Quotes from over 40 other mothers!

{Photography by AB Photography}

Being pregnant for the first time comes with so many different feelings.

Excitement. Anxiety. Happiness. Fear. Worry. 

I remember being pregnant with our first daughter and having so many fears. I’m not even sure why… I guess it was just the anxious part of my brain kicking in. I feared that she would be born too early. I feared that she may not be healthy. I worried day in and out. Thankfully with our second daughter, I didn’t have these fears. I went with the flow and put the pregnancy in the hands of the man that looks over us up there…. He sure is a powerful one. He kept our little Ellie safe and delivered her to us as healthy as can be. I just pray that both her & Olivia always stay that way. 

Over on my #latenightnursingfeed, I asked all of the mothers what they wish they knew before their first baby arrived. These quotes are not meant to be discouraging by any means. For me, I would much rather be aware of what happens after birth than to be blind-sided by it. These quotes are written by real mamas who have been through it all. I would LOVE for you to reach out to me with any questions or concerns about anything at all. I am here for you. We are all here for you. Motherhood is not something that should be wandered through, alone. We must lift each other up and help support one another. 

Here is what they said:

“One thing I wish I knew would be to be prepared to have everything you thought you would do, go right out the window. That every baby is an individual and there is no such thing as a typical baby. You do what works for you and your baby and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks”

” I never could have imagined how different everything would be. I see couples without kids and have flashbacks to my old life. It’s strange and can feel sad. But I love our baby to pieces and can’t imagine life without him. I’m so thankful I waited until I was 34 to have him though because life is so different now and I’m glad I had so many years of “me” life before he came into our lives.”

” I wish I knew how difficult breastfeeding would be (pain, scheduling, pumping). My daughter was also tongue and lip tied (no clue what that even was until my lactation consultant pointed it out). I was by no means prepared for how intense it would be.”

“My first night back at work and I felt like I was skipping out of the house for some freedom! The changes to my body are crazy! Like why is my leg hair different?! And where do these random rashes come from?! I knew breast feeding would be a challenge, but woah, and pumping?! I never knew exhaustion before becoming a mom!”

“I wish I knew that having PPD does not make me a bad mom. I spent so many days crying because I felt like my depression made me a bad mom but it didn’t then and it doesn’t now. I love my son fiercely and that is what matters.”

“The hair loss is the biggest kept secret, and the regrowth is out of control! So awkward!”

” I worry so much about everything, especially when she isn’t having a great day. I worry that she’s hurting or sick and I feel so helpless sometimes when she’s inconsolable. I don’t know if anybody can really prepare you for that feeling of love for your child.”

“I wish I knew how much my hormones would make me almost go crazy!!!!”

” it is sometimes all consuming and I have to pray so hard to not let my mind “go there” – I just gave birth to our second son and so now my worrying has doubled – but my love too. It’s the best gift ever.”

“That everything is temporary. That every tough stage will pass and a new one will be there to replace it! ???? I thought that things would get easier as he got older but they don’t get easier, or harder really, just different. I feel like even if people had told me, I still would have needed to learn the lesson on my own. I still catch myself thinking “when he walks/talks it will be easier”. I have to remind myself constantly that with every stage comes different challenges but also the opportunity to see this little person you made blossom before your eyes. Ugh I love that kid. Also, pumping SUCKS”

“The swelling! When my son was born I felt like I lost so much weight immediately after but within just hours, I had gained all of the weight back in fluid. My feet and ankles, hands and fingers, face- everything was swollen. I stayed swollen for over 2 weeks. I wish I had someone over my shoulder telling me to drink water so that it would help to flush it all out. I was too embarrassed to be in pictures with him because I was ashamed of how I looked. EMBRACE everything! A new mama should never be ashamed of herself after having a baby. We’re all beautiful and amazing!”

” While I was pregnant, I prepared myself for labor & delivery…but did nothing to educate myself on breastfeeding. I suppose I assumed it would just come naturally. Boy was I wrong. I had mastitis within a week, & dealt with a tongue tie (unbeknownst to us) and thrush for almost 3 months. It was so incredibly painful & I cried during every nursing session. Once his tongue tie was diagnosed, we had that clipped & nursing improved sooo much! Now Sami is almost 9 months and nursing is going great which I am so thankful for…but I sure do wish I knew about some of these things beforehand! ????”

“I wish I knew that I wasn’t going to fall in love right away. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy that she was healthy, and I cried when she was born…but I didn’t know her yet. It took some time, and I think I was ashamed of that in the beginning. She felt foreign to me. If I knew how hard I would fall for her in the future, I wouldn’t have worried for a second…but I didn’t know at the time.”

“I wish I had known just how tough recovering from a cesarean would be. I could barely get in and out of bed to nurse her. The pain was almost unbearable. So glad my mom was able to stay with us and thankful for a hands on husband!”

“I wish I knew that I’d literally never sleep again ! Worth every second and love my son more then words can explain but lord what i would give for a solid 6 hours !! I’d even take 3 hours lol”

“I wish I had known that he wouldn’t sleep in my arms forever and that I had done it more often with him when he was younger. Now he only wants his toy fox and crib to sleep and mama wants some snuggles!”

“I wish i knew that i could and should work towards better sleep as soon as possible. I let myself stay Way sleep deprived for too long because i was afraid to sleep train. He still gets up once ir twice a night but he can sleep 6 hours straight or more instead of waking every 2 hours. We are about to work on getting him to sleep through the night completely, but it is harder because we waited (hes a year old now)”

“That sleeping really will be a thing of the past. That your life really does do a 180. How difficult breastfeeding will be in the beginning and pumping while working is no joke. Everyone will have an opinion but only do what works best for you and your baby. Postpartum hair loss is real. I can go on and on but I wouldn’t change any of it if it meant being without my baby girl”

“That breastfeeding would be the hardest yet one of the most rewarding parts! So proud we are 7.5 months in and still going! Also that I would have a baby who hates sleep ????”

“How hard this first week being back at work and away from her would be. I’ve never missed someone like I miss her all.day.long. Hoping it gets better soon so mama can stop crying like a freak on the way to work every morning!!”

“How easy she fit into our lives. We had been just the two of us for 15 years and I really thought it would be hard to add a baby. As it turns out it was so easy and made everything more fun.”

“I’m so thankful I read “the womanly art of breastfeeding” prior to birth. Life saver! What I didn’t know: even vaginal births require a lot of recovery. It felt lie there was a grapefruit shoved between my legs. An episiotomy is bad and can take MONTHS to heal. Also, buy a lot of really big maxi pads!”

“I wish I had of known about the strain on the relationship between the parents. I had no idea what we where getting into as a couple. If I had I would have spent a lot more time working to keep the relationship healthy and fun before we had the baby. It was a crazy hard first few months we had our little girl, not only where we adjusting to having a baby but we were not on good terms as a couple. It was a lot of hard work, but we are good now.”

“How hard it would be to get back in shape after! I would have made sure I was much more fit before getting pregnant.”

“That routine is key. I never understood “it can’t be during nap time” until we missed nap time and all hell broke lose. I’m still super easy going and not overbearing but we get to keep a routine especially at night”

“I would have squeezed in that last girls day trip to the spa & overnight slumber party that my best friends wanted to do for me. I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to be away from the baby for a whole day or night, not because I couldn’t handle it but because the baby couldn’t – or my husband or our parents (even with pumping bottles)! 3-4 hours seems to be the max for now. I had no idea how much I would be needed or how exhausting it could be, even though it’s amazing at the same time.”

“I never knew how emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted I would be. Luckily my heart is full.”

“I wish I was more prepared for life AFTER the baby. I was preparing so much for his arrival but didn’t think about how I was going to feel or what I would need. As a FTM I never realized how intense labor is and the challenges to get your body and mind back (relatively) ????”

 

Things I wish I knew before our first baby arrived. Quotes from over 40 other mothers!

“My little one is 3 weeks and here is what I have learned that I didn’t know beforehand: 1. Breastfeeding was so hard, she would not latch and nothing came natural. 2. Pumping was exhausting 3. The doctors and consultants cared more about me forcing the breastfeeding than the fact that she had jaundice and was always hungry because she wouldn’t latch. They almost admitted us back into the hospital for the light therapy then to just say “supplement some formula to help her” 4. Exhaustion with a newborn is an understatement 5. No one talks about how crazy your hormones are after birth, always just during pregnancy. I have had so many crying fits for no reason and it has been a little overwhelming 6. I have always been punctual – not with a newborn. 7. Learning a new routine with old habits is a very hard thing to do. 8. I am going to say this again because this is what we are currently struggling the most with -exhaustion, exhaustion, exhaustion. Every 2 hour feedings after 3 weeks really take a toll on your mind and body. But I hear it gets better and you eventually sleep more than an hour at a time.”

“Keep an open mind with labor and delivery. Just because you plan something, doesn’t mean it works out that way. Accept help from other people, and family. Whether it’s food, or cleaning…let people help, and don’t feel guilty. Really. The first month is exhausting. Think: this too shall pass. Try to enjoy the newborn snuggles. That “witching hours,” do exist, and that your baby will cry for no reason. That will also pass. That parenthood is crazy hard, but more rewarding than anything else on earth. Oh…and have a good support person that gets what you’re going through…bonus points if they have breastfeeding experience, and will answer your random questions at 3 am. Someday you really will leave the house with makeup, and normal NOT maternity/yoga pants/workout gear clothes on again.”

“Wish I knew how hard it would be having 2 under 2. I am back to work and I’m just so damn tired. The baby is 4 months old and will only sleep on me ( which means I get NO sleep) and my husband and I right now do not get along bc im so sleep deprived being back at work, keeping up wih house chores, groceries dinners etc etc! But man do I love my kids ????”

“I never anticipated how awful it would be to drive a car with a screaming newborn in the backseat. That no amount of shushing, singing, cooing or talking would be enough and multiple stops would be required to get anywhere. No matter how dry, well-fed, calmed and soothed… The instant she hits that seat, it’s red faced screams until the next stop. And repeat.”

“I wish I had known about baby blues and that it’s totally normal! I cried everyday at 5 o’clock for no reason for the first 10 days then all of the sudden it stopped. It was just the oddest thing, I would be sitting there crying so hard and say “but I’m so happy!” ???? also the guilt I would feel when my son got awful reflux and I had to start pumping and mixing breast milk and formula. Having another mommy to talk about these things is SO helpful! My husband is so supportive but there’s just some things he can’t understand. ????”

“I wish I would have known that a pregnancy can be hard, but that’s no reflection on you or your child. Also I wish I would have known that you can get ZERO sleep for a year, work crazy hours, breastfeed for two years and be okay. I was so terrified I couldn’t do it all.”

“I wish I had known just exactly how much your life will change. I mean, I knew it would, but it’s like nearly every aspect changes. So much. And, I wish I would have known that I know best and what other people (ie. My mother in law) say or tell me to do isn’t always right. There are different ways to do things and parents now what’s best.”

“So much that I wish I had known! I took a few classes but still had no clue. I just wish I would’ve known to take one whole day to lay in bed before she came ???? And also go on a nice date night because we still haven’t gotten around to that 10 weeks later!”

“I wish I had given my mom friends more love and my own mom. What moms do is amazing and I’m just impressed with all moms after just being one for less than three months. I don’t feel like I am rocking this thing yet but I do know we need to support each other. I want to go back to every baby shower I attended as a non mom and hug the necks of my pregnant friends and whisper, “you got this. You’re going to be amazing. I will be there for you to laugh or cry or hold your baby so you can go pee or eat.” I also wish I had gone to the movies a few more times with my husband before baby ❤️”

“Simple things like going to the grocery store are huge endevours – bundle baby up, put her in the car seat, put baby and stroller in car, drive to grocer, park, set up stroller, take baby out of car and put car seat on stroller, grab the few groceries you can juggle while running through the store praying your baby girl doesn’t wake up, give stink eye to any person speaking louder than a whisper and to that annoying person in front of you at check out who’s card keeps declining – do they not see you have a sleeping baby on your hands – time is money!! Pay, return to car, load groceries, take baby and car seat off stroller and put in car, collapse stroller, get in car, start the sshhing as baby has woken up and is screaming (they don’t tell you at some point that sweet angelic girl who fell asleep before you even got out of the driveway the first few weeks will decide she HATES her car seat ) and drive home (probably in tears because your baby’s cry breaks your heart) only to realize you got all the ingredients for a chicken dish and forgot the chicken .. rinse and repeat.”

“Just how much your perspective on life would change the moment you have a baby. I have a new found respect for all mothers. It’s a 24/7 job that requires physical, mental and emotional strength. Each new phase brings it’s own set of challenges and just when you think you can’t handle it your baby will look at you and smile. In that moment you realize you are their whole world and you now know why people say “it’s all worth it.” It truly is.”

“I wish I knew how taxing simple, everyday tasks would be ???? going to the bathroom, taking a shower, eating. Those first few months were a wonderful hot blur.”

“I wish I would have known how fast it would all go by…I stare at my 10 year old Son and my 7 year old daughter and I can still remember the way they smelled. I long for those middle of the night feedings where it would be just us awake. I miss it so much it hurts. No matter what life throws my way I can always go back to that feeling. My happy place….”

“How much I wished I spent the last months of my pregnancy sleeping instead of doing “the last dinners out, the last movie, the last time in the city”. I don’t miss restaurants, movie theaters or the bustling metropolis. I miss my bed!”

“I wish I’d known that breastfeeding in the beginning would take forever meaning you were pretty much just feeding all day. I wish I’d watched the happiest baby dvd before he was born. Wish I’d tried laying him in the crib from the beginning (might not have worked because of reflux, but couldn’t have hurt). Wish I’d realized that a to do list was an exercise in futility because a lot of my early frustrations were born of the mismatch between my expectations of free time and the reality that there wasn’t any. Wish I’d stocked up on good audio books.”

“I wish I knew about how you really have to let your body heal after delivery. How painful it would be if you don’t rest and make sure to take care of yourself and allow others to help. I also wish I knew about cluster feeding! That was a complete shock the second night of my little girls life. Lastly, I wish I knew that when your baby is only a day old – they don’t need to eat so much because they have fat stored away – and you should SLEEP as much as you can after delivery & when your new bundle of joy is asleep.”

“About the constant feedback about what to do, what not to do– all of which is contradicting. About what to say to people to get them to stop offering this feedback.”

“I wish I would have known no matter how much I planned ahead after the baby is born it is one day at a time. Wait actually one second at a time. I read, took classes, listen to my doctors but every baby is different so one experience is different from another mothers. I also wish I would have known how much labor puts a mom out of commission. I read about all the after but did not realize how hard it was on the body and how much my body had to rest. With having bad hemorrhoids, bleeding, blood pressure issues and coming down from being swollen the last 4 months of my pregnancy my body felt out of sight out of mind.”

“I wish I knew how hard having a baby can be on a marriage. Everything changes plus exhaustion plus crazy hormones for months after birth make for some really difficult times.”

“I wish I had a better idea at how difficult those first few months could be. Learning to breast feed, having little to no sleep at all, becoming instantly selfless, feeling trapped in the house because it was so difficult to go out, learning to work together as a team with my husband. Everyone said that I’d be tired and that it’s a lot of work…but there’s no real way to prepare or really know until you’re in it! It’s the toughest thing and the best thing over and over again.”

“I wish I would have known how hard it would be on our marriage. My husband is amazing but will get frustrated when he can’t console our little one. He tends to shut down for a moment if it happens and it frustrates me because I sometimes don’t feel like I can get a break. Always a work in progress”

“I always knew that having a child would forever change our lives but I could have never imagined how much! I wouldn’t trade it for the world! I love my life and this little family of mine! As a new mom there was so much I didn’t know, but as a NICU nurse there was so much that I did know! My profession has allowed me to simply see too much and it made me such a paranoid mother in the beginning. I wish I could have separated the two because I feel that deprived me of just enjoying that precious time with my new babe and trusting my instincts rather than being a paranoid worry wort!”

 

Other great resources for moms:

GENERAL // Things I Wish I Knew Before Our Baby Arrived (Written by over 50 other mothers!) //  What to Bring a Mom after she has a Baby // New Mama Must-Haves // How to Transition from a Bottle to a Sippy Cup // Why you Should Hire a Birth Photographer // What I’ve Learned as a Mom Thus Far

BREASTFEEDING // Best Foods to Eat while Breastfeeding // Nursing Essentials // 10 Tips for those that Plan to Breastfeed // Nursing Essentials II // How to Increase your Milk Supply including a recipe for Lactation Cookies!

BABY REGISTRY GUIDES // Baby Registry List AND Free Printable Checklist  // The Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist // 

FOR AFTER BABY // A Letter to My Postpartum Body // 10 of the Best Online Kids Shops // 30 Going on 13: A Tale of Postpartum Puberty //

& don’t forget to join in on the #latenightnursingfeed!

3 Comments

  1. Fiona
    January 12, 2016 / 8:41 am

    Love all of these ! Just nodding along in agreeance and the trend I see is that we all need to be nicer to ourselves and know we are doing the best we can ! Thank you for posting these !

  2. January 17, 2016 / 11:51 pm

    I have no children yet, and I kinda don’t want them anymore. These are some off putting comments.

  3. January 25, 2016 / 11:29 pm

    Wow!! Thanks for sharing this!! I love hearing how new moms are feeling, totally open and honestly. Thanks!

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