What to Expect…in REALITY!

The pregnancy books lie.  They LIE.  I don’t know whose idea it was to gather all the pregnancy book authors and editors together, convince them to lie to new mothers, then run and hide.  Maybe it’s an MIT prank…

I have listed below all the lies (and, to be fair, omissions) I’ve uncovered in my pregnancy journey.  These lies are from pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period.  Please add the lies you’ve found in the comments section.  Someone must warn the new mothers!

  1. You don’t gain weight in the first trimester.  LIE!  Several items I read stated that there is minimal weight gain in the first trimester.  They explained that most of the weight is gained in the second trimester and the beginning of the third trimester.  Supposedly the weight gain halts within a few weeks of labor.  Whatever.  I gained weight the ENTIRE time.  I was 41 weeks pregnant on the day I delivered Squirmy.  I gained several pounds in the three days before he was born.  In total, it took me 41 weeks to gain 48 pounds.  Good times.
  2. You will have cravings.  LIE!  Maybe most women crave weird food items.  Maybe it’s just something the movies started and the pregnancy books decided to run with it.  I dunno.   I, however, did not have any weird food cravings.  I really, really liked Arby’s while I was pregnant, but I’ve always really, really liked Arby’s.  Still do.
  3. Maternity clothes are for pregnancy only.  LIE!  On the contrary, you might as well as throw away all of your pre-pregnancy clothes and start over.  I like to say that five weeks after giving birth I only weigh ten pounds more than I did when I got pregnant.  Big honkin’ deal.  Weight means nothin’.   What they don’t tell you is that after pregnancy and childbirth, you’re an entirely DIFFERENT SHAPE!  It doesn’t matter how much you weigh!  Since you’re a different shape, your pre-pregnancy clothes won’t fit at all and your maternity clothes won’t fit the same.  Trust me.  Take a trip to New York and Co. and just re-stock.
  4. Childbirth is a miraculous experience.  LIE!  Maybe it was for Mary; after all, she birthed our eternal salvation, but it’s not for all women.  Hopefully it will be or was for you, but it wasn’t for me.  It was painful and gross and irritating (not in that order).  It was irritating to be hooked up to tubes and in a stupid hospital gown (really, are those things necessary?  Can’t someone design a better and more comfortable hospital gown?).  It was irritating to have nurses constantly bugging you, waking you up, and looking at your hoo-ha.  I think the painful and gross parts are pretty self-explanatory.
  5. When childbirth is over, so is the pain.  LIE!  You’re in pain for weeks after the birth, more if you had a C-section or tore badly.  It hurts to walk, to pee, to sit, to stand, to think.  People tell you to “move around” and “get out of the house” because it’s supposed to help you get back to normal more quickly.  Maybe so.  I dunno.  I ignored those people, stayed on my couch, and whined to Mr. Rachel about the pain and those people.
  6. Kegel exercises are important for bladder control.  TRUTH!  Finally!  They told the truth about something!  I have had lots of women tell me that they didn’t do the kegel exercises and now they get a moist surprise when they sneeze.  I’ve also had lots of women tell me that they did do the kegel exercises, and they were definitely a benefit to the after-baby sex life.  Moral of the story?  There’s an exercise that even I’ll do.
  7. You will love your baby more than anything.  TRUTH!  This realization may not happen right away.  It may be a gradual progression.  It may hit you like a baseball bat one day when you’re changing a diaper with a multi-colored surprise.  Whenever it comes, it comes.  The love.  The intense, knock you over, where have you been all my life love.  It makes all the lies worth it.

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