If you have kids, there are probably some things you wish you'd known before embarking on parenthood.
No matter how many books you read or videos you watch, nothing prepares you for being a parent quite like firsthand experience (believe me, I know!). Even though you realize it's going to be a life-changing experience, there's no manual that can explain what it's like to actually live it.
Some of the insights below are funny, while others are terrifying. On both sides of the coin, however, there are lots of things that you should know. So, buckle up! No one ever said parenthood would be easy.
1. "How to get a baby to go to sleep. My daughter only slept for an hour at a time (and only on me) for the first four days. That. Frigging. Sucked. Top tip - if they fall asleep on you, wait 20 mins or so before putting them down in the cot. They will stay asleep."
(via Reddit / phukenh1)
2. "Your vagina can tear in any direction. There's so much focus on perineal tearing, aftercare, and prevention. No one told me I could tear up, until I was eight minutes postpartum and my OBGYN was explaining that I had torn all the way up to my urethra, and she had to stitch me up. I had attended multiple classes, read books, blogs, articles. I was dumbfounded. I just looked at her and said, 'That's a thing?'"
3. "It's perfectly normal for some babies to have a bluish hue when they are born, and many babies don't cry when they are born because of all the gunk in their mouth and nose. When my daughter was born, I thought she was dead because she was blue and not crying. She was fine."
(via Reddit / Boredeidanmark)
4. "The baby should be taking more than just the nipple in her mouth. You should feel a deep tugging in your breast. Otherwise they aren't getting enough boob in there and your nipples will crack and feel like someone rubbed them with sandpaper."
5. "Point the baby's winky down in the nappy."
6. "Nothing is worse for labor than fear and anxiety, it literally stalls the process, that's how it's designed to be - no mammal gives birth when it feels threatened, they look for a safe place first. However, feeling calm and relaxed helps a lot, especially physical contact, anything that released oxytocin, which sets off the process."
7. "My placenta was huge and got 'stuck' in the uterine folds. So my OB had to put her entire hand inside me to pull it out. It hurt like hell."
8. "That your belly will look like an empty garbage bag for a while. Freaked me out. Assumed it would look somewhat normal. Breastfeeding pulls it back in!"
(via Reddit / michihunt1)
9. "That sometimes all the post birth hormones mean that baby girls can get something called a pseudo period. I was so worried when I saw blood in the nappy."
(via Reddit / mediocrity511)
10. "Don't forget that you most likely will have problems holding your bladder. A cough or sneeze can lead to a little bit of pee in your pants. Kegel exercises obviously help, also hemorrhoids are a very real possibility and those can last."
11. "Newborns fart a lot and it's hilarious."
(via Reddit / HailtheMaggie)
12. "It's normal to throw up during labor and get the shakes. Thought I was dying."
(via Reddit / HarlemJess)
13. "The meds they give you to loosen your stool are a godsend. Do not put them in a drawer thinking you'll be okay. You will not be okay. That first real bowel movement after giving birth is like birthing another child but through your anus. It is horrifically painful but oh so relieving when it's over."
14. "That a newborn's bellybutton is TERRIFYING!"
(via Reddit / Tang-Fan)