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I've seen the advice to skip reading those pregnancy books and read baby books instead, but did I heed that advice? No I did not. I hate advice but it's good advice people, it's good advice. Pregnancy is just a bunch of farts, weird pains and non-stop peeing, so take some time to read up on baby's first few months of life because motherly instinct won't just kick in, you'll need to fall back on actual knowledge.
Can't handle it? Then just read these tips I've haphazardly compiled and understand that having a baby is some crazy-ass shit. Literally and figuratively. I'm in deep with my 3.5-month-old baby so my information is as fresh as a diaper full of seedy poop! (Side note: I don't know why newborn poop is seedy, no one's feeding them seeds, anyway.)
1.Pack your bag for the hospital a few weeks before your due date. I did not do this because I was having a scheduled c-section but my baby did not care to be born on the date we had picked and my water broke a week early. The panicking and the shoving of things in a bag with a sopping towel tucked between your legs and your idiot husband running around can, and should, be avoided.
2.Read up on baby poop even though it's so gross. It's good to know that the black tar oozing out of your newborn baby's butt is totally normal. Ditto on the orange crystals that you think are blood at 3 a.m.
3.You're supposed to change you baby's diaper at the hospital. Yes, YOU. Maybe other people know that, but we didn't. We just stared at him in his clear plastic box until one of the nurses told us to do it.
4.Know that you will not be pooping after delivery and when you finally do it's going to be THE WORST. Talk to your doctor about stool softeners as the narcotics will block you up real bad. I had planned to take the softeners a couple days before my surgery but was unable to due to my son's early arrival. Frowny face. Anguished face. Terrible pain face.
5.Arrange for help at home. After the horror wonder of delivering your baby make sure you have help at home. It might seem cute to be just you and your partner and your little one bonding but it's actually hell on earth as your baby screams and you have no idea what to do and you haven't slept in a week. If your family lives close by or can come stay with you to help out, that's great! If not, start saving right now to hire some help. We had to do the latter and it cost a damn fortune. But it saved all of our lives.
6.Skin-to-skin is great—holding your baby against you is beautiful and bonding and wonderful. But wrap a swaddle around their butt because newborn poop runs right out diapers. Our baby was especially skinny so the newborn nappies were voluminous and after a couple of hot poops on my bare skin, I learned my lesson.
7. Breastfeeding might not work out for you. Everyone knows breast is best. I had planned on breastfeeding but what I did not plan on was the incredible pain, my son losing more than 10% of his birth weight in the hospital, then not gaining his birth weight back even though I was on a rigorous triple feeding schedule. Be prepared for intense guilt if you are unable to breastfeed.
8.Watch out for postpartum depression. I thought I was just sad and hormonal and that I had made a mistake by having a baby. Turns out I have postpartum depression. Getting help early is very important for you and your baby.
Having a new baby is no joke, son. It's a ton of work and the fluids flow fast and furious from both you and baby.
9.Your baby weight probably won't just fall off. If it does you are so lucky and I hate you. I actually gained weight since having my son. I attribute this to eating a lot, being awake 24 hours a day and a major decrease in my daily movement due to recovering from the c-section and then just sitting around with the baby. Give yourself a break. You can go on a diet in a few months if you like, but for now, don't worry about it.
10.Be prepared to hate your partner. Like really hate them. It doesn't matter how wonderful they are. You will find them very annoying and will not believe that you chose to procreate with such a stupid person. Just try not to stab them when they say, "I'm so tired."
11.Do not let anyone come over to your house to see the baby without bringing you food or doing a chore for you. NO. ONE.
12.Get a Rock n' Play. Okay, I know every baby is different and this may not work for your baby (save your receipt, you can bring anything back when you have the glazed crazy eyes of a new mother.) Ours loved it and slept really well in it, plus it's very portable so you can take it to backyard barbecues and let your baby sleep while you finally have that glass of wine.
13.Join an online new moms community. You might not be up for going anywhere but being able to chat with other moms and ask questions is really nice. I use the Baby Center app and I really like it. You can also just lurk because basically any question you can think of will have already been asked.
14.Get a Netflix subscription. Newborns do sleep a lot but, unfortunately, they don't do it consecutively. Do not do chores when they snooze, just chill out and watch "Grey's Anatomy" or something and try to take a nap.
15.Let me spare you the mystery of how he is peeing out of his diaper: point baby boy's penis downward in his diaper after you change him. Mischief managed. Also, put a washcloth over his teeny weenie when changing to avoid piss in your eye.
16.Do not bother with onesies that go on over your baby's head. DO NOT. Get those nice zip up "Sleep and Play" ones, just be careful not to catch baby's skin in the zipper. The ones with snaps are a bitch. But if you do decide to use the over the head onesies know this: In case of blow out, they are designed to be pulled down from their shoulders so as not to cover your precious newborns' head in poop.
Having a new baby is no joke, son. It's a ton of work and the fluids flow fast and furious from both you and baby. You will be crapped on, peed on and spitted up on. Your life will be forever altered. I hope you take these tips and run, uh, sit on the couch with them. Because whether you're nursing or bottle feeding, you are going to be doing a lot of sitting.
And don't worry about screen time—the baby can't see the TV yet, so turn it down low, put on the closed captioning and sit back with your little poopenstein. You're a mama now!