Congrats! Prepare to suffer.

Jan 28, 2012

Ever since attempting to become pregnant, parents have been warning me about it. But now that we’ve managed to put a little bun in the oven and start cooking, it’s gotten worse.

For example, if I mention being tired, I hear:

“Sleep while you can! You won’t get any sleep in a few months.”

“Oh, you think you’re tired now, give it 30 weeks!”

“Ha — wait until you’ve got a newborn waking you up every two hours. You ain’t seen nothing yet!”

But I’m a little confused. If parenting is such a wonderful experience, why does everyone keep telling me how much it’s going to suck? Are you trying to scare me? Shouldn’t you be talking it up, so I won’t be completely terrified (like I already am)?

And when I say I’m terrified, I mean it. I am scared to death. I have probably changed a total of 10 diapers in my lifetime. I’ve never bathed a baby. I can’t smell a dirty diaper or tell a wet diaper from a dry one by pinching it. I don’t know the difference between hungry crying and tired fussing. I don’t know how many hours babies sleep, or how much they eat, or how to tell if they are sick.

The point: I have no F-ing clue what I’m doing, and in 8 months, a tiny, helpless human will be relying solely on me (and my goofball husband) for survival. Holy mother of god.

Back in junior high, a girlfriend of mine told me having your period was awesome. This girl loved having something I didn’t, and talked about Aunt Flow like it was an amazing vacation from the horror of being period-less the other 21 days of the month. “I don’t think it’s the slightest bit of inconvenience. It’s kind of nice,” she’d say. The other girls, some of whom had gotten their periods six years earlier, would gape at her, shocked.

One girl, Jayne, spoke up: “Are you kidding me? It’s not fun. My period is the biggest pain in the butt. I’d do anything to make it go away.”

Little Miss I-Have-It-And-You-Don’t would reply that it really was no problem.  But as soon as I got mine, she joined the others in the anti-period chorus, whining non-stop. “Ohhhh, my gawwwwwwd, I have my fucking period, and it fucking SUCKS!”

She talked it up like it was sunshine and puppy dogs until I joined her club. I think parenting is the same way. Now that parenthood is inevitable, everyone’s reminding me that I’m in for major misery.

Here’s the deal, parents:  the warnings are really not necessary.  I already know it’s going to be hard, and I’m petrified.

I babysat my nephew when he was five weeks old, and he woke me up at 5am and cried every time I put him down for 10 hours straight. He didn’t sleep through the night for two years. And as he got older, I was squeezed in a bed with him a few times due to lack of space at Grandma’s. He kicked me in the face, repeatedly (how children manage to find your face with their feet — no matter how you situate them in the bed — is a miracle I’ll never understand).

Yes, he wasn’t my kid, but I was able to get a tiny sense of what I was in for. Despite that, I decided to do it anyway.

I’m not looking forward to the hard parts of this parenting thing. It’s going to suck, a lot at times, and that’s what scares me. But I know there will be some happy moments that will make it all seem worthwhile.

So here’s where you can help, parents: if you could focus on the nice parts — the sunshine and puppy dogs as opposed to the poop and vomit — I’d feel a lot less terrified about the Peanut in my belly. I’ll get to the hard part soon enough. For now, let’s just pretend it’s really no inconvenience at all. In fact, having an infant is kind of nice.  Right?

About Me

Hiya! I'm Lydia. I live in Iowa with my husband and two children, both the result of iVF. I started this blog in 2011, so everything here's a wee bit... old. I don't do a ton of writing anymore... but I'm leaving the blog up, in case it's helpful for those who stumble across it.

Skip to the iVF

If you're going through infertility and want to see our journey, start in June 2011 (first two cycles) or January 2014 (third cycle). Hopefully reading about our rollercoaster with assisted reproduction brings you a little hope, and more than a few giggles. (Keep in mind that this information is over a decade old in most cases; please don't take anything you read here as medical advice. Consult your doctor for facts.)

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  1. Honestly, there is nothing to worry about. When you are in the hospital, the nurses will show you how to change the diapers, give baths, and all the junk. You will be absolutely FINE. 🙂 And you will learn all the other stuff along the way. 😉
    So here’s the good parts: you’re going to love him/her WITH ALL YOUR HEART and he/she WILL LOVE YOU BACK. You’re going to cry when you’re holding your child, happy tears, omg, HAPPY tears, because they are so flippin precious. Your child will make you smile, laugh, and cry all in the same breath. You will always have someone fun around to entertain you, even when they’re being naughty. You will make friends with other little ones’ parents. You will have an excuse to go shopping, babies always need something. 😉 Your child will be the most perfect, most adorable thing on earth and you will want to tell the world how great he/she is. You will have fun pawning off baby on your husband when he is home, after all, you have already changed 1 million + diapers, he should get a turn. Babies smell sweet. There is nothing like the smell of your baby when you hold them in your arms close to your heart. When baby starts moving/grooving, there will be endless hours of entertainment with the animals.
    Now, yes there will be the hard times, BUT the good times will always outweigh them. At least, they do for me and my children are FAR from perfect. 😀

  2. I said the EXACT same thing 3-1/2 years ago. Why do people do that? They’ll also tell you all their labour horror stories and all the awful stuff that happened to them while pregnant. Ya gotta ignore it. You might experience one out of 100 things they tell you.

    (FWIW, yeah, there’s some super-hard, sucky parts, and you’ll feel like you don’t know what you’re doing most of the time, but you figure it out, and then you have a little best friend who thinks you’re the best thing on the planet… which, WAY COOL. Sunshine! Puppy dogs!)

    • Thanks, Emmy. You rule. <3 That really made me feel better, for sure. 🙂

  3. Lydia, you are right! I am the mother of only one- but Auntie to the masses. I love being a Mom and I love kids in general. I am glad I don’t have 5 or 9 or more kids of my own, but love having a baby in my arms, a toddler to follow me around, a young child begging me to play Candy Land or a tween to tell me how much he/she knows. They all have something to offer me, and I them. I enjoy interacting and watching how they think, act and develop. Of course it’s work, and that’s the hard part but the joy is in every moment you put it in perspective and remember to enjoy it. When it feels like it really sucks- times when there is illness, not enough sleep or something else that will pass- have a few laughs about it if you can.
    Put your worry aside and love being pregnant, if you can, that way when your bundle of joy arrives, you’ll be too busy being in love to worry!
    Take care- love your blogs!

  4. I’ve never had a baby (obviously) so I don’t say this from direct experience…but I don’t think you have anything to be worried about. I don’t have my own child, but I do have a stepson, and I was surprised that so many things just came to me naturally. Like knowing when he’s sick and when he’s faking. Sensing that he’s upset about something that happened at school. Being able to tell when he’s really full and when he simply doesn’t like what we’re having for dinner. I’m positive that you’ll learn very quickly what your baby is trying to tell you.

  5. As I’ve told you before, yes it’s REALLY hard in the beginning (especially)… But that is a given 🙂
    None of us really knew what we were doing; it will all come together. You’ll rock it, momma.
    Sometimes people just need to take a step back and think about what they are saying.

  6. Wait! Who in the hell said parenting is wonderful? Ha! Ha! Parenting pretty much sucks, but the little people we are parenting are quite cute, funny, and wonderful. I think the reason parents say things like “You ain’t seen nothing yet” is because they want to demonstrate that you are in the easy part of it and what they are going through is worse. What’s easy to one person won’t be easy to the next. Everyone told me the infant stage was the “easiest” when I complained, but I had a baby who cried all the freaking time so the infant stage was actually the worst part for me. It’s like how everyone at work has to complain about how busy they are. Like there’s some freaking award for being the “busiest”.

    • I love that you’re so straight about this, Em — parenting sucks, but the little people we’re parenting are awesome. I love it. 🙂

  7. I know what you mean! When I got pregnant, all I heard was “wait until you actually HAVE the baby, then you’ll know.” Like, I was not in the club yet so I clearly could not understand. Now, since having the baby, I did get very little sleep the first few weeks until she started sleeping well (We use the BabyWise sleep training method and she slept through the night at ..5 weeks? I think). So yes you do get very little sleep… But I still don’t know why they said the things they did, it made me feel like they were trying to talk me out of it or something… And yet I said the thing about not getting much sleep to a pregnant girl the other day… Oh my goodness I am a jerk! AGH. Anyway, having a new baby is hard but it is mostly full of blessings!!! Really!

    • Ooh, must look into this BabyWise thing! Thank you!

  8. I couldn’t agree with you more and yes, you will be perfectly fine. My daughter was born 7 years ago and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. She was a preemie, I was totally unprepared and you know what, you will grow into it. I love, love, love my daughter, yes, even when she’s sassy with me. My life wouldn’t be the same without my child, I love parenthood and being my daughter’s mommy. Honestly, whatever people tell you about their birth stories, try to tune it out, because as soon as you hold your amazing little miracle, that’s the only thing that’s going to matter in your world. I remember being told by the doctor that I was having a girl, and EVERYONE that asked me about the baby’s gender told me that the doctor must have totally been wrong because there was no way my belly was holding a girl and that I needed to get it checked again (did I mention my daughter is now 7 years old ;-)). Or later, when you have a belly, people will come up to you and touch your belly. Don’t be afraid to tell them off if that happens, it is YOUR pregnancy, YOUR baby, and YOUR life. Enjoy it, you worked so hard to get where you are now 🙂 Love your blogs and look forward to reading more about your journey! Smile 🙂 Stefanie

    • I might be the only pregnant lady to not mind people touching my belly. And I’m glad that my blog is keeping you entertained. I’ll try to keep up the good work. 😉


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