the one about the forgotten chapter

I've had two babies and watched plenty of TLC's A Baby Story, so basically, I'm an expert on childbirth.

Friends, delivering a baby is incredible. It is amazing. It is spiritual and natural and empowering.

However, we also know that once Baby comes, that's when the real work begins.
We know we won't sleep. We know we'll despise our husbands. We know we will talk about our kids' poop at the dinner table.

But there's a whole host of stuff your mom was afraid to tell you for fear you wouldn't give her any grandchildren.

Buckle your chastity belts, Ladies. Here we go.

By no choice of your own, you will wake to see hours of the day you thought no longer existed. When you turn on the TV for your 3:19 a.m. feeding, you will discover the wonders of infomercials and QVC. You will find yourself quietly fumbling for your credit card in your wallet so as not to wake your husband because yes you do need the velvet hangers, juicer, tank top extender, and goodness that Shake Weight would do wonders for your arms.

You will come to enjoy the company of the show hosts and know them by name. They are your friends now.

You will eat breakfast sometimes at 5 a.m. and sometimes at 11 a.m. and sometimes not at all. You will eat lunch sometimes at 9 a.m. and sometimes at 4 p.m. and sometimes not at all.

You will sleep through dinner.

If you're breastfeeding, you will eat your sporadic meals with one arm. You will drop food on your baby's head, and if it's your second baby, you won't care.

Your hair will fall out. You will have enough loose strands to make a wig for your baby. If you're like me, you'll go to the doctor thinking you must have some serious illness, WEB MD the hell out of it, but then your doctor will tell you, "Oh that's just part of having a baby!"

Didn't know about that. Hope bald is the new black.

Your boobs will leak in public. Ah, yes. Another joy of breastfeeding. They will betray you just when you thought you were BFFs 4 life. You will be at the store, on a date, at the gas station, at the gym, wherever, and you will realize that, yes, your boobs are leaking. You will frantically look for something to stuff in there to make it stop (because those disposable breast pads weren't a gag gift?)...toilet paper...extra onesie...cotton balls...bandaids. All will fail.

And the crying. My goodness, the crying. You won't stop. Oh, you thought I was talking about the baby. Actually, all humor aside, your hormones wreak havoc on your emotions. Do not be surprised or ashamed if you sneak away to take your weekly shower and you sob your eyes out for no reason you can point to. You may look at your baby and weep because she's just so beautiful. You may see your maternity clothes drape loosely over your shrinking belly, and it may provoke an epic ugly cry. This is all normal. My doctor told me to give the "Baby Blues" two weeks, and it was amazing what I felt like by Day 15. I must also encourage you that if you feel exceptionally sad, inconsolable, or if you ever contemplate doing something to hurt yourself or your baby, you must call your doctor right away.

There's so much pressure on new moms to have it all together. Photos of celebrities prancing their happy, toned asses all around town one week postpartum can really screw with a new mom's perception of reality. The headlines will always read, "___________ Just Had a Baby! Can You Believe She Looks That Great?" or "How ____________ Dropped the Baby Weight in One Month!" They don't ever say, " ____________ has Leaky Boobs!" or "Don't You Think ___________'s Hair is Thinning?" or "Is ______________ Still Pregnant? We Can't Tell."

There's pressure to be glowing and smiling 100% of the time and not crying in your coffee because that Law & Order SVU episode was too scary (I had to stop watching for about 6 months). There's pressure to nod sincerely when the well-intentioned granny at the store says, "Isn't motherhood amazing?" and I'm all can't you smell that 4 hour-old throw up from there, Lady?

All of that is OK. That's the best part about motherhood. You really can't eff it up. I lied. You can. But that's a little too serious for this blog-o-mine.

What I mean is...it's OK if hormones make you crazy and it's OK if your hair falls out and it's OK if your boobs leak because the bank played TLC's "Waterfalls" over the speakers.

It's OK if you're not a blubbering mess and your husband's voice isn't annoying and you actually find time to shower more than once a week.

It's OK if you grab motherhood by the balls and say, "Listen here! I've got this! I'm awesome!" and it's OK if motherhood kicks you in the face. And it's totally OK if you go back and forth between the two every 15 minutes.

It's all OK. Because at the end of the day, you're a mom, which pretty much means you're a bad ass.

A weepy, leaking, infomercial-loving, shedding, Zombie bad ass. And you will love (almost) every minute of it.



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