I never understood why women would gripe about making a bottle (of expressed breastmilk, not formula). After pumping…this suddenly makes a lot of sense. Pumping is a lot of work, and not particularly enjoyable. It is really nice to be able to pump for the occasional outing, but not something I would want to do all the time. I have a friend who is exclusively pumping right now, and I am in complete awe. You have to be determined to keep that up.

I never understood how exhausting nursing could be. I mean, I empirically knew that it requires more calories than pregnancy…but it never occurred to me that this was because it is work. I guess I just thought the extra calories went straight to the baby or something. 3 months in we are at a good place, and I love the closeness that it fosters, but there were some moments in the nursing-all-the-time-plus-sleep-deprivation stage (not to mention cluster feeding) that I was just overwhelmed at how draining it can be. No pun intended.

I never understood why some women don’t enjoy the newborn stage. Sure, you don’t get much sleep…but babies are just soooo cute, and you get to cuddle them all day long, what’s not to like? Now let me be clear – I LOVED the newborn stage. But I didn’t love it as much as I expected. It can feel like you are just sitting around in blood and milk and spitup and pee and poop all day long, and you can’t get up to tend to yourself because he needs to eat again; your baby doesn’t know what he/she needs, and you sure don’t either, so until some of those things get smoothed out it can take some concentrated effort to enjoy yourself and your baby. I loved it, mostly, but I can now see why some people don’t.

I never understood why women wore maternity jeans for months and months after their baby was born. Surely if you don’t put on too much weight, the passage of 4 or 5 months is plenty of time to fit back into “normal” jeans?! Now that I know how comfortable they are, I may just wear maternity jeans for the rest of my life. Also, my regular jeans just don’t fit. They may, in another month or two…but I’m not in a hurry. Like I said, maternity jeans are comfortable.

I never understood why moms would get all bent out of shape over their kids being sick. I mean, if it’s not life-threatening you do what you can for them and ride it out, right? Uh…well, that’s kinda right – in the sense that there’s not much else you can do. Having now survived my baby’s first illness – a mere cold – I can say that the sad, listless expression on his little face was just heartbreaking. He was never in any real danger, health-wise, but I hated hearing his snuffly breathing and knowing he was having a rough time.

Those are some things I’ve learned so far…I’m sure just the first of many.

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