babyA couple of weeks ago, I ran into my neighbor across the street who had recently had her first baby. Being the lovable sap that I am, I immediately made a beeline for her in a desperate attempt to hold the squishy! baby!

When I asked her how she was, she began to weep.

She told me precisely how I felt after my first was born: she was terrible. Her baby wouldn't stop crying, well, ever. She just didn't know what she was doing wrong. Where were these maternal feelings she'd heard about? Why did she feel like she was doing it all wrong?

I told her that I was not in the habit of telling people horror stories before they had children/bought a house/ate at Jack in the Box, because I always thought it was mean. She told me she'd WISHED that someone had told her how hard babies are.

These are things I wish someone had told me before I'd had kids or been knocked up.

1. After your first pregnancy, you will look six months pregnant as soon as the positive pee stick dries.

2. Your nipples will look like pancakes.

3. When you're pregnant, you're certifiable, but you have to not realize it. Instead you think you're the only sane one left on the planet.

4. If this is your first pregnancy, you will assume that this pregnancy is the most important pregnancy since Mary birthed Jesus.

5. You will eat a lot of food to try and make yourself less queasy. While it doesn't quell the nausea, it will cause a couple of extra pounds to be added to your frame. Which will annoy you because YOU DIDN'T EVEN ENJOY PUTTING THEM ON.

6. Worrying about random things will become a part of your daily routine.

7. Suddenly everyone will waltz through your dreams and have wild passionate sex with you.

8. Someone, somewhere will buy you the ugliest clothes you've ever seen and you will have to sit there, grinning, and tell them that you looooovvvveee the little outfit with the bows on it. For your 10-year old son.

9. Honest-to-God strangers will not only feel the need to rub your belly without so much as a handshake, but will then ask you if you plan on breastfeeding.

10. IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, tell no one what you plan on feeding your child. Or make tasteless jokes like, "We were thinking Jack Daniels, but do you think that Crown Royal is better?" Otherwise, you're going to get a lecture. If you're tasteless, people will run away from you.

11. Most of the baby crap out there that they try to sell you is just that: crap. It's okay. Buy as much as you want. You'll realize it later.

12. You will hardly ever spend time in your perfectly coordinated nursery. Kids don't play in their bedroom until they're about 4 or 5, so while I would never suggest NOT doing up a nursery, I wouldn't go butt-wild on it either.

13. YOU WILL KNOW WHEN YOU ARE IN LABOR. NOTHING ELSE FEELS LIKE LABOR, NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU WANT IT TO.

14. No one but you can figure out what is actually in the ultrasound pictures.

15. Feeling the baby kick for the first time is perhaps the finest part of pregnancy. It only becomes painful when their ickle feet get to be the size of golf balls. Mean, busy golf balls.

16. Maternity clothes will fit differently during different parts of pregnancy. What might look cute with your wee beer-belly during the first trimester will look downright ill-fitting hours before you give birth.

17. Steer clear of anyone who claims any of the following:

  • I was back in my size 4s when I left the hospital!
  • I've never felt better than when I was pregnant!
  • Breastfeeding really helped me take those 5 pesky pounds off!
  • Having a baby is soooooo easy!

I mean, even if they're not lying through their grubby teeth, they're going to make you feel bad. And TRUST ME when I tell you that you will have plenty of things to feel bad/inadequate about.

18. Pregnancy is an excellent cure for modesty. I cannot recall a time when I didn't whip down my pants in front of the doctor WHETHER OR NOT THEY ASKED ME TO.

19. Babies cry. A lot. It's not your fault.

20. Enjoy it as best you can. Sure, you feel ugly, you're gangly, you've reached hippo-like proportions, you can hardly make it an hour without going to the bathroom and peeing out a tablespoon of liquid, you have heartburn so badly you could sear paint from the walls, and you're starving yet queasy. It's all true. But it's also magical.

What would you add to the list?