Giving birth to your first baby is a wonderful, life-changing event.
Although it does come with difficulties – which can be a bit embarrassing.
Young new mum and keen blogger Chloe Williams, from Rhondda in Wales, discovered such difficulties after giving birth to her first child, Elsie-Rose.
And it’s not for the faint hearted!
In a post titled “The parts of giving birth no one really talks about” Chloe, 20, shines a light on the bits of becoming a mother that aren’t so sweet – from leaking nipples to the dreaded “after birth poop”.
Talking about the blog, Chloe said: “I wanted to document mine and Elsie’s life together through stories to look back on instead of just photos on social media.
“Things that I could laugh or cry at in years to come
“I wrote this particular blog post because I turned 20 just four days before Elsie was born, I was indeed bricking it.
“So I wanted to write something so that other new mothers actually knew what to expect instead of going into it blind like I did.”
These are her honest discoveries:
The first trip to the toilet
If you have given birth naturally (for all you 13-year-old boys out there that means from your vagina) this can be very daunting.
“At this point your ‘flower’ as my nan would call it, is very sore after the ordeal you’ve just gone through.
“So when your brain finally tells you that you need to pee, your instinct is to think, ‘no, not today, sunshine’.
“I can’t stress enough how you should not ‘hold it’.
“You’ll have to go eventually so why not get it over and done with?
Top tip: Do your first pee in the shower, with the shower head facing your ‘flower’… to anyone who has just started reading here, no this isn’t a gardening blog. Also, for the next few times you need to go, pour luke warm water over yourself while you’re at the toilet. It helps, honestly.
It’s a natural healing process and for the next week or so it won’t feel too comfortable but I promise you it will ease and be back to normal soon enough.
The jelly belly
The next part no one told me about was the jelly belly.
That is literally what it is, obviously you’ve been carrying a small human for the last nine months.
Your belly has stretched and will feel super weird for the next few days or even the next few weeks.
The only way I could describe it is like you have a water bottle under your T-shirt.
My sister used to laugh every time she’d feel it. Great support system right there.
Don’t get too disheartened by that or any extra baby weight you’ve added on through pregnancy.
Pushing that pram and lifting a 10lb baby in a car seat everywhere will surely help shift it.
But don’t do too much at once, the whole thing you have just gone through is enough.
There should be no focus on what you look like a few hours or weeks after birth.
Just enjoy the time with your little one. Which leads me onto the next part.
You’ve just put your body through immense amounts of stress, listen to me when I say you should feel no guilt in leaving your little one with your partner or parents to catch up on some major sleep time.
You’ll be awake every 3-4 hours the next few weeks, so you’ll need to bank all of it that you can.
There is nothing worse than being drained and having to try to nurse a screaming baby.
I’ve been there, it hurts your head and your heart, too.
Which leads me to…..
The baby blues
The next few days spent with your little one is such a rollercoaster of emotions.
You’ve just gained a lifetime companion, the new best thing in the world. Yet you find yourself crying at 2am?
Maybe you show people, maybe you’re hiding it. But trust me it is COMPLETELY NORMAL.
Your hormones are everywhere at this point, and will soon regain back to normality in the next few weeks.
What I would say is please don’t try and hide it.
If you still feel after a month or two that you feel down in the dumps then speak to someone.
Your partner, a friend, your Mum. Anyone.
Don’t suffer in silence, there’s too much stigma around Postnatal depression.
No mother really wants to admit to having it. But it’s a lot more common than you think.
To all the mothers out there coping with it, I really do salute you.
Try not to be too hard on yourself. Because I’m sure you are doing an absolutely INCREDIBLE job and you should really give yourself more credit where it’s due.
Just know however you feel, you are your baby’s real-life superhero, and no-one, not even yourself, can take that away from you.
Let’s move on to the real gross parts, this is the the point where we separate the boys from the men since they will read no further.
Yep that’s right. Those pretty little things on the end of your breasts suddenly turn into milk taps.
For the people who breastfeed , I salute you, too.
I couldn’t breastfeed my little one due to her being in the NCU after birth and me being bed-bound.
I did have my heart set on it but I was in no real state to do so after birth.
So, unfortunately, for making that decision, I had to suffer the consequences.
For the next week / weeks I’d be cursed with rock hard breasts which leaked milk to their heart’s content.
It is really uncomfortable and makes it hard to sleep (not that you get much now anyways).
Top tip: Wear a fitted sports bra with breast pads for the next few weeks until it stops.
There’s not much you can actually do other than try and make it more comfortable for yourself.
I wish I could help you more on this topic, but I really can’t. Mother Nature sucks. I’m sure she’s married to the Devil himself.
Talking about the Devil, it brings me to our last part.
The dreaded after-birth poop
For every Mum out there you probably still have nightmares of it.
To all you mums to be, I really am just kidding.
This again is another one of Mother Natures blessings/curses. You decide that for yourself.
After just pushing out a baby the last thing you want to do is push something out the other way.
If you’re like me, you will hold it until you make yourself ill. Please don’t follow in my footsteps here. You will only make it worse for yourself.
When you need to go, go.
As much as you’ve worked yourself up about it. Just try and stay calm, breathe.
Top tip: For extra added comfort wrap up a s*** load of loo roll (no pun intended) and hold your flower. Not that your insides will fall out when you try to go.
But it really will help the thought process of it all.
Since it can be more scary to think about it than to actually do it. You’ll be fine, every time will get better.
After all this, you’ll be as good as new. Back to your normal self. Ready for your first night out after nine months off.
Trust me. You’ve earned the right to drink the whole bottle of wine, not just two glasses.
I really hope this blog hasn’t scared too many mums.
But I really would have loved to have known all of this before I went through it.
At least you know what you’re expecting now and can build yourself up towards it.