Ah, childbirth: the time when all those horror stories, passed from woman to woman, come to fruition. Of course, every labor and delivery experience is unique, and plenty are trauma-free and, yes, even beautiful. But even if you bring a baby into the world exactly the way you planned, your body is doing an extreme amount of work. You'll be sore, you'll be bleeding, and you'll need to heal. And while it's best to be as prepared as possible, there are things I'm glad no one told me about childbirth recovery, too. Honestly, if I had known exactly what I was in for I would have said "hell no" mid-birth and left the damn hospital.
My kids just turned 6 and 11, but my memories of childbirth recovery are as clear as day. I think they've stuck with me because so much of what I experienced wasn't even close to what I was told I would endure. I had an idea of what postpartum life was going to be like, and my lived reality definitely wasn't it. Sure, I still went through the so-called "basics — pain, discomfort, baby blues, fatigue — but I had no idea about the small details, the specifics, and how significant they would be. In the end, I actually think that's a good thing.
Because if I had known how long recovery takes, and how lost I would feel, and how hard I would be on myself throughout the entire process, I might have opted out of parenthood and missed out on all the good parts that come along with being someone's mom. Because believe me when I say: it's worth it. We should all care for ourselves, to be sure, and suffering is not a prerequisite or mandatory part of parenthood, but sometimes not knowing what we're getting ourselves into helps us actually, you know, get through it. So with that in mind, here's what I'm glad I didn't know about life post-childbirth: