You've had a baby. Congratulations! Your life will never be the same. No really, like never. As a mother of two, I can tell you that every day is an adventure. That's the word us veterans say to the rookies because "adventure" sounds better than "sh*tshow," which is what it often feels like. Having a newborn can fill you with joy, yes, but it's also a time that comes with many unexpected surprises — not all of them pleasant ones. Want proof of the weird things that happen when you bring baby home from the hospital? Check out the 10 tales below, from moms who've been there.
Since my children are eight and four now, it's not always easy to remember the details from those early (sleepless) days. I remember one of the first things my husband noticed when our eldest son was born was how large his testicles seemed for his little body. "He has huge balls!" he said, with what sounded like a hint of pride. Turns out, that's not abnormal. As explained on the BabyCenter website, hydrocele, a common condition in male infants where there is extra fluid in a sac around the testicles, usually goes away in the first few months of life.
I wanted to see what other moms had experienced with their newborns, so I asked several mom friends, who also happen to be amongst the most popular moms on the internet today. These moms never hold back with their delivery of #momtruths, and their answers to this question were no different.
1. "My baby pooped tar."
When I asked Serena from the account @Mommycusses what weird or surprising things happened when she brought her baby home, she answered, "Ummm... absolutely nothing went according to plan? And it's been that way ever since." She then followed up with, "And the meconium tar poops. Those were the most surprising for me."
Yes, let's talk about those poops, shall we? Meconium tar poops, according to La Leche League International, are a "blackish tar-like mess" due to "ingesting mucus, amniotic fluid, and other materials in the womb." Though it's normal, it can be very alarming when you see it for the first time.
2. "I thought my newborn daughter was having a period."
When Mandi from the account @healthylivingforhotmesses told me her newborn daughter got what's called a "mini period," I was shook. Having two sons, I had no idea that this could happen. Neither did Mandi, until she noticed her daughter was bleeding and started freaking out (as any mom would).
Turns out, this is due to exposure to hormones in-utero, and is most likely not the sign of anything serious. Still, if you notice this is happening, be sure to contact your baby's pediatrician. And then warn all your mom friends who are having girls!
3. "I couldn't sleep."
You know the saying, right? "Sleep when the baby sleeps." For many mothers, including Kate from the account @askatewouldhaveit, this isn't as easy as it may sound. She says, "No one told me that you'll want to sleep but you literally can't because you just lay there worrying he's going to wake up." Cue millions of moms nodding their heads in agreement.
Inevitably, as soon as you do fall asleep, the baby will wake his little butt right up.
4. "It felt like my brain was on fire."
Since we're on the topic of sleep, let's really dive in to the surprising things sleep deprivation caused by a newborn can do to a person. Tara from the account @modernmomprobs said the weirdest thing she experienced was, " ... being so tired my brain was on FIRE. Like literally fire for weeks. I could actually 'feel' my brain."
Anyone who knows me likely knows I loathe the term "mom brain," so from here on out, we are going to call what happens to you after you have a child and are so sleep deprived that you can no longer function "fire brain." Got it? I'll send around a petition later.
5. "None of the clothes fit!"
Buy newborn clothes, they said. They'll be so cute, they said. However, when you have a newborn who's on the larger side, none of those clothes are gonna fit... as was the case with Lonneke from @relaxingmommy. "My firstborn was so big she needed two sizes up. We had to swing by the store on our way home to get new clothes and they were like, 'a little late, are we?'"
Let this be a lesson for you all: Always put larger sizes on your baby registry. Or better yet, get some hand-me-downs from your friends who've been through this and know what a waste buying all-new baby clothes really is. They literally fit in them for five minutes at this age.
6. "My baby boy had an erection."
I knew someone was going to say it, and that someone was Sarah from @sometimeskidsaredicks. "No one told me that boys have hard ons. I went to change his diaper and his penis is sticking straight in the air and wouldn't go down and I'm thinking, 'Is this normal? Seriously already I'm dealing with this sh*t?'"
Though definitely weird, it's also normal. As noted on The Bump website, erections in newborn males often happen during diaper changes and as long as it doesn't last longer than an hour and isn't accompanied by redness or swelling, your little dude is totally fine. You, on the other hand, may need a minute to recover.
7. "How weird their chest looks when they hiccup."
I had totally forgotten about this, but Angela from @mommywinetime reminded me how weird (and scary) their little chests can appear when they get the hiccups, which seems to happen a lot. "I remember the first time I saw my baby hiccup without clothes on, I panicked. I took a video and sent it to my family saying, 'Is this normal?!' It looked like his entire chest was sinking in and compressing with each hiccup. I just assumed since my body didn't do that then something was wrong. I wish I would have known it was normal to look like their body is collapsing."
8. "That her mouth was a human nipple shredder."
I cannot stress the truth of this enough. Joshua from @askthechildwhisperer tells me, "Despite the pain during feeding I only discovered the brutality when I was shocked to see blood dripping on the bed and couldn't find the source... until I stopped searching her and looked down at myself."
Call it weird, call it surprising, call it pain that can feel worse than childbirth itself; whatever you call it, there is no overstating just how hard breastfeeding can be for some. There will be blood. Oh yes, there will be blood.
9. "So. Much. Poop."
Poop in and of itself isn't weird (once you get past those tar poops). But the amount that can come from something so tiny is next level shocking. Also, beware of its ability to get everywhere.
Kristen from @kristenhewitttv told me the most horrifying story. Brace yourselves. "My baby pooped in my mouth. I’m serious! I had a pack 'n play in my room with a changing table and bassinet. The changing table was vertical not horizontal and when I lifted her legs and bum to change the diaper she projectile pooped in my hair and when I opened my mouth to scream... well... you get the picture."
She's not alone. Laura from @sammichesandpsychmeds recounts a tale of her son's first middle of the night diaper change. "The whole house (my parents had come to stay with us because we lived out of state) woke up to my husband screaming, 'Oh God, oh no!' In the middle of the diaper change, my son started pooping rather aggressively on my husband's hand. Panicked, he had jerked his hand away, flinging poop all over the wall."
Aggressive pooping is something they definitely don't tell you about in the baby books.
10. "That I didn't actually like him."
When I presented this question to Christine from @fruitloopkeeper her response was refreshingly honest. "Is it wrong that I immediately thought 'I don’t like him one bit'... It was not love at first sight for me with either child and that was eye opening." There is so much pressure to present the picture of newborn bliss these days, when in truth, what Christine experienced is not uncommon. She continues, "I think a lot of parents feel the same way but don’t say it out loud for fear of looking like a bad or unattached parent."
It's true that bonding with your baby can take some time, as Lifehacker reported, so if you're feeling this way know that you aren't alone. The important thing is that you're being open with your loved ones, and your physician, about your feelings.
To sum up, when it comes to newborns, the weird and surprising things that can happen are hilarious, scary, and also sometimes make you wonder if you're cut out for this gig. And the answer is: Yes, you are. You just have to remember to watch out for the poop.