I have some theories on it. I think we are all too scared to tell people the truth, because (a) it means admitting we're not perfect, (b) we don't want to scare others out of having children, or (c) some of these things are just way too embarrassing to mention.
I'd like to add some things to the list from a female perspective (sorry if I give a little too much information, but that's kind of the point - they're the things no one seems to want to talk about):
After giving birth, you can't sit down with any level of comfort for weeks. Or without an ice pack on your hoo-hoo.
The bleeding also lasts for weeks. I thought it would be a little bit for a few days, like a period, but no. It was heaps and lasted for ages.
Everyone gives you different information, including especially the midwives at the hospital. I say take the advice you like the sound of best. For example, one midwife told us to wake Abbey every three hours to feed her, while another advised us to let her sleep. Guess which one I listened to? (refer to this post where I mentioned my baby weighed close to ten pounds - she wasn't going to fade away overnight).
Whilst some people tell you to sleep when the baby is sleeping, not everyone shares this view. I had an older nurse in the hospital telling me to stop being so lazy, when I curled up on the hospital bed with my 24-hour-old baby asleep in my arms. Gee, sorry.
It is actually possible to sleep through your baby crying. Sometimes you are so exhausted, you really do sleep through anything (well, I am anyway. Luckily for Abbey, she has a light-sleeping father.).
Everyone says that breastfeeding can be difficult to establish, but no one ever tells you it's also possible for it to be really easy. Especially when you want it to be hard so you have an excuse not to do it.
Lots of people will judge you. They will judge whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, cuddle the baby or use other sleeping methods, use a cot or a cradle or choose to co-sleep. But the judgments seem to become worse as the child gets older. You just learn to care less (hopefully).
Your values may change. You do grow as a person. And you are surprised by the love you feel for that little person, who is completely dependent on you. (OK, maybe I was told this part, but I didn't really believe it, or know the extent of it).
Share some love
Leave a comment!