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The Realest Things We Learned During Our First Months Postpartum

It was amazing. It was scary. But no matter how hard it got, it was always natural (sometimes we just needed someone to remind us).

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Your floors might get wet.

“Days after I got home, I stood in my living room. I felt warm. I looked down and watched as I unconsciously peed all over the floor. I panicked and called the nurse. Apparently totally normal. No one tells you that.”

—Annie W.

There will be blood.

“No one told me that for nearly six weeks after giving birth, you will have blood loss. So that whole ‘Oh it's so nice how you don't get your period!’ talk? Yeah, well, you do get it for the nine months you missed it...all at once...and it's awful.”

—Kristen S.

You will reach new levels of tired.

“NOTHING, save like military-level training, can prepare you for who you will become on very little sleep. You mix up your words, forget things everywhere,do the same task twice...and have to stay patient and focused and vigilant. It's emotionally exhausting to constantly be aware of someone else's needs 100% of the time. I’m sometimes gratified at how well I've coped and sometimes flabbergasted at the total disarray my day can end up in when I didn't get a good chunk of sleep. I once poured my coffee into my cereal, poured a new bowl, and did it again.”

—Bec G. L.

It's gonna hurt. Like, bad.

“Nobody can prepare you for the pain down there. Like obviously you think, wow, it will probably really hurt when a baby passes through my vagina, but I had no idea how bad it would hurt for two weeks beyond that, courtesy of an episiotomy. I'm talking can't sit down can only sit on the side of my butt or with a boppy pillow under my butt. 😕 Thankfully, the second time around is nothing like the first!”

—Gina F.

You might get the blues.

“I would say the bouts of depression that follow as your hormones are adjusting. You have this incredible sense of happiness, but within a moment, you feel depressed and don't understand why. Mine lasted about two months but thankfully no longer than that.”

—Cindy O.

But really, things are gonna get wet.

“Leaky breasts! I was fortunate enough to breastfeed my little guy. When he was 5 days old, we went out for pizza, and I had some soft shells on to help me with a latching issue we were having. I bent over to pick something up and out poured breast milk from those cups. Milk was all over my shirt and the table. I was mortified but made sure I wore nursing bra pads for the rest of my time pumping.”

—Jenna S.

People have opinions.

“Most important thing I learned (and quickly) is that EVERYONE has something to chime in, but YOU are the mother. You know your child and what works for your family. There are plenty of other mothers, etc. who will judge you. Let it roll and remember that no one loves your kid more then you do. You are doing the best you can! We all are!!”

—Jessica P.

Nothing makes sense.

"I always thought that since I had a C-section, my vagina would be unaffected. Yeah...not so. I had discharge and had to wear pads for a month. Didn't see that coming."

—Andy D.

You might lose some things.

“Hair loss... The loss of control of muscles to hold in your pee… The hatred of nighttime because everyone else in the house is sleeping but you...”

—Kathy Z.

And other things might not work the way they used to at first.

“Prolapsed bladder and rectum. After you give birth, the doctor says, “See you in six weeks!” And if you have scar tissue where they stitched you up, fear not — the doctor will just freeze it off in his office, nbd. Giving birth: 7/10 do not recommend.

—Reena H.

Really, really wet 😳

“Little did I know I would be covered in all types of fluids: vomit, drool, breastmilk, boogers... Oh, and do you know poop sometimes explodes out?? But you can't even fathom the amount of love you can feel after having a baby. It is strong, unconditional, immeasurable. I thought I knew but in reality had no idea the way it would feel.”

—Melissa K.

All images via Marjan Farsad for ©BuzzFeed.com 2016

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Once you know what’s coming, it’s a lot easier to prepare. That includes getting the right pads (if you can’t tell, there’s a lot of wetness). If you’re not sure which are right, look for the Dri-Fit™ logo on store-brand products.

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