THE BLOG
10/19/2015 10:16 am ET Updated Oct 19, 2016

6 Things I Wish Like Hell Someone Had Told Me About Having A Baby

Shonitria Anthony

As a first-time mom, I had no idea what would happen to my life once my baby girl arrived. I did my research (Google was my new BFF), downloaded a few apps for my iPhone (and my boyfriend's phone, too, because he has to be in the know) and asked my mom a million questions about what to expect so I could be as prepared as possible for the big day.

However, the biggest thing I learned was that nothing could prepare me for the stuff I was about to experience after giving birth -- from my daughter's first night home to the baby blues. Now, six months into this motherhood experience, I am here to share a few things I know and wish like hell someone would have given me a heads up about.

1. You will still look pregnant after you have your baby.
OK, I did read somewhere that you will still look pregnant after you give birth, but I shrugged it off, not fully believing it to be true. I mean, have you seen the photos of Kourtney Kardashian and Blake Lively post-baby? So I was completely dismayed when I looked down to see this loose and droopy skin that was now my stomach the day after I had given birth. When I left the hospital, I was a bit disappointed that I could still fit into my maternity clothes. I had to remind myself that I had just given birth to a nine-pound baby -- seriously, a blessing. It took nine months for my tummy to stretch, so I gave myself a break and embraced the fact that my body had just produced a miracle.

2. Use your maternity leave to work on you.
Maternity leave is the time you take off work after bringing a baby home. I had a Cesarean section, so I was bed-ridden and not able to do much physically for my first couple of weeks home. One day, at the beginning of my leave, I decided to buy a Groupon for one month of unlimited Bikram yoga. I made a vow to myself that I would complete those 30 days before my leave ended. And I did. Well, I didn't do the entire 30 days, but close enough to feel proud of myself. A single Bikram yoga class lasts 90 minutes, and that time away from the house helped me to meditate and achieve a little slice of inner peace. I was able to focus on me without any distractions. Even better, I was able to reconnect with myself as a woman. Bonus: I managed to lose most of that baby weight, too.

3. You will feel completely lost that first night you bring your baby home -- and scared, too. Don't worry. This is normal.
I remember coming home with my daughter that first night and being so damn afraid that I would break her, that she would stop breathing in the night or that every cry meant something terrible was surely happening to her. It was just me and my boyfriend, and we didn't know anything about kids, so naturally we were terrified. Where was the instruction manual? But we got through that first night just fine, and the second, the third, etc. Eventually, I stopped peeking into her cradle every 15 minutes, too.

4. Feeling down? Don't be afraid to accept help.
After weeks of being in the house, breastfeeding my baby girl around the clock and barely showering, I started feeling down. I even began to envy my boyfriend, who was going back to work soon. I didn't leave the house -- or even the bed -- most days. I didn't talk on the phone much, and I started feeling alone. I felt like no one could possibly understand me or what I was going through, so I convinced myself that isolation was the solution to my blues. But my family and friends were there for me, whether it was listening to me vent about how much I hated other human beings or encouraging me to go out for dinner, while I worked through the baby blues. Eventually, with their help, those feelings of loneliness went away. If you think you might have postpartum depression, contact your health care provider or visit http://www.postpartum.net/.

5. Make time to love, appreciate and hug your partner.
I had days when I resented my boyfriend after our daughter was born. I was a frazzled and sleep-deprived mess from the 3 a.m. feedings, pain from my incision, swollen feet and lack of showering. Whenever I was cranky and moody, he would swoop in with a smile to pick up our baby and change her diapers or calm her down from crying like he was Superman. I felt that it was completely unfair how gracefully he took on his new role as a parent while I was a complete mess. But I had to remember that he was the same man who was doing the cooking, laundry, cleaning and heavy lifting around the house while I was out of commission due to my C-section. He really was a superhero. We leaned on each other, disagreed, kissed and made up... and eventually, that resentment I was feeling towards him disappeared. Because I realized we needed each other -- our daughter needed us, and together, we made a pretty kickass team.

6. Every single "first" will make you feel like a million bucks.
After having my daughter, I was able to understand why some moms post a billion pictures of their kids on their social media accounts, because the pride you can have in your kid is immeasurable. The first time I saw her smile or roll over, when she started to crawl, when she tried baby food for the first time and when she started to pull up -- it all made me feel such immense joy. The first time I held her, in that moment, I knew that I'd had no idea what love truly meant before her. I thank her for teaching me how to appreciate all the little things life has to offer as I watch her discover the world through all her firsts. And I look forward to watching her grow and accomplish even more.

Also on HuffPost:

PHOTO GALLERY
Celebrity Parenting Quotes