When your birth story ends with the profound, life-changing love you have for your swaddled little peanut, you might just have a selective memory regarding some of the other details—like how hungry you got during hour 20 of labor. But giving birth is a much messier tale than that. So we asked real moms what they wish they knew before going into it. Here’s what they had to say.
That your water might not break.
"I was basically sitting by the toilet waiting for this magical rush of fluid...that just never happened. I was fully dilated...and to my knowledge my water never broke!" - Jillian, Brooklyn
If it does, it’s not always cinematic.
“It’s not like a ‘big splash!’ you see in the movies. It might be more of a ‘slow gush.’” - Karen, Chicago
But it can be really cold.
"When my water broke at night in the middle of winter, it made my pants freeze on the way to the car!" - Sabrina, Ohio