No matter how prepared you think you are, how many books you've bought or how many antenatal classes you've been to, the reality of childbirth and life with a newborn still comes as a shock to most new mums.
You knew you'd be tired - that wasn't a surprise. Everyone talks about sleep deprivation, the way it turns you inside out and upside down. And yet, as many women soon discover as they enter the trenches of new motherhood, there are many aspects of life as a parent that no one mentions.
But we should.
In a post to her Facebook page, UK mum Gylisa Jayne decided to share some of those unexpected truths from her first 12 months as a mum. Her candid words are resonating with other mums around the globe.
"I think midwife appointments should be spent sat in their office, they wheel in a big telly (like at school) and you can watch a video of all the bits of motherhood that they left out of your Sex Ed classes, your mummy mates' Facebook updates, and everyone else!" Ms Jayne begins in her post titled "The things no one told me".
Tackling one of the most pervasive myths of motherhood - that of falling instantly in love with your baby - the mum admits that she didn't love her now one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Lily, when she was "fresh from the minge" and "thrust" at her for the first time. And yet, Ms Jayne notes, no one told her that not bonding straight away, not feeling that overwhelming rush of love was "perfectly fine". The love, of course, did come.
"I felt the same way I felt when I saw my placenta in that sick bowl," she continues. "Morbidly interested in what it looked like - but no thanks I don't really fancy a cuddle with it."
Along with admitting that it wasn't love at first sight, Ms Jayne describes that no one told her just how much breastfeeding would hurt, how much she would grit her teeth and cry before the pain of her "nipnop being aggressively sucked" began to ease.
And, when it comes to postnatal pain, the Cornwall mum continues, "No one told me that stitches in your vag can actually hurt way more than birthing a 7lb baby."
In her post, which has now been shared over 70,000 times, Ms Jayne also describes her shock at just how opinionated people can be when it comes to taking care of a baby - "how to name it, how to rock it, how to feed it".
"No one told me a polite way of telling said opinionated people to Eff Off," the fed-up mum laments.
Ms Jayne also writes of her surprise at never being alone, including "shitting, showering and shaving", and the way pregnancy side-effects seem to "last for ages".
She also tackles an issue many new parents can relate to, but few speak openly about: just how much a baby can change your relationship with your partner.
"No one told me that having a baby might make me hate my husband sometimes," she shares. "That sometimes I really would prefer a cuddle with our baby. That it would feel unfair A LOT. But also, no one told me that seeing him playing/cuddling/looking after our baby would make me want to pop with happiness. And then cross my legs before he suggested another."
For Ms Jayne, the discovery that her instincts wouldn't fail her and that everyone else is winging it too, was another unexpected - but very welcome - truth. "Some [mothers] just make it look easier than others," she says. "Admiring someone else's way of doing things shouldn't make me question mine."
The mum also bravely addresses a number of feelings many new mothers often feel ashamed about as they adjust to their new identity and life. "No one told me that they felt mad too after their babies," she writes. "They felt lonely and scared and weird and not like themselves anymore."
For Ms Jayne, not knowing she'd feel this way, and that many other mums do too, prevented her from speaking out.
Until she couldn't hold it in any longer.
"One day," she writes, "I did tell someone and it all spilled out and I ended up sharing my words with thousands of you. And you all admitted it too.
"And then you all DID tell me, that those feelings don't last forever. That sometimes it comes back and you want to run away, but you all said, each and every one - that it gets better. It gets easier. It will fly past. It will be worth it.
"And it's not forever."
Read Ms Payne's post in full below: