To me, the reality hit first time on the day after. And the day after that. And continues to hit me.
Having kids is nature's biggest prank on people. First you're sitting there, pregnant, and thinking oh this is just the hard part. And then you go through the baby months. And you think oh this is just the hard part, and then baby learns to walk. Or not to walk, as in falls down constantly. And you think oh this is just the hard part.
And what do you know, suddenly it's two years later when post pregnancy hormones stop working and it's just you, your ordinary strenght and the baby that never stops inventing new skills it doesn't know how to utilize. And the temper tantrums come and you sit there, in midst of screaming because the ice cream cone was the one that was asked for and you think, well this is just the hard part.
But that's not the prank I was telling you about, no. The prank, the biggest joke of all, is the fact that the moment you get your baby pushed out of your body, the moment you sit there with every muscle, intestine and blood vessel scrambled and you get the tiny miracle to your arms. In that moment you realize, that in order to survive the biggest burden of your baby growing up into an independent person that you hope he/she will someday be, you will have to start letting go this instant. The moment you are closest to your greatest treasure, you have to start getting ready to release him/her.
And there's also that, that after 24 hours of labor and not getting any food or comfort you're shaken by the vast reality of your discomfort and exhausted in general, your brain gives you the idea: "Well actually, it really wasn't that bad".
Brain chemistry is a bitch.