For example, things that I've found new moms complain the most about, or were clueless as to what to expect.
(1) Sleep. Sure newborn babies are sleepy, and may sleep a lot. BUT, funny how that works, they don't exactly sleep a lot IN A ROW, which is the key thing. They may sleep an hour or two here and there (or maybe only 30 minutes here and there), but in between those sleeps, they need to be fed, changed, held, etc... Which means, for quite a while, I am going to be exhausted. And not just like "oh I didn't get a good night's sleep" exhausted, but really truly overwhelmingly exhausted. I get that. I am expecting that. I am not PREPARED for that, I don't think you really can be. But I do at least know it's coming. And, if somehow my baby is a little sleeping angel, then it's an added bonus!!
(2) Breast feeding (if you choose to do so, which I do). I have been around enough people with babies to know that breast feeding is no easy task. Sure it can be, if you are extremely lucky, or with a bit of practice, but initially I expect it to be challenging. I think it will be painful. I think I will want to give up. It will be tiring and frustrating being the only one who can feed the baby. It will be time consuming. But, from what I've heard, if you can get through the first little while (which may be a couple weeks, or may be more than a month), then it does get easier, and less painful. So I expect to be frustrated and exhausted, that way it won't come as a shock to me when it doesn't happen just like in the movies, easy peazy. And, again, if I have a baby that eats like a champ, added bonus!
(3) Housework/cooking. Ha. I have no expectations here. Aside from putting on my charming face and trying to convince Mark or any other helpful guests that they really actually want to vacuum and do the dishes rather than hold the baby. :)
(4) Birth recovery. Obviously this depends a lot on how exactly my labor and birth goes, but I don't expect to be back on my feet feeling 100% right away. I've read about all kinds of things to expect over the weeks following birth, but I'll spare you the details. Let's just say I'm well aware of what I could be feeling like. Hoping to feel great, but well-informed of the possibilities.
(5) Hormones. This goes a little bit with birth recovery, but let me just warn you if you plan on coming to visit us after baby gets here, I could seem a little crazy to you. I haven't really been emotional so far this pregnancy, but who knows after baby gets here. So, consider yourself warned, and I will try not to be an emotional mess!
Those are all the things I have heard people complain about once the baby comes, saying they never expected XYZ to happen, or they weren't prepared for how hard such and such is. But I have heard enough real life accounts to be somewhat prepared at least. Can't wait to meet our baby!