Dear First-Time Expecting Mama,
You're weeks, maybe days away from the life-changing miracle of birth. You don't know when exactly it will happen and the anticipation is probably like a mix between a kid on Christmas Eve and the worst stage fright you ever had.
You’ve been given so much advice already, so I’ll make this short.
“enjoy every second"
“it’s hard at first, but it will get better"
“don’t be afraid to ask for help"
“sleep when the baby sleeps"
It’s all great advice, but doesn’t it seem so cliche? There’s a million logistical things running through your head after all-- uncertainties, fears, questions.
How will you handle the pain when the moment comes? What if something goes wrong? Will it be a boy or girl? How will you react the first time you see him/her? Will you be able to figure out the car seat/stroller/carrier/alien-spaceship aka bouncy seat? When will you be able to return to your fake career of professional coffee drinker?
From the big things to the little details, it’s all new. And there is no way of knowing how it will all go.
So i want to offer you these words of comfort.
You will handle whatever pain is thrown your way because it means you’re about to meet your baby.
In the rare instance that something goes wrong, you’ll handle that too. You’ll be surrounded by professionals you’ve carefully chosen who have worked hard to make their careers the business of happy moms and happy babies.
Whatever the gender, it doesn’t really matter- you will fall instantly in love.
You will be overcome with a kind of emotion you’ve never known- the grandest, most beautiful combination of joy, relief, and intense connection you’ve ever felt.
You’ll figure out the car seat along with the diaper-changing, cry-soothing, feeding, and sleepless nights just like millions of parents for centuries before you have figured it out. It's a blessing designed by God that the only things this child needs at first are fed, changed, sleep, and love. You are capable and blessed and chosen as this baby’s mother— and that should make you feel pretty special.
If you’re breastfeeding, you may need to cool it on the coffee for a while still, but it’s but a small sacrifice in the scheme of things (remember that when you mistake yourself for Eeyore in the mirror.) Otherwise, hoo-rah coffee queen.
And while we’re at it:
- Avoid buying generic diapers— it’s not worth the savings to put cardboard on your baby’s adorably soft bottom.
- Always park near the shopping cart return so you can easily slip baby into car and cart into line without having to walk too far away
- Prep snacks and breakfast foods that are easy to keep and eat with one hand
- Don’t bother with pricing diaper changing covers - you’ll end up washing it every day. Get one that fits, then place cloth diaper squares or burp cloths on top for the actual bottom placement - residue will find its way everywhere and those are much easier to change out that the changing cover itself.
- Buy nightlights for the halls and nursery. When you’re wandering around at wee hours, you’ll be grateful.
- Keep hand sanitizer in your diaper bag. You’ll suddenly remember that you haven’t washed your hands since the last diaper change and again, be grateful.
- Laugh when you get peed on.
- Let your husband help. Then shut-up about how he does things; you had to learn your way, too.
- Don’t be so worried about messing up your kid that you forget to enjoy him/her.
- Be present. It's easy for days to feel slow or unaccomplished or quiet-- but feel assured in those moments that you are doing an incredible thing by simply caring for this beautiful, growing new life.
You can do it, mama. Rub that belly and get ready for an amazing adventure.
New Mom Still Figuring It Out