Last year on this very day, I was told I would be having my baby any second. I was 3cm dilated and ten days from my delivery date. I didn't wind up having the baby for another 18 days.
This is a for soon-to-be mamas who have no idea what to expect or how they will feel as soon as that baby comes.
I wish I had some heart to heart's with moms I knew before I gave birth. I avoided those intimate conversations but in hindsight, I wish someone would've told me what to expect.
1. Get ready for a wild ride.
I bet you tend to see all the positives of motherhood on your social media feeds – the milestones, the smiles, the cuddles, because overall, these moments win. They are the reason we decide to have a baby in the first place.
What you wont see on Facebook are the challenges, the frustrations and the anxiety attacks. You should know that every mother is going through the same highs, lows and emotions — it's just that few will admit it.
2. Get ready to be exhausted.
Everyone knows that the birth is exhausting, but they fail to realize that what happens in the hospital is just the beginning.
You will spend the entire first night up with baby, not because they aren't sleeping, but because you can't take your eyes off them. You've never had a human rely on you for their existence and you stay awake because you are terrified of screwing up.
3. Get ready for the trial and error that is breast feeding.
There will be many mistakes made as you learn what works for both you and the baby. If you can't breastfeed or are just choosing not to, get ready for the judgement. Remember that you know what is best for you and your baby.
4. Get ready to look in the mirror and wonder what happened.
No matter how much effort you put into your body pre-baby, it will not look the same post-baby. Instead, your body will now be a reminder to appreciate yourself and the miracle that it just pulled off.
5. Get ready to be resent your partner.
No matter how great your partner is, you will be annoyed at them for the simple fact that they aren't you. Your relationship is on the back burner from here on out. If you are aware of this and put in some effort, you will realize how lucky you are to have them.
6. Get ready to lose time for yourself.
Your social life and daily routine will go out the window the second you bring that baby home. It's OK if you miss your life & freedom pre-baby.
Know that you are still the same person as you were before, just with new priorities.
Remember to make time for yourself so you don't grow resentful.
7. Get ready to lose your sleep schedule.
I'm not saying you wont sleep again, it is just no longer up to you when you will. Your sleep schedule is now baby's and it can take a while before that becomes through the night. Know that you won't think twice about getting up when you hear your baby alarm clock, it will be instinctual.
8. Get ready to feel terrible for returning to work.
Taking the baby to daycare on your first day back will be your toughest day yet. You will cry, and you will feel guilty. Pulling yourself together and getting back into a routine will help. If it doesn't get better, take it upon yourself to make some necessary changes.
9. Get ready to not feel like yourself.
You're going to feel like you lost who you are and there is nothing wrong with that. You are different!
This is normal and if you can find other moms to relate to, it will help.
10. Get ready for time to fly.
Make an effort to be present in this whirlwind of growth, smiles, snuggles and milestones. Even the toughest nights are important. Your baby will never be as little as they are in the moment, so make all of them count.
Lastly, good luck, you got this and I'll see you on the other side as you enter this amazing year of your life!