New Mother's-To-Be worry about all the wrongs things. They worry about getting fat, they worry about how they will raise their baby, they worry about their baby's being ugly, they worry about which diapers are best, and they worry about finding the right toys and clothes for the baby. Their thoughts are self-centered.
More than anything else, prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. This new life will place demands on you like you've never experienced before. Your thought pattern will instantly change from self to baby exclusively.
You are going to experience pain, frustration, loneliness, anger, and a myriad of unpleasant feelings. Some feelings will be hormonally base, and others situationally valid.
A new baby gives absolutely nothing back for all the care and work you put forth. The baby only takes. That's their job. This will continue for at least 4 to 6 full months. Will you have the fortitude, perseverance, and patience this requires? My aunt bluntly told me when I was pregnant with my first child that if you give the baby all you can when it's small, you'll save yourself heartache when it's older because sooner or later he or she will demand all you attention. Buckle down and get it done early.
A baby has built-in radar. If you're upset, the baby is upset. Even if you talk gently and quietly to the baby, but inside you're upset...trust me, the baby will know. Will you be able to remain calm and loving inside when nothing but chaos surrounds you? Read everything you can that teaches you calming mental and physical techniques.
Your sense of who you are packs its bags and leaves for a very long time. Can your self-esteem handle this? Establish during your pregnancy who you are. Write down all that defines you. Place emphasis on the positive points. List your interests, accomplishments, and talents. You will be doing yourself a favor if you refer back to these lists when the new baby arrives, and you're feeling your identity slipping away. Keep a few items from your list active during the first few months with baby. If that means reaching out to others to simply lend a kind ear....Do it.
Religiously find a few minutes every day to focus on the positives that have occurred. Write them down. Set your goal for 5 per day. Make this a daily habit. It's your choice to either view this experience as a negative or positive.
You've heard this before; but, adequate sleep is everything. The old adage, "Ain't Nobody Happy When Momma Ain't Happy," is as true today as it has been since the beginning of time. I don't care what you have to do in order to find that extra hour or two...find it. Ask or demand, if necessary, your husband take over. He can do this. You honestly are not the only one capable of caring for baby. If possible, hire a sitter or ask a family member or friend for two hours whenever possible. Put the guilt away and care for yourself. A Super Mom is not a good mom. A Super Mom is an exhausted mom. Good moms are happy moms. Find that extra time for yourself.
If you find yourself avoiding your baby, thinking hurtful thoughts toward the baby or yourself, crying hours on end, or feeling seriously depressed, this is not normal. You may be suffering postpartum depression. Immediately seek professional help. You'll find you aren't alone, and there is excellent help available.
You've been told that with a new baby your life will never be the same. This is true; however, it's also true that no new day is identical to yesterday. Resist falling into the juvenile thought pattern of, "It's always going to be like this." Life constantly changes. Stay off the pity pot and move forward.
You will find that your husband will continue to expect your undivided attention. He simply doesn't get it. Accept this. It's normal and your best way to handle this is to give him attention in ways he doesn't expect. Have him sit alone with you on the sofa (even if it's for 5 minutes and snuggle all the while telling him he's the best thing that ever happened to you and how much you appreciate him; hug him unexpectedly; or, simply take ten quiet minutes and listen (with honest interest) to what's on his mind. He needs to feel acknowledged and validated. I'm not saying you will enjoy this, but he will feel less neglected and repay you with the extra hand you need. Dads are not moms and never will be. Their role with the new baby is quite different than yours. It never has been and never will be a 50/50 proposition.
Prepare yourself well if you're planning on returning to work after the baby is born. Make advance plans for baby's care. Know that leaving your baby in the care of someone else is going to hurt. Your baby is your heart with little arms and legs running out into this big old world. You can lessen the hurt by finding care for the baby with someone you trust and know is gentle and kind in spirit. Take ample time in finding the best place possible for baby so that you can do your job and not spend the entire day worrying.
Forget the extra pounds, the toys, the diapers, and the cute little clothes. You have a big job ahead and preparing well mentally and emotionally will go a long way toward making this new and exciting chapter of your life joyful and fulfilling.