When I was pregnant with my first son, I was clueless about everything having to do with babies. Sure, I had some experience changing diapers, and hanging out with other people's babies, but not for longer than like, 20 minutes at a time.
I was a blissfully happy pregnant girl, because I ate McFrosties and Blizzards every single day for 9 months. And lots of Doriots, until I found out they contained MSG and then oh my God, I never touched them again until after my baby was born. Also, my husband would cook me the most fantastic and oh-so healthy meals. I had salmon at least once a week and I think that's why my babies are now so smart!
We had the perfect nursery. My husband took out the carpet, installed hardwood floors, chair rail, crown moulding, thick baseboards, and painted the room a gorgeous blue and green colour. We had beautiful white furntiure, gorgeous bedding, paintings, and lots and lots of baby clothes hung in the closet and folded in the dresser drawers. I even got a very uncomfortable but pretty white 'nursing' chair for the room. No slider for me - none I saw were nice enough for this room!
I also slept a lot during my pregnancy. I fell asleep during movies, both at home and in the theatres. I fell asleep everywhere. I was so tired all the time. Little did I know my body was telling me to sleep all I could then because I certainly wasn't going to sleep after the baby was born!
I was induced, so before we went to the hospital, hubby and I stopped off at Starbucks for the last time as a family of two. I had orange juice and a lemon poppy seed loaf... yum! We got to the hospital, and it was a fun day, really. I ate pizza for lunch. The nurses were great, my entire family was there, and then I had my baby. Easy-peasy. Better than a brazilian wax, it was. (Yes, of course I had an epidural!)
And my baby was born and my life was forever changed. I could not stop staring at him. I did not sleep for 48 hours. I was petrified to close my eyes.
But I sure wish someone had told me a few things before I had my baby, though...
How I would not be able to sleep for fear of something happening to my baby.
How important Purell would be.
How tired I'd be.
How I would not fit into my regular clothes for weeks. I mean, months. (Okay, years.)
How to burp a baby. I had such a hard time with this!
How to master the perfect swaddle.
How to put the infant carrier into the stroller properly. Took me a few weeks to get this right!
How to give a newborn a bath - that was really hard.
How to not get peed on.
How important it is to take a nap when the baby is napping!
How important a nursing chair would be - ugly or not!
But, you learn as you go, right? And as each day passed, being a mom became easier and easier. In some ways. The tired part has lingered, though.
When my second son was born, the new feeling I had was 'guilt' - guilt for being apart from my first born for the first time overnight. Guilt at not knowing how to perfectly split my time between the two; just your regular mommy guilt.
But things like breastfeeding and burping and swaddling a second child - those came easily to me, for the most part. You sort of forget and then quickly remember how small they are and how to handle them, you know? And you realize that two children? Are very much harder then just one - but perfect at the same time!
What do you wish you had known before you had your first baby? What is the one piece of advice you wish someone had to told you - and what advice do you give moms who are expecting their first child?