You are about to embark on an incredible adventure—becoming a mom. I know that you think that you’ve got the whole “baby care” thing covered, but I want to gently tell you that you don’t. You love babies and have taken care of them your whole life; you’ve even made it your career! But your sweet baby will throw you for a loop. She won’t act anything like the babies you take care of at work and it will take some time to get to know her and her particular needs. This does not make you a failure or less than. Let me say that again.
You. are. not. a. failure.
On the subject of that beautiful baby. She’s not going to sleep like a NICU baby, but that’s because she’s healthy. There is nothing wrong with her. She is normal. This lack of sleep sucks. It sucks big time and you will get to a point where you feel like you might either die or lose your mind if you don’t get more sleep. But you won’t. You will survive. This period of time that seems so huge now is actually but a breath and in three months, you will barely remember it. These first four to six weeks are really, really difficult, but like I said, you will barely remember them in just a few short months. You can’t enjoy every moment and you will feel guilty for it that, but the people who say that the initial newborn period is wonderful are either a. lying, or b. lying. You can’t enjoy every moment, but there will be moments to treasure. Journal when you can (as if you need one more thing to do), because you will soon forget.
When you are overwhelmed by people, even family, say so. You are sleep deprived and just learning how to be a mom. It’s okay to want or need people to just leave you alone. But if you need help, ask. Your family loves you and wants to help you in any way they can.
Go to a La Leche League meeting before Jane comes, if you can, and if you can’t, go as soon as you feel comfortable after she’s born. The support that these women provide will help you to keep your head above water. Being a new mom is really hard. I know you don’t understand this now, all you can think of is holding your sweet girl in your arms and how good it will feel to get rid of your pitting edema. It’s okay not to understand, who can blame you? Just know that you are not alone. You are surrounded by such amazing and gracious moms who will give you support in person, via this blog, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, you name it. Moms are awesome. You are in good company.
You can do this, Erin. You will feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the task of parenting and how intense Jane’s need for you will be, but you will get through it and you will fall more and more in love with your daughter each day. You will even begin to see why people decide to have more than one child. You are a blessed woman and you will be equipped for this task. Trust God, trust yourself.
You are loved and you will do great!
You (15 weeks from now)