Planning. Seems like the second you find out you are pregnant, you start planning. Is it a girl? Is it a boy? What colors for the nursery? What kind of crib? Will you breast feed or use formula? You even set out to make a "birth plan." You know, just how will you have that baby. In water? Drugs? No drugs? Music in the background while you meditate? You like to kid yourself that when the baby comes, you will stop this planning nonsense. Guess what, you will stop planning because you can't plan. NOTHING ever goes the way you would like it. In fact, don't even make a birth plan. It's ok to say you are going to try to go natural. It's ok to say that you want the epidural. But don't even think that it has to go that way because more than likely it will not. You may want to breast feed and find out you aren't cut out for it because the baby takes up every second of your time and you can't even sleep for more than two hours without having to feed him. You may think you are going to get an epidural but then your labor comes so quickly you find yourself in the car on the way to the hospital with no time to spare. Your baby may not like the swing you got. You may hate having the bassinet in your room. You may find yourself going "Why in the world do I have 3 bags of cotton balls? What was the purpose of these things again?" A baby doesn't care what your plans are. Go ahead and throw that script out the window.
Worry. While pregnant you will worry constantly about the baby inside you. You will fret over the foods you eat or don't eat. You will take prenatals religiously. You will freak out if you haven't felt the baby move in over an hour. This is normal. But it never goes away. In fact, I think worrying gets worse after the baby arrives because then you know what you could possibly lose. You are going look at that little face sleeping in your arms and tears are going to stream down your face at even the slightest sad thought. You think your hormones are bad now, crying during a commercial or song, wait until your baby is born. It's like every song is made just for them and every movie has some special meaning in it directed towards them. Driving becomes a hazard because a Celine Dion song comes on, you look in the review at the baby and the tears start. "You're my life's one miracle, everything I've done that's good. And you break my heart with tenderness and I confess it's true, I never knew a love like this till you." *Whaaaaaaah!* You will feel like a mess constantly from now until forever. It never stops but it's something you would never change.
Sleep. Everyone always likes to point out that "you should enjoy your sleep now because you'll never sleep once the baby comes!" Yeah, yeah. We all know that babies wake up a lot. That they don't sleep long periods of time. If you didn't know that, then why are you having a child. You should probably do some reading first on the subject. But I digress...I would like to point out that usually (and I say usually because, again, you can't plan anything) babies start to string sleep together longer by the third month. They start to realize that nighttime is for sleeping and daytime is for playing and smiling at mama and daddy. The first couple of months are horrible. I will not say that they are not, but do know there is light at the end of the tunnel and you will get sleep again. And try not to punch anyone in the face who decides to point out you won't be getting sleep.
Things. You may be all excited about registering for your baby gifts. You may be terrified at the thought of doing it. Going to Babies R Us is a nightmare for the new parent. THEY. HAVE. EVERYTHING. Going in to the bottle section is frightening. Where do you start? And what makes it worse is they give you a book with a list a mile long of "stuff you have to get. Stuff you won't live without." You need netting for your stroller to keep the bugs away from your baby. You need a wipe warmer so the little bundle of joy won't be scarred by the feeling of a cold one. Please. Half of the stuff on there you don't need. Or you don't need right now. Words of advice from me on this...go register then have a couple close friends who just had babies look at your list and tell you if you need that swing with all the bells and whistles or if you can save a few bucks on one that just swings. And read the reviews. Make sure what you're buying works for most people. You do not want to get your baby bath home, fill it up and have it leak all over (like ours does). Also, you really don't have to put clothes, blankets, bibs or hats on your registry. People love to buy that stuff and you really don't have to ask for it.
The baby. If you were anything like me, you may not be a "baby person." I wasn't even sure I wanted kids. But I kept hearing, "It's different when they are your own." I wanted to think that this was just something people say so the family line continues. But guess what, it's true. It's so very, very true. Just wait, because in X amount of months, weeks, days, your life is going to be 100 times better than it was and no lack of sleep, money or sanity will keep you from feeling it. :)