By Jeana Lee Tahnk
Having a baby is one of the biggest events in your life, regardless of
whether it's baby No. 1 or baby No. 4. It's normal to go through
periods when you're so excited to meet your little one and then
terrified of what life with that little one is going to be like,
especially the first time around.
The reality is that every baby is different and every baby has
different needs. Even though you may have walked the road before and
know the ins and outs of newborn care, you can never anticipate what
it's really going to be like. Although, anyone who has gone through a
pregnancy knows the highs and lows that result from the hormonal shifts
and emotions surrounding this huge life transition.
During my third pregnancy (with two very active older kids), I was
able to acknowledge all the emotions I was having - good or bad - and
realized it was my own way of processing what was about to happen. I
was always conscious of the fact that this was going to be my last one. My last 20-week ultrasound, my last baby bump, my last labor ... You get the gist.
Having that sense of finality definitely made it an emotional
experience. I am one of those people who happen to love being pregnant,
and I kept reminding myself to appreciate this last pregnancy to its
fullest (despite the nagging indigestion). Add the usual flux of
hormones that comes along with any pregnancy, and it's safe to say I was
a bundle of emotions throughout the nine months.
I asked myself, was I ready to go back into the
diaper-changing/up-all-night/newborn stage that can be so exhausting and
draining at times? Of course, it was a little too late to be
questioning it, but the reality of having a baby in the house after so
many years definitely was a source of anticipatory anxiety.
In addition to my own emotions, of course, I had to consider how my
kids would handle having a new baby in the house. Would it change the
dynamic considerably? Would they be jealous? Luckily, we benefited from
them being older, more mature and better able to understand the change
that was coming, but still, it was a huge transition for everyone
Be especially kind to yourself during this time of change and know
that whatever you're feeling most likely is something every other
mom-to-be and new mom has felt before.
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