By Jeana Lee Tahnk
Having a baby is one of the biggest events in your life, regardless ofwhether it's baby No. 1 or baby No. 4. It's normal to go throughperiods when you're so excited to meet your little one and thenterrified 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 hasdifferent needs. Even though you may have walked the road before andknow the ins and outs of newborn care, you can never anticipate whatit's really going to be like. Although, anyone who has gone through apregnancy knows the highs and lows that result from the hormonal shiftsand emotions surrounding this huge life transition.
During my third pregnancy (with two very active older kids), I wasable to acknowledge all the emotions I was having - good or bad - andrealized it was my own way of processing what was about to happen. Iwas 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 emotionalexperience. I am one of those people who happen to love being pregnant,and I kept reminding myself to appreciate this last pregnancy to itsfullest (despite the nagging indigestion). Add the usual flux ofhormones that comes along with any pregnancy, and it's safe to say I wasa bundle of emotions throughout the nine months.
I asked myself, was I ready to go back into thediaper-changing/up-all-night/newborn stage that can be so exhausting anddraining at times? Of course, it was a little too late to bequestioning it, but the reality of having a baby in the house after somany years definitely was a source of anticipatory anxiety.
In addition to my own emotions, of course, I had to consider how mykids would handle having a new baby in the house. Would it change thedynamic considerably? Would they be jealous? Luckily, we benefited fromthem being older, more mature and better able to understand the changethat was coming, but still, it was a huge transition for everyoneinvolved.
Be especially kind to yourself during this time of change and knowthat whatever you're feeling most likely is something every othermom-to-be and new mom has felt before.
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