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Mixed Emotions Leading up to and after the Delivery

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 involved.

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.


Read More by Jeana Lee Tahnk

Raising a Baby or Toddler in the Digital Age

Keeping Up with an Active Baby


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