If I were sitting down for coffee with a friend who was about to birth her first little one, these are the things I would say:
You can’t fully prepare. Go ahead and read the books about birth and the newborn time, but realize that you’ll never be fully ready. What is about to happen to you (and your world) is incomprehensible until it occurs.
Enjoy your time in the hospital. I mean it. Nurses at the press of a button, three hot meals a day, breastfeeding assistance around the clock. Let them take care of you.
Rest. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Sleep whenever you can for however long you can. Sleep while your mom does your laundry and friends do your dishes.
You might not feel all warm and fuzzy. When I saw Caroline for the first time in that operating room, something in the deepest part of me recognized her as my own. I loved her. But, it was a journey for me to be able to really feel that. I was numb, and then I was scared and tired. Don’t feel like a freak if you aren’t googly-eyed from the start.
If the baby is going through a phase you find difficult, give it just a bit of time and it will change. Soon enough she’ll be sitting up on her own. Soon enough she’ll be taking regular naps. Soon enough she’ll be sitting in her high chair during mealtime. It all comes quicker and quicker, but those first few months can move deceptively slowly.
Do what works for your family. Seek God’s wisdom, walk in the Spirit, and do what you know is best for your family.
You’re going to be okay. You’re going to be okay. You’re going to be okay.