*Disclaimer: I apologize to any adoptive mothers, as this post refers a lot to birth-related ailments. Still, hope you might find it an interesting read!*
1. You will still look pregnant after the baby is born.
2. Even though you just birthed a 7+ pound baby, plus a placenta, lost a ton of fluid, etc, all of which should add up to almost 20 pounds, you MAY leave the hospital, step on the scale, and only be down FIVE FREAKING pounds.
3. If you plan to breastfeed, know that it is hard at the start. It gets better quickly for many people, but that first week or two can be brutal. Do not give up. It WILL get easier.
4. Formula is not bad or evil. If you can't breastfeed, or if it becomes too much for you to handle emotionally, do not feel guilty.
5. Speaking of crying...have you heard about the BABY BLUES? They are very real and can be very distressing. They are normal, and can leave just as suddenly as they go on. It does not matter how much you want your baby or how happy you think you should be...you could very well feel like crap the first week or two (or more!) home.
6. Adjusting to a new baby is hard, so let that be your one and only focus. Do not care about the housework, or cooking balanced meals for other people.
7. Allow visitors at the hospital, and at home. It will help you to feel less isolated during that "baby blues" stage. And accept help from people! If your mom wants to dust for you, let her at it!
8. "Pregnancy Brain" only goes away to make room for "Mommy Brain". Expect to get even dumber :)
9. You might be surprised at how you feel following the birth of the baby. I was not nearly as sore as I thought I'd be - but boy, was I STIFF! I felt like an 80-year-old woman each time I stood up! Take it easy, and don't push yourself!
10. Be nice to your nurses. If your lucky, you'll get ones as fabulous and helpful as I did while in the hospital.