Though I am not a strict believer in being able to prepare for everything in advance, you cannot blame a first time mother for trying. After all, parents will always want to do their best by their kids, right?
These are the preparations I've made (or received) so far:
1. A journal to document as much as I can on.
2. Two examples of the nursing underwear I have purchased since finding out about my pregnancy.
3. Baby clothes I received from a cousin/family friend, which are now in the waiting line of my laundry load. (I'm sure they were already clean when I received them but I don't trust my cats. <.<) My favourite thing about the lot are the socks: the multitude of little socks of different sizes that will make sure my baby's feet stay nice and cozy...and protected for when he starts trying to walk. Bonus: two knee protectors for when he begins crawling!
4. What to Expect When You're Expecting also known as "Something for your husband to read so he understands why the heck you're crazier than usual."
5. Flat shoes.
6. An always full water bottle. Admittedly, I have not been completely faithful to having this by my side, causing the occasional water retention, but my husband's helping me out with that one.
7. A crib mobile! Okay, so we're not getting a crib like I planned/wanted. But there's a playpen coming so we can put it on there. Or on our bed. XD
8. A baby bottle set, feeding spoon (for future use), and a teether. All from Beanie's cousin Cloud. I still have to clean and sterlise those bottles but I suppose that can come in much later, yes?
So with all of that, and the shopping we're planning to do within the week, what else is there that I learned by myself, as a first timer, that I seriously think they should have mentioned somewhere?
1. You will get increasingly paranoid over the safety of your unborn child as you progress further into the pregnancy. I blogged here that I thought my paranoia would lessen once I can feel him moving but no. No, it hasn't. In fact, I am more paranoid now than ever before because his size will now restrict his movement and unlike when he was younger, Bean's movement/"awake" schedule is more erratic. I don't understand the mechanics of it but that is the way it is. Also, my restlessness hasn't helped; in fact, it's made my paranoia worse because even in utero, babies can apparently get rocked to sleep--the precise effect of the mother walking around.
So no, no, you will not stop being paranoid unless you already have experience under your belt. Maybe. Someone who's been a mother more than once before me please feel free to enlighten me on this one.
2. Mood swings, despite having a history of incredibly polar opposite ones, will always surprise you. I can be completely okay one second and then be in the worst possible temper the next one--and it stays that way. My husband once mentioned/noted/complained that it takes me so much longer these days to get over being upset, and the extent of my distress isn't even proportional to the cause. This is particularly distressing for him as well because my response to any negative emotion is to cry and I will keep crying until I tire myself out or fall asleep. And even if I don't cry, I will stay brooding and moody all day and it is a rare thing for him to be able to do anything to make me feel better or make amends, should he have been the cause for my being upset. Particularly bad episodes can stretch out for days.
Note: They say that crying releases hormones that help relieve the sensation of being upset--it actually seems like it holds true.
3. Mothers at least twice over will always insist their experience will be the same for you. Especially if they're older than you.
I've only ever listened to those who didn't insist on me listening to them though. And even more to those who only shared their experience because I asked.
4. Getting stuff second hand is awesome. It's free, frees you up to worry about other things, and most especially, it makes you feel very loved because the family and friends offering you hand-me-downs means they've been through the stress you're going through right now and they're doing what they can to help ease the first time jitters.
5. When you go shopping, shop everywhere, not just the maternity section. Also, maternity wear, cinched at the waist, still makes for awesome non-preggy clothes. And there are maternity shorts now too. Very comfortable.
6. You will never feel more pathetic than that moment when you realise you can't put on shoes or leggings without feeling you just ran a marathon. Your waist, apparently, is more important than it always seemed.
7. Salespeople will always be eager to sell you things you don't actually need. Which is true for most situations but most especially during pregnancy. (Window) shop with a list. Seriously, it's more important now than ever unless you're willing to shell out for stuff you won't actually use more than once.
To be continued as I recall them. ^_~