There are a million beautiful moments, exciting events, and fun changes that take place during the first year of motherhood. Probably the most thrilling part is watching your baby grow. Babies learn so many amazing things during the first year. Your baby will go from being unable to hold up her head to being able to crawl, smile, and stand up. Each milestone is a cause for celebration. Caring for your baby will be fun and rewarding, but it will also be a big adjustment. Along with the excitement come challenges, and you will need to work through each one with patience and confidence.
Most families go through at least a few rough times during the first year of their baby's life. This is not to say that you cannot overcome these obstacles, but problems will arise that will be difficult to anticipate and deal with. Anything from a bump on baby's head to baby's runny nose could easily unsettle a new mother. There will be decisions to make, such as who can be trusted to babysit, and when you will go back to work, if at all. Additionally, you will be adapting to your new lifestyle, new body, and new outlook. Your relationship with your spouse will change as well. These aspects just take some getting used to.
One issue you've likely heard a lot about is the postpartum period. The term postpartum often brings negative words to mind, such as depression and sleep deprivation. But the truth is that the postpartum period is much more than misery. It is a time for you to get to know your body as you recover from pregnancy and childbirth, to become familiar with and enjoy your expanding family, and to explore your many roles in life.
Most people would describe the postpartum period as being six weeks long. However, it actually takes the entire first year after the birth of a baby for the family to establish a new sense of normalcy. This period of time can be well spent working on your new family dynamics and dealing with the issues of new parenthood. Still, your time will be consumed with caring for your baby, along with any number of other responsibilities, which could include maintaining a home, working, or fulfilling obligations to other family members and friends. The days may seem shorter, but they will also be much brighter with a new baby in your life.
No matter where you are when you begin the journey of new motherhood, you will be someplace else at the end of this first incredible year. You will learn how to overcome obstacles, how to balance your family life and your social life, and how to grow and change with your child. It's true that your life will never be the same again—but it'll be better! Always remember, there is not a correct path for you to take, but you must simply find your own way. Let this book be your guide as you learn all there is to know about yourself and your new baby. The following pages will take you from your first few days of motherhood right through your baby's first year of life, to the point where you might even be considering another addition to your family! So read on, and enjoy the journey!