Right now, as you sit and rub your pregnant belly, daydreaming about long snuggle sessions and frolicking in the backyard with your son who will be born any day now, you have a sense of calm.
You're in a good place and that's wonderful. It's so nice getting attention and having everyone stop you in the street to ask you questions about your baby and how you're feeling. It makes you feel so full of excitement, you feel you may burst.
You've enjoyed cooking this new being in your womb. Every time you go into a store, you grab a little something—a button-down, snuggly onesies, a soft blanket—and you tuck it away, after washing it with gentle detergent, letting it simmer in his lavender-lined dresser drawers until you can slide it over his chunky limbs.
You inhale baby lotion every day and plan walks in the park and think being at home with him will be relaxing and you won't care about the state of the house of how messy you get. You are right about all these feelings of anticipation. These moments will be glorious but they will be just that—moments. And moments are fleeting.
There is so much that awaits you, and no one is telling you about the dark places.
Like the fact you won't be able to sit down properly for a week after his birth. And how you will be so sleep deprived you will practically vomit. And about the day you will be standing at the kitchen sink one afternoon, washing dishes, crying because he won't stop crying, and you will pee your pants for no apparent reason and feel like you are failing in all aspects of your life.
When he sleeps, you won't sleep because you will be too concerned he isn't breathing or is cold or is napping too long and won't fall asleep tonight.
Having this child is going to change you in good ways and bad.
Your heart will no longer belong to you. It will be attached to him and this means you will never be the same.
You will long for your life before him and that will make you feel guilty.
You will miss him when he's in the next room and that will make you anxious.
You will never want him to experience discomfort and that will make you overcompensate.
Having this child is going to change you in good ways and bad. He will test you, he will love you like no one has loved you and you will feel as though you are the only two people in the world.
This life with your newborn babe will not be what you think, as you sit in the sun counting down the minutes until you can meet him.
It will be better. And worse.
It will be harder than anyone can ever explain, so just remember something through the dark days: You will be OK, you are more than capable and he is going to turn out just fine. I promise.
I know this because it's been almost 16 years since that day you were daydreaming about the lovely life your child would bring you, and he is still here. Life is indeed lovely in a different way that we expected—and you are both better for it.