Becoming a parent is one of those life-changing, life-affirming moments. People will tell you what to expect when you see and hold that tiny bundle for the first time, but nothing can really prepare you for life as a parent. Parenting is no walk in the park, and everyone experiences highs and lows. If you’re preparing to be a parent, here are some obstacles to look out for.
Pregnancy and birth complications
Nobody wants to dwell on the risk of things going wrong when they’re pregnant or in the early stages of labor, but the reality is that many women experience complications of some kind. It’s rare to sail through childbirth, with every stage following your birth plan perfectly. Even if you’re well prepared and the early signs are positive, there’s a risk of labor becoming more complex. If things aren’t progressing as expected or the baby has changed position, it may be necessary to consider options such as assisted birthing or a cesarean section. In this instance, you put your trust in health teams to offer you the best advice and hope that you don’t find yourself in a situation where you spend the first few weeks of your baby’s life searching for a lawyer for injury from a delayed c-section. It can be hugely daunting waiting to give birth, but try and stay calm, and don’t panic if your birth plan goes out of the window. It’s highly likely that you and your baby will be fine, but the process may take a little longer or be slightly more convoluted than you hoped. It’s natural to be nervous. Make a calming playlist and ask your partner or a friend or a relative to keep you company and provide moral support.
Surviving on no sleep
Almost every parent you encounter when you’re pregnant will warn you about sleepless nights. No matter how many times you’re told, nothing can really set you up for those first few weeks when you try desperately to snatch every available moment of sleep. Running on empty can be tough, so use the support system you have around you. Even if your sister or best friend can only spare an hour to pop by and watch the baby, this will enable you to have a quick power nap and grab a shower.
When you become a parent, you never really feel 100% relaxed. You’re responsible for that tiny person, and it’s very common to spend hours of the day watching their every move and responding to every sound they make. As a parent, you always fear the worst. You read horror stories, and they play on your mind, even when you’ve got a healthy baby. If for any reason, you think things aren’t quite right with you baby, for example, they have a fever, they’re crying all the time, they’re sleeping more than usual, or they are lethargic, don’t hesitate to seek medical help. It’s always best to get checked out, just in case.
Becoming a parent is a truly wonderful experience, but it can also be incredibly scary. There will be lots of highs, but it’s also wise to be prepared for the lows.