Since you guys are adopting, I know this doesn't really apply to you, but maybe it will help someone else out. But the big shock I had was when I actually pushed really hard to breastfeed my second son (the first son didn't latch well and so we had to use a nipple shield and it was frusterating, plus I was going back to school so formula was our better option with him.). I had in my head this image that it would be really easy and the baby would eat for like 15 minutes and then be done until the next feeding. I was wrong, not in that it was hard for me, but that with my son, he'd eat for 40 minutes at the beginning. That might not sound that bad, but when you remember newborns can eat as often as every 1-1/2 to 2 hours, I'd only have around 1 hour to sleep or get anything else done before I'd have to "hook up" again. The other thing that I learned over time that is applicaple to anyone with a kid in diapers is that the Target brand (Up & Up) and the Walmart brand(Parent's Choice) diapers and wipes are just as good as Huggies and Pampers. In fact, I bought a package of size 1 diapers from Walmart last month to give as a baby shower gift, and they had the wet sensor strip in the front of the diaper, just like pampers! So unless you are an expert extreme coupon shopping genius, these diapers help to save money.
You EARN every moment of joy and happiness you share with your child. Which means it is not easy peasy...and you feel a lot of hurt and pain too. The joy and relief you feel when your baby sleeps after a big fight...it's b/c of the big fight and the frustration you felt before. Just a "minor" everyday example with a newborn. After recent experiences and my friend losing her only son and husband to a lake recently after 7 years of infertility and adoption before he turned 3 I would say treasure every moment. Treasure if you can the sleepless nights. Find a perfect moment every day and make a mental and maybe even written picture of it. So no matter what happens at the end of each day you know it didn't go unnoticed or unappreciated. Being a mother is extremely difficult but take the time to remember why it is you haven't had the chance to shower that day or take a run for months or why you haven't been out of the house all week...then be grateful you have what you have. (I'm sure you'll be appreciative after your experiences) but when the days and nights get long and hard look at what you have, not what you don't have (which is very little time for me...and not much time for mommy and daddy either)
how to sleepwalk so I could sleep while feeding a newborn in the middle of the night jk! I wish I had known about craddle cap and how to treat it more effectively. Kaidyn had really bad craddle cap when he was about 2-3 months old and none of the meds his dr prescribed worked. Then after a month of Kaidyn suffering through it (it is extremely itchy!)I found Mustella shampoo over the counter in the baby section and it worked like a charm. You won't know everything before you become a mother and some things you just have to learn as you go but you are going to be a wonderful mother! Most of it is just instinct!
There are times as a Mom where you might think, "Why didn't anybody warn me that this would be SO hard?" But the truth is if we really knew how hard it was going to be we wouldn't do it! Not that it isn't worth it... because it totally is but nothing can really prepare you for what you are about to experience-- good or bad. You will never experience such happiness, sorrow, pride (good pride), and exhaustion. I think though if I had to pick a few things that took a long time for me to learn, I would pick these: 1)No two children are alike so it is completely a waste of time to compare yourself to other moms. 2)Some days keeping your children alive is a great accomplishment... and might be your only accomplishment. That's okay. 3)Go to bed early. 4)Your roles as a wife and a mother are two very different things. You won't get far treating your husband like a child and expecting adult behavior from your kids.
One thing I learned is that it adds a whole new dimension to your marriage! So, my advice is to make sure you and your hubby are on the same page with parenting tactics and schedules and help him understand how important a regular, same-time of the day nap is, even if it means you stay in a lot more than you are used to. Also, make time for each other even though you are both very tired. And go easy on Dad. He's trying. He doesn't have the same "motherly instincts" as you, but he still loves your baby as much as you do. ;)
Wow, lots of good comments. I'm not worried, you and Landon will be terrific parents. One piece of advice would be to come and visit Grandma Lori often!!! lol Seriously, Love truly gets you through all.