Dear Sarah in October 2007,
Hey honey, how are you doing? I know it's a little on the strange side to be reading a letter from - well - yourself, but I think if you'll just hear me out you will realize that there are some important lessons to be learned here. As you're reading this letter, you are just weeks away from giving birth to your first child, an incredible and darling little boy. Are you scared? Of course you are. And that excruciating pain you're feeling in your hips and in your vajayjay? It will go away soon, I swear.
There are a few things that I want you to know, however.
Return the Diaper Genie and use the money to stock up on TUCKS and Preparation H. You'll thank me later.
You will not always be this fat. Right now, you feel like you are literally the size of a barn and photos taken of you are not going to do much to change that opinion. Trust me when I tell you that you will look somewhat normal again soon, but it's going to take way more work that you realize. Just don't let that stop you from enjoying your new baby and, for the love of cookie dough, getting in the photos with him! You are going to look back on this time and cringe at how puffy you look, but that's not what really matters. What's important is that you document the memories you have with that sweet boy as he completely changes your world.
The hemorrhoids will go away, I promise. Just hang in there.
Unfortunately, the stretch marks will not. Sorry about that. Stop spending the money on the cocoa butter because it won't do jack diddly.
Sweetie, there are so many things about being a Mommy that are not written about in What to Expect When You're Expecting. If I spewed all of them out at you right now, you might hop right in the car and speed to the nearest adoption agency, so I'll just ease you into a few things you're going to want to know.
First, newborn poop comes shooting out of there like a fully-pumped Super Soaker. If you take that diaper off, be ready to slap another diaper on pronto in the style of Indiana Jones putting the bag of sand in place of the golden idol. If you don't execute this maneuver properly, there's going to be just as much running for the hills and way more screaming.
Second, the birthing experience is going to SUCK. All those stories you've heard about these beautiful births where the mother pushes for ten minutes and out pops a perfectly formed newborn child....yup, not for you. Prepare yourself for a grueling, difficult, exhausting birth that is going to subject you to a level of exposure you never thought possible. Keep a sense of humor about it and you'll make it. At the end of all that work, you do end up with a pretty amazing final product, but don't freak out at the shape of his head. You'd look like an alien too if you had a vacuum stuck to your skull like that.
Third, for what will probably be the first time in your life since you were a toddler, pooping is going to be the scariest thing on the planet. Eat stool softeners like candy and you'll get through it. Nothing is going to rip you to pieces any worse than that 7 pound, 11 ounce baby did so just get 'er done.
Finally, you should know that you will FREAK OUT when you bring that baby home. All that help you had at the hospital? Gone. Every ounce of knowledge you tried to soak up from reading books and chatting for hours on BabyCenter.com? Worthless. There is no instruction manual for that little buggar and you're going to find yourself bawling your eyes out as you rock back and forth in a corner, convinced you just made the biggest mistake of your life. When that happens, here's what you need to do. BREATHE. PRAY. CALL GINA. Snapping like a twig and losing your mind does not make you a bad mom; it makes you normal. What matters is that you handle it in a healthy way. Hand the baby off whenever you can and do your best to get some alone time with a big glass of wine and a good book.
Down the road you will learn things like the fact that after you have a baby, an alarm gets secretly installed on your toilet seat so they know when you sit down. Get used to having company in there! If you lock the door, be prepared to hear the sounds of catastrophe as soon as your butt hits the seat. You will discover that sleep is one of the most precious things in the world and coffee is a blessing from God.
More than anything else, you will fall in love with that baby....and his brothers later on. You were born to do this, sweet girl. God has chosen these children specifically for you and Evan and you are going to be AWESOME. Enjoy the next few weeks and try to relax.
I'll see you in a few years. And good news.....we're totally skinny now. :)