Hi Bees.

I'm new around here, and this is my first post.

I'm currently in my third trimester, and I'm starting to feel very anxious about giving birth and becoming a parent.

Before we got pregnant, I understood that pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood is no picnic, but I looked forward to the challenge of bringing a child into the world and expected that despite its difficulties, it would be a time full of joy, happiness, fulfillment, etc.

I have been doing a fair amount of reading, researching, and talking to a lot of other new moms and dads throughout my pregnancy. The more I learn, the more overwhelmed I'm feeling. Like there's this big secret that I'm just fully understanding, now—that having a child and the resulting transition into parenthood is actually an incredibly negative experience. I don't doubt that the physical pain of labor and delivery is life-altering, but there are so many things that I didn't realize I could have to deal with. Severe (4th degree!?) tearing, a traumatic birth, an intense physical recovery period, being emotionally unstable for months/PPD. I also didn't know that breastfeeding is so mindblowingly painful, grueling, and wrought with issues.

I'm not sure I fully understood that I will actually no longer sleep...that I'll be awake at least every 2 hours on a round-the-clock basis for a very extended period of time.

It also seems that relationships suffer terribly after having a first child, and the thought of losing the solidarity of what my husband and I have built is giving me a lot of anxiety as well. We are such a good team and we both go above and beyond for one another, but it feels inevitable that in six months to a year, we will each be at our limit of stress and want nothing to do with each other.

Basically, I'm feeling a little distressed at how negatively my life will change. And maybe it doesn't seem so bad once the love for your child is factored into the mix, but right now I'm feeling all "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?" and it's only 9 weeks 'til D-Day!

Have any of you found that your life was more positive after giving birth? Does it get better, and if so, how long did it take? Were you prepared for most of the challenges you faced and if not, did it make it harder that you were not prepared? Is it not really that bad and I just happen to hear about all the negatives?

Thanks for reading!