Nothing can prepare you for life after the birth of your first child. Since I am a major planner (and so is my husband), I went to the labor and well-baby classes, read all the books, and got all the advice I could from friends and family. I spent hours in Babies R Us buying everything I thought I needed before my baby arrived. I felt so prepared, but it turns out I really wasn't! I found out that you never truly know what's ahead until you're right in it. I had this vision that when Madden was born life would just continue on as it did before she was here, now we would just have a baby with us. I knew that a baby would obviously change my life, but to what extent I had no idea! Madden was born at the beginning of August, so my husband and my mom were still out of school (they are both school teachers). My parents and sister stayed with us those first couple weeks after bringing her home from the hospital. I had help cleaning the house, making meals, doing laundry and taking care of the baby. This newborn thing wasn't so bad after all! As August quickly came to an end and the school year was about to start, my parents headed back to central PA. My sister went back to college, and my husband started his school year as well. Our house very quickly went from loud and full of people and energy to very quiet. Now it was just Madden and me. To be honest, I was a little nervous to not have anyone around if I needed help. I was doing 12 hour days home alone with a newborn with no family in sight (my husband was coaching high school football at the time, which meant practice every day after school!). Boy, how my world had changed! I went from the hustle and bustle of everyday life (outside of my home) to inside everyday wiping floors, washing bottles, changing diapers, cleaning spit-up, and doing laundry. My only adult interaction seemed to be small talk with the neighbor when I took the dog outside to pee. I want to make it very clear that I am by NO means complaining. I absolutely love being a mom! Madden was the baby we had wanted so badly. We prayed for her and planned for her and tried months to have her. So I will never ever regret the decision to have her. I am only saying that the first baby for me was a huge adjustment. I never knew how that little baby was going to change my entire universe. There were a lot of days at the beginning of motherhood where I felt hidden or invisible. I went days in a row without leaving my house or changing out of sweatpants. I would cry frequently, sometimes for no reason. I would walk into a room and totally forget why I walked in that room in the first place. If I was feeling adventurous and decided to leave the house, it took me forever and a day to pack everything up and get out the door! I felt bored but at the same time overwhelmed and not in control. In the very next breath my heart would feel as though it was going to explode with love when Madden would fall asleep on my chest. It was a very weird time for me. I had so many different feelings and emotions, and major sleep deprivation was no help. Some days I felt that I didn't have much of a purpose or that my new purpose was to just stay home and take care of babies. I felt my identity had totally changed. On the other hand, I also had these feelings of knowing this wasn't going to last forever and that I needed to soak up every moment before it was gone. As I mentioned before, my emotions were all over the place! Those first few months were a whirlwind, an adjustment, and a huge learning curve.