Here is #4 from my list, 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Giving Birth
This one is pretty straight forward. Until you actually have your baby (even if it is not your first) you have no idea, no idea, how your labour will go. Will it be long, short, will there be medical intervention....these are things that cannot be planned or predicted no matter how much we might like to think we have some element of control. You do not know how you will feel after you've had your baby until after you've had your baby.
Prior to the birth of my son, I read a few books that mentioned limiting visitors at the hospital. GREAT idea. Maybe not for everyone, but it was for me. We made a decision that we would have no (zero!!!) visitors at the hospital. We told our family/friends this and they respected it. I am so glad we made this decision. I had a very straightforward, easy delivery but I was still exhausted and very emotional after giving birth. Having these 24 hours to bond with my son (and my husband who was able to stay in our room at the hospital, hurray!) and try (note - try) to get some rest was invaluable. We also limited visitors to our house after. I did not have anyone come and stay with us. Some people have their mom stay with them for up to a month. This is a totally personal decision. Only you know your relationships with other people, what you want in your house, and what will help you versus add stress.
Of course, many people came to visit us and everyone wanted to see our little guy. We do not feel that we missed out on anything. Remember - you are the parents - this is your child - your family - do not be afraid to set some boundaries.