I became a mom one month ago. Hard to believe it has been that long. I’m definitely not used to the title of parent or mother yet. At the same time, it feels like our baby has always been a part of our family and daily life.

Nora arrived 25 days early, right in the middle of construction on her home-to-be. The hospital bag wasn’t packed, we hadn’t met with our doula, the maternity shoot was scheduled for a few days later. I didn’t believe it was real labor even after it had finished. It just couldn’t be! They kept telling me the baby was coming and I seriously thought they were lying even as she was crowning. As a first pregnancy I expected to go late like my sister-in-law and friends. But hey, I should have known to expect the unexpected.

I thought a newborn would be awful. The screaming in the middle of the night – I didn’t know if I was cut out for it. The baby I got is already sleeping 5-hour stretches through the night and hardly ever cries except to call me in for a feeding when she wakes up. She is calm and happy and healthy. So I guess I should have expected the unexpected.

I wanted to nest for weeks without visitors or work. I was back on email within 24 hours of labor. I wrote a keynote speech start to finish during postpartum days 5-10 and delivered it out-of-state on day 10. We had visitors every day our first week home. Not what I expected…

I expected to be depressed and I’m happy. I expected to be anxious and I’m not. I expected a new baby to be a strain on my marriage, but we’re closer and happier than ever. I expected labor to last for 8-24 hours, it was more like 4. I expected to need physical recovery from childbirth but I instantly felt amazing. Every time I think we’re never going to get the hang of breastfeeding, we have a breakthrough at the next feeding.

I’m getting comfortable with not knowing what’s coming next… or at least assuming it’ll be the opposite of what I expect.