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Are You Ready for Pregnancy

Are You Ready for Pregnancy?

WebMD Feature

The night before I went into labor, I came down with a severe case of jitters. My husband held me close as I sniveled my fears into his shoulder. Would I be a good mother? Did I know how? Would I learn before doing irreparable harm to my helpless baby?

My trepidations followed into the hospital. At least three times I called the nurse to my room to demonstrate yet again how to diaper my baby, how to bathe her, how to take her temperature and the myriad of other tasks that awaited us -- alone -- just hours away.

It's not that we hadn't thought ahead of time about having a baby. We'd spent hours fantasizing about what she would be like, attending a childbirth class, following the stages of fetal development in our books.

But in all our rose-colored enthusiasm, my husband and I simply couldn't fathom that we were getting a real live baby out of the deal, for keeps.

Of course, no parents-to-be can completely prepare themselves for the profound experience of becoming a first-time mom or dad.