Aw, this is awesome! Congratulations! My youngest is 6.5 months old now. That went by in a blur. :)
I'm a Licensed Midwife. I was in my third year of midwifery school when I had my first baby. I had already been to almost a hundred births, and STILL, I had no idea that MY birth was going to be the way it was.
That being said. I would strongly recommend that you and your partner NOT attached yourselves to any specific outcome. Be open, flowing, willing to allow change to come and go. We are not in control. There are so many players in the birth and parenting game, and one of them is a miniature human who can't speak any of your language yet. Be patient...with yourselves and with baby. <3
Yes, please read The Continuum Concept! That book also changed my life and literally made me the parent I am today. Also, Magical Child by Joseph Chilton Pearce.
Nursing shouldn't hurt. Some soreness is expected in the first two days or so, but if baby latches and your nipples are on FIRE, that is NOT okay, and it usually means that something is wrong with baby's latch! You do not have to suffer through that! Call your local La Leche League leader and ask for advice! Call your care provider and ask for a referral to an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). Watch Dr. Jack Newman's breastfeeding videos on youtube (here: Dr. Jack Newman's Newborn Nursing Video
Babywearing: Please get yourself a soft, stretchy wrap for the first couple months. Like, a Moby Wrap or a Boba Wrap. Watch a couple youtube videos to learn how to wear it. Have non-breastfeeding parent wear baby often when baby sleeps, so that baby gets used to non-breastfeeding parent and breastfeeding parent can sometimes shower/poop/nap without hearing baby crying. Switch to a woven wrap or soft structured carrier (like Ergo baby) when babe gets too heavy for stretchy wrap.
When people ask what they can do to help, ask them for one of three things: 1) Dishes. 2) Laundry. 3) Bring healthy meal that only needs to be reheated (no prep). And in the early days, post a cute little sign on the door that asks that visitors please leave a meal then ring the doorbell and leave (Mama and baby are sleeping). Visitors in the very early days can be exhausting! On the other hand, maybe mama needs to see grown-up humans. YMMV.
Baby blues on days 3-5 are caused by a significant and drastic drop in pregnancy hormones. "Baby blues" at the end of the second week, or third week, or fourth week are likely not due to hormones and can be postpartum depression. GET HELP. Call your care provider, your best friend, church minister (if you have one), La Leche League leader, etc. Call someone and tell them what's going on.
After you have a baby, you have a wound the size of a dinner plate inside your uterus. Any time you lift something heavy, try to vacuum the floor, stand on your feet all day making food, try to start exercising too early, etc...you risk opening that wound and bleeding heavily. GET REST. That's not necessarily the same as getting sleep. STAY IN BED for at least the first week, stay on the couch for the second week, stay sitting or still on the couch the third week. Obviously you will get up to bathe and go potty, that's alright. But resist the urge to get up and do things for a while. There will still be plenty to do after your body is healed (my nana used to say that the dishes will be there when you're dead and buried!).
I hope y'all have a beautiful birth and postpartum experience!! <3 <3