Dear Mo & Will,
So many others have said many of the things that I have thought of. I agree strongly with Luna-- do what works best for you and don't let anyone make you feel like you are "wrong" for your choices. You are doing the best that you can, and that's enough. Many years ago, (before we were parents, or even married for that matter) I heard my Mom talk about parenting to a bunch of 7th-9th graders and she said something that I repeat to myself about once a month when I'm feeling less than stellar as a parent. (This was at a Chistian conference, so her verbiage reflects that)
"When God blesses two people with a child, they aren't given an instruction book. They are just two people who love each other a lot, and who promise to love the child they've been blessed with. So parent's don't always know what they're doing. They're just two people who loved each other a lot and who love you a lot, but they don't always have all of the answers. It's easy to think that your parents aren't as cool as someone else's or that they're just trying to make your life miserable, but that's not it really. Really it's that they are doing the very best that they can to give you what they think you need to grow up strong and healthy and faithful to God. Sometimes you have to cut them a little slack, and try to tell them what you need, while also understanding that sometimes they make choices that you don't like because they are protecting you from something that they've experienced and know could hurt you. In the end your parents love you and while that may not seem like much, it's everything." (Paraphrased 9 years later but the main ideas are there)
I reflect on the fact that I wasn't given an instruction book, but only a partner who has my back and a deep and abiding love for my children. And that goes a really long way. When my baby, who I was sure wasn't even close to mobile squirmed her way off the couch the first day that I was alone at home on maternity leave onto the palet of pillows on the floor with a thump that was enough to scare both of us and send me calling the pediatrician I cried and remembered that there aren't instructions for this. Be gentle with yourself. You are a fantastic parent, and Magpie is a very lucky girl, who will be doted upon by her family, extended family and the interwebs. Be gentle with yourself and know that you're doing the best that you can and that children are much hardier than we give them credit for (thankfully).
In terms of things that we did that I loved-- we took a monthly picture with a teddy bear. They grow so much in the first year or two that it was a really fun thing to look back on.
I echo getting a carrier, but possibly borrowing or renting until you find the one that works best for you and Magpie. My babies had two very different sets of preferences-- one was a Moby baby and the other a sling baby.
I also echo that breastfeeding starts off hard. It does get better, but there is NOTHING wrong with doing whatever allows you to make it through the first few days. For us, it was pumping milk when my nipples were to raw for her to nurse (nipple confusion, snipple confusion-- my cracked bleeding breasts were no good to her in the condition they were in). You will find what is best for you, and do not let the lactation consultant make you feel less than because it's not easy.
Also, if you can (this sounds crazy, I know)- encapsulate your placenta. I did it with my second and my husband will tell anyone who has a partner with child that they must do it. He would actually ask me if I'd taken my placenta pills because he could tell such a significant difference. I am not someone who I would have thought would eat my own placenta, but it made me feel more steady in those first days which were a swirl of crazy emotions and made enough of a difference that my very analytical spouse admitted that they were a big help. Not sure if you'll get this in time, but if you can, try to save it.
And above all, know that this is your birth, your child and your story and you are going to rock it-- no matter how it unfolds.
Sending much love and light.