I had heard in the past that there was an evolutionarily fortunate mild amnesia associated with labor. If women remembered how much labor hurt, they'd only ever have one child.
This may be true. I don't know.
I do know that sleep deprivation adversely affects memory, and labor is often followed by sleep deprivation for both the new mother and her partner. If you're going to be in labor soon, get in the habit of writting things down.
We live within walking distance of our hospital. Each of the nights we stayed there, I ran home to run a few errands and fetch a few things we wanted to have. Each time, I had a written list of things to do. Each time I did everything on the list. Each time, I later realized that I'd neglected to write something down, and so I had forgotten it.
A few days post-partum, I still needed lists. If I was getting seven things from the store, I'll forget most of them if they were not written down. It's now almost a week after Ellie's birth, and I'd probably only forget one thing.
In the first four days, you can only remember to do two things. One is the thing you're actually doing. The other is the one you're saying over and over in your head so you don't forget to do it next. If someone interupts you, then you may forget both of those! Sleep deprivation is nasty.
You'll also find that you can only do one thing at once. Normally, you may be able to talk on the phone and hear someone else in the room saying something relevant as you talk. You may even be able to tidy up a room with your free hand at the same time. That won't work anymore. If someone is trying to talk to you while you're on the phone, you may not even hear them. If you do, you'll surely loose track of what the person on the other end is saying. You can only do one thing at a time that requires any brain power. If you try to tidy up the room while you're on the phone, you'll end up walking aimlessly carrying the first thing you picked up because you won't be able to think about where it belongs while talking.
Do not expect too much of yourself at the outset. Laura and I were lucky enough to have folks staying with us to help out when we left the hospital. I'm sure things would have been even worse without this help. We'd certainly have got less sleep, which would have prolonged and worsened the condition.
You will forget things. Make lists.
You won't be able to multi-task. Add things to lists and do them later.