When I found out I was pregnant about 1.2 gazillion things started pouring through my head.
Namely: 1) will I ever be able to stand the smell of celery again? (answer: NO)
And 2) is there anything I can do to keep my boobs from turning into flattened balloons?
I'll keep you posted on this one.
Fortunately I was so exhausted the first trimester that between sleeping and work I had little time to get too bent out of shape about anything. But now that we're about 10 days away (AHHHHH!!!!!!) from having this little guy there are some things I'd love to have told myself back in the day.
To my early-pregnant self. Ahem:
1. Don't read too much online.
For the love woman, don't do it.
A lot of it is either a) unreliable or b) totally gonna freak you out.
Sure, there are good sites and resources but you know you'll get carried away if left to your own devices. One google search will lead to another and another. You won't stop.
And the forums? Let's not even go there. STAY AWAY.
Because otherwise you'll soon find yourself in the back alley of the interweb reading about how your baby is gonna come out all jacked up because you're not eating flax seeds or something. You're probably better staying off the web for any research info regarding your baby and/or pregnancy. (The irony of this post just dawned on me...whatevs. my letter. my list.)
Faith-from-9 months-ago heed my advice: stay off the web. It's just gonna freak you out. So, if you have a question...one that requires some knowledge...ask your doc or a friend (you've got a ton of them who've had babies) and relax.
PS - weekly updates on your baby's happy progress is okay. Just keep it there sister.
2. Don't compare.
Okay, so this trinket of wisdom could be applied to every avenue of life.
But seriously, don't compare your pregnancy to anyone's: your mom and grandma included.
Sure, there is a wealth of knowledge there. Listen and absorb what is helpful. But remember, your body isn't anyone else's. And what's happening inside you has never happened before. This kid is unique too. Don't worry about what happened to so-and-so OR assume that because "x" was easy/difficult for yo mama that it will be for you. It's all different. And that's good. Let your body be your guide.
Get to know it in this new way. Ask questions if your uncertain. But don't compare.
look at you two kids. totally ready for all the responsibility and seriousness of child-rearing.
3. Be flexible.
You'll be about 6 weeks pregnant when you find out you have a benign tumor (fibroid) in that uterus of yours. Don't freak out. It's gonna be okay. But it will mean that at about 36 weeks your boy can't move head down because that fibroid has grown and is obstructing him. This will mean a likely c-section.
You've done a good job at keeping an open mind about this whole birth thing.
You had a plan for how you hoped things would go but enough foresight to know things don't always happen that way. Good job. Stay open-handed about this whole birth thing. It's scary enough as it is. Remember, the point is to welcome your baby into the world so you can cuddle, take 107 pictures of him an hour, and never sleep again. Not to make his birth some kind of I'm-an-awesome-new-mom-nanny-nanny-boo-boo kinda thing. Don't compete with yourself or anyone else. Focus on that precious baby. There's a lot about this whole pregnancy/labor/birth thing that you are completely NOT in control of...I don't care what anyone says. So be flexible. Remember what is most important. And breathe.
I'm not sure yet how it'll all work out for you but I do know that God knows. He's taken care of you all along the way. He'll see you through. Rest in that.
4. Stress-not over thy registry.
First of all - please stop stressing about registries. That's just silly. Your baby is gonna be fine if you get every fru-fru "must have" out there or not. That baby needs very little when he first comes out anyway. So you got love and a blanket? You're good. Hear me?
That said, when you decide where you want to register (you'll pick three places...I think this is pretty standard) you will be overwhelmed by the "registry guidelines" they give you. Listen sister, you are not gonna need things like a high chair for a good long while, so unless you really wanna store that sucker for 6 months, don't register for it! You'll be fine. Also, everyone will get you clothes and blankets so unless you have super specific wants (people will likely get stuff they like anyway...and that's fine) don't bother with it. You'll have plenty of clothes/blankets for your babe.
He will not go naked.
But if you're wondering about what to really focus on, here are examples of a few things you should definitely spend some time thinking about:
- car seat (a good one...i.e., one that's easy to install and not too heavy) - It makes a big difference. Don't just think aesthetics. I know. It's hard.
- lounger - these things are awesome. you know it. you've used it with other people's kids. get one.
- good diaper bag - You and D are gonna go round and round about this one. But in the end don't spend too much money on this thing (you didn't btw...good job). Buy something practical, cute, and inexpensive. Why? Because you're gonna wear this sucker out. And your kid is gonna grow. So what he needs as a newborn will be drastically different in 3, 6, and 9 months. Get something that will adapt with you. Sure those $160 diaper bags make you think they've got it all covered but you will be SO glad you only spent $50 (and it's a backpack!! which we can both agree is so much more practical than those messenger bags).
- my brest friend - You'll take a breastfeeding class where you'll learn a whole lot of things that may or may not freak you out. You'll also get some hands-on time with two of the hottest (and apparent "must have") nursing pillows. You'll like this one best. (Boppy's are great don't get me wrong. but they are too soft for nursing until that kiddo is a little less floppy.) Get this one.
5. Make food ahead of time
About a month before your due date something is gonna click - "holy cow, this is real and also where is my phone?"
Yea, your usually sharp memory has taken a backseat to hormones. Your joints ache like an arthritic old man. And your memory is about as clear. It might be a good time to buckle down and do some easy cooking/prep for those first few weeks post-baby when you will truly forget your last name, how to drive and the last time you brushed your teeth.
I'd suggest you start doubling your dinners/breakfasts now and freezing them. Especially simple stuff. Not sure how to get started? This is what Pinterest was made for. You will thank yourself in a few weeks when you have no idea how you're still functioning - oh wait, you ate dinner.
That's right. You're awesome.
you're gonna rock it sister. buckle up and enjoy the ride.