Monday, August 19, 2013

My advice to the newly pregnant

I love Becky over at "From Mrs. To Mama" because she paints such a real and loving picture of what motherhood is for her and her family. She isn't preachy (you know mommy bloggers tend to go down that road a lot) and doesn't really seem to care if what she is writing is trendy or popular. She writes for herself and for her family, which is like a breath of fresh air. Her link up this week is "Advice for the New Mom". Weeeelllll, since I'm currently still cooking my baby, I don't have much experience being a new mom. I do however, have experience being pregnant, a whole 39 weeks to be exact. So I'm going to give out some unsolicited advice to the lady who just found out she is pregnant.

1. Don't freak out! No matter how planned or unplanned this pregnancy is, those first few days after the positive pregnancy test are crazy. You will experience every emotion, both good and bad. All the "what ifs" and "what do I do nows" start coming and don't stop. I think I've been nervously on edge since I saw that extra pink line. Welcome to pregnancy; that nervous feeling doesn't go away and I suspect it only ramps up when the baby arrives.

2. Don't try to be a super preggo. If you are too tired/sick/nauseous/emotional/sore to go somewhere or do something, then DON'T DO IT. You are creating a life inside you, which gives you permission to flake out on things. People will understand. Your boss, husband, friends, and family want what's best for you and your baby. If you don't feel up for activities, it will be ok. Don't stress over what is expected of you. Pregnancy is like a get out of jail free card. Use it!

3. Along those same lines, if your doctor gives you a list of medicine that is approved for pregnancy, by all means, take the medicine. Your doctor has delivered hundreds of healthy babies, he/she knows what's ok and what's not. Don't feel guilty that you had to take a Benadryl to sleep or a Tylenol to make it through work. There is no need to suffer if you don't have too. There are plenty of pregnancy symptoms that meds don't fix. Don't fight battles you don't have to.

4. Take a child brith class, at the hospital you plan on delivering at (if possible). I took 3 classes that each lasted about 1.5 hours and they got me seriously pumped up about delivering my baby. I got to meet nurses, tour the L&D floor, meet the other doctor in town, and ask every question I could think of. So many of my fears were calmed and after every class, I felt more and more confident about my upcoming delivery. So sign up. Bring a pen and paper and take tons of notes. Ask 50 thousand questions. You will feel so excited and pumped up afterward.

5. If you are not a good secret keeper, don't try to keep secrets from your family. We decided to have a gender reveal party, which I highly recommend. But I am the worlds worst secret keeper. We found out the baby's gender and our party wasn't until 3 weeks later. We also didn't want to share the name until we told the gender. Cue the most agonizing 3 weeks ever! I wanted to tell SO bad and my family knew they could get it out of me, so they would ask and ask and ask and ask. I ended up keeping my secret, but I was miserable. So if you know you can't keep secrets or that your family will try to get it out of you, just spare the trouble. Don't try to keep names, gender, or any other baby related info a "secret" unless you like being tortured.

6. Read books, but not too many. There are so many books on pregnancy and child birth out there. It's overwhelming, especially to a newly pregnant woman who wants to do everything juuuusst right. Well, I'm going to let you in on a secret. there is no such thing as "just right". Even more, what one book says is "right" another will flat out say is "wrong". So what's a preggo to do? I suggest buying 3 (maybe 4) books. One that is a general reference. I chose "What to Expect When You're Expecting". One that is more technical/medical. I got mine from my OB at my first appointment. One that will make you laugh and was written by a veteran mom. I chose "The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy". And the fourth, if you feel inclined, outlining a specific birth plan or style you may want. I've heard great things about Ina Mae Gaskins books as well as people loving books about the Bradley Method or hyponoborthing. I'm not really into that, but some people want that type of birth, so that's for you to decide.

7. Don't compare your pregnancy to anyone else's. Just don't do it. It'll only make you feel inferior, defective, or insecure.

8. Spend time with your partner. Sometime in the second or third trimester, it's going to hit you that in a couple of months, it'll no longer be just the two of you. And while of course your excited to meet your baby, it's ok to be a little hesitant giving up your current life. I had to come to terms with no more trivia nights every week, no more spur of the moment weekend getaways, no more lazy Saturdays in bed. These are some of my favorite things to do with my husband, and I'm sad to see then go. So we have been soaking up all the extra time together we can doing our favorite things. Take time to enjoy each other. It will never be just the two of you ever again.

9. Know and trust your doctor. Before I was pregnant, I went to my OB once a year for my birth control, and that was it. I didn't know or trust him, because there was really no need. But as my pregnancy progressed and I got to know him better, I realized that he was the right doctor for me. But that may not be the case for you. The random guy who hooked you up with your birth control may not be the doctor you want delivering your baby. Ask questions and if you don't like the answers you get, change doctors. Your doctor is going to get all up in your business and deliver the most important thing in your life. You REALLY need to know and trust this person.

10. Don't panic. There is so much pressure from ourselves and our culture to be perfect wives and mothers. We think we need X, Y, and Z and if we don't have them, then we have already failed as a mother. And that just simply isn't true. All you need to do is love yourself and love your baby. That's all a perfect mother is: love.


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