There are a few things that I can promise not to tell you or say to you. There are also a few things I’d love to share. So here’s my Promise to My Pregnant Friends….
You will never hear me tell you: What you need or what you left off of your baby registry. I won’t tell you that you have too much or items I deem useless (unless you ask for critical analysis). Reason? No two babies are exactly the same. To tell you the need for a swing vs. a rocker or a certain bottle vs. another is ridiculous. The plethora of baby-gear out there goes to prove that there is variety for a reason – some kids like some things better than others. If you want reviews there are great sites out there such as Stroller Traffic or Pregnant Chicken that can tell you the latest & greatest. You’ll be amazed the number of items you only use for 3-6 months; however some of those items will be life-saving to you during that time. Three to 6 months of staying up all hours of the night will in fact feel much longer!
What I will tell you – is that I am going to immediately break my above rule to tell you to get the NOSE FRIEDA! That nose sucky-thing is a god send compared to the bulb syringe. Nothing is worse than a stuffed up baby that can’t breathe, therefore, can’t sleep. Rookie tip- bulb syringe or Nose Frieda is a two person job if possible.
You will never hear me ask you: About your birth plan. The reason for that is because I think your ‘plan’ should be to deliver a healthy baby. Hire a doctor and medical team that you trust and like – and then listen to them. Fear not that things aren’t going as you planned – rejoice when you are finally holding that precious newborn in your arms.
What I will tell you – know and prepare for ALL of the options for delivery – natural/medicated/vaginal/c-section. The more you play out and discuss each scenario the better you will be prepared to deal with whatever your body and baby throw your way.
You will never hear me tell you: that breast is best. You do the research for yourself. If breast-feeding or pumping doesn’t work or work out for you…so be it. But most importantly – FEED YOUR BABY. Brest milk or formula – just feed your baby and do it guilt free. There are so many things you have to worry or feel guilty about as a mother – set that one down. This stage is also only short-lived (unless you decide to do extended breast-feeding…again so be it). Before you know it you’ll be buying or blending up veggies and those days of breast or bottle are in the rear view mirror.
What I will tell you – breast-feeding is damn convenient – but getting the hang of it is not always easy. The 1st 3-weeks are likely to suck and likely to be frustrating. Prepare yourself now. Open yourself up to regularly asking a lactation consultant or breast-feeding group for help.
You will never hear me tell you: that each stage gets better. It gets better in some ways and more challenging in others. It doesn’t get easier as a parent – the challenges just change.
What I will tell you – I’ve read a lot of articles debating that adage (that you will get everywhere) that says “Enjoy this age – they grow up fast.” There seems to be a trend that says you don’t have to enjoy every stage. I don’t agree. Remembering to appreciate EVERY stage is what keeps me sane. There are a lot of frustrations and nights lacking sleep that will lead to tears and feelings of inadequacy as a parent – but those toes will never be that size again, those babbles will turn into words, those words into phrases, those phrases into commands & demands…and then they start interpreting their world and making connections to the outside world. In your darkest hour – grab onto something wonderful and appreciate it. It’s always challenging – just in different ways.
You will never hear me tell you: Not to worry. You are a parent now – the worry does not ever stop from this point forward.
What I will tell you – is although you will never stop worrying – you do learn to trust your instincts more. The worry is still there – but your instincts and intuition help guide those worries in a productive manner.