I am not sure if it is because I vomit love for baby breeding...
because I am a nurse, and people assume that you know all aspects of nursing...
or because I have been through it twice...
I'm honestly not sure.
Either way-- I do love it, and enjoy talking with my friends about their experiences.
I get super-excited for them, and they know it!
I thought I would make a list of my guide to pregnancy since I have so many friends pregnant right now!
Take it or leave it....
but hopefully it makes you smile!
- Enjoy it. All of it. Even the roughest of days. The prize at the end is totally worth it!
- More people will want to give you advice now, than ever before in your life. Don't let it piss you off, because this is only the beginning. They know what you should do with your newborn... with your toddler... and I think its fair to assume, we will be given advice when they are teenagers too, and maybe adults?! Listen, because some of it will be useful-- and you will realize that some of your best tricks came from other moms (not books) but don't take too much to heart... it is your baby in the end and you have to do what work best for you.
- Go buy the book "Belly Laughs". Now. It is crude, but hilarious! You will thank me!
- Realize that your timing and God's timing are two completely different things... I was not ready for baby #2 when we found out we were pregnant with Beckham... actually we were probably in one of the lowest points of our marriage. But God's timing was perfect, and Beckham is perfect. Oh, and our marriage-- not perfect-- but great again.
- Drink water. Every time something is wrong with you (constipation, headache, contractions) you are going to be told to drink more water. This would piss me off in Maddox's pregnancy... I already felt like I was going to float away-- and you are telling me more?! but I realized it was true with Beckham.
- When you have an idea that is off the beating path... own it. You think me, a pediatric nurse, who chooses to split up her children's vaccines isn't taboo?? I caught a lot of slack from fellow nurses and physicians... I use to cry about it and try and not talk about it to keep from catching slack... now I own it! These are my kids.
- Buy all the books, read all the websites, subscribe to "Pregnancy and Newborn", go buy maternity clothes before you are even showing... engulf yourself in it. Love it. Pregnancy is a wonderful time of your life... and you only get to do it a handful of times. (Unless your last name is Duggar-- then you get to do it until your uterus falls apart)
- Don't be that whiny pregnant girl. Nobody likes her. Realize that millions of women for thousands of years have done what you are doing now. Though your symptoms may seem severe, and like you are the only person who has had them this bad, we've all been through it, someone had them worse, you will live.
- Get regular pedicures. It'll make the stretch marks, acne, swollen ankles, constipation and hormonal attacks disappear!
- Don't eat Taco Bueno's beans. During both pregnancies, I thought I was having a heart attack after a Mexi dips and chips. Just throwing that out there.
- Ignore mean people. Of course there are possibilities of bad things happening... as there are with flying, walking and brushing your teeth. But why some people feel the need to tell you the craziest story that they have ever heard while you are pregnant is still beyond me. Ignore them. They're mean.
- Indulge your cravings.... I heard once that it was your body telling you what it needs. Apparently mine needed powdered donuts, cherry pop tarts and snow cones!
- Cry. Sometimes it helps.
- Work out, if you want to... I sure as heck didn't. :)
- Love that belly that you are growing. Rub it before it even pooches out, take picture a it grows... Try and not feel "fat", and believe people when they tell you that you are "glowing and beautiful."
- Take your prenatals... even if they make you sick. That's pertinent stuff I tell you.
- Trust your husband when he tells you everything is going to be alright. Lean on him when you feel like the world is falling apart, confide in him when you think you can't take another ounce of stress, and celebrate with him when you reach certain milestones.
- Learn to say no now. You will need that word in your near future.
- Talk and sing to your baby... I have no idea if it does anything or not. But bonding is always a good thing.
- Accept that you are going to have crazy days. I went after Lance's neck like a rabid raccoon once. I think he was changing outfits for the 16th time making us late, yet again, for an OB visit... it honestly doesn't matter why, I went nuts.
- Love your OB or change. You and this chick (or man) will get to know each other really well. I kind of think that only people you adore should get to enter this end of your body.
- Rest. Those days are soon to be over. And if you think 1st trimester tired-ness is rough, third trimester tiredness gives it a run for its money... but neither compare to baby-hates-sleep tired-ness.
- Ask as many question a you would like... it is a scary time, you deserved to be well informed.
- Write things down. Your memory slips after they get here... and after the second one it is shot! I literally asked Lance how to spell Beckham's name one night about 3:00am. Woke. Him. Up. because I could not remember if it ended in an 'n' or a 'm'. Serious.
- Don't do anything drastic to your hair. With your own scissors. That came with your kitchen knife set. Trust me.
- Don't smoke. Not only because its bad for your baby... but also because it is so 1994, and you are way cooler than that!
- Don't buy nice furniture now... it will look like crap within 2 years. [Wise words from my mom]
- Let people help you... they don't offer as much with the second one, so take advantage now!
- Buy diapers now... I promise you will not get too many.
- Make lists of baby names... but don't share them until you are 100% sure. Someone will hate it... someone will steal it... and if you are any bit unsure or un-confident, your parade will be rained upon.
- Decorate your nursery early... (unless you are me and we are talking about baby 2) bed rest or early arrivals can jack a beautiful dream-room in a hurry!
- Make a birthing plan and feel free to change it accordingly. I had a mirror. I needed a mirror. I had an epidural. I needed an epidural. I thought I wanted music and massage; I really wanted quiet and to not be touched.
- If you choose to have your baby at home. Or in a bathtub... or at a tiny hospital without a NICU... I will try and keep my lips sealed, but just know I will be a worried mess. (as if your pregnancy is about me!)
- Ask for prayer. I was such a mess Maddox's whole pregnancy, that I had a complete stranger pray over my belly at church. My friend Holly prayed with me over the phone the night before my induction, and my friend Candace offered to come over at midnight shortly after he was born. With Beckham, I asked a handful of women to pray for me the last week or so, and if you remember, my sister sent out a prayer request during my difficult part of labor. Prayer works.
- When choosing a carseat, pick one that push-buttons off of the car bracket-things. The alligator clips are a beating. Or just buy an extra base. I was too cheap to spend another $60.
- Baby wearing is cool. Or at least I try and make it. My baby k'tan was one of my best purchases yet.
- Take care of yourself. Know your limits. Pregnancy is work alone on your body, without your added agenda.
- Take yours and your husband's NB picture to the hospital (if you have them) to compare.
- Don't drink Gatorade when your ankles are as big as your thighs and you are told to increase your fluids... hello-- Gatorade is like 90% salt... it only makes the problem worse! And steer clear of Chinese food-- for the same reason. The day after a Golden Moon outing is the only time I swelled during Beckham's pregnancy.
- Take prenatal pictures. And schedule your baby's newborn shots before they are a week old. They are still very sleepy and will stay where you pose them. (per Candi)
- My friend Holly says to steer clear of prenatal massage... My friend Amanda loved hers, but would like to remind you to shave your legs first. I never got one so I have no opinion.
- If you don't get the sex of the baby you had hoped for, it is okay to be sad. (Even my OB was with her 2nd) It doesn't make you a monster, it just means that you are real and honest. Cry for a day or two and then you will get over it and be unable to imagine yourself with the opposite sex. I know this. I am as real as they come.
- If you plan to nurse; stock up on nursing tanks, low cut shirts (or button ups), breast pads, SOOTHIES (greatest thing ever), and buy a nipple shield just in case. I think the lily padz are worth the money. Invest in a good pump. I have a Medela and I love it.
- Be careful complaining about your pregnancy-- there are millions of women who would die to have a hard pregnancy. Or a pregnancy at all.
- I think the stretch mark lotions are a load of crap... I hate lotion so I didn't use any and I made it out clear... but just to be safe, use them. I'd hate to be wrong on this one!
- Test drive strollers before you buy one. We did. The Gracco was no comparison to the Chicco, pushing... but the Graccos came in much cuter fabrics. I am glad I went with Lance's advice and bought the better pusher... there's nothing worse than a jacked up stroller.
- When you get about 38-41 weeks, and you don't think you can stand another day of pregnancy... Have sex. Ask Beckham. Although nothing worked with Maddox-- walking, running, mexican food or romping... that child loved my uterus.
- Babies cry. Usually because they are hungry or dirty or tired... but sometimes for no reason at all. It doesn't mean you are a bad mom.
- You will lose your patience at some point, and find yourself in tears. You might even cuss in your newborn's face one time... you are not alone. Its easier the second time.
- Get ready to hear the phrases, "who do you think he looks like?" and "are you going to have any more?" right away... It won't even matter that you still can't wipe with toilet paper-- someone is planning your next one!
- The first 6 weeks are hell... jut try and survive. It get easier after that.
- Make your husband to your dirty work... if you don't want visitors, that's your right. Don't let people bully themselves over.
- "Sleep when your baby sleeps" is the dumbest saying ever. I was too scared when Maddox was an infant and am too busy with a 2 year old this time to ever understand that saying.
- You control your baby... don't let him control you. With both of our kids, we kept moving. Keep the carseat covered and politely tell people not to touch them but try and not change your normal routine of life. Let them adapt to you, an yall will end up meeting somewhere in the middle.
- If you want to breast feed, I am here to help. I had a rough start this go around, but I truly enjoy it. Don't let people make you feel weird for enjoying it, it is incredibly natural. If you choose to bottle feed, your baby will still be brilliant, don't let the nipple-nazis judge you and make you feel inadequate.
- Hold him, and ignore the "you are spoiling him" comments. I do not believe tiny babies are really capable of manipulation... and if they are, who cares-- this time passes so fast.
- Cereal does not really make your baby sleep through the night. People will try and get you to feed it to your minute-old baby, for this reason. Its honestly more of a motor skill than anything else... that is why your pediatrician is going to tell you not to put it in their bottle.
- Try and still make date nights with your husband. I declined all offers after Maddox was born and am begging for offers this go around!
- "This too shall pass". Write it down somewhere, you will need this phrase.
- Skip the pee-pee tee-pees... cute but worthless.
- Invest in a good camera. And an Iphone. Back up all of your pictures on an external hard drive. I do at the end of every month.
- Enforce your mommy rules... You will hear: "I've done this before" and "I raised 57 kids" or "you turned out alright, didn't you?"... remind them that it pissed them off too when they were told how to raise their kids.
- Breastfeeding cravings are worse than pregnancy cravings. Indulge. Breastfeeding is like cardio for your body. Dieting will cheat your milk in a hurry.
- Be ready to laugh, like you have never laughed before.
- And cry, like you never have either.
- And be baffled that you could love something so small, so incredibly big. That tiny things like a first-time, questionable smile; can change your entire week. For the first time in your life you would absolutely die for something, without asking a question why.
- You will understand proud in its most raw form, and unconditional love like I promise you never have experienced before. You created a person... and he needs you to survive. He craves your smell, the sound of your voice calms him above any other, and he is most comfortable in your arms. It is amazing!
- You will have a new love for your husband, because he is now the father of your baby. It is different from the 'I do' love. And you will never be able to erase the memory of him falling in love with your baby the same way you did when the stick showed a positive. Instant.
- Write this stuff down... like I did here with Maddox and I guess here with Beckham. Three years from now, you will read it and will be thrown right back into that time frame. Same emotions instantly take over.
- Get ready... you are entering the greatest chapter of your life.
- You know I'm excited! ;)