TIPS OF THE DAY
When I was pregnant with my first baby, I received pregnancy advice on the left, right and center; this is all well intentioned, some contradictory, and most of it goes one ear and comes out the other because #pregnancybrain followed by #sleepdeprivation. With some of the advice, my well-meaning friends might as well have spoken another language. Now that I have two babies, and looking back, I thought about putting a pen on some paper in case someone else could use it.
- 1. There is no “correct” bed / nook / cradle / pram / car seat / insert here.
I am not an efficient person. My usual modus operandi is to randomly over-search, guess my decision, guess my decision and then go back to my initial decision, having achieved nothing that I could not have accomplished in 1/17 of the time that I really spent. But beyond choosing something that meets safety standards, there isn’t really a “right” or “wrong” decision. And even if it did, your baby probably wouldn’t realize it.
2. Use the time before the baby is born to rest.
Oh Lord, I really really REALLY wished I had followed this pregnancy advice. Instead, I ran like a woman who had first tasted the freedom of 9-5 in about 15 years… catching up with friends, not resting, taking long walks, not resting, buy random baby things never use, rest etc. etc. etc. until work. And let me tell you, I haven’t rested since.
3. Do not insist on setting up the nursery before the baby arrives.
I was determined to have Alfie’s bedroom set up perfectly in time for my baby shower, which was about two months before it even had to… talk about unnecessary pressure! And given that we didn’t get him out of our room and into said nursery until he was about 10 weeks old (when his weird sleepy growls finally got the better of us), there are about 4 , 5 months that the nursery has been useful to exactly zero. people. I learned from my mistakes with Charlie, whose bed was madly hammered the day we put him in.
4. Get a feel for how you would like the birth of your baby to go, but be flexible and listen to the experts.
OK to be fair, I listened to these pregnancy tips. I had dreamed of a drug-free birth, imagining myself relaxing in a hot tub as the contractions washed over me like waves on a beach… hahahaha god damn I was naive. At 36 weeks, we discovered that there were issues with Alfie’s growth, so we made a plan for induction just to term (assuming I didn’t start labor naturally before) . If you are not aware, induction speeds up the labor process so that your body does not have enough time to produce oxytocin to help with the pain, and this comes on FAS T. These factors, among others that are too above my pay level to understand, means you are more likely to need an epidural with induced labor. And I need it. Was this the way I dreamed things would turn out? No. But does it matter, when I was holding a healthy baby (skinny albiet) in my arms? Also no.
After the trauma of Alfie’s birth, I became very anxious as Charlie’s due date approached. Especially since he weighed almost a kilo more than Alfie. At about 38 weeks we made the decision to have an elective Caesarean. It was an emotional decision for me, but the right one. My physical and mental recovery has been dozens of times better than with Alfie.
5. Don’t get carried away by cute newborn clothes… onesies for the first few months
Baby clothes are probably the sweetest little things on earth, and I might have overstepped the limits of some of the less practical items a bit. Sure, some people want to dress their little one up for every outing they go on, but it turns out I’m not one of those people. All of my boys wore zipper suits for the first few months of their lives and I can’t recommend this approach highly enough. Spending half of your life readjusting your little one’s clothes isn’t a good time.
6. Don’t feel uncomfortable asking your unvaccinated friends and family not to visit you until your baby has been vaccinated.
I’m not sure why it’s such an uncomfortable conversation, but even though I knew it was my family and my choice, I never really knew how to approach the conversation with my friends and family. But if the COVID-19 pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that there are still a lot of people who don’t take risks seriously, and that means my family’s health is my responsibility and my responsibility. decision (and I don’t need to feel weird about it!).
7. You may not feel like exercising right away.
This pregnancy advice was perhaps the most shocking to me. I remember having a conversation with my Pilates teacher a few weeks before Alfie gave birth, and confidently telling her that I would be back on deck before my six week postnatal checkup. MDR. Almost three years later, I’m still sailing on a bumpy return to training.
and on that …
8. Be proud of your new body
You just grew up a human, carried it for nine months, and then gave birth to it… that’s a big deal. And whether you’ve had an easy or difficult pregnancy, delivered vaginally or by Caesarean, developed stretch marks, loose skin, pelvic floor issues, or have all or none of the above , I will say once again… you grew up, carried and gave birth to a baby!
I’ve spent most of my adult life taking pride in my strength and fitness and – on a more subconscious level – the aesthetic benefits of being strong and fit, so this was quite an experience. humbling to realize that there were a lot of things that my body couldn’t do especially well. From physical (like running) to vanity (like filling the buttocks of a pair of jeans). But as I continue to work on these changes, as I will for a while, I am more and more proud of all that my body CAN do. Like making a toddler feel safe in the middle of the night and feeding a baby milk produced by my own body.
Phew. So. If not much still makes sense to you, bookmark this page and come back to it a bit further. Motherhood is a riiiiiiiiiiiiide and until you actually jump on it it’s hard to imagine what it’s going to look like.
ps. Obviously this is all based on my pregnancy and birth stories, so think of it as sharing based only on personal experiences… because every mom is different, and so is every baby.
Are there any pregnancy tips you wish you had followed? Share it in the comments below!