It’s been 15 weeks since we found out we we’re pregnant and shared our good news with the world. My belly is round, my walk is wobbly and both Nick and I are nervous about what’s to come. We have been given advice by everyone, from our parents to the lady that bagged our groceries. Most of this advice is great and very useful, but some of it is just stuff we don’t need to hear, especially from other parents.
1. Get used to it, it only gets worse from here. From back pain to sympathy cravings, this is the top offender. At one point, Nick mentioned that the nights I can’t get comfy are when he gets very little sleep. The person we were talking to said “Get used to it. I just gets worse after the baby’s born.” Why does that need to be said? Pretty much every new parent knows that sleepless nights are ahead. To be honest, after 2 years of trying, sleepless nights with our baby are a welcome idea.
2. Just wait until… This is definitely a close second and comes up almost as much! “Just wait until you get to the 3rd trimester.” “Just wait until she turns 2.” Most of the time this is aid about things we know will come to pass, from swollen feet to temper tantrums. This is also usually used to introduce a story about something bad that happened.
Most mommy & daddies-to-be aren’t naïve to the fact that stinky, uncomfortable and annoying things are in the works, and we’re usually pretty nervous about it! So why do veteran parents feel they have to tell these horror-story-worthy tales? We can’t turn back and say “Never mind, we don’t want to deal with that”, so why try to scare up more or gross us out. You’re not really helping, so PLEASE keep the war stories until we have our own to share!
3. Well that didn’t work for me. Pregnancy is already SO confusing, especially with your first baby! I almost have a nervous breakdown every time I even look at the bottle section of a store. There are 800 kinds of diapers and 40 different wipes and do I really need that thing with the nozzle??? Just making out one baby registry almost sent me into panic attack! So every time I think we’ve figured out something we need, we get so excited and share it with everyone who will listen…then the comments come. The “you don’t want that” and “my baby hated that” or “those are the bad ones”. It’s enough to let the air out of any new parent.
This whole time is so full of confusion and feeling like you don’t know up from down for a new mommy and daddy. Why do people have to make worse? I know most people ARE trying to help, but simply saying something negatively is enough to make us want to snap. We can still be positive and say that something wasn’t right for us. In the wonderful words of my mother-in-law “You have to find your own hoodoo. What works for one baby may not work for another, or even work the next day!” Instead of bashing what didn’t work, tell us kindly what DID work and turn that negative into a positive!
4. I was in labor for 36 hours and almost died. I think for every first time parent, labor is scariest topic in the world! All we hear as women is that it’s going to hurt more than anything else ever before and you’re going to poop and throw up and feel like you’ve been hit by a bus afterwards. All dads know is that mom is going to be in pain and there’s nothing he can do, but he HAS to be there. So why do we think that telling the story of how you almost died and how much it hurt is a good idea?
I’m a research junky. The kind of gal that reads all the books and watch the documentaries. I know I’ll never be able the fathom the kind of pain I’m in for and that my plan for a natural birth may change at any time. I don’t believe that trying to have a natural birth makes me a hero or that anyone who’s had a c-section is weak. All I really know is what feels right to me.
I look at birth like the last hurdle; the final challenge before I get to hold this beautiful little girl we have waited so long to meet. I know it’s going to be hard, it’s going to hurt and I’m going to be tired, but in the end I will have accomplished the greatest thing I have ever set out to do!
5. They grow up so fast, enjoy it while you can. Last, but not least. I truly feel that this doesn’t need to be said, especially for unborn and newborn babies! Why does it both me so much? Because my baby isn’t even born yet! My daughter is not even in my arms yet and people are already talking about her growing up.
We know she’s going to grow up very quickly and we want to cherish every moment. I already have anxiety about her growing up; her first steps, going to school for the first time, trying on wedding dresses. But I can’t stop these things. I want to proud of my daughter as she grows. To look at her and see what a wonderful person she has become. If she grows to be a smart, healthy, happy toddler, little girl and young lady, we have done our jobs! And for the love of her social life, PLEASE don’t mention her dating around her daddy!
I know this all may sound a bit naive or soapbox worthy, but PLEASE, try not to ruin any of the joy! Parenthood is already a new and scary frontier; as any parent should remember. Being loving and supportive and tell them how wonderful parenthood can be is what we need.