Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Advice to New Mothers

Something must be in the water nowadays because there are several friends and acquaintances who are with child right now.  It makes me a little nostalgic and I think back on where I was when I waited for my sons to arrive.

Here's the thing, I've only been pregnant twice.  I'm hardly a Duggar or Osmond with a gaggle of kids but 2 is a respectable number.  I must admit, they were ridiculously blissful pregnancies.  Of course, I may feel that way because they happened 10 and 6 years ago and time erases the discomfort quicker than the stretch marks.  Now that's not to say the process was uneventful. 

Some people may not remember or know that we had Placenta Previa (that's right, I said placenta) with Jackson and some tough talks were had as a result.  We knew that there was a possibility one or both of us might not make it the 9 months. I wish the conversations we had for no one as my husband had to hear what my preferences were if I were unable to make decisions for myself.  All that to say, that child was bathed in prayer before his first breath and we experienced a miracle in the 3rd trimester that resulted in a bouncing baby boy through a great delivery.  (Seriously, all deliveries should be so awesome).

So, here's what I would say to those sweet ladies whose lives are about to change:

1. You do not get an extra crown in heaven for passing on the epidural.  If I could have, I would have named my kids after the anesthesiologist.  That hunky, hunky man.  That said, remember that you are still in charge of what's going on.  I knew when it was time to get the show on the road and said my goodbyes to the family and it's time for them to give me my space.  Listen to your body!  

2.  Sometimes, well-meaning husbands can not for the life of them keep track of contractions.  Bless them!  At one point St. Bryan was convinced I had an 18 minute contraction.  He had actually fallen asleep.  So, while parenting books may want you to include them in the labor process, find a stopwatch or clock of your own.  

3.  If you find yourself feeling like a time bomb about to go off, remember these are the last little kicks and stretches you'll feel from that little one inside.  Just smile as if you two have your own little joke.  Pretty soon you'll have to share that child with the world!  For now, they're all yours.

4. Baby Blues is totally fake.  JUST KIDDING!!  I am typically the happiest of humans.  But, on day 6 I found myself in my bedroom rocking in bed with my baby in my arms like a mother bear.  THIS is when you need to rely on your hubby, co-parent, or helper to clear the air.  Casserole at the front door?  Thanks! We'll see you later.  Someone on the phone?  They'll have to call you later.  Come up with canned answers and stick to the script!  You'll get through it in a couple days.

5.  Get a note for the door saying that those who ring the doorbell will need to be responsible for getting the crying baby back to sleep.

6.  Ignore advice-givers.  Yes, I realize this would now include me!  There are well-meaning people out there who can give great advice for what worked for them.  That's not to say it will work for you.  Of my 2 kids, they were as different as day is to night.  By the time they drew in their first breath, I knew them.  I knew #1 was an extrovert and #2 was a snugglebug.  I also knew they loved me and I loved them.  Still do.  So much.  
7.  The spread-eagle baby on your chest sleeping position is the best feeling in the whole world.  Hands down.

So, there you have it.  I have reminisced and pep-talked you through these final days.  Amazing, exhausting, and life-changing.  And no, I'm not doing it again!  Those chips are cashed in!