I'm part of an mom forum, and I keep seeing a lot of first-time moms in the pregnancy group being concerned with a lot of the same things I was really worried about when I was pregnant with Cooper. This is my second pregnancy, and while I'm still nervous, I've experienced labor and delivery, and having a new baby home, and am a lot more relaxed with this pregnancy. I continue to educate myself as I go and stay informed as much as possible, but as a first time mom it's hard to know where to start. It doesn't help that in every day life, people seem to develop logorrhea when it comes to pregnancy, losing all sense of propriety and social etiquette and saying and doing things to a pregnant woman that would NEVER be acceptable any other time. Well, guess what, first time moms... I'm here to help!
My definitive list of pregnancy crap!
- People are stupid. Even women that have been through it before like to focus on the negative and the worst case scenario when giving advice and telling stories. It's like their goal is to scare the ever-loving crap out of anyone even considering giving birth. Ignore the stories about emergency c-sections gone wrong, about heinous tearing, about all the terrifying complications and situations that are within the realm of possibility, and talk to your health care provider if you do have concerns about anything. Educate yourself on what a c-section really is and how it is preformed, just in case, but know that while scary things CAN happen during labor and delivery, they seldom DO. The odds are well in your favor for a great birth experience.
- Childbirth IS a painful process. It just is. Whether you choose to go all natural like me, or you choose to get pain relief, at some point it's going to hurt. A lot. Here's the thing about that, though: It's so temporary, and your body has coping mechanisms in place, and most importantly, as soon as the baby is out, the pain is gone and there is this crazy rush of hormones that makes you high. Crazy high. I was so wired after my son was born, and regardless of the fact that my uterus and I just ran a three-legged marathon for five hours non-stop, I physically and mentally felt totally recharged and ready to dance through the birth center, and didn't sleep for hours after the birth. It was crazy, but trust me, it's so worth the pain to get to hold a beautiful baby and feel as good as you do after the birth.
- Everyone is going to tell you how hard it is, how exhausted you're going to be, and how you're never going to sleep again. Unless your baby has issues, that's actually pretty untrue. The first few nights are pretty rough, and the first week or two you're going to feel like a sobbing zombie between the hormones and the new sleep patterns, but once you establish a routine with your baby, which will happen naturally, it is actually pretty easy. Newborns sleep quite a bit. Take that time to rest, relax, shower, and sleep, oh, and eat food that's still hot. In no time at all baby will be sleeping all through the night, and then part of you will miss those 4 am snuggles while the rest of the world sleeps.
- In spite of the general view of infants, they DON'T actually cry every second they are awake. As a general rule, they cry when they have needs and stop once they are met. Within a week of being home with baby, you're going to know what they need based on how they cry alone. Again, to the parents who have babies that have some problem or another, I get it. Cooper had reflux and colic until we could find a formula that worked for him, so for 3 weeks he cried pretty much all the time, but once we got it sorted out, he was awesome. They really are beautiful when they are awake and content.
- You don't actually look that big.
Good luck, first-timers everywhere. It's normal to be nervous no matter how many kids you've had.