As I’ll probably mention approximately one million more times, being pregnant the second time around is insanely different than the first time. When I was pregnant with Jack, I wasn’t yet a mom, and while I was large and in charge, the structure of my life was as it had always been (aka: all about me.)
So this time around, I cringe a little bit when I think about some things I said and did during my first pregnancy, and there are a few things I’d love to tell my former self to STFU about.
photo: layna rae photography
Now, let’s not get it twisted, all pregnant women are tired. If you’re pregnant for the first time, you’re getting your first real dose of what pure exhaustion feels like. Welcome to the club. But here’s the thing: when I was pregnant for the first time and was utterly exhausted, do you know what I did?
Jesus, I would come home from work early and nap for two solid hours, eat dinner, then go to bed and be totally comatose for 10-12 more hours and then complain about being tired.
I don’t even want to go to the far corners of my brain that would allow me to think about what I would give, or pay, to take a nap whenever I wanted, or to have the ability* to sleep through the night.
Now, like most mothers, my baseline is perpetual exhaustion due to caring for a small human, coupled with the familiar exhaustion that comes along when your body is growing a small human. (No one remind me about the night schedule of a newborn. I’m not emotionally prepared to go there yet.)
If you’re pregnant for the first time: please nap all the time, and revel in the fact that you can literally lay there for as long as you want, whenever you want and that you are so #blessed.
*Jack has slept through the night for the longest time. I still can’t seem to make that happen for myself.
As a first time expectant mom, I spent a ridiculous amount of time planning things like what to pack in my hospital bag, or planning what the nursery looked like, or planning what I would do if pooped during labor.
I can guarantee you that there’s no way I’m spending any brain space or energy thinking about anything besides the actual date and time I have to be at the hospital for my scheduled c-section (and I’m fully aware that even that is likely to change due to a multitude of reasons.)
If you’re having your first baby, let me save you some energy: all you need in your hospital bag is your phone charger and maybe a robe if you want to cover your lady parts when you have visitors. Other than that, they’ll have everything else you need.
I never complained about pampering (#princess), but I absolutely took it for granted. When you’re pregnant for the first time, people treat you like the most beautiful and important fertility princess that’s ever carried a child. I routinely treated myself to prenatal massages, prenatal yoga classes, manis and pedis, and “it’s only # more months just being the two of us” dates with Cory. All of those things are amazing and wonderful and I hope that if you’re pregnant for the first time you’re doing all these things and more!
Just know that I, and every other woman who is pregnant with their second or third or fourth is totally envious of you.
Talking about my parenting style
Oh my God, I want to punch my former self in the face for all the stupid shit I said and thought about parenting before I was actually a parent.
Before I was a parent, especially when I was pregnant, I felt comfortable saying “I’ll never do this when I have a baby” or “This stupid fill-in-the-blank parenting method aligns most with my beliefs.”
Do you know what my parenting objective is now? To raise a kind human.
And with that as my objective, things like cry-it-out or breast feeding or organic homemade baby food don’t seem worth the worry.
I truly believe that this goes for all parents, new or seasoned; if you’re doing your best to raise a decent human being who feels loved and safe and happy, you’re succeeding. So whether you’ve spent an insane amount of time stressing over the contents of your hospital bag (guilty) or have said some things you wish you could take back (guilty/karma is a bitch) don’t be too hard on yourself.
Chances are, you probably didn’t write it all down on the internet for thousands of people to read.