Do you ever think back to how far you’ve come as a Mom? Remember the FIRST time you were pregnant? I remember vividly.
I was a neurotic mess.
“Can I eat this? Wait, it’s soft cheese. I’m not supposed to eat that. Oh I can have tuna fish. Oh yeah. Can’t have that either.”
“I really want a cup of coffee. Wait. Caffeine isn’t good for the baby.”
“Maybe I’ll ride my bike so I don’t think about what I can’t eat. Oh right. The doctor advised me not to do that in case I lose my balance and fall off of it.”
“Okay then I’ll just go and get those things down from the attic that I’ve been meaning to go through and organize. Crap. Can’t do that either. I might fall down the stairs or lift something too heavy.”
“Man an ice cold beer sounds really good to me right now. Damn! No alcohol allowed when you’re pregnant.” (which is too bad since I’m starting to get depressed over all the things I’m not supposed to do and a drink might take the edge off!)
“Geez what in the hell can I do then?”
“You know what? My butt is getting bigger by the second so screw it. I’ll just eat. And eat. And eat.”
Nine months and fifty-five pounds later, I delivered a healthy, beautiful baby boy. And yes. It was ALL worth it.
It’s almost funny really. When you are pregnant with your first baby, you are over the moon and want to do everything “by the book.” But if and when the time comes that you are ready to give your first child a sibling, chances are that you will approach your second pregnancy much differently. Well at least I did.
Having already been through it, I knew what to expect so my second pregnancy was actually much easier and less stressful on me (and everyone else that was close enough to me that had to put up with my raging pregnancy hormones). I didn’t freak out over every little thing like I did the first time. In fact, since I already had a little one to take care of, I sometimes even forgot that I was pregnant believe it or not.
So I have a question for you: If you could give any new or expectant mother advice on anything, what would it be? Obviously there are tons of books available relating to pregnancy, child birth and parenting but I’m talking about things you wouldn’t get from a book. Things that you would only learn from having a first-hand experience.
I’ll go first.
I say Forget the books on the growth and development of your baby-let your OB take care of that. Read the books on how to get your baby on a good sleep schedule. That was my BIGGEST problem with my first son. Maybe if I had a plan in place it wouldn’t have been as difficult for me. I talk about that more here.
Okay. Your Turn. New and expectant moms out there are counting on us!
If you’re a mom, then you probably already know that once you have kids, life as you once knew it is OVER! Unfortunately…that includes SLEEP. It has been over six years since the “Sandman” last visited me. I say over six because not only am I including the years of my oldest child, but let’s be honest…a solid night’s sleep went out the window the minute the stick turned pink.
You all know what I’m talking about. Having to pee every 5 minutes during the day. Well HELLO….that continues all through the night as well. I’m referring to the part of the night when you are supposed to be SLEEPING! So at the beginning you’ve got the frequent trips to the bathroom but then as your baby inside you grows bigger, you can no longer sleep in your favorite position because it becomes too uncomfortable. Side or back are the only choices so if you are a stomach sleeper sorry ’bout your luck!
So pregnancy is over and the beautiful baby that you have been preparing for is finally here. By preparing I mean reading all the best baby books out there like What to Expect When You’re Expecting (a given read for pregnant women), Your Pregnancy Week by Week, The Breastfeeding Book: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child from Birth Through Weaning by Dr. William Sears (if you’re planning on nursing your baby) and maybe you subscribed to a pregnancy website like Babycenter.com to get weekly updates on your baby’s growth and development each week. I bet you even subscribed to Parents and/or Parenting magazine to read while you wait and prepare for the birth of your baby (OK…I did).
It’s true that all of those resources are wonderful and can be extremely helpful with a lot of things. However, what people don’t tell you is that instead of reading and researching things on what to expect while you are pregnant, what you SHOULD be reading are books and articles about how to get your baby to sleep - and sleep through the night! WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME THAT??? Well I AM telling YOU. Forget all the other stuff. Let your doctor worry about your baby’s growth and development. If you are curious about it, go rent or by the DVD The Miracle of Life and that is all you’ll need because I am here to tell you…it’s ALL about the SLEEP!!! I have an entire library of how to get your baby to sleep through the night. In fact, check back for books I recommend on that very topic. Now if only I had read them BEFORE I had the baby, maybe my current sleep habits/schedule would be very different. Translation…I’d actually get some sleep! Trust me on this, I really DO know of what I speak. Read the “sleep” books and skip everything else and a good night’s sleep will be yours for the taking…hopefully.