Sunday, June 24, 2012

All you need is love.

By the time you become a mom, you've experienced all kinds of love. The worshipping, then fractious love for your parents. The grudging, but protective love you have for your bratty younger sister. Your first playground crush. The no-one-understands-I'll-die-if-you-don't-let-me-see-him angst of teenage love. The love you promise until death do you part.

None of that prepares you for the love you feel when you learn you're pregnant. The minute that stick turned blue, and the doctor let me hear my daughter's heartbeat, I was a goner. I gave up caffeine cold turkey (HUGE for me). At about 3 months along, I switched from a job I loved that required me to work ridiculously long hours. I began, unconsciously, putting her first: decorating the nursery before all else in the new house; making career and life decisions that would provide best for her, keep her safest.

The first time my daughter was placed in my arms, it felt like saying hello to a lifelong friend, someone I'd loved for so long I didn't know a time when I didn't.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Everyone's a critic.

As soon as your pregnancy starts showing, be prepared for EVERYONE to give you unsolicited advice. My favorite was from people who don't have kids of their own.

From this camp, I got:

* Ooh, do you think you should be eating that--is that fruit organic? That deli sandwich has listeria. Eating peanuts while you're pregnant will give the baby allergies.
* You should get more exercise, labor will be easier.
* You're NOT doing natural childbirth? Gasp.
* My favorite, the first week my daughter was home: You're changing that diaper all wrong. (From a sibling who'd never babysat much less had a child.)

Now, I'm not saying some of the advice wasn't sound. Or that I knew it all and didn't need advice. Because with each new day, with each new discovery about myself and my daughter, I have learned how little I DO know. I have been blessed to know many men and women, parents and not, who have passed on wisdom, humor, and insight that has saved me many times over.

But seriously, until I ask, don't offer.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

You want me to do what?!?

My daughter was born on February 14th. That guarantees the day will have special, non-Hallmark greeting card meaning for me, forever.

However...another memory of that day, and how she arrived lives with me forever, too.

I'd been in active labor for about 10 hours (Oh yes, there is no debate: GET THE DRUGS), and I was tired and cranky, wanting to tell my husband and nurse what THEY could push, when my doctor gave me the best advice ever.

She said, "You're pushing like you're doing crunches. Don't push with your abs. Push like you're going to the bathroom."

Yup. Number two.

Yup. That is NOT in The Book. But it worked. Less than 10 minutes later, there she was.

I've passed my Dr's advice to a select few women friends, and each was shocked and grossed out over the idea. After the birth, they practically threw me parades.

You're welcome.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Is it just me...I'm not enjoying this.

Ssshhh. Don't tell anyone, my babysitter told me, when my daughter was about 3 months old. She didn't like being pregnant.

Wow. I wasn't the only one. Other than a few months in the middle, I hated pregnancy. Not because of one thing--there were lots of "one things". Evening, afternoon and morning sickness curable only by eating green plums. Craving pork chops, after being vegetarian for years. Stretch marks on my butt. You heard me, my butt. Having an itchy belly for 6 months. Having my boss invite me to "waddle up to the plate" to take on a new assignment.

Yes, those were all "things" my dog-eared "What to Expect When You're Expecting" book NEVER told me.

Here's to my sitter--and the truth about where you'll REALLY find your stretch marks.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

What to the real world not a book

To call "What To Expect When You're Expecting" false advertising is harsh. Let's just say it's woefully incomplete.

My life since having a daughter has been an experience in all the things people DON'T tell you. What to expect while you're pregnant, then what to expect once you're a mom.

Because if we knew, women might think twice, run for the hills, take a vow of forever birth control.

These musings are in somewhat chronological order, and my experience of the messes and joys real moms face. Would I do it all again if I knew these things? I should know by the time she's 30.