I have decided with my vast and lengthy experience of one child and two pregnancies, (in the midst of my second pregnancy) to do some posts about motherhood. Mostly because I have a lot of facebook friends who are either about to be moms, are new moms, or have been moms for EVER. Lots of mom knowledge needs to float around, and I’m here to float it. Even if you’re not a mom, I’m still hilarious, so you can keep reading.
I’ve asked some facebook friends for questions, and I’m going to take a couple of days/posts to answer. I could do it all in one post, (they didn’t ask that many questions) but I like to have room to ramble and be funny (at least, I think I’m funny), so I’ll stretch it out over the next couple of days.
I’d like to start by saying I have practically no experience being a mother and I know it. I mean, my son has only been alive walking the earth for 15 months or so, if you don’t count the keeping him alive whilst a fetus. Which, for the record, I DO. There are other mothers out there with more practical knowledge. I’m going to give you my two cents anyway, because this is my blog, and if there’s one thing having a kid will teach you, it’s that you can amass a HUGE amount of knowledge very quickly. It’s called Immersion Study. Like moving to France to learn French. It’s a “you do it because you have to to survive” sort of thing. Bear with me. And please, remember, take everything with a grain of salt. Salt is good for you.
Today’s topic(s): Misconceptions and False Expectations about Pregnancy/Motherhood.
It took Aaron and I a year and a half (ish) to have Caden. I yearned to be pregnant more than pretty much anyone I have ever met. This brings me to misconception number 1.
Misconception Number One: It’s fun to be pregnant.
No, it is NOT fun to be pregnant. You barf, you get fat, you STRETCH THE HECK OUT. The ATTENTION is fun. The building Human Life is fun. The rest is WORK. Work that, for the most part unless you are supremely genetically gifted, makes you unattractive by most normal standards. Why our society demands we spend our lives being sexually attractive so we can get a man to marry us, then impregnate us, only to decide post-pregnant bodies are icky, is completely beyond me. It’s the weirdest double standard ever. By societies rules, women should be hottest while pregnant and have tons of cute clothing options and be hailed as life-givers. This is sadly not the case. So, when you have gained 40 pounds and your “girls” now need German Engineering to stay up and you want to sleep for the rest of life, remember, pregnancy being fun=huge misconception. Don’t beat yourself up about any of it, and try to remember, You’re Building a Person! (Please note: it’s ok if you are depressed about getting fat. Happens to the best of us when pregnant.)
Misconception Number 2: You will be pregnant FOREVER.
Nope, trust me, it’s the one thing you’ll do that has a time limit. I reccommend having your spouse remind you of this as often as you need. Mine does. Though it will feel like forever, it’s only 10 months. Unless you are me, then it’s more likely 10 months and some weeks. Hate to break it to you, but lots of moms go 42+weeks, especially with their first baby.
Misconception Number 3:
When you’re pregnant you can’t: drink, eat sushi, take baths, eat shellfish, take pain medication, have sex (sorry dad), exercise, drink caffeine, look directly at the sun, be in the sun, dye your hair, eat lunch meat, eat hot dogs, eat anything that tastes good, watch the food heat up in the microwave, use your cell phone too much, go in the hot tub, clean the bathroom, lay on your back, or enjoy life at all.
Some people would like you to take that positive pregnancy test you’re holding, grab some chips and chocolate ice cream, go to your couch, sit down, and not move for the next 40 weeks except to shove “food you are craving” into your face. This is total hooey. At the end of these 40 weeks, you are about to do the hardest physical activity of your life, why would you prep for it by sitting on your can and stuffing your face with fudge covered twinkies?
And, when you DO decide to do something on the above list, like drink CAFFEINATED COFFEE some quack who read an article once will lecture you about it. Trust me, I’ve been lectured about childbirth by men in line at Starbucks. So here’s my advice. Research! Not on wikipedia, but with moms you trust, legitimate medical journals, your caregiver, and your husband. Then, make what you feel is the best informed decision for your pregnancy, and STICK TO YOUR GUNS. Don’t let anyone, even your doctor push you into something you don’t feel right about.
If you feel that hot dogs might turn your child orange, or that watching the food heat up in the microwave might give your baby flippers, then don’t do it! Personally, I drink caffeine (I don’t know how to get thru pregnancy without it!) until about 38 weeks. Then I stop, because drinking caffeine while nursing DID keep Caden awake, the one time I tried. And, I stop at 38 weeks because I don’t want the baby to have withdrawals. I basically take my vitamins, get my sleep, avoid pain meds totally, and take the rest on a case by case basis. So should you, for what feels right. Feel free to ask for specifics on any of the above.
This post is hecka-long. More later. Stay Tuned for More common misconceptions and how to deal with sleep deprivation!