Hey everyone, so I am back to do another link up with Becky at From Mrs. To Mama. This week the topic is 10 Survival Tips to the Expectant Mom.
Now I am no stranger to babies. As you read last week I have a brother and sister who are both significantly younger than I am so I remember them growing up and watching some of the things my mom bought and did when they were newborns. But another little interesting bit about me is that my nursing education helped me to prepare for the arrival of Alex as well. So when I was pregnant with Alex I kind of took all of that into account and made a list of my own.
Now I am going to share some of it with you all and add a few from my own experiences!
1. Buy used! Baby stuff can really add up when you are buying for your first child. There are a number of things that will wind up getting ruined or stained. Let me put it this way, what do we all know babies do best, eat, poop, pee and sleep. And if they are anything like Alex was when he was a newborn they will puke, on everything. Refurbishing was a life saver for us.
2. Bumps & Bruises Happen. As a 1st time mom every little thing that happens will freak you out, no one is immune. I even find myself freaking out at times, like tonight we were taking a walk outside, Alex tripped and fell and hit his head on the sidewalk. My heart sank, I instantly felt guilty, thoughts like, "I should have caught him," were running through my mind. And then the nurse in me took over and I can see the goose-egg forming on his forehead and I start to check his pupils and I am doing my best to get him calmed down, all while I am having a mental freak out/hulk mommy-nurse moment.(Did that make any sense.) In the end, it will be ok. People, including Alex's doctor all say, "Babies are flexible and indestructible." More often than not the fall hurt you more than it hurt them.
3. Don't wish away your pregnancy. Oh how I can remember laying in bed at night, not being able to breathe or get comfortable and thinking, "Oh my goodness, I can't wait 'til he is here in my arms." And then, that was all I wanted. I was basking in that pregnancy glow and the dangers of the world were the last thing on my mind. But now that he is here life is a lot scarier. I have stopped watching the news and I think more about my surroundings because I don't want anything to happen to him. He was so much safer in my belly.
4. Your decisions are the best ones for your baby. I don't know what it is, but when people see a baby bump or even a newborn they instantly feel like they have to offer advice. And a motto or approach I took to it while I was pregnant was this: Sit there, be polite and listen. You can take it and put to practice, if it is something you want to do or you can let it come in one ear and out the other. No one else can make decisions for your child other than you. So say thank you for their advice and do what you think is best.
5. Include your husband in the pregnancy whenever possible. Chris made a statement to me in the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy that went along the lines of him feeling left out, that I had all this time to bond with and get to know the baby and he didn't. So from then on I made it a point to include Chris is everything possible.
6. It takes an army. This was one of the items on my original list. I have grown up to be a very independent person, trying to do everything on my own, mainly because I feel like if I do it, it will be done right. But while I was pregnant, I thought long and hard and realized that I was bringing another life into this world, I realized that in order to keep this 2nd life healthy and thriving I had to take care of myself as well and that it wasn't a crime to ask for someone to help. Don't let anyone rush you into it, but it is ok to ask.
7. Rent a Breast Pump First! We made this decision right around the time we made our registry. Knowing that every baby and every mother are different we made the decision to rent a pump for 3 months before we decided to shell out the money. And in the end the decision turned out to be the best one for us. After about 2 weeks my milk supply was slim to none. And seeing as how Alex would never really latch on after he was born, pumping was our only option and without a supply there was really nothing we could do. So a $300 breast pump would have been packed away to collect dust.
8. Don't cut the tags off of anything newborn!!! Having been a nurse I can tell you, some of the smallest women make the largest babies and people would predict that their babies will be teeny tiny. So when they are given all of this newborn clothes, they wash it prior to the baby being born, only to find out the baby has already outgrown that size at the time of delivery. But if you were to keep the tags on them you could return them or exchange them for the appropriate size.
9. When it comes to birthing, understand: THINGS CAN CHANGE. I encourage every mom to make a birth plan and have outlined what their desires are for the entire birth process and the care of their child. However in an instant mom or baby could have a medical change and getting both parties to the end as healthy as possible. I have seen and heard too many stories where one party becomes compromised because a mom is not up to change when it comes to her birth plan.
10. Relax and Enjoy it! Everyone kind of freaks out when a nurse or doctor places a tiny human into your arms and says go home where you will have the sole responsibility for caring for this child. For most people parental instincts are there and they kick in very slowly for some and for others the instant you here that first cry it just takes over, but trust me, those baby days go by in a blur and they may be hard to remember. So take it easy, make some memories and enjoy every moment of it.