I’d like to start by saying Rose is still sick. Which is fine, it really is. I mean, I wish she wasn’t, but she is. I always thought that when babies get sick they get all cuddly; that’s what all the other Moms say. Well, I don’t think Rose got the memo. She just sits on the floor whining. And whining, and whining. And whining at the dog. And whining at her stuffed animals. And whining because her book won’t open. And I am like, ‘okay child I love you, but enough with the whining already.’ And then there’s the snot. OH MY GOD. THE SNOT. Since she has no fever, it seems that she just has a cold. A cold that really only has two symptoms; whining and snot. I need to know; when will the whining and snot end? Because it is COLD outside. It SNOWED today. In Dallas. I hate the cold. We’re stuck inside. I can’t run. We can’t go on evening walks. We can’t check the mail. WE CAN’T DO ANYTHING. Which has created an even bigger problem; Maggie (btw; yes, my dog is a genius) is going totally bat-shit CRAZY. She is sprinting around the place like she took too much crack, but needs more, and can’t find her crack, and she knows its here somewhere, and it must be OUTSIDE OUTSIDE OUTSIDE. Only once she gets outside she doesn’t get more than two feet because THE SNOW WILL GET HER! So, I am stuck inside with a whiny snot covered child and bat-shit crazy, which is making me whiny, snot covered, and bat-shit crazy. But that’s okay. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love my life, and I love my ‘job.’ I just wish I could act like it when the husband comes home from work. But instead I hand him that whining, snotty baby and bolt upstairs to clean that snot off me. Unfortunately, the bat-shit crazy was stuck like glue, and we’ll just say I wasn’t nice all night. Sorry, baby; I think we need to go to Bath and Body Works; I think they sell bat-shit crazy removing scrub.
Anyway… last night I had a lot of time to sit and contemplate where I was last year at this time. Namely; pregnant and not covered in snot (I think I was bat-shit crazy and pretty whiny though). So, in honor of myself last year, and all you pregnant ladies out there, all you ladies that have been pregnant, know someone that is pregnant or know some one is pregnant, this one’s for you.
Dear Pregnant Self,
I know you’re in your third trimester. I know you have heartburn. You can’t stop crying at that one Google commercial. I know you are more exhausted you thought possible (except perhaps in the first trimester). I know pregnancy seems like the longest journey ever, and OH MY GOD THIS BABY BETTER BE WORTH IT. It is, trust me, it so is. Even on the snot and whining filled days, it is so, so worth it. And you won’t even understand how worth it is until that baby comes out (however it gets out- I promise, it will come out, and it is completely normal to think that you are going to be pregnant forever- you won’t be). And all those crazy symptoms? The heartburn, bruised ribs, the morning sickness (that they promised would get better but never did), the swollen limbs, and every other uncomfortable symptom out there will go away. They will literally disappear the second that baby is out of your body. Trust me. I had heartburn for the whole two hours I was pushing. The second Rose emerged, it went away. IT WAS GLORIOUS.
Okay, now onto your body. No, it will never be exactly the same. That’s okay. Once that baby is born you won’t care. An extra few pounds or larger hips just won’t seem like a big deal. You either will get stretch marks or you won’t. So stop stressing. But, just in case, if you like it you better put some bio oil on it (plus, it smells and feels good). Got it? Okay. Stop stressing about stretch marks. Seriously. Stop. RIGHT NOW.
Okay, now that you’re done stressing about the stretch marks put down the book about child rearing. I know, I know; parenting is crazy confusing, and there is so much information out there. But that’s what Google is for. You know, to research when the problem comes up. Or read the books then. I didn’t read the books. At least not the one’s about how to raise your child. Honestly? You can’t know what kind of parent you will be until that thing comes into the world. Even then your parenting style will evolve everyday. AND THAT’S OKAY. This is coming from the Queen of Research and Preparedness; it is okay not to know what you are going to feed your child when they are six months old. There is this thing called “Mother’s Intuition,” and you will think you don’t have it. You do. So put down that parenting book and pick up a novel (or whatever non-parenting or pregnancy book floats your boat).
While you’re at it, slow down with the reading of other people’s birth stories. I know, I adore a good birth story too, but the thing about birth stories is that every single one is different, some of them are terrifying, and in the end don’t really prepare you for labor. Instead; DO WRITE A BIRTH PLAN. Write it with your husband, or partner, or whoever is going to be at the birth. Talk with them about it. But; BE PREPARED TO THROW IT OUT THE WINDOW. I know I did. Most people I know did. That’s okay. Also; RESEARCH BREASTFEEDING. I know, I know, it is the least exciting part of the whole ordeal, right? Well, kind of. But not really, because once that baby comes out, you will want to know how to feed it. And, sure, the lactation consultants are nice, but they have a ton of other women to worry about. So learn about latching, about the pain, about your milk coming in (holy weird) and everything that can come along with it. It will be so worth it when you aren’t shocked that your boobs are on fire, your baby can’t eat, and generally, nothing about breastfeeding is easy. And they promised it would be easy. Let me tell you; it IS EASY. After a week. The first week is hell. I am so glad my lactation consultant told me that in the hospital.
Now that all that research is done; go to the grocery store. BY YOURSELF. Go to the mall. BY YOURSELF. To dinner. BY YOURSELF. Whatever you do, do BY YOURSELF. Well, you can bring a husband or friend or parent, but no children. Because once that baby is born, you will not be able to go anywhere by yourself. Which, honestly, you will be fine with. Except everything takes double the time, and you forget half of the things you need because OH MY GOD THE BABY IS GOING TO LOSE IT’S SHIT (literally, possibly) AT ANY MINUTE. So go do something by yourself. And, while you’re at it, make sure it is not baby related, because soon everything is baby related, and, for awhile, you will forget that there was a time that things weren’t connected to this baby.
Oh, and don’t spend every last cent on baby clothes or baby gear. That’s what grandparents are for. Seriously, the child will be clothed. But, do make sure you have a car seat and somewhere for the little dear to sleep. Those things are important. The other stuff? You don’t need it. I mean, you need some clothes, and diapers, and a swing or bouncer is NICE but not a NEED. My Mom told me this when I was pregnant; she was so right. Plus, stores will still be there after the baby is born, if you decide you do need something.
So, future Mama; take care of yourself. Stress less. Enjoy those little kicks and flutters. The morning sickness will pass. So will the heartburn. It may take until when the child is born, but the awful parts of pregnancy don’t last forever. And on that note; nobody has stayed pregnant forever. And, no, you won’t be the first woman to do so. So, relax, and remember, that one day you really will miss being pregnant. Trust me, for some strange reason I do, and I had the most difficult pregnancy imaginable.