Because I’m at that magical age where everyone and their sister is pregnant, is getting pregnant, is talking about getting pregnant or was pregnant, I get to see more than my fair share of Facebook pregnancy updates throughout the day.
Some people get tired of hearing about pregnancy, however, having done 20 months of it myself I understand why the uterus-carrying half of the population feels the need (and the right) to tell us about every doctor appointment and every.last.gory. bodily fluid update.
There are several pivotal stages you go through during pregnancy, from the «omg it’s your first bump photo» to the «127 people like this» birth photo of your baby, and thanks to social media and our obsession with telling everyone every little thing, we get to go through most of these together.
So with the help of my own experiences (and watching my friends go through some of the same), I’ve compiled a fabulous list of the five things I think we need to stop telling pregnant ladies and new mommies. Like on the giddy up.
No. 1: This is going to be the magical time of your life!
Now don’t get me wrong. Growing a baby inside your body is a pretty damn amazing experience. Even if you don’t experience that fun little thing called morning sickness, you get to hear a tiny heartbeat for the first time ever; you get to count 10 tiny fingers and toes inside of your body (maybe even a miniature penis if you’re really lucky) and you get to feel firsthand what the victim’s in Alien must have felt like when your tiny bundle of joy tries to arm jab their way out of your body via your stomach.
These are all seriously wonderful things. But if you ask most mothers, the real magic happens the minute they splay that blood-and-goop-covered baby atop your chest and it wails and wails until they finally leave the little thing alone and it finally gets to take you in.
And you get to take it in. And smell it. And stroke it’s head. And see it try to leech onto any part of your body like it hasn’t eaten in 10 months.
When you look into your baby’s eyes: that’s the most magical moment of your life; when you realize what you really were capable of creating — and did.
No. 2: Enjoy the peace and quiet while you can
I’m a firm believer that pretty much anyone who says this to you is either the mother of 15 children, doesn’t have a uterus or didn’t gain one pound during her pregnancy. You’ll usually start hearing this gem when you’re closing out the third trimester. You’re maybe a month away and all you can do is bitch and rant about how much you want to meet your baby already. And then some smart ass mom know-it-all bitchface friend comes on and tells you «enjoy the peace and quiet while you can!» like she’s somehow unlocked the key to giant ass pregnancy bliss.
Yeah OK, maybe you could enjoy the peace and quiet, if you weren’t 900 pounds, training for the circus, fitting only into circus tents and your baby is so giant and misplaced that you can’t even sneeze without urinating all over yourself.
You ask me if I’d rather be dealing with a screaming newborn or 38 weeks pregnant and fricking ginormous and I’m going to take screaming newborn. At least then you’re allowed to be emotional and hormonal and bitchy. When you’re 38 weeks pregnant you’re supposed to be glowy and calm and ready to meet your baby; not the human version of some ground up sausage in a greasy casing.
No. 3: You don’t need the epidural
This one is pretty simple. Anyone who tells you «oh, you don’t need the epidural» should be met with an immediate «go screw yourself.» The same commentary applies to anyone who tells you «you’re crazy not to get the epidural.»
What you decide to do pain-management wise is your business, don’t let anyone bully you otherwise. Yeah, they’ll cite a bajillion different studies about how epidurals are going to make your baby grow an extra ear or how not getting one will put too much stress on you and the baby, but every woman is different and so is every baby.
Go in with an open mind either way and let your body, your baby and your doctor help you decide what is best for you. Not some know-it-all, asshole already mother.
No. 4: Babies cry a lot
OK, it’s true, babies do cry. My definition of «a lot» is different than the stupid pamphlet the state of Ohio passes out at childbirth classes. Are babies quiet and squealy and cooey 24/7? Of course not. But should they have moments of bliss where they’re not raging assholes? Definitely.
Pearyn was a baby that cried, probably a seemingly normal to slightly above normal amount. Braeburn, on the other hand, was a little butthole. For at least the first eight weeks of his life if he wasn’t asleep or didn’t have a bottle shoved in his mouth he was crying. In fact, I don’t even think what he did qualifies as crying, it was outright blood-curling screams. He hated us and we in turn hated ourselves. Luckily they grow out of it. And they’re pretty cute when they sleep.
No. 5: Sleep when the baby sleeps
Clearly you should sleep when the baby sleeps, but sometimes that leaves you feeling like an infant yourself. You’ll be covered in spit up, smelly, tired, hungry and crying as it is, if you sleep as often as your baby sleeps you really might forget what adulthood is like.
Sleep when the baby sleeps if you need to. If you’re on your 80th cup of coffee and haven’t laid down in your bed in three nights, sleep when the baby sleeps. If you’ve got 18 loads of laundry and a toddler to feed and ship off to preschool, get some shit done when the baby sleeps and sleep the other times the baby sleeps.
The way I see it these kids are going to be waking us up far too early for the rest of our lives, we might as well start rocking the dark circles, caffeine-addicted mom looks now.
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