Sunday, January 8, 2012

I Wish I Knew then, What I Know Now.

For those who really know me, you know I'm a planner.  In elementary school I would make "to do" lists for Saturdays and during Summer break.  I color-code my calendar.  I had an account set up on The Knot before Matt and I were engaged so I could start doing research on vendors and reading reviews (yes, I told him this after we were engaged), and I researched natural childbirth and picked out our midwife (and read her book) before we even started trying to conceive.  Don't get me wrong, I do love a good spur-of-the-moment road trip or an I-have-no-plans-for-today day.  But when it comes to a moment so life-altering as the birth of our child...I need a plan!

I am fully aware that this baby may have a different plan and mine might get thrown out the window.  I'm not inflexible and stubborn by any means, I just like to be prepared and it brings me confidence (which I will need come "D-Day").  I understand that situations arise during a delivery in which my plan is not the best plan. 

This all to say that I love hearing advice from others. I love listening to people's stories and experiences in various areas of life.  I learn so much from other people and truly believe we all have so much to offer one another.   Every woman has a pregnancy and birth that is unique to them, and I can't rely on what other women tell me because my experiences and children will also be unique.  However, I can never have too much advice from those who have gone before me, and recently posed the question on my Facebook page:  "What 'I wish I knew then, what I know now' advice do you have for me and/or Matt?  Advice regarding pregnancy, delivery, or newborn stage is welcomed!"  Here are some of the responses...

Linda (my momma) - "Don't sweat the small stuff.  In the big picture of LIFE it didn't matter!" (I wish she knew that one then too ;)

Bill (my daddio) - "Raise your children how you wish, not how you think others want you to."

Natalie (my sis) - "You need to be flexible and adaptable. You and your children don't live in a bubble and even though you should have your own way of doing things, your kids will be in contact with lots of other people. Knowing that even if they don't follow your exact rules or expectations, your kids will be ok. As long as they're not playing in the street, running with knives, or eating bugs - they'll be ok." (Although I'm pretty sure her son Donovan did eat ants...and he's still ok)

Kelley - "You can never be too prepared. It doesn't hurt to carry a change of clothes for you too. Spit up and poo are inevitable!"

Kris - "Journal your pregnancy! It'll be a treasure to read the pages to your little one once he/she is born and again later on at 5 years old when they'll actually understand it" (I love this, and actually have been journaling for while.  It's just pretty much consists of pregnancy news now as I don't want to forget a thing)

Kriste - "Your baby will choose how they need to be born. I wanted all natural...Alexander didn't agree. Unplanned c-section after 28 hours of labor....his heart rate started to drop and we just needed to get him OUT of there. I cried at first because it wasn't the delivery that I had planned, but I trusted my doctor and I wasn't disappointed afterward."

Esther - "Enjoy the quiet now, sleep all weekend, watch marathon movies and enjoy the qt with your husband! After baby arrives, take life one day at a time!"

Mary Ann - "Relax - Enjoy - and Love every moment!!"

Nicole - "The pregnancy itself is awesome! Every stage, every step is so amazing. And appreciate and take it all in, because your next one will be different! They are all different!! Don't rush any stage either. Don't wish for the next one. And you can read all the books out there, but babies don't always follow the book."

Lindsey - "...breastfeeding can be hard and painful. The breastfeeding book by Sears is helpful. Also, make meals and freeze them before baby is born so you have dinner ready when you first have baby. "

Shalaney - "...after the baby is born, still remember to have time for YOU and Matt..."

Jennifer - "Educating myself helped me to deliver naturally, stick with breastfeeding (even when I faced some challenges) and put my baby on a well balanced schedule. However, you have lots of time to take a break and enjoy a relaxing book." 

I also just recently read in one of the several books I'm juggling right now, for Dad-to-be to pack a "D-Day" bag as well. We might be away from our home for a very long time, and Matt might want a change of clothes, snacks, and a toothbrush too!

Thank you SO much to everyone who offered up their advice and personal experiences, Matt and I really do appreciate it.  If anyone has anything else to share, please feel free to comment here on the blog or on my Facebook page.  You can send me a private message if your advice is "TMI", but I have read Jenny McCarthy's Belly Laughs so I've gotten some detailed insights there :)

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