during my first pregnancy every minute felt momentous. i journaled my experiences, my weight, and tidbits from each doctor’s appointment. i photographed my growing baby bump and compiled the images into a time lapsed video. apps told me what size fruit my baby measured each week. mornings started with a hearty and delicious breakfast. i drank water throughout the day and slept eight hours a night.
the second time around pregnancy is, admittedly, not the main event in my life. with a very active, very strong willed one year old to look after, it is easy to forget what week i am in. i am relying on caffeine more than i should probably admit on the interweb. lunch is often pieces of turkey, cheese, and cheerios hunter leaves behind.
and while i am not dedicating hours to journaling every emotion, i am treasuring this pregnancy in a very different way than i did my first. i feel prepared and confident. this time around i have a true and deep understanding that my labor and delivery experience will probably not be exactly the way i plan. i know i may not be able to exclusively breastfeed or even nurse at all. this time i am soaking up the final weeks of pregnancy because this baby may (or may not!) be my last.
yes – long sleepless nights are on the horizon.
but so are those raw and real moments where i am certain my heart will actually explode with love… the unexpected “how the freak did i get so lucky” feelings which have been known to sucker punch me right smack dab in the middle of a totally ordinary, totally boring or even totally disgusting mama moment.
i am armed with having seen magic in the midnight moon.
i have savored the peace of the moments just before dawn.
i have gone days without sleeping and somehow survived.
this time around i know – we got this.
i mean we did just have our first baby.
seriously we just did this a few months ago.
all the terrible, annoying, “is this bitch really suggesting i sleep while the baby sleeps?” advice is still ringing in my ears. with the garbage advice i somehow managed to not roll my eyes at very fresh in my mental and my second pregnancy nearing the home stretch i compiled a list of the tips and tricks i wish were passed along to me as i prepared to become a first time mama.
unsolicited parenthood planning advice:
- master the art of the two minute shower.
- learn to silently load and unload the dishwasher.
- teach your partner how to do the laundry.
- try to be patient while he destroys your favorite sweater in the process.
- determine which store in town has the best prices on formula and diapers.
- while you’re at it, come to terms with the fact that even though you registered for a top of the line breast pump and have amassed an enormous collection of nursing bras, breastfeeding might not be possible for you. know this now.
- practice picking up the remote and your cell phone with your toes.
- actually go ahead and practice picking everything up with your toes. pacifiers, bibs, your fork. all the things.
- order a water proof case for your phone because in just a couple of months it will be sacrificed as a chew toy.
- take care of your bills.
- make a family calendar of important dates.
- keep cash on hand to tip the food delivery people who will soon have your address and order memorized.
- have sex with your partner.
- seriously – have sex with your partner.
- stock up on toiletries, cleaning supplies, and non perishables.
- start doing everything one handed.
- learn how to wear your baby carrier/wrap so you don’t have to figure it out with a crying baby on your hip.
- store the pediatrician’s number in your cell phone.
- buy extra dog treats and new toys for your pup who will not get the attention he is accustomed to for a few months.
- keep a book at your nursing/pump station. reading can serve as a welcome distraction from feeling like a dairy cow.
- practice clicking the car seat in and out of the base and the stroller.
- eat faster. much much much faster. like don’t even chew.
- get accustomed to room temperature coffee.
- see a movie.
- stockpile dry shampoo.
- become best friends with your camera.
- teach your parents to facetime and skype.
- buy cloth diapers. they are perfect on the changing table as an extra layer of protection against… well you’ll see
- create instagram accounts for your parents.
- show your dog extra love before your attention is hogged by a baby.
- buy thank you cards and stamps.
- get your hair cut.
- trust your gut.
- accept your gut. your ever changing body will not look or feel like it belongs to you for a long time.
- master the art of politely smiling at and ignoring unsolicited advice from well meaning strangers like me.