I’ve found that pregnancy time moves both painfully slow and incredibly fast. I cannot believe in a mere 10 weeks we could have our little guy- I am both tremendously excited and white-knuckle terrified.
See, I know nothing about babies. Nada.
I’ve never even changed a diaper in my life, this being my immediate family’s first grandchild and seemingly only babysitting kids out of diapers when a teenager. The one time I babysat an infant it was for a friend when I was 30 or 31 and he slept the whole time. I, however, spent the evening with the monitor clutched tight in my sweaty palm and checking on him every 30 minutes to make sure he was breathing. Andrew was with me and thought I was batshit crazy, but I was so scared something was going to happen to my friend’s child on my watch.
So now as we approach d-day, I’m beginning to find myself a) not able to sleep well and b) spending those waking hours wondering the following:
- What if I kill the baby? How do you make sure they stay alive?
- How often do I need to feed him?
- How much should he sleep? How do we GET him to sleep?
- How do I not spend every waking moment on WebMD trying to diagnose every odd thing?
- How do I make sure he doesn’t become a serial killer?
- Are Baxter and Oliver going to hate me forever?
- What do I need to pack in my hospital bag (take the slippers, leave the hairspray…)
- How do I find a really amazing nanny (and make sure they are not one of those crazy ones that steals/murders babies)?
- What diapers work? Honest Co. vs Pampers Swaddlers? Or some other magic kind?
- How is it possible I am going to give birth to a HUMAN???
That last part still has me wigged out beyond belief. There is a PERSON in my STOMACH. A. PERSON. And he has to make his way out of my hoo-ha into the world in 10 short weeks.
The hospital sent me a questionnaire about my “birth plan” and I’m pretty sure they are going to be baffled when they get it back. It went something like this:
Q: What kind of birth do you plan/want to have?
A: The kind in which I have drugs pumped into my spine and there is a live baby at the end. That’s all.
Q: What kind of lighting and music do you want in the delivery room?
A: Wait, do people really do this? Like request 40 watt bulbs and only Enya’s greatest hits? I don’t care about lighting or music, I only care about drugs. (My husband on the other hand has requested his Christmas Music Mix- DO NOT LET HIM PLAY THIS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES).
Q: Who do you want present in the birthing room?
A: The anesthesiologist. And my husband. In that order. No matter how convincing my mother is, she is not allowed in.
As you can tell, I do not have a solid birth plan. I feel like so much is up in the air and unknown, that having a “plan” would stress me out. If I need a C-section, so be it. If I miss my epidural window, then someone be at the ready with a frying pan to clobber me with. All I want is a healthy, crying baby- however he gets here I do not care one bit. But I prefer not to be writhing in pain (even though my mom thinks I’m a giant wimp for wanting drugs). I went through enough pain to get pregnant, my journey hardly involving a bottle of pinot and a saucy weekend in the country. Multiple surgeries, endless shots- I’m all set with pain. Bring on the spine juice.
I feel the same sort of ambivalence towards breastfeeding- I am going to try my best and hope it goes well but if it doesn’t and it’s making me miserable, my baby miserable and my boobs miserable- I will not feel bad about giving it up. As my mother reminded me, I am a formula baby and a New York Times best-selling author and rarely get ill, so it can’t be THAT detrimental to life and success. :)
What is the point of this ramble? I’m looking for your tips- on everything from your favorite baby gadget/gear you couldn’t live without to how you found great childcare. I’ve had girlfriends look at my registry and be like “take (specific thing) off- it doesn’t work, but this does…”. Invaluable information for a deer-in-the-headlights new mom to be! We all will and do raise children differently, but I think in those first few weeks and months of being home with a new baby, you probably learned some great stuff and figured out what works and what doesn’t. And I know each baby is different, but I’m interested in hearing your tips and tricks! So shoot…