Any day now. :: April 8/ 2014 ::

March 24, 2015

April 8/ 2014

This is the 'three little words' phrase that pregnant girls hear anytime past 37 weeks gestation and I'm going to let you in on a little secret.  It scares the sh*t out of us.  Maybe its just me... I'm a different sort of breed... so perhaps strangers, friends, acquaintances and family members of other knocked up ladies like myself are met with excitement, glowing and sparkles on top of freshly baked cupcakes because they just have 'so much energy'.


Any day now is CRAZY.  Not only because its so soon and HONESTLY the only baby thing that I have which is not taken apart or still being painted is a little rocking moses basket.  So I promise you, hearing those three little words is terrifying and also brings me to the next upsetting, emotionally jarring part of being 'ready to pop'.

People telling me how I am going to feel.

People telling me what I want.

So consider this an open letter.  An open letter to all the women who have babies on the earth side of the womb.  (I've actually also gotten really pushy advice from people who have never had kids... go figure)

I've been to five weeks of birthing class with a doula who has been helping mothers during birth and the immediate post partum for 20 years.  This woman fascinates me because she has something like 4 kids of her own, plus having attended, like, a bajillion births and she is A THOUSAND times less pushy than some chicks after one baby and a puppy.  (Because puppies are totally the same as babies. I'm lying.  They're not.)

So birthing class is all about exploring the spectrum of possible scenarios that may follow the birth of a small human.  I say spectrum because the reactions are all SO DIFFERENT.  Each mother (just in my birthing class alone) has a unique take on what she wants or expects.  Yet, almost no one is wrong.  (unless you expect to be skinny again immediately after the baby comes out) Breaking them down, each of our ideas, expectations and wishes make sense.  Because every pregnancy is different.

So if every pregnancy is different.  Logic would be on my side when I venture that every newborn is different, as well as every mother?

For instance, my little peach loves to tuck her feet under my ribs.  Its her thing.  Somehow the comfort of my chest and my ability to breathe easily bear no importance to her little fetus-logic.  She just loves to tuck the feet in the ribs.  I don't have stretch marks, my belly button isn't hanging out and once I get going... I can resemble a human walking instead of a sea lion with brand new feet. But my baby is annoying about her feet.

What I love, though, about peach and myself sharing my body for awhile is that I'm never cold.  It feels like here in Canada I have stowed away a tiny piece of South Africa in all its sweltering-ness and its keeping me oh so toasty.  I hate being cold.  Love being warm.

So, my dear mothers of the world, I'm okay to experience this without the spoiler alert.  It truly is remarkably emotionally overwhelming to bring a human into the world and I'm feeling pretty under-prepared and under-qualified for the task.  But doesn't everyone?  Isn't that why all moms try and help new moms 'cheat'?  Because having a baby is scary!  And yes, I get it, I haven't given birth to my baby yet.  You got me.  Want to know something funny?  Neither have you.  All you mothers in the grocery store, you weird old women in Starbucks... You too have never given birth to my child.  Your child was your child.  My baby is truly unique - as is my exasperated pregnant ass.  My experience might be even more of a nightmare than yours.  Maybe it will be easier.  But I can GUARANTEE it won't be the same.

So all you saggy boobed women pushing giant Jeep strollers in babies r us to buy baby shower presents for some new mom with a list in your head of all the things you're going to tell her about her future feelings and expectations as a mom.   Plus that extra juicy story of your 52 hour labor and your kid's watermelon sized head...  Consider handing out a rain check for after she's had the baby and wants to trade war stories.

Instead of telling her what she wants... tell her how you FELT.  Own your stuff.  Be okay with what happened to you just being about you and not everyone else.  Because maybe your perspective sheds light on something she's wondering about, but maybe its just a drop in the bucket called Stuff I Didn't Need To Hear.  And that is totally ok.

March 2015:

So I had some feelings in the weeks leading up to Piper's birth...  Clearly there were higher powers, like hormones, at work here.

Interestingly enough, though, I stick by my opinion that people should try and not make a rule out of their own experiences.  Projecting your past on another person's future is so limiting.  So when you feel like telling a pregnant woman, or a new mom, or a mom with a one year old how her life is going to be?  Like saying, for instance, "You're not going to sleep for years"  or "you WILL be needing that epidural"  or "You'll definitely cut your hair when she starts to pull it" or even "you'll sleep train, just wait.  Its the only way to get them through the night".  Consider something like "My baby had a rough time teaching herself to sleep, so we ended up sleep training and it worked out well.  I hope you have success with an easier method, though.  Sleep training was pretty tough."

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