Friday, June 17, 2011

Going With the Flow

Man! My Google Reader has been hopping lately! I think it's because I've stumbled upon some really awesome parent blogs that seems to have consistently useful/thoughtful/just plain funny content. Today's topic was sparked by a blog post on Aiming Low a hilarious blog written by multiple contributing writers from all different stages in the parenting journey. I really enjoy that humor that the bloggers bring to the sometimes mundane tasks, including some awesome Daddy Bloggers.

Yesterday, a great post came up titled The Thin Line Between Advice and Assvice for a Pregnant Woman. I knew this was going to be good! Advice from others is a double edged sword to a pregnant woman. On one hand you want to hear everything you can and get everyone's advice before you have a baby (and afterwards). I found myself scouring the Internet for real life product reviews on baby gear and incessantly picking the brains of my veteran mom friends. But by the end of the pregnancy, I swore I was going to throat punch the next random person in Target who told me to "sleep now while you can"! Almost four short months later, what do I find myself saying to random people in Target? "Sleep while you can, honey!" Hehe!

Earlier this week I was texting with a friend the day before her scheduled induction. I asked her how her husband was doing and she said he was pretty nervous about the blood and stuff during the birth. I told her not to worry because if my blood squeamish husband could hack it, then just about anyone could. She said a friend of theirs, whose wife had recently given birth, had told him it was really bad! My reaction was this. "OMG! They aren't supposed to tell each other the truth! They are supposed to lie and say it's really not that bad like us women do. Otherwise no one would do this crap!" She laughed, but as a 5 time mom, she wholeheartedly agreed.

The author of the article I read yesterday put it this way:

"My sister was there with me in the delivery room, twice. She’s seen some of the aforementioned nasty bits and she still decided to procreate. The way I see it, the kid gloves are off. But I still stop myself from sharing when reliving certain parts of my final months of pregnancy and the first few months of motherhood. Maybe it’s instinctual, something passed down for hundreds of years – a survival of the species kind of thing. Protect the mother to a certain extent or she may never have another child."

The author goes on to ask the reader what advice you would give to expectant moms and what would you hold back. For me it has more to do with presentation than anything else. The absolute most valuable piece of knowledge I gained during my pregnancy, delivery, and (short!) motherhood experience has been that every baby is different, every mother is different, and every day is different! So, I try to present any advice I give in a "this is how it happened for us"/"this is what worked for us" kind of way. I like to share my experience so that if someone else has a similar one, they know that they are not alone, but I don't want to say that my way is the only way.

For instance, I didn't have that movie moment when the baby was delivered where I cried, my husband cried, we looked at each other and marveled at what we had created and I fell instantly in love with this little slimy-gooey-wiggly thing. I was still in a descent amount of discomfort (a term us moms use to shield the innocent) when Turtle was placed on my chest. I remember thinking, "Hi. Glad to meet you. Now could you give me just a minute!" It wasn't until they got me stitched up and some pain killer in my system that I felt like I was really in a place to meet my daughter. Thankfully, I knew that this was normal for some people.
So, when I see the inevitable couple staring at the seemingly infinite bottle choices at Babies R Us, scan gun in hand, and bewildered look on their face, I try to offer what I've learned. (Yes, I'm that annoying person who offers unsolicited advice in baby stores.) I tell them what worked for us but then stress that they won't know for sure until their little one is born so not to stress over it too much. Register for a couple bottles of different brands and stop there. It's not necessary (or practical) to be an expert on everything before you've even met you little one.

I guess the best advice I have to give to new parents is this:

Be willing to go with the flow... in your pregnancy, in your birthing experience, and in your parenting. Every pregnancy is different, every birth is different, baby is different, every parent is different, and every day is different.

What was the best and worst advice you got when you were pregnant? What is your best advice to new parents?

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