Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Reflections at halfway

I was just thinking that since this week marks the halfway point for me in this pregnancy that I should post some of my reflections so far on this experience. So here I go:

1) It goes by so fast. Since I found out really early that I was pregnant (4 1/2 weeks) I have been aware of this pregnancy almost the whole time that it has been real. It just makes me realize how crazy it is that I am already half way. The first half went so fast that I am sure the second half will be just as fast if not faster.

2) Every person and pregnancy is different. I know that I have heard this a number of times, but I am not sure how fully I believed it until now. I was so excited to reach the 14 week mark because I was convinced (also it seemed true of those around me) that I would start to lose the nausea and maybe would never experience true "morning sickness". Boy was I wrong. It wasn't even until week 12 that I started getting sick. I am now at week 20 and have been sick off and on for the last 8 weeks. I also feel more fatigue in this trimester than I ever felt in the first. I have decided that I will probably just be sick and tired the rest of this pregnancy, that way if one day it goes away, I will be ecstatic. I have found that this is easier than hoping after every time I throw up that it will be the last time.... that is too depressing because so far it has never been the last time.

3) So far, the coolest part of the pregnancy has been feeling my little guy move around. It is a feeling that I believe to be pretty indescribable and unimaginable unless you feel it for yourself. It definitely makes the connection to the life inside you even stronger.

4) I don't think I have ever answered the question "How are you feeling?" as many times as I have these last 20 or so weeks. Whether it is asking about morning sickness, or whether or not I am feeling excited that it is a boy, I get this questions so many times a day I have lost count. My typical answers: "Every day is different, some better some worse" and "Yes, I am very excited that it is a boy". I think I need to start working on some new answers, mine are not very creative.

5) I have realized that I am not really quite sure what to do with my little guy after he is born. Yeah, I know that sounds a little silly, but I guess I have just realized, I have no idea how often to feed him, change him, how much he should sleep or eat. I was a nanny for a few summers and have experience with kids, even for long weekends and overnights, but I guess I always knew at the end of the day or weekend, though I loved them, they weren't mine. So I have a question... I know that there is a lot of advice out there, and though I welcome that in moderation, I was wondering more if any of you veteran mom's have any books with practical information like that that you would suggest. Even books about what to do when he has a diaper rash or other medical things like that. I think I need to start my baby library and begin reading up.

Well these are my reflections this week as I think back on the last twenty weeks and look toward the next twenty.


  1. I know I am not a veteran mom but I recommend the Dr. Sears books. They seem to have one for every topic! And the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. They have a lot of these at the Half Price Book store at Southern and Power near Ross and Best Buy :)

  2. the best book i have was given to me by our pediatrician at the "new mommy consult" we had pre-baby. it's the American Academy of Pediatrics "The Complete and Authoritative Guide: Caring for Your Baby and Young Child Birth to Age 5." it has everything from developmental milestones to how to change a diaper to an index with all the potential kid illnesses. it has been really helpful to look up anything and everything.

    the only topic i actually read up on pre-baby was breastfeeding - how to, positions, etc...just to have some knowledge about it.

    a book i WISH i'd read before felicity arrived is "The Vaccine Book" by Dr. Sears. it's unbiased, plain english information about all the vaccines your child can receive, including the ingredients, side effects, and why people choose to get them or not get them. even if you decide to completely vaccinate on the AAP schedule, it's good to go in informed. it's also important to know your view on this so you can find a pediatrician that will support you, not hassle you.

    the best thing i ever did for myself was NOT reading any parenting books until felicity was about 3 months old. it really gave me time to listen and trust my own instincts. for me, that meant co-sleeping, babywearing, and feeding on demand. for you it may mean something different...but, i'm more confident as a mom, because i didn't have all these ideas running through my head like, "the book said this or that"...so, i just went with what i felt was right...and, it has really given me the opportunity to get to know my daughter better...instead of relying on what a book tells me. after about 3 months, i found some books that helped me find practical ways to improve upon the methods we felt were working for us.

    anyway, that was really long, but i hope it's helpful in some way.

    you'll get a lot of advice, but the biggest thing i can say is...trust yourself! and don't let anyone or anything make you second guess yourself :o]

  3. I love that you posted about your reflections! Don't worry about the throwing up it will end soon promise! I threw up with Brynn from week 10 till 18/20 so all I have to say is hang in there and sleep! As far as the books go...kuddos to you for thinking ahead and reading books on medical things and what to do. Brad and I had to go out and buy a baby book after 3 days home with Brynn because she was hard. We both swear by it but only take what you want from it.
    It is called "The Baby Book" by William Sears, M.D., and Martha Sears, R.N.
    The other book that is a great medical book to have lying around is called "Baby & Child A-Z Medical Handbook" by Dr. Miriam Stoppard.

  4. I second the Vaccine book by Dr. Sears! That is all I am will say about that since you know I am a hippie and have different thoughts on things :)

  5. Ah, thanks ladies for all that input. I see some trends in the book recommendations so I will have to check those out.
    Andrea, Joel and I both thought your idea was a great one about not reading up too much and instead trusting your own instincts when it comes to the first few months of caring for our little guy. I think that I definitely want to try this. At the same time I think later on in this pregnancy I might get a few of these books so I have them to reference if I need them. I doubt I will really have too much time to read those first few months anyway.

    Thanks again guys for all your advice!

  6. I want to stress the importance of not reading books by one particular author/doctor. Everyone has different takes on what is good or bad for babies and it's good to know that, "Hey, microwaving the baby's milk bottle isn't dangerous after all" or "Giving my baby foods with saffron and cumic can be okay at 6 months". When glancing through parenting books, I noticed that they loved to use fear as a form of teaching, e.g. "If you give your baby this, bad things will start happening." That being said, don't be reckless, but just gain as much knowledge as you can from a wide spectrum of people instead of one person. It's good to have all these ideas because if you ever come across a moment where what you are normally doing isn't working, you can quickly move to a different step instead of wasting time looking it up or asking others. This is something that I'm sure you were going to do anyway, but just wanted to give my input.

    As for books, I never read a single one, but I kind of wish I had. Lots of things that you remember as a child or have been taught through TV and movies that you later realize aren't true. However, Bethany read a bunch of books, so at least we had one person (and the most important person) who was fairly knowledgeable. Your parents are also a great source of information, but you'll quickly learn that what they may have done for you some 20-odd years ago is not really the standard today.

    Take all advice with a grain of salt... even this one. Don't stress it though, you'll eventually fall into your own unique consistent routine as all babies are different. I'll point Bethany to this entry so that she can throw in her 2 cents.

  7. One of the things my OB/GYN said to me when I was worrying about what I should and shouldn't eat, drink, or do during my pregnancy (caffeine, deli meats, ketchup, etc.) She told me just about everything other than the obvious (no alcohol, drugs, etc.) everything in moderation is fine.

    I think the same thinking applies with reading up on pregnancy, labor and all things baby. DON'T READ TOO MUCH! You won't need to know 90% of it and you'll probably stress yourself out way too much with all the "what if"s you read about. Every pregnancy, labor, mom and baby are different.

    I read all the wonderful things about nursing and I was dead set on nursing JJ at least the first year. This made me feel so dissapointted and so much of a failure when she got a cold at 5 months and refused to nurse anymore. I had read so much about the benefits, that I couldn't see past the most important thing- making sure my baby is happy and healthy. It may not have been my original plan, but it was what was best for her.

    So, yes, be informed on what to expect from labor and those first few weeks, but don't overdo it and don't stress yourself out, k?