Today’s guest post comes from Carey Gordon, who is 9 months pregnant. She gives us an insightful look at her first pregnancy, as well as some helpful tips on how moms to be should prepare for the arrival of their new baby. Thanks for taking the time to do this for us, Carey- we know you have quite a bit on your plate!
The waddle, leg cramps, insomnia, migraines, back pain, hip pain, skin tags, 24 hour ‘morning’ sickness, gas and swollen fingers. These joys of pregnancy were never covered in Hollywood. Why are we never told of these joyous moments? Daily surprises keep coming even as I reach my 9th month. Perhaps it’s some kind of conspiracy to keep these things from women so as to ensure the procreation of the human race. Or, perhaps, as I am also reminded every day, these ‘joys’ are there to help us all appreciate even more so the ACTUAL joys of pregnancy, but I’ll touch on those later.
There’s the preparation: birthing classes, dr. appointments, deciding what you think you might need, creating your baby registry, and in-laws weighing in with their advice and ideas-all of these things are exciting, intimidating, wonderful and daunting all at the same time. And I recommend them all. Well, maybe minimize the in-laws for some sanity. But, I have to say, as I near the end of this journey called pregnancy, preparation is key. My advice? I highly recommend a birthing class so you can go into your birth experience fully knowledgeable as to all of your options and rights. I recently hired a doula and I am convinced it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made. I was hesitant at first to spend the money, but, they are truly worth it as they provide emotional support, knowledge and guidance during a moment in your life when you may not know which way is up. I am trying for an all natural birth and having my doula there to help advocate for that ideal in the hospital gives me a sense of calm. And from what I hear, calm in labor is essential. I’ll let you know the truth on that one in a few weeks.
Buying for baby is a fun task. Whether you throw a baby shower and let your friends and family bring the gifts to you, or you go about the gathering on your own, I’ve learned a few must haves from seasoned mommies. More than a few easy-on easy-off sleepers or Layettes are a must. In the middle of the night the last thing you want is to struggle with difficult fasteners or find out your only one or two sets are dirty. Stock up on these essentials as your sleep deprived self will surely thank you. The same goes for blankets and swaddlers. I’ve been told you can never have enough. There’s no way around it, babies are messy little creatures and the more you have of something the less work for you on the washing front. Cute little hats to keep that newborn head warm, onesies with feet and mittens, many burp cloths and millions of diapers should get you through those first few months.
Another essential is creating your own new network of soon-to-be and new moms. Who is better for support and just a good listening ear than those couples going through the same experience? As with any good friends, talking about the good the bad and the ugly together somehow makes the bad seem a little less so, and the good seem even more joyous. Connect with others in your birthing class, take a prenatal yoga class or do some searching online to find a mom’s or new parents group in your area. Advice from those who’ve been there? Priceless. New friendships and built in baby friends for your new baby-equally priceless!
Online resources are another great way to help guide you along your 9 months with your newbie badge. I found many forums that were there for me at 3 am when the insomnia struck and I was worried about a certain pain or feeling I was having. Knowing others are out there to listen, relate and remind you that all is well and normal and baby is just fine is undeniably comforting in the middle of the night. Some of my favorite forums were found on www.cafemom.com, www.thebump.com and www.whattoexpect.com
And, as the months pass by and the excitement builds, you tend to soften the memories of the months of physical discomforts by experiencing and remembering beautiful moments such as that first ultrasound where your baby is just right there-there she is! She’s floating around with her cute baby nose waving at you from the fuzzy screen. Or the very first time you felt her kick inside your belly. Is she really in there?! Those moments when her kicking keeps you up at night but you actually don’t mind as you lay there, your hand against her movements, marveling at the reality that there really is a baby in there and at that very moment you feel it’s just you and her awake in the world. Or, when you catch a glimpse of those little feet with stubby toes on the ultrasound and you wonder where oh where will those little feet take her in her life? Maybe, just maybe there is a rhyme and reason to it all after all.
Carey Gordon, MBA, is a Social Media Marketing Consultant and Blogger.
Originally from the Midwest, her work in Marketing and Communications has taken her to positions abroad in both the UK and Cyprus. She enjoys blogging and being involved in numerous social media platforms.
Currently based in Berkeley, CA, she is a soon-to-be first time mom who is learning the mom game one day at a time.
Follow Carey on twitter @careylgordon