It’s funny — at the beginning of this pregnancy, I spent most of my time worrying about all the little items on my to-do list for before the baby arrived. (My biggest panic-inducing moment revolved around a ceiling fan, so it couldn’t have been that bad.) But somehow, the thought about what we’d do after the baby arrived didn’t really flicker onto my radar.
But this trimester: It’s like someone just told me that we are going to have a baby, and not only am I completely unprepared, but this little guy is going to arrive in, like, approximately four minutes.
I keep asking our friends with newborns, “they tell you a lot at the hospital, right? About how to take care of a baby?”
And they kind of look at me like, awww, it’s cute that you think that.
Because, from what I gather: nobody tells you anything.
For a little creature whose life seems to revolve around three or four basic needs, it’s astounding that the first few weeks of parenthood seem to be characterized by complete panic in every single person I talk to.
And in the last few weeks it finally hit me that probably… mine will be too.
Because no matter how many books or websites I read or friends I email with a zillion questions, there will come a moment at 4 a.m. in my immediate future where this sweet little baby is crying inconsolably and I have no idea how to make him stop.
And here’s my hope, for that moment, which I can see coming a mile away and still do nothing to prevent:
I hope that in that moment, as awful as it feels, I can remember that this is normal. That it doesn’t mean I’m failing as a mom or doing a terrible job. That every terrific mom I know has been in this exact same situation — my own terrific mom included — and that no matter how hard they’ve tried, there will still be moments like this.
And I hope that thought will give me a little bit of comfort, and reassure me that trying my best is enough, even when it feels like it’s not.
It’s advice that I give to others all the time, but it’s so hard to apply to yourself. Sure, I can tell a friend that her mistake is no big deal, that her child is well-loved and cared for, but when I make that same mistake?
No cutting any slack, I’m going straight to Worst Mom Ever.
I put a lot of pressure on myself — we all do. But the worst time to be draconian with that pressure is when you’re entering a new, terrifying adventure for which everyone feels completely unprepared, and everyone makes mistakes as they go.
So, six or seven weeks from now, at 4 o’clock in the morning, I hope to be able to look back on this post, and give myself the advice that I would so freely give to anyone else.
You are doing your best. And you are probably doing just fine.
How far along? 35 Weeks (I’m two weeks behind in these posts, so I’m actually 37 weeks as I write this!)
Total weight gain/loss: 23 pounds
Maternity clothes? Pants exclusively. Still working in my non-maternity tops and sweaters.
Stretch marks? Still no! Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and use a double does of belly oil if I’m feeling itchy. Fingers crossed!
Symptoms: This is new: I can’t sit still for more than 45 minutes or so without being tremendously uncomfortable. I’ve started getting up for frequent breaks throughout the day, and generally trying to walk around as much as I can, and it seems to be helping.
Sleep: Not great, in that I get up a bunch of times during the night. That being said, my insomnia has really been in major remission since I’ve been pregnant, which is wonderful. I’m wondering if it will continue after the baby arrives…
Best moment this week: Finishing the nursery!
Worst moment of the week: I think in some ways the waiting is the worst part — knowing that there’s this impending change on the horizon and just sitting here waiting for it to hit.
Have you told family and friends: Yes!
Miss Anything? Being comfortable!
Movement: Less as the weeks go on, but still some.
Food cravings: Cupcakes, raspberries, cheese. Roughly in that order.
Anything making you queasy or sick: UGH. I skipped breakfast one morning this week and promptly dry-heaved into our sink. I haven’t felt this queasy since week 6!
Have you started to show yet: Definitely.
Labor Signs: I wonder constantly if every pain is a contraction…
Belly Button in or out? Mostly in — it’s a little deformed at this point!
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy!
Looking forward to: The wait being over!