I just read an article about "expert sleep advice" for new moms and newborns. This woman pretty much hit it right on the head. All the things you hear when you're pregnant or a new mom seem to ALL contradict one another and everyone has so many opinions. It just got me thinking, so clearly I'm gonna blog about it:)
Women tend to be super judgy about a lot of things, and actually not only women, I have heard some dads-to-be say some pretty judgmental things about others in their situation as well. I guess it is easy to judge when there is so much unknown. I try very hard not to judge other people's decisions. They aren't my decisions, if they don't effect me, why spend my time worrying about what other people choose to do with their pregnancy or child?
Some things I have come across during my pregnancy...finding out the sex, what you need for baby, and pregnancy health. There's plenty more, but I can tell already that this might be long...
First of all finding out boy or girl. This has been a huge thing with me for some reason. EVERYone has their opinion on this and I am just a sensitive person so whenever someone makes any kind of comment, I take it personally (my problem, not theirs...unless they are being snotty, then yes it is your fault for trying to make someone else feel inferior to you simply because they do not share your belief.) I honestly NEVER thought I wanted to find out the sex before birth. I always had this vision in my mind of finding out the moment the baby comes out, the doctor saying, "It's a ____!!" and getting all excited and weepy and whatever other amazing feeling it brings. I was pretty firm in my belief that this is a moment I wanted. I also admit that a younger me did kind-of judge when couples wanted to find out because who wouldn't want that amazing moment?! However, experiencing pregnancy myself, I have found that "that moment" can occur at any time, it doesn't have to be when baby comes out. Even our ultrasound tech said, "are you sure you want to find out right now? It's so exciting when you wait," even after us saying we want to know now, afterward, she said, "see? can't you tell how exciting it would have been if you waited?" Through my tears and giggles of joy (and we have this on camera) I said, "well, it's pretty exciting right now!!" I even had someone say to me at my baby shower, "What am I supposed to look forward to?! You found out the sex, you're telling everyone the name!" To which I said, "do you know what' she'll look like? What her personality will be like? Anything else about her?" What do we have to look forward to...psh.
Anyhow, my reasons for changing that thought process were personal and somewhat medical choices. From the moment we found out I was pregnant, I wanted to know. Oliver wanted to know as soon as we could also, but he would have waited if I was adamant about it. But nope, all the waiting went out the window and I wanted to know asap. So that was our choice. And we are extremely happy with that choice. I was able to connect more, picture a future more, and really just wrap my head around the fact that there was a child growing inside me. On the other hand, I think it's just as great if you want to wait to find out until the baby comes out, just don't look at me and say with a condescending smile and a 'tude, "oh no we're gonna let it be a surprise." Um, I was surprised too, thank you. Now, don't get me wrong, there are those couples who decided to wait who just stated that that's their choice, "We're not gonna find out til the birthday!" you could tell they were excited about their choice, not judging us for ours and we all lived happily in a little baby convo.
Then it came time to register. Oh boy. Supposed to be fun, right? Wrong. It was not fun for me. I research things like crazy before I make any type of purchase, I stroll through the shampoo aisle forever reading labels, smelling caps, picking things up and putting them back on the shelf...and that's just for shampoo! Thoughts like, "do I need the thousand+ dollar stroller to be a good parent? Can I go with a mid-priced one and be okay with it? Am I going to be judged if I don't buy the top notch wifi baby monitor?" That's where consumer reports came into play. Can't even tell ya how many hours I spent pouring over that website comparing all things baby, to find safe, affordable products. Here again, people had their opinions; "get a swing, babies love swings. Don't even bother buying a swing, get a mamaroo, they're a million times better. The mamaroo is a rip off, my baby hated it." "A wipe warmer? Waste of money! Definitely get a wipe warmer 'cause those cold wipes on the baby are just cruel!" My head was spinning.
The sheet they give you at Babies R Us of "must haves" for a new baby is two sides of a page with like, 3 pt font. Oliver and I looked at each other and were like, "what??" We walked around the store for over half an hour, registered for a car seat/stroller system that we tried out and loved (and that I had already done my research on) then looked at each other, returned the scanner gun and left the store. Overwhelming is the only way to describe registering for what baby needs. Thank you to those friends and family who helped without being pushy, "So-and-so did love the swing/bassinet/baby wrap/whatever, but all babies are different and you really just don't know what they will like until you try it. Get what you like, what you think your baby might like, try it and see." Diplomatic while still giving opinion of what worked for them. I appreciate you more than you know (one of whom deserves honorable mention: my ever-experienced sister-in-law Jaime...who also isn't a fan of judgy people;)
And how about what's allowed/not allowed during pregnancy? Alcohol, cold cuts, sushi, soft serve ice cream, types of cheese or fish, changing cat litter. Oof. The list of do's and don'ts is pretty long. I like how my doctor explained it. At our first appointment, she handed me all the required paperwork, "I'm Pregnant, Now What?" then took back one sheet, crossed off the list titled "DO NOT HAVE" and wrote in "IN MODERATION." She explained that after 12 weeks it is pretty difficult to mess up a pregnancy just by those "do not's." She explained that listeria (the bacteria which leads people to not be allowed to have cold cuts) is extremely rare and if you are at a reputable deli, not some bodega in a back alley somewhere that never cleans their equipment, you are fine to partake in a turkey sandwich. Even sushi was on the list of "if you're at a reputable restaurant, it's fine." Every doctor I have spoken to has also said alcohol in moderation is fine as well. Do you honestly think women in Italy stop having their wine every night? Doubtful. Women in Japan not eating fresh raw fish? Doubt that too. Does this mean I went out and ordered a tuna sashimi platter and downed some bud light? No...I actually didn't eat any raw fish while pregnant and had maybe one beer and a glass of champagne throughout the whole time. Does it mean I am judging the pregnant woman next to me for having a glass of wine with her dinner? No. I did hear one father-to-be state how he knew someone who's wife "drank the whole pregnancy, had like 3 or 4 glasses of wine when we were out" and then made a comment about how he thinks that baby will turn out. I will worry when I see a pregnant woman taking shots at the bar or stumbling around after those 4 glasses of wine. I don't think you should overindulge when growing a child, but again, that is your choice. Unless you really are taking shots and getting shmammered...I will probably not feel so great about that.
Oh, and I forgot the cat litter thing...my doc actually even said there are times when that is fine too. There can be a bacteria in cat poo that is detrimental to the health of a pregnant woman. It is rare for cats who have been inside their whole lives, who have had their shots from kitten-hood, etc. So she said it's okay if I changed it every once in a while. I did not tell Oliver this (though he did see the paper where my doc ok'd it and said, "oh reeaaally?") I have changed Tiger litter maybe two times in 39 weeks:) Thanks, O:)
So, bottom line, my advice to pregnant women is to do what you feel is best and not judge others for doing it differently. And do you have to take that advice? Nope! This is my blog and I get to say what I say:) I have just found that the most helpful advice has come from those women who have experienced what they've experienced, shared that experience with me and allowed me to form my own opinions about it. (Jaime, Jess, Margie, Devon, Annie Couns, just to name a few:)
Every pregnancy is different, every baby is different. Because something worked for you, doesn't mean it will work for me, but I am glad to know what has and has not worked for everyone. Fill up my bank with your experience info! Then I'll see what works for us:)