I’ve heard a lot of pregnancy announcements lately. It’s awesome and exciting, and though our family is complete, it still gives me a little twinge of jealousy for all that is ahead for the new parents.
One of my coworkers entered my office yesterday and, with a big grin on his face, told me that his wife is pregnant, expecting in April. I attended a conference with this coworker while I was pregnant with my second, and I remember him telling me they were thinking of starting soon, but that he was nervous. When he told me yesterday, my brain immediately started spontaneously pulling tidbits of advice from its files. However, one of the most annoying things about being an expectant first-time parent is all of the unsolicited advice you receive, so I kept my advice to myself and simply congratulated him.
Then I got home last night and decided I’d put all of my words of wisdom down in a blog post. People can then choose to ignore my unsolicited advice! All of this is geared toward the men, because they will never truly understand what it means to be pregnant.
- Prepare for some crazy. Pregnancy hormones are powerful. I can vividly remember times when I was being crazy, knew I was being crazy, but just couldn’t stop the crazy. In fact, the reason I took the test that confirmed I was pregnant with our second was because of a complete overreaction on my part to a fairly innocent comment made by my husband one morning. On my way to work I replayed the encounter and it dawned on me that the crazy was back and I was likely pregnant. Don’t ever tell my husband I openly admitted to EVER being crazy. I’ll deny it.
- Cravings are serious business. Do not laugh at her, tell her you won’t go, or otherwise delay the satisfaction of a craving. You are incapable of understanding it, unless you have ever felt as though you were literally going to DIE if you did not get the pizza/ice cream/salad (yes salad)/red Slurpee... you were craving. Should you choose to ignore this advice, and mock or deny her cravings, please refer to the previous bullet point.
- Bladder control is sketchy when pregnant, especially if this is not her first pregnancy. When she says she has to go, you must help her find the nearest facility without delay. Do not poke her belly, stomp on the brake (actually done by my husband during one unsuccessful trip to a Christmas tree lot), block the door while laughing, or tell her to “just hold it”. Should you choose to ignore this advice, please refer to the first bullet point.
- When she tells you her back, feet, or any other body part hurts, she is not looking to hear about how badly your right contact is irritating you.
- Tell her she is beautiful. She is watching her body change in ways she never had a clue it could. She feels fat and unattractive. So even if she looks like she ate your younger sister – every day – for a month – tell her she looks beautiful.
|Yep, this was AFTER I had the baby!!!|
- Let her do all the research she wants about car seats, swings, slings, breast pumps, pacifiers, blankets, preschools, whatever...
- Go to her ultrasound appointments. If everything is perfect, you will love being there. If something is wrong, she will need you there.
- Touch her belly (but ask her first). Talk to the baby, even if it makes you feel silly. The baby has 40 weeks to hear and know Mommy before even taking a breath. Let little one get acquainted with you, too.
- After the baby arrives, she will feel like she is doing it all incorrectly. She will feel like she’s missing some switch inside her that was supposed to flip at the moment of birth, telling her how to do this baby thing. She’ll feel lost and insecure, and like she is failing the baby – and you. Tell her how proud you are of her, how wonderful a mother she is, and that you are more than willing to learn along with her.
- After the baby is born, YOU will feel lost, like you are doing it all incorrectly, and like she is a million times better at this than you are. It’s okay. Babies are forgiving. They don’t know that you don’t know what you are doing. Don’t let those feelings prevent you from jumping in and helping. You’ll learn along the way, and she will appreciate a bit of a break from time to time.
- Enjoy it all, and remember to enjoy each other. Some day you will look back on all of it and laugh (even at the crazy). Just ask my husband about his company Christmas party the year I was pregnant with our first...