I’m pregnant: Now what?
Many years ago, when I first discovered I was pregnant, the absolute rush of
emotions was almost unbearable. A mixture of elation, fear, anxiety, excitement,
panic, and impatience all crept into me at once. How could such a small thing
already cause me, a first-time mom, so much emotional turmoil? My God was that just the beginning.
All I needed was true advice for an expecting mother and a new mom, something I can rely on.
Change during pregnancy:
I learned a lot about change during pregnancy over the course of those 9 months
mostly because, being an avid reader, I devoured anything and everything there was
to know about becoming a mother, maternity, motherhood in general, about how
my baby was growing, how my body was changing, pregnancy paranoia, and what to
expect when the little nugget finally made an appearance into the world. From
medical documents to personal blogs to the ever-popular What to Expect When
You’re Expecting – if it was about babies/motherhood/pregnancy/expecting mothers
I was reading it. And at the end of the 9 months when my beautiful baby boy was born
at a healthy (and oh my God huge because I pushed him out) 9lbs 4oz, I realized none
of it mattered anyway.
There’s no easy way to say this, but: Being an expecting mother is absolutely terrifying. No
amount of books or websites or mommy groups is going to prepare you for what it’s
like until you have immersed in it yourself.
Realize your capabilities:
That’s the real beauty in motherhood: You discover that even if you’ve had zero
maternal instincts your entire life (read: like me), once you’re handed that perfect
little creature you spent the past 9 months growing, you ARE a mother. And you’re
that child’s mother, and you will do every damn thing in your power to make sure
nothing bad ever happens to that little person, as long as they are in your care. And
you will. And you do, no matter what.
Being a mother made me realize how strong I actually was. I never realized how
emotionally stable I could actually be (and trust me those pregnancy mood swings
from anger to happiness were intense and totally made me feel like a crazy person).
I never realized how I could function on 20 minutes (total) of sleep and manage to
keep myself and a 3-month-old alive and on schedule for an entire day. I never
realized I could learn to swaddle or change a diaper explosion in the dark at 2am.
I never realized I could be a mother.
But if I can, you can.
And you will. Oh, you will. And it will be beautiful and terrifying and amazing and
horrible all at once. There will be days you want to cry every 5 minutes (read: that
was me on more than one occasion thanks to post-pregnancy and stress), there will
be days your baby will be the best and he’ll sleep and eat and coo and be incredible,
and there will be days all he’ll want to do is cry and you’ll cry right along with him.
What you need to remember:
Regardless of the ups and downs of the day-to-day, there will be one constant and
one you need to remember: You are an amazing mother to your child. You are its
provider, you are that baby’s everything, and you will continue to be. Forget what
the books and advice columns and mommy friends tell you is “right” and “wrong.”
Listen to your mom’s heart and keep that baby smiling; trust me, that’s all that
matters in the end, anyway.