Friday, March 28, 2014

A Letter To First Time Mom's




For some reason I have been wanting to reach out to first time mom's.   It maybe because of how many friends and family members are having their first babies and I want to reach out to let them know they are not alone or I just have a few things I want to say to my 23 year old self, pregnant with my first born but either way I started to write this letter and couldn't stop so I decided to share.

Dear first time mom,

When I was pregnant with my first I was alone.  All of my friends were either single or engaged but none of them were having babies yet but I found an amazing group of moms, first timers and other's who had been there done that, but all helped me in some way and I am very grateful to them.  I am still friends with a lot of them today.  I say all of this to start this letter with a bit of my background. 

You see, first time mom, you are not alone!
 
No matter how many kids I have,  I was once in your shoes.  Just like every other mom out there, they were all in the same boat at some point.

So to all of you who are scared, nervous, excited, or just confused, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
From the first pee on a stick to the final push of labor everyone has a story.  You will find yourself retelling your story over and over like pregnancy and labor word vomit. 

I am sooo not kidding.

Get a few women together and it will inevitably come up and you will share each birth story and pregnancy experience. 

You will remember each pregnancy even if it ended in your precious little one becoming an angel and every single story will be different.  I want so much to hold your hand and tell you it will be ok!  Women have been making and birthing babies for years so of course you can do it but no matter what you will look at me and doubt. 

So let's start at the beginning, the first trimester.  This is a boring stage unless you are sick and then it's a constant reminder that you are growing another person.  If you don't have that wonderful thing called morning sickness which tricks you into thinking it is just in the morning but really it can be morning, day and night, then you will worry about every pinch, pain, or odd feeling under the sun and about 99% of that is normal.  You will also be more exhausted than you could ever imagine, making a baby is hard work!  You will wonder if you are doing everything you can to protect that little mustard seed growing inside of you and guess what, you are!  

Second trimester is the time for big changes.  You will start to feel your baby move and gain a bit of that energy you lost back!  You will get your 20 week anatomy scan and see your precious little one plus if you are lucky and want to know you will find out if you will be having a girl or a boy.  This will alao most likely be your last ultrasound and that is ok!  If you get more it means something is wrong and I know as much as you want to see your little one he or she is doing just fine.  Just remember your kick counts and try and relax.  I know relax is a constant theme here.  

Frankie Says Relax!

Friends

Best show ever....  come back please...  I miss you!  

Ok sorry for that interruption but it was necessary.

At this point most people start to have a belly if you haven't already started showing break out the maternity pants!   This is also fun because people know you're pregnant and not just constantly hung over and bloated.  Oh and people will want to touch it.  I don't get it mostly because I would never just touch another persons belly but it happens. You may go and create a registry during this time as well but just remember, babies are simple, they don't need near as much as what retailers tell you they do.  Oh and beware if you ask for advice because moms will come out of the woodwork to give you their opinion and all of us mean well but what worked for her may not work for you. 

Third trimester is the beginning of the end.  You are preparing for birth in so many ways.   Your body will change even more and not just in your belly.  Baby is fully formed and gaining weight every day.   You will develop a waddle, sorry but it's true.  You will worry and fret and call everyone of your girl friends at the slightest pain wondering if baby is making his or her appearance.  This is normal because you have never experienced it.  So let's talk about some things to expect...

Your water may never break on its own.  This is really not as common as you would think watching movies and tv shows.   Labor can take days...  I know that's not what you want to hear but for most first time mom's labor starts and stops or starts and for 2 days you will have contractions 12 min apart but they aren't changing your cervix much so you get sent home disappointed.   For others you may show up at each weekly doctor's appointment and he or she tells you any day now and yet there you are back at the office week after week just waiting. 

Let me say this loud and clear...  Everyone is different!  Your body knows what it's doing and so does your baby.  I have had 2 babies before 38 weeks and one at 39 weeks 3 days.  Each labor was different and I expect this one to be just as different and maybe late!  It is ok!!!

Don't be fooled into rushing your baby or your body!  I am not telling you to have a baby in a bathtub or even naturally without medication.   We all have different needs, however you may just get so tired of the "is this it??" that you fall for the induction method because it fits your doctors schedule.  I could go on and on about this but pitocin is not fun, so try and avoid it.  If I can give you any advice it would be to try and relax.  Remember that your body has known what to do for 9 months so why doubt it now?  Do whatever you can to take your mind off the upcoming birth because that baby will be here soon!!  You've made it this long so hang in there!!

You are not alone, first time mom!  You are creating a new life!  You are so awesome!!!!  Never forget how awesome you are!  

And last but certainly not least...

9 months is a short amount of time even though it will feel like forever.  Enjoy it as much as you possibly can because it is the one and only chance you have to keep that little one with you at all times.   It is such a special connection and you will miss parts of it when pregnancy is over. 

Remember you CAN do this!

Sincerely, 

A fourth timer and former first time mom