Wednesday, August 17, 2011

::Guest Blogger:: like you for always

J and I have jetted off for the week to visit family!  While we're sizzling in the heat, some of my favorite bloggers and/or people have honored me in their willingness to guest post.  Please visit these bloggers,  and follow their blogs.  They inspire me!

Meet another fantastic blogger, and also a March Momma, of gorgeous Baby Emma.  Taylor from like you for always gave birth to Emma on March 30 of this year (Yes!  10 days after J!).  Taylor blogs about her pregnancy (read her archives) and now chronicles the life of her sweet girl.  Curious about what baby products others are using?  Taylor tells all about products she loves, hates, or recommends to new parents.  I find this VERY useful!  Go check her out and follow her blog!  Really...I can't get enough of Emma's sweet expressions.


Hi! I’m Taylor and I blog over at like you for always. I am so excited to be guest blogging over here at JET’s Journey today! When E first asked me to write a post, I was stumped. Total writer’s block. So, I started stumbling through her achieves to see which topics her readers enjoy most … and in the end, just decided to write what I know.

When I was pregnant, I was constantly on the receiving end of unsolicited advice. New moms, old moms, grandmas, even people without children of their own see a growing belly and cannot resist telling you about their experience or the experience of their boyfriend’s sister’s roommate. In the beginning, I would smile, nod and listen politely, but eventually there came a time in my pregnancy (around the second trimester) where I became so frustrated, I would devise ways to abruptly end these conversations.

Now that I’ve had my daughter, I better understand where these women were coming from. I gave birth to my baby girl, Emma Rose, back in March, and talking about my pregnancy and birth experience never gets old. When I find out someone is expecting, my heart swells for them – I want to hear all about how they’re feeling and share with them everything I went through. Pregnancy/motherhood is like a special club and when you find a new member, you want to totally unload all of your best advice on them.

So, that, in part, is what I’m going to write about today. A compilation of my best pregnancy advice…

Put the book down! Stay away from pregnancy books. I read TOO many different titles during my pregnancy and instead of making me feel informed and prepared, they scared me. Nothing I read in those books caused me to have a more successful experience.

Join your birth club on Baby Center. I turned to Baby Center daily when I was pregnant and still find myself perusing articles now that Emma has arrived. Unlike the books, Baby Center is an interactive, online community of real moms talking about the things that really happen – not dozens of hypothetical dramas that affect less than one percent of pregnant women. Questions I posted were answered in real-time and I took comfort knowing that hundreds of women were experiencing everything I was right along with me. I also loved reading the answers to questions I never thought to ask.

Don’t share your baby name. Clearly, all of this is just my opinion, but I fully believe in guarding your chosen baby name(s). Selecting your child’s name is a personal, private decision, and unless you are prepared for the feedback – good and bad – keep your lips sealed. How dreadful would it be if you and your partner are set on a name, and then your family squashes it? They have no choice but keep their thoughts to themselves after the ink is already dry on the birth certificate. Plus, it makes for such an exciting arrival! Our families knew we were
expecting a girl, but we didn’t give a single hint as to what her name would be. Announcing her arrival was thrilling – not just because having a baby is magical, but because we had kept that very special secret.

If you’re going to get stretch marks, you’re going to get stretch marks. No amount of coca butter will save you. And watch out! They can strike POSTPARTUM!

Register for gender neutral baby items. When we found out we were having a girl, I was tempted to change everything on our registry. While I did adjust a few items, I kept the big (expensive) stuff in gender neutral colors and patterns. If Baby #2 happens to be a boy, we won’t need to rebuy any of the necessities because they’re too “girly”.

If they are really your friends now, they will still be your friends after baby arrives. I read a lot of posts on Baby Center about women who were afraid they would lose some of their non- mommy friends after their baby arrived. Truth be told, if they ditch you after you have a child, they probably weren’t great friends in the first place.

Love every second of your “pregnancy hair”. It fades fast and you resume shedding just after delivery.

Try to exercise. I was really into running prior to getting pregnant and I was devastated when I had to stop at 20 weeks (too much pelvic pressure!). I was forced into long walks and the elliptical machine. I know it’s easier said than done – especially when you are beyond exhausted and feeling like an elephant – but I’m convinced that regular workouts helped me stay comfortable even in the later weeks.

Don’t skimp when packing your hospital bag. That first shower after labor and delivery will be the best of your entire life. Bring every toiletry you could possibly want. Also, bring your make-up. Everyone told me I wouldn’t want it, but at the last second I grabbed it anyway – and boy am I glad I did. Call me vain, but my favorite pictures of me and Emma in the hospital are the ones where I “have my face on”.

It’s not a competition. Make decisions based on what’s best for you and your baby. Don’t ever feel guilty about your choices and avoid comparisons.

And my most important (and longest) piece of advice …something I struggled with during my pregnancy …
Ignore the Debbie Downers. My husband and I were married in May 2010 and started trying for a baby in July. What was the rush? There wasn’t one really. At the time, we had been together for almost 5 years and just felt … ready. We had no idea how long it would take for me to become pregnant, and assumed it would be a few months before we’d be blessed enough to announce we were expecting. Little did we know the first time was going to be the charm. Instead of being over-the-moon for us, my family was a little … reserved. They didn’t shower us in congratulations like I expected them to. Eventually, they admitted that they thought we’d settle down for a while and just “enjoy being married”. Hearing that was like a little raincloud over what should have been an incredible time for us.

Likewise, when I’d talk about starting a family with some close friends, they’d say things like, “I want to wait a long time before having kids. I want to have fun first!” They probably don’t even realize how I interpreted that. People just say silly things to pregnant women without much thought sometimes, like, “Enjoy sleep now, because you won’t get any for months!” or “I hope you’ve had your fill of date nights, because you won’t have many of those for the next 18 years!”

And so I say to you, no matter what anybody scares you into thinking, having a baby does not mean that you won’t be able to enjoy your marriage. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to do fun things. It doesn’t mean that you won’t ever get a satisfying nights rest. It doesn’t mean that you’ll have to sacrifice date nights from now until eternity.

Emma has filled a void we never knew we had – a notion you can only understand if you’ve had a child yourself. It’s hard for non-parents to understand this: Yes, you may have less sleep, less “me time” and less overall freedom, but your life becomes exponentially better after having a child. You have a greater purpose. You lose some of the selfishness that we all carry around as humans and it gets replaced by selflessness – which is far more flattering anyway.

To all of you pregnant, soon-to-be mamas, I hope you are having the time of your life preparing for your little one’s arrival.

To all of you mamas reading, I’m curious if you share in my advice?

(Hoot Hoot!)  

(Have you entered to win my incredible vintage owl necklace yet?  
No worries, you can still enter.  Click here to find out how!)  


crcsavage said...

I agree about filling a void we never knew we had. I didn't have the burning drive that some women do to have kids, but boy, ever since our little one has arrived, I feel like our family is "complete" -- though I didn't know we were missing anything.

Cute girl you have there!!

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

I agree with so much of this post! Ignore the Debbie downers is key!

undomestic chica said...

We didn't share our names either! Best decision I ever made.