We all know that my transition into a full-bellied pregnant lady was not exactly seamless. I kicked, screamed and resisted the process every step of the way. It was scary, unexpected and as someone who does not do well with change, I was grappling with it the best way I knew how. However, one of my deepest regrets is that I didn't stop to smell the roses, so to speak. It wasn't until after I had Charlie that I realized the crazy, amazing gift that pregnancy is and I wished I hadn't taken it for granted as much as I did. Should I be lucky enough to get a second chance, I fully intend to soak up every swollen, morning sick moment. So although, Round 2 won't be for a good long while (knock on wood!), here are some things I wish I could tell my pre-pregnant self:
10. Breastfeed with both boobs. So you know how Charlie has had trouble gaining weight? (Well, maybe you don't, so to catch you up to speed- my baby is in like the 3rd percentile for weight). I think the biggest reason is because I legit wasn't breastfeeding him correctly. One of the nurses instructed me on what to do shortly after he was born and I must have misunderstood because for the first month of his life I only fed him with one boob for each nursing session. The poor kid must have been starving his whole first month! His pediatrician was the one who finally told me to nurse on one side, burp him, then nurse on the other. Totally had no idea up until she told me that. Derp.
9. Start saving, you goon! Everyone talks about how expensive babies are, but I was thinking more about the physical stuff- diapers, formula, etc. Chuck and I were not nearly prepared enough for the financial aspect and blew through what little savings we had so quickly. If you're going on maternity leave, you need to expect to save the income you would normally be making to pay bills, etc. You should also prepare to pay double the amount of insurance when you return to work, to make up for the weeks when you weren't making any income. Not to mention, all of the medical bills and co-pays. I had a normal vaginal birth with no complications, and we wound up owing probably about $2,500 for our hospital stay. We pay a $30 co-pay each doctor visit and let me tell you- babies go to the doctor A LOT. All of these things, I wish I had been better informed about so I would have saved up rather than blowing all our funds on cute baby things!
8. You do not need toys. Or clothes. There are probably at least 10 mamas in your life who have the ability to bless you with hand-me-downs. Don't bother buying toys or clothes. People will give you that stuff fo' free.
7. You'll get more sleep than you think. Dear Pre-Pregnant Kaity, your baby is going to be an awesome sleeper. You can relax now. Love, Post-Pregnant Kaity
6. You're not going to get your period again for a long time. And. It's. Awesome. Fun fact: breastfeeding is nature's birth control. Six months postpartum and no menstrual cycle in sight. #winning
5. Make more freezer meals. I know you've stocked your freezer full of delicious Pinterest-inspired meals, but you're going to blow through those in the first couple weeks. Make more!
4. Take the full 12 weeks. I know you are concerned about looking like a "bad employee" if you take the full amount of maternity leave allowed to you under law. Don't be a dope. Twelve weeks is shorter than virtually every other Mama in the world and your baby is only going to be a baby once. Savor those full 12 weeks- they go quick!
3. Don't go to Target! Two days before my due date, I made an impulsive decision after one of my midwife appointments to do some last-minute Christmas shopping. Right before I reached my destination, I ran straight into the back of the car in front of me and totalled my car. We still haven't bought a second car. Pre-pregnant Kaity, turn around! Don't go to Target! Drive your ass home!!!
2. Have sex. Often. I hate to say it, but both quantity and quality will decrease significantly after baby. I know you feel like a beached whale, but do yourself a favor and enjoy some more adult time with your Hubby before your poor, sweet lady bits are traumatized for life. Post-baby sex hurts. Sorry, but it's true.
1. You're going to be an amazing Mom. I know you have spent every waking second of your pregnancy freaking out about being a huge, fat failure of a parent, but let me let you in on a little secret- You don't have to be good with kids to be a damn good Mama to your own kid.
I asked Chuck what he would tell his pre-Daddy self. His response? "Prepare for your heart to be melted." I think I'll keep him around ♥
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What would you tell your pre-pregnant self?