I have been reminiscing about life B.C. – not in the biblical terms. I’m talking about Before Childbirth.
There were loads of things I wish someone would have told me when I was pregnant. All of that nonsense about sleeping when the baby sleeps and enjoying every minute because it goes by so fast was useless bullsh*t.
What I really needed was some USEFUL advice like, “Miralax will save your life…and your asshole.” If you plan on being medicated during childbirth, start loading up on this ASAP. You can thank me later for that. DISCLAIMER: Before using, consult with a physician.
Here are TEN more pearls of wisdom for those of you who are currently knocked up, might be knocked up or intend to get knocked up at any point in your life:
1. If you happen to be in the early stages of your pregnancy during the winter and you live in a cold climate, STOP what you are doing. You need to book a vacation somewhere warm, pack your skimpiest bikini and get on that plane IMMEDIATELY! Why? Because your boobs look AMAZING, you aren’t visibly pregnant yet and you need to show your girls off as often as you can during this time. To this day, I am pissed as all hell that I never got to rock a bikini when it looked like I just paid A LOT of money for my breasts. The first time I stepped into a bathing suit was during my third trimester. It was awful. I looked like Jabba the Hutt wrapped in spandex. I assumed, however, that I would have plenty of time to bask in the glory of finally reaching puberty and filling out a bathing suit without the assistance of push up padding after the baby was born. I thought this was a consolation prize for all the other pain that comes with childbirth. Au contraire. Those suckers deflated like last week’s birthday balloons the minute I stopped breastfeeding. If I were a plastic surgeon, I would just hang out in the formula aisle of Babies”R”Us handing out my business card.
2. Start lathering up that growing belly with oils and lotions IMMEDIATELY to prevent stretch marks. Don’t wait until your belly starts to pop. The narcissistic side of me (and don’t act like I’m the only one who has ever worried about this) was terrified of what would happen to my skin – especially given the fact that my mom has stretch marks (courtesy of yours truly). Whether she got them because she, admittedly, never used any magic lotions on her belly or because I weighed as much as a baby elephant at birth is up for debate. Regardless, I was warned that stretch marks were hereditary and that if my mom got them, I would too. I was determined to prevent this from happening at all costs. I slathered my entire body every single morning AND night with oil and lotion. I turned myself into a human Slip ‘N Slide and managed to make it through unscathed. Not a stretch mark on me…well, except for the ones on my ass from gaining all that weight when I was a freshman in college. If only I had known about the magic of moisturizing back then. Or if only I didn’t consume a large Domino’s pizza every night on the floor of my dorm room.
3. Speaking of rapid growth…just wait until your milk comes in. Before mine did, the lactation consultant would squeeze my milk makers and then just casually shrug and say things like, “Your milk hasn’t come in yet”. When I would probe her for details on how I would be able to tell when/if it has come in, her response was always something lame and passive like “You’ll know. They will be kind of hard.” Kind of hard – this is the understatement of the century. The day my milk came in, I woke to two enormous bowling balls strapped to my chest. I swore up and down that they were going to explode like a scene out of Aliens. This is not even the slightest exaggeration. I could not sit up or put my arms down. They were THAT big and THAT hard and they hurt THAT bad. I kid you not when I say that I feared for my life. I called a girlfriend to ask if this was normal and, if so, why didn’t she tell me? “Because I didn’t want to scare you.” WHAT. THE. WHAAAAAT?!?! This information is the kind of pertinent sh*t I needed to know about BEFORE it happened so that I would NOT be freaking the hell out at this very moment. Consider yourself warned.
4. Go to the gym while you can. Once the baby arrives, it will be a lot harder to get there…that is, if you even want to go at all. Chances are, most of your body parts will be leaking fluids, in pain, swollen, stitched up or all of the above. You also may not be able to bear the thought of leaving your baby for more than a minute. And if you do, perhaps you’re like me and would rather spend that time trolling Target than running on a treadmill. I admit that I never got off my couch during the first trimester for the simple fact that I felt like I might puke 24 hours a day and mustering up the motivation to do anything more than blink my eyes was exhausting. However, as soon as I got some energy back, I signed up for Barre classes. I went almost every day because I had plenty of this thing called TIME to kill. I am also convinced these classes helped speed up my delivery. All of those pliés in second position helped situate my daughter into a very low head down position weeks before her due date and opened up my hips wider than the Grand Canyon (probably another reason why I still can’t get my pre-preggers pants on over them).
5. Don’t go overboard with the baby registry. I registered for so much random crap and ended up returning A LOT of it after the shower. Best advice never given to me…Keep It Simple, Stupid.
6. If you will be needing daycare, get that lined up NOW and start budgeting for it. It’s expensive and, in some cities, the options are so limited that you literally need to start looking BEFORE conceiving…and you may still find yourself on a waitlist months after your child is born. This is not a lie. Check out daycare options ASAP – you may want to consider licensed home daycare and nanny shares as well.
7. Maternity clothes are your friend. I thought I could get away with leaving my pants unzipped and wearing long shirts to conceal my attempt at squeezing myself into non-maternity clothes. The problem is that those long shirts don’t always stay where you want them. Needless to say, I flashed my underwear to a whole lot of innocent strangers while trying to wriggle my way out of restaurant booths or hoist myself out of my car. You are fighting a losing battle…just buy yourself some soon-to-be mom jeans and embrace your growing waistline. I will NEVER give up my maternity pants – and I don’t even plan on having more kids. I do, however, plan on going to places like Brazilian steakhouses and brunch buffets.
8. Get the nursery done early while you can still move around easily and so that you don’t stress over it at the last minute. And then….USE THE NURSERY. The second your baby gets home, put them in their crib and get them accustomed to sleeping in the bed that your husband spent seven hours painstakingly putting together. We never did co-sleeping or had a bassinet in our bedroom. After spending so much time decorating and almost getting a divorce while painting the nursery, I was hell bent on making sure my daughter spent as much time as possible in that room right from the start. I also felt guilty waking up my husband during nighttime feedings since he had to go to an office and look presentable during the day. At least I could lay on the couch in my puke covered pajamas like a zombie blankly watching Live! With Kelly and Michael.
9. DO NOT throw out all of your clothes while you are nesting – especially the secret stash of fat pants you keep on hand for crucial moments like when you are super bloated during your period or after eating too much Mexican. I happened to get pregnant right after getting married, which means I was in the best shape of my life…for about eleven minutes. I had been busting my ass at the gym for almost a year with a trainer who may or may not have been Satan’s mistress and then lost a boat load of weight because I was too stressed to eat anything for a solid two months leading up to the wedding. As a result of said unintentional starvation, I became delusional and purchased a new (smaller) wardrobe thinking I would remain the size of a Bratz doll forever. When nesting slapped me upside the head, I spent two full days reorganizing/purging my closet. I also forgot about the aforementioned drastic weight loss and threw out all of my NORMAL SIZED clothes that I wore back when I was a NORMAL SIZED person who ate NORMAL things – like McDonalds. Now, I am f*cked. My six month old will sooner fit into the majority of my wardrobe before I ever will again. Thank God I still have those maternity clothes.
10. Save the Babymoon for AFTER the baby is born. Why would you want to waste time and money on a vacation if you can’t drink alcohol, can’t sleep (pregnancy insomnia), can’t eat a majority of foods you may normally enjoy, can’t spend time in the sun working on your tan (preggos burn very easily and hormones can mess with your pigmentation) and you might be mistaken by Greenpeace for a beached whale? Wait until a couple of months AFTER the baby is born, find a trustworthy and willing person to watch your little nugget for a few days and then get the hell out of dodge. We happened to have a wedding in New Orleans about eight weeks after our daughter was born. While I was a nervous wreck about leaving her for the first time, it was actually the best thing that ever happened. My husband and I partied like it was Spring Break circa 2000. I remember waking up the morning we were due to fly home wearing a feather boa, clutching an empty bottle of Johnnie Walker and laying in a bed covered with dollar bills. God only knows what happened the night before. The first thing I thought was, “Holy sh*t, we have a baby!” But it’s important to have those nights out every now and then to remind yourself that life doesn’t have to stop when you have kids. Go ahead…get wasted, make it rain at the strip club and flaunt those engorged milk jugs (if you still have them). We won’t tell the baby what you did.
What other advice do you guys have for soon-to-be mommas?