If you are pregnant or have had a baby, you have scoured the Internet for all of the tips and tricks that will help you to survive pregnancy/choose the most useful baby registry items/pack the ultimate hospital bag/find natural and effective recipes and magic spells to induce labor/avoid pooping on the delivery table/pick the most unique without being ridiculous baby name and everything else in between. Because I have a definitive love for such lists and also like to pretend that I am a pregnancy and parenting guru (disclaimer: I am not), I thought I would make a list of my own.
1. There is nothing funny OR shameful about gaining 50 pounds during pregnancy.
Several years ago, I remember reading a tabloid at the supermarket that boasted a headline along the lines of, “BRITNEY SPEARS GAINS 50 POUNDS IN PREGNANCY! OMG! LOL! SHE IS FAT!” I’ve seen the same headlines for Jessica Simpson, Kim Kardashian and about a million more celebrity moms. Before I was pregnant, I remember thinking, “Wow. How could you let that happen to yourself?” After becoming pregnant, I began to realize how vicious these headlines are. Why do we only celebrate the women who still look hot in a tube top while pregnant? It’s just mean.
2. There’s a chance that you could gain 50 pounds (or more) during pregnancy.
YEP, MAYBE EVEN YOU. When I went to my second or third pregnancy checkup, I had already gained 12 pounds. My Dr. reassured me that sometimes women gain a lot of weight in the first trimester, but then it slows down. Yeah. It didn’t. Suddenly I began to realize that for some women, no amount of healthy eating or time on the elliptical will prevent you from gaining serious baby weight. If you’re under the care of your doctor and he or she has made sure that you and the baby are healthy, focus on that instead of beating yourself up over the number on the scale.
3. Many people seem to think that social cues followed when interacting with regular people do not apply for pregnant women.
Comments like, “Oh my gosh, you are HUGE!” and “Are you SURE you’re only 6 months pregnant?” may be a common occurrence for you. Please remember that these very helpful observations are in reference to your amazing belly and (probably) not your butt. Resist the urge to punch people in the face.
4. You will answer the same questions in every conversation you have from the moment you announce your pregnancy until the baby is born.
When are you due? Are you so excited? Have you been sick? How are you feeling? Are you having cravings? Will you find out if it’s a boy or a girl? Which are you hoping for, a boy or a girl? Have you picked out a name? What is it?
5. On your due date, all of your closest friends and family will call or text to see if the baby has been born and you just forgot to tell them.
They are just trying to show their support and excitement, but by this time, you will probably be sooooo over being pregnant and may find these messages annoying rather than encouraging. A friend of mine headed these calls off at the pass by creating a group message and a pre-typed note in her phone to alert all of us when the baby was on his way, and let us know ahead of time that if we hadn’t received the text, we could rest assured that he was still safely tucked inside her uterus.
6. If you have any health-related concerns during your pregnancy, DO NOT GOOGLE!!!!!! ABORT MISSION! ASK YOUR DOCTOR INSTEAD!
In a recent study I just made up in my head, 100% of people who conducted a health-related Google search found out that they were dying of one of the many diseases they remembered seeing on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy that one time.
7. When you Google “How will I know when contractions have started” basically the only consistent answer you will find is, “Trust me. You’ll know”.
That is because this is the most accurate answer to this question. You have never felt anything like it. You really really will just know.
8. Start looking for babysitters before the baby is born.
I can’t even count the number of times my husband and I have wanted to go on a “spontaneous” date for dinner or to the movies and have ended up just watching Netflix because it was easier than trying to find someone to come babysit. If your friends or family tell you that they would love to babysit for you, take them up on it and don’t look back as you are running out the door.
9. Go on lots of dates before your baby is born.
Want to go for brunch? Lunch? To the movies? Golfing? The National Cat Grooming Convention? Guess what? You can! No babysitter required.
10. Forget every episode of every TV show you’ve ever seen that depicts a woman in labor or giving birth.
While it is possible, it’s highly unlikely that 5 of your closest friends will be in the delivery room feeding you ice chips and dabbing the odd bead of sweat from your brow as you intermittently cry, “ooh!” The chances of your water breaking at the top of a mountain or the bottom of a pit requiring a stranger to perform an emergency delivery are small. Delivering triplets in under 5 minutes would be nothing short of a miracle. Also you will probably be very sweaty and very naked and feel so tired you can only keep one eye open at a time.
11. A lot of people will see you naked during labor and delivery and you won’t care.
You’ll have other things on your mind. Trust me.
12. It’s ok to change your mind about wanting drugs.
When I was pregnant, I swore to anyone who would listen that there was no way I was getting an epidural. When my contractions started, they came hard and fast. I felt like if I “gave in” and asked for an epidural, I’d look silly since I had made such a big deal about not getting one. I ended up having to have an emergency C-Section and didn’t have a choice, which actually came as a relief to me. Looking back, I wish I would have realized that some women can make it through labor and delivery drug free and others just can’t. You won’t know until you’re in the moment. At the end of the day, we all win the same prize (squishy purple babies for everyone!!!), no matter what we did to get it.
13. There are a lot of rules at the hospital about your baby and you have to follow them even though it’s your baby.
For instance, you are not allowed to carry your baby down the hallway in your arms, even though in the real world, being carried in a parent’s arms is the primary (and preferred) mode of transportation for babies.
14. You will forget a lot of details about your labor and delivery and the passage of time is completely skewed.
I was lucky to have a doula with me during my labor, and one of the best things she did was take notes of what was happening and when. About a week later, she gave me the notes and I was completely shocked to find out that things I had remembered to have taken hours literally happened in a matter of minutes (and vice versa).
15. Your body is a mystical thing, and once you have seen your baby for the first time, you will (probably) have barely any concept of the pain you have just felt.
This is nature’s little way of making sure that you might actually do this again.
What did I miss?! I’d love to hear your hottest preggo mama tips in the comments!