Ever since we announced that I was pregnant, people felt the urge to give us sometimes unsolicited “tips and advise” based on their own personal experience with their little ones or what may have been proven to be urban myths. My husband and I were very much waiting for our baby and I have to say, I had the most delightful feeling of joy which is very difficult to describe. We were both tremendously excited to decorate her nursery, to buy her cute outfits, and colorful toys, and pick the perfect, sweet name for her. We were never focused on the negative aspects of pregnancy or parenthood. However, here’s a synopsis of the different advise we received from people during my pregnancy and my actual experience related to these comments.
1. “Wait until you start feeling the nausea and dizziness!” – I guess I was extremely lucky with my pregnancy because I can actually count the few times when I felt a little queasy. Fortunately, I never felt dizzy either. Every pregnancy is different.
2. “You’ll be exhausted all the time.” – I actually had enough energy to have a full-time job throughout my entire pregnancy. (40 weeks)
3. “Once you gain weight during pregnancy, it’ll take you forever to lose those pounds.” – I only gained 26 lbs throughout my pregnancy. I was very conscious of the amount and quality of foods I was eating. I made sure to always stay active and exercised, so regaining my figure wasn’t an impossible mission.
4. “Braxton Hicks contractions are so painful!” – I felt them towards the end of my pregnancy and the discomfort wasn’t unbearable. I would just walk it off.
5. “Your feet will get super swollen because of water retention!” – My feet got a bit swollen around my 35th week. I always made sure to stay extra hydrated and cut down on salt in my meals if needed.
6. “You’re going to have that baby sooner than 40 weeks because you’re tiny!” – My pregnancy lasted 40 long weeks. My OBGYN considered that it would be better to induce me before going past my 40th week, so size had little influence.
7. “It’s going to be a boy. You’re carrying the baby too low.” – It was a beautiful baby girl, so this is another urban myth.
8. “Once the baby is born, you guys will never sleep again!” – My daughter has always been a good sleeper. She was sleeping 6-9 hours by the time she was 2 months. My husband and I got plenty of sleep. (of course we had and still have occasional bad nights). We also follow proven and efficient sleep training methods, which I highly recommend.
9. “Your life is OVER! No sex life or you won’t be able to go out anymore!” – My husband and I take Julianna EVERYWHERE. And when I mean everywhere, it’s EEEEVERYWHERE! She loves being out with us and socializes with people very well. Our outings go from sports bars, restaurants, swimming pools, beaches, road trips, boat rides, you name it. And about our sex life: it just keeps getting better and better.
10. “You’re going to need help. You can’t do it on your own.” – I manage to do pretty much everything around the house. My husband helps as much as he can also. The apartment is always tidy, we eat healthy home cooked meals, grocery shopping is never a problem, I’m always attentive of my daughter, I spend time with friends, go to the gym, and still manage to maintain my appeal. How do I do it? I just learned to be well organized and quicker.
The main purpose of this post is to clarify that everybody’s experiences are all very particular and different, and they don’t follow a strict pattern as suggested by some people. Some babies are colic, some have great digestion, some are fussier, some are relaxed, and just like adults, some are social, and others are shy. My husband and I have a very positive and loving approach towards everything that we do, including raising our daughter, and I think that our positive state of mind is directly and intensely reflected in our baby’s behavior. We are very blessed to have such a good and happy little angel. I think patience is the key. Babies are very sensible to our energy and moods. Always be mindful, careful, soothing, reassuring, gentle, and loving, and you will bring harmony and happiness to your family. Always focus on the delightful feelings that they make us feel, rather than the difficult times that we may experience. Be grateful for everything that life has given you and you’ll realize that life will return all of it back to you in many rewarding ways. Being a mother is definitely hard work, but my daughter has made my everyday life SO MUCH BETTER and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.