Being a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) has prepared me for a lot of things when it comes to interacting with young children. The one thing it has not prepared me for is pregnancy, birth, and motherhood! Yes, I know the developmental milestones for feeding, speech, language, play and other related topics. I know how to help children that come to me that have delays and disorders, but that sure as heck has not prepared me in the LEAST for the journey I am now on!
I remember receiving an email from one of the baby websites with a trimester check-list and I FREAKED! A check-list? Why? And…I am normally a check-list person. I LOVE check-lists. But this just stressed me out feeling like there was so much more to do than I had already been doing. Ya know, growing a little human being is quite a big task on its own…now add in all the other “to-do” items.
Then we went to make a registry. For the first time in my life BuyBuy Baby felt like the Costco of everything baby. Huge and overwhelming. Going in and buying gifts for friends never felt this way. But 2.5 hours later with a pregnant belly and a fading hubby…it sure felt like a major trip to baby costco (and that was WITH one-on-one help to pick our items out). Did I mention we never made it past the first floor to look at furniture on the entire floor below (that I never knew existed)?
It’s funny how we go through life preparing ourselves for the next step; from starting school when we are toddlers and preparing for each new type of schooling along the way, to our working lives and careers, to finding our soul mate, buying a house, getting a puppy and getting married and then on to having a baby (not always necessarily in that order but that’s how it played out for me). I’ve also started several successful businesses in the mix of all those other life transitions. That said, out all of these transitions and life changes, nothing has been more exciting and scarier at the same time as the thought of labor and becoming a mother!
And it’s funny, I am SO excited to bring the baby home and start our lives together. I know how to change a diaper like a pro, feed a baby (well, bottle-feed) and I get it, come August, I will never sleep again, so I better sleep now. That’s the part that excites me. It’s the picking out of car seats, strollers, diapers, carriers, swing’s, play mats and more that are making me go bananas! And then there is labor…but we wont go there! HA!
So all that said, here is what I have learned at 24 weeks of pregnancy:
- Limit your subscriptions to all the pregnancy sites (they’ll drive you nuts!)
- Talk to friends that have had children and ask their opinion on registry items (but if you do this, be ready to respect everyone else’s opinions, knowing you can still make your own choices and they may be polar opposite of some of your friends)
- Connect with other moms on social media and ask them random questions related to what you are currently trying to decide (the best stroller, if a noise machine is a good thing or not, what type of monitor they use, and more!)
- You are going to choose what you want, like and what work’s best for your family anyways (but it is still nice to have the input from experienced moms)
- There are no right or wrong choices as long as you are happy and the baby is safe!
So ultimately, the biggest thing I have learned through this whole process is not to stress over the various brands of well, everything baby! I have realized that the SAME advice I give to parents of clients I work with is to follow your gut and trust your instincts. YOU and only YOU know what is best for your family. I am currently working on listening to my own advice as it applies to this next chapter in my life!
So how was this process for you with your first child? Be sure to share your experiences below!