5 attempts and 10 Google Doc pages later... this is how many times it’s taken me to write something that even feels close to capturing how Parker’s birth impacted us that night, and forever.
It was early on a Monday morning. Our bedroom was dark, with just a pinch of moonlight showing through our open window. I could see the outline of my husband turned towards the nightstand. The sounds of the fan and the noisemaker from our registry were permeating the cool air. A soft breeze was blowing through the room. Yet despite all of this, I could still hear my husband and my dog snoring.
It’s my second Mother’s Day, and I still haven’t been able to make space to write about my journey to motherhood. Because of his prompt entrance to the world—both in utero and out—it left me with what seemed like an extremely small amount of time to process my new role. In fact, almost fourteen months of experience on my resume does not yield me much more confidence than the first day I peed on a stick. There is so much I do not know, and I've admitted that so often I feel buried in it. And funny enough, I find myself admitting that even in circumstances where I feel somewhat confident I am right.
Our journey to conceiving a little one was shorter than most. We decided we would try, and then boom - it happened. I realize that this is not everyone’s story, and I also realize that we are lucky. I am currently working on some process writing for how I navigated that guilt as I concurrently dealt with my prenatal anxiety and depression. But perhaps another contributing factor to this was my gender disappointment. I’ve heard a few other brave women talk about this, so I figured I’d share my story as well. This is not a popular topic. And there are many critics who would say “you should just be grateful that you could get pregnant”. But I would not be being true and honest if I did not share this journey of mine as well.
A childbirth class was a must for us. I was certainly not interested in the Lamaze of our mothers’ time, and also not interested in the standard, basic course provided by our insurance. We’ve had a few friends tell us about HypnoBirthing® so after doing some reading (surprise surprise) it sounded like something we wanted to try. It sounds scary, right? Another crunchy pregnancy thing that Dave was less than thrilled about. But at least this didn’t involve paid strangers seeing me naked.
Here we go. Packing the bag means the real deal is coming soon. Making sure you pack everything while you are weeks ahead of your due date ensures that you can get as much of the stuff in there that you need and want while you are in the hospital. In our case, Carson came a month early but I was still packed! Dave... was not.
Some pregnancy must-haves: what to fill your online shopping time with while you are waiting for your little nugget
It is certainly no secret that pregnancy was a very difficult time in my life. It happened much more quickly than we anticipated, and while I do realize how much of a blessing it is that we did not struggle with infertility, in a much more minimal way, I struggled with the uncertainty, doubt and anxiety over every little detail. I did a lot of coping through online shopping, which is certainly not a healthy way to deal. However, I did manage to pick up a few things that helped me get through pregnancy a smidge easier.
When I found out that I was expecting, I did some reading. Correction: I did an insane amount of reading in a short amount of time which I believe highly contributed to my anxiety. I still operate a bit like this today with all of my parenting woes, but I’ve gained a little more self-awareness of how detrimental this can be. I quickly realized that the age-old What to Expect When You’re Expecting was not the advice I was looking for. I found many phrases and bits of information outdated, and even a bit socially off putting. So I filled my Amazon cart with books that more closely resonated with me and my beliefs. To date, my favorite has been Expecting Better. I have loaned this to friends and family, and I’m not even sure where my original copy is now. I believe in the approach Emily Oster took to educating expecting moms everywhere: evidence. I am a firm believer in science. After all, I work in healthcare. I practice in a country that almost exclusively trusts Western medicine, an evidence-based approach based on rigorous studies. The knowledge born out of these studies has saved lives and improved the quality of life for many. But there are gaps, and I can certainly acknowledge that. There is a place for complementary and alternative therapies in many disease states and chronic conditions, as well as in pregnancy. The physical and emotional wear that pregnancy was taking on me had me looking towards anything that would even anecdotally help. Here are some things that some would classify as “crunchy”, and I jumped on board with both feet.
Hi! I'm Laura, a 30-something first-time mom raising her little dude in southern California. It's been quite a first year, and this is my way to try to make sense of it all. This is a safe space for all moms to get some laughs, recommendations and feel like they are not alone.