When my husband and I were engaged, we read Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages. At the conclusion, my husband said to me "Your love language is gifts." I couldn't believe it, and I still refuse to admit that. That seemed to "materialistic" to be my reality. I did not want to be associated with that. Receiving gifts has never been something I enjoy, and not to mention I get super awkward having to open gifts in front of others (read: bridal and baby showers). We do not do much gifting to each other anymore after several years of being together, as we are more in the phase where we enjoy experiences rather than objects. I do not expect gifts from him. How could my husband-to-be think that my love language is gifts?
I'm excited to have some of my writing featured on the Milk Bliss blog! I've been a fan of Milk Bliss lactation cookies ever since I went back to work and found them stocked in our Mother's Room. They were the perfect little snack to get me through the day. The cookies contain galactagogues such as brewer's yeast. While more studies are needed to assess effects, the lack of downsides to trying these types of interventions is good enough for me. Insufficient milk supply is cited as a primary reason for early termination of breastfeeding, and I support any efforts that try to help moms in this arena!
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.
I’ve considered myself and my husband to be reasonably healthy people. Sure, our diets and exercise levels certainly could use some improvement, but I typically only see my primary care physician annually. My husband never even went to the doctor until we were together. It’s safe to say that nothing could have prepared us for the onslaught of sickness we experienced this year. My mom friends and coworkers warned me, but I equate this with pregnancy and labor: nothing anyone ever tells you can prepare you for the actual experience.
I'm not sure what parents did before they had the internet at their fingertips. Arguably, perhaps the world was a bit easier to cope with when there wasn't as much information overload. Perhaps my anxiety would not be so bad, and perhaps I'd be coping better as a new parent. Or maybe not! But all I know is that throughout pregnancy, maternity leave and still to this day, I am heavily reliant on good ol' Google to deliver me all of the information I need to get through the day.
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.
Honestly, aren’t there enough Mom blogs out there? Isn’t there already such a multitude of overwhelming information circulating the internet? Of course there is. And this is just my little slice of it.
I don’t consider myself to be a particularly good writer. My grammar isn’t perfect. My vocabulary isn’t impressive. So please proceed with caution! But back in the day, I was known to write a book or two. We’re talkin’ elementary school library status with my buddies (whattup Emily and Carrie). I majored in Nursing and went in to healthcare of course. While this career path has been an amazing opportunity in my life, it certainly is not a career with a whole lot of room for creativity with the written word.
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.