Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Letter to My Pregnant, Childless Self

As I perused Pinterest this evening while my son was falling asleep on the boob, I came across this piece and looked forward to reading it. Let's just say, it wasn't exactly my cup o' tea. It did, however, inspire me to write my own letter to my former self.



Dear Little Ms. Changing-a-Lot,

Right now, your estimated due date is approaching (which really means very little), and you’re hyper focusing on a lot of insignificant stuff. I wish you knew that none of what you are worrying about matters. What you need to do now is focus on your meditations, visualize the outcome you want, practice positive self-talk, keep your husband in the loop of all of that, and dismiss all the static coming from everyone else.

What’s that you say? Too much static coming from too many places? Tell them to shush. You don't have to listen to their birth stories o' horror. You don't have to listen to their "concern" in the form of passive-aggressive questioning of your home birth plan. You don't have to put up with your mother-in-law loudly disapproving of every decision you're making. You get to tell them to shush. You get to tell them you don't want to hear anything but positivity. You're the pregnant person - they have to listen to you. Besides, it's good practice for when the baby comes and their "well-meaning" words of wisdom (Ha! Oh, that's a good one! "Words of wisdom." Hahahahaha! Hang on, I need a minute...paha...ok, I'm back...) really start flowing.

While we are on the topic of useless crap that you are obsessing over, it seems as though you are sitting around wondering if you’ll poop in the pool delivery. Guess what? When the time actually comes, you won’t care if fecal matter ends up in your your husband's drinking water as long as your midwife gets that little fish scooper out in speedy fashion and you get the birth both you and your babe deserve.

Oh, and that asinine What to Expect When You're Expecting? Quit wasting your time with it and pick up a copy of Ina May's Guide to Childbirth or, you know, almost anything other that what you're reading now, because after 34 hours of labor, you'll actually end up transferring to the hospital from home and on the operating table, but you need to be certain you've done all that you could've done so that you live with no residual guilt for bringing your son into the world in a most traumatic way. While the birth is only one day, and your babe will be here for a l-i-f-e-t-i-m-e, your birth experience, babe's birth experience, matters and your time would be better spent learning something about your body, your mind, your capabilities, babe's and your primal needs rather than scaring the crap out of yourself with pages of bad information that will do nothing for the peace of mind, although, they might come in handy for your first bowel movement post childbirth.

On another note, you seem to have a lot of opinions on parenting right now, but you will quickly realize that they're all based on experiences much different from those that you wish to give your babe and yourself. For all of the judgments you make now about other people’s parenting techniques, you will soon learn to eat your words, apologize to your brother and sister-in-law for talking about them behind their backs to your husband about the length of time for which they cosleep, blog about your utterly ridiculous pre-babe ideas (while making yet another apology to an old friend who APs, you know, who you thought was doing her own babes such a horrible disservice by sheltering them and creating children ill-prepared for the real world), you'll sit up on a TV set while the entire world judges you for breastfeeding for the normal term and sleeping in bed with your son, and finally, you'll see that what goes around comes around and it's coming around to you ten-fold by way of your blog and Facebook page in which you'll hear all these things and ever-so-much more on the regular and you get to keep a Zen face while addressing (or banning) them all. So, keep judging that woman for breastfeeding sans cover (gasp!) in public. In just a few short months, you will find yourself whipping it out whenever, wherever all while wearing your "Peace, Love, and Momma Milk" shirt with a pair of boobs right on the front. And the woman you saw at the grocery store in the frozen foods aisle whose nipples were pointing in different directions? Nice job criticizing her to your husband. Karma is about to replace your boobs bigger than your babe's head which will shock you so much to see in pictures that you'll actually tear up.

So, enjoy your pregnant body. Take a lot of pictures. You gained a boat-load of weight during IVF and you're feeling embarrassed and ashamed of your body. You think you are a circus show, but regardless of that, you're having that babe you wanted so desperately, so nothing else really matters . And, by the way, you'll lose it all along with the IVF weight plus 10 pounds of plain ol' fat from breastfeeding in the first few months. However, it'll all be redistributed and that's OK. You'll weigh less than you did when you got married, but wear pants that are two sizes bigger and have a strange, hangy flap of skin on your lower belly. You'll have stretch marks from nipple to labia and half-way across your back and down your thighs. And not a bit of it will matter to you, because you'll have your babe and you'll be a great mom, which will make you feel more beautiful, more confident, more womanly than you ever knew you could.

After the baby is born, between caring for him, your new found realization of just how strong and supportive your husband can be, and your post-partum hormones, you will be so overwhelmed that you'll find yourself in a puddle of happy, grateful tears as you gaze at your babe's face while he sleeps at the breast. You'll also find yourself in the midst of PPD and crazed anxiety. Recognize it. You need help sooner rather than later. Your symptoms won't look like those you've read about before, but you're not crazy. It's OK. You'll get help and things will calm. Dare I say you'll someday feel like your old self - only better - again? It's true. Get help.

There is only one thing that will get you through the birth trauma, the PPD, and the rearranged sleep schedule – the love that, right now, you are unaware even exists.

So hold onto your maternity shorts and try not to wet your pants while you still have some level, little though it may be, of bladder control – this ride is just beginning. Stop being a judgmental, especially of yourself. You're going to need a healthy head space once babe arrives and you realize you're the example on which many of his life experiences will be based for several years to come.

Love, Me

4 comments:

  1. Oh, my goodness, so much better. A relative of mine posted the original letter and I desperately wanted to make a snarky comment. Thanks for your revisioning!

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    1. Wow, well, that just made my day! Thank you! :)

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  2. This brought me close to tears! I'm 3 months pregnant with my first and feel like my names should be changed to Miss Panic Worry Doubtful! Thanks for this one, it has been incredibly calming to say the least :)

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