The overbearing voice of experience

One of my close co-workers told me today that she is pregnant with her first child. I'm very excited for her, but am working very hard to quench the urge to talk about every aspect of pregnancy and birth. We did talk about a few things (she told me about which symptoms had already hit her, and I gave a few hints about dealing with them and when she could anticipate relief) but I don't want to be one of those moms. You know those moms. The ones who tell you about how they gave up all alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar, chocolate, aspartame and cold cuts as soon as they saw the pink line. Or the ones who tell you about how they started each day with a quad-Venti, Nutrasweeted cup of French Roast and ended each day with a martini, but their babies were just as healthy as can be, so that just goes to prove that everyone is paranoid. The moms who ask how you are doing, and when you honestly respond that you are retaining some water, proceed to assail you with how they puffed up so badly that they could only wear bedroom slipper for their entire third trimester. Or the ones who let you know how long and painful thier labors were. Or, worse yet, the ones who try to convince you that labor doesn't hurt a bit, and how could you even think of endangering your child by considering an epidural?! I try not to be a know-it-all, but by the time you have three kids, you've learned a lot about pregnancy and birth. We stuck with discussing the important stuff:
  • The books are a good reference, but they can be damned heavy handed too. What to Expect When You are Expecting encourages you to bring your own whole grain rolls or a vial of wheat germ to sprinkle on your food if you must eat out. (My co-worker rolled her eyes at this idea- "Yeah, that's going to make for a fun lunch for me!" she laughed)
  • Maternity clothes are much cuter now than they were when I had DD. Thank God. Separates that you can mix and match are the best way to go- by the end of the nine months, you will be sick of wearing the same darned outfits, but it's silly to spend a lot of money to buy tons of stuff you wear for such a short time.
  • Everything in moderation- the baby will be just fine, even if you eat a hot dog. Or drink a Diet Coke. Or have some ice-cream (it's dairy! The baby needs calcium!)
  • No matter how good of a guy he is, the baby's dad will never completely understand what is happening to you. (She's already learned this- she had a craving for Indian food on Friday and planned to go out for dinner. By the end of the work day, she was too tired to do anything, so the dinner plans were tossed. Her husband did not understand why she didn't want him to make Indian food on Monday night. "But you said you were craving Indian food!" he said.)
  • No matter how much you plan, there is always something to throw you off. So, try your best to go with the flow.
  • The best way to deal with the lectures ("Don't reach up on that shelf! You'll strangle the baby with its umbilical cord!", You are going to use cloth diapers, aren't you?!") is to nod and grunt noncommitally.

I've already given her permission to smack my hand if I reach for her belly and to throw something at me if I refer to her as "Mommy."


Blogger Jenny said...

Hah! A dear friend of mine recently announced her first pregnancy and I was literally pinching myself to keep my damn mouth from spewing advice.

1/27/2006 1:11 PM  

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Who's Who

    Hubby- aka DH My husband since 1995. He is the head of the band department at a college prep school, and dabbles as a wanna-be pop star.

    The Princess- aka DD. Third grader at the local parochial school. Loves butterlies, sparkly things, the color purple and has recently developed a crush on one of the twins from "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody". Is ready for her teenage years, having already perfected her exasperated sigh and dramatic eye-roll.

    Hoss- aka DS1. Kindergartener and resident spirited child. His aunt likes to call him "the evil genius" because of his penchant for letting a lack of intellectual stimulation lead him into mischief. Likes trucks, sports, building things and burping. His current favorite word is "underwear."

    Lil Joe- aka DS2. Born in 2003. Doesn't say much we can understand, but has mastered the important stuff ("eat!", "Wash hands!", "Want chocolate ones!", "Hockey game!") Likes to push buttons, much to the consternation of whoever is trying to watch a DVD. Firmly refuses to use the potty, despite evidence that he is physically ready to be out of diapers, indicating a level of stubborn that eclipses even that of his parents and siblings.

    Me? I'm the Mama. That's all you need to know.

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