What would you do differently if you were expecting your first child?
(Thanks, Kathleen Duncan)
The first thing I’d do is get about five or six inches taller. I was 5’1″ back in the day, not even five feet tall any more. When you’re short and pregnant, it shows two days after the baby is conceived. Tall women can conceal the baby bump longer because there’s a lot more room for it to spread out!
Seriously, now. I don’t know if there’s much I’d do differently. Oh, wait a minute. Yes there is.
I’d educate myself on diet and weight control. Honestly, we really didn’t know much back then about keeping our weight down during pregnancy. I had no idea that I wouldn’t lose what I thought of as “baby weight” as soon as my child was born. I also didn’t know a thing about emotional eating, and as I look back on the period of my life, I realize there was a lot of emotional eating going on. I had four babies, gained too much weight with each of them, and now it’s an endless battle.
Anyway, I’d eat differently, and I’d make sure to exercise a LOT more. Walk, walk, walk. Swim. Whatever I could do without risking harm to the baby.
Honestly, I did everything else I could. I read voraciously about pregnancy, what to expect each step of the way. I kept my doctor’s appointments faithfully. I didn’t listen too much to the old wive’s tales that older women loved to share. We had things as ready as we could make them, and our first little boy was welcomed with great joy.
My husband hadn’t had
much any experience with newborns, and at first he was afraid to touch Mike for fear of damaging him in some way. But he learned quickly, and was more than glad to change a diaper or clean up a milky burp. I was never afraid to leave any of my babies with their dad.
When I was 14, my baby brother made the scene. Mom was sick for several weeks, and my sister and I did a lot of newborn care. Bathing, feeding, diapers, the whole nine yards. I’d also done my share of babysitting elsewhere, so I was comfortable with my newborn right away. And he was a pretty contented little guy most of the time, so there really wasn’t any trauma in the process.
Now, I think the next question Kathleen has offered is what I would do differently in rearing my kids. That one will be tougher to answer, I think.