Before I became pregnant I had all these thoughts about what I would and wouldn’t do during my pregnancy and with my baby. Some of them were exactly what I thought I would do and others ended up being entirely different. It is true that you have no idea what it is like to be a mom until you are a mom. I used to think that I had some idea because I would watch other moms and babysit and I had all these preconceived notions. It turns out that the reason you have no idea is because every single baby is different. To be the best mom you can for your baby could be a different scenario with each child! Each pregnancy can be completely different and each baby is different. As a mom, for the first few months, you enter survival mode. You learn what you NEED to do for you, your baby, and the rest of your family (whether that be your husband and/or other children). You adapt and realize that maybe the things you thought were necessary, really aren’t. Here are a few of the things that once I was pregnant I decided to make different decisions on:
I NEVER in a million years thought I would have a baby naturally without medication. In fact, I don’t think most of my friends would have pegged me for doing that. After researching it a little I came to realize this is what I wanted. I talked to some friends about it and I had a good friend who had done it before and she gave me a ton of advice. Chase and I went to Bradley Method Birthing Classes and learned everything you would ever want to know. In those classes it occurred to me I wanted a doula. I would have never thought of this before, but I instinctively knew that if I was going to do this natural I would need a LOT of support. And unfortunately in the birthing world, there isn’t a lot of support to go natural so we brought Holly on to our birthing team. The best decision we ever made to bring baby J into this world.
I also never thought I would ever use cloth diapers! But as I am concerned about the environment and I also am a money saver, the thought crossed my mind a time or two while I was pregnant. I talked with my friend Mary who had been using them and my friend Sarah, who used cloth as well. It started to seem like it could become a reality. And so it has. I am a part-time cloth diaper user and I love it!
I didn’t want baby J to have a pacifier until he was at least 2 weeks old…that decision was changed 1 day after we got home from the hospital and nothing could put that little boy to sleep but a pacifier.
I always knew I wanted to breastfeed and I always had such strong opinions about moms who didn’t (sorry to you moms!). As we all know, breast milk is the best and I wanted to have the best for my baby! It turns out that you don’t always get what you want. I go back to believing it is all about survival mode in those first few months. You have to find out what is best for your family. So not to get into my super long-winded emotional story of how baby J and I ended up breastfeeding plus supplementing, I will just say that I now understand that no circumstance is predictable. I still believe moms should try to breastfeed and I think that some moms don’t just because they simply don’t want to and I don’t like that. But I completely understand that in the end you need to make the best decision for your family.
There are many other things I have changed my mind on, but there are also many things I haven’t. No matter what, I now know each mom is going to make their decisions based on their baby’s needs and their family’s needs. It’s great to share your ideas but don’t expect fellow moms to use them unless they fit into their unique family’s needs.