Maternity leave is a pretty amazing thing. I was blessed enough to be approved for four full weeks off before Adeline’s due date and I’m now exactly half way through with that time today. Only two weeks to go and I’m feeling pretty good.
I say pretty good because I finally have time to read up on labor and delivery and google information that I was either too embarrassed to ask about or didn’t have the brain capacity to remember when in the doctor’s office. I have also had time to wash everything in the house from the literal ceiling to floor (and floorboards) and re-arrange cabinets, bedrooms, and the bathroom at least twice. The pantry also got a nice do-over that I’m very proud of. Woman power! Woo!
Alas, I’m sure you can hear the big ole’ “but” coming and I won’t keep you waiting any longer. There’s only so much you can do to prepare for the baby and even though it’s wonderful to have both my husband and I off for this time, my LORD if I’m not done watching TV and asking, “what do you want to do today?” – it’s starting to kill me slowly.
We tried starting a puzzle… if you follow me on Snapchat you already know how that’s been going. We also binge-watched the shows we didn’t have time to stay up-to-date with during the academic year. We even are ahead in our summer school classes (and when does that ever happen?!). So, long story short, the time between “I’ve got this” and “she needs to get here” has become an exhausting ride. I can see now why pregnant women laugh about the 9th month being the longest…. It literally lasts 1,324 days. This is especially true when you finally feel ready for your precious newborn to be, well, born and the damn Braxton Hicks have set in. Yes, I’m having non-periodic but very-much-there contractions as I type. Oh, the joys!
So, before continuing, I’d like to throw it out there that even though I’m going to start on a rant about additional hardships of maternity leave, I do have a few tips on what you can do to stay productive amidst the overwhelming need to nest or sleep at the end of this post. Hang in there! I won’t leave you hanging.
But first, the rant:
Are you a first-time mom? Well, it’s time to UNITE!
For as many differences as there are between us, there are just as many similarities and I’d like to speak on your behalf for a moment. I’ll call this time: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Bellies… okay. That’s stupid, but allow me to share what’s been bothering us and then we’ll get back to the good stuff.
If you’re a second-time, third-time, or not-yet-time mom (grandma, aunt, or even concerned citizen) we can still unite, we at The Sisterhood won’t leave you out… but let’s set some ground rules before we begin. I don’t think we need to remind you that just as you wouldn’t poke a sleeping bear, you shouldn’t upset pregnant ladies who haven’t slept in nine months.
So, for the time being, let’s not unite around Pinterest, while working out, or over giving advice. These three things either freak us out or drive us nuts and let me tell you why:
Pinterest – as much as you are loved, these types of memes cause more worry than excitement: (and YES, you have to sing it)
I mean, I’m laughing. It’s hilarious… but I’m also deathly afraid.
We just went from this:
As for working out… I know I was all “let’s do this thing” a few weeks ago, but man, I can barely keep standing right-side up with both feet planted firmly on the ground. My equilibrium never recovered from this boat that became attached to my stomach overnight and now – in exactly two weeks – I’ll begin losing it again. I guess I can just waddle around until then. I’ll be back to barre-ing and walking up a storm again, I promise. Just not today.
And lastly, the advice, the concerned conversations, the unrelenting words of wisdom… I’m sorry, but WE.ARE.DONE. Yes, I said it. We’re done with the advice. We’re not being rude, we’re just being honest… kind of a “sorry-not-sorry” moment. So, sorry.
I mean, we get it, your grandmother’s grandmother new the best remedy for colic and your mom didn’t use disposable diapers to save the environment, but let’s be real – the virgin Mary gave birth to baby Jesus in a manger (i.e., a dirty barn filled with animals and probably other unmentionables) and he came out great. And, Mary? She didn’t have all the latest hacks on how to be SuperMom, nor did she worry what others thought of her parenting style or if she breastfed or not because she was confident in her abilities to raise her newborn (I mean, it took her some time to be okay with immaculate conception and she got advice from some very persuasive angels, but she got there… and WE WILL TOO!).
So, I’m asking you on behalf of all the first-time moms out there… give us a break (even if it’s a small one)! We need to make mistakes. We need to feel things out on our own. That’s how ya’ll taught us to learn, right? RIGHT! Now, when we turn around in 2.3 seconds and ask for said advice (and we undoubtedly will), please forgive the rant and supply that coveted goods… We need it and we’re thankful for it, but sometimes we only want it on our terms. It’s good to be the pregnant lady. Ha!
And now, on to my advice: (because I’ve learned sooooo much during my maternity leave, therefore I have all this wisdom that you should take super seriously because I’m an expert…) Jk! Jk! We know that’s not true. But I do have three suggestions that I’ve found helpful besides the typical “set up the nursery” (duh), “stock up your pantry” (double duh), and “read up on as much as you can” (uh, gag me!).
First, go on a hospital tour – if the hospital you are delivering at offers labor and delivery or postpartum tours (my hospital called them “Stork Tours”), attend one! Mine was quick, painless, and super informative. We didn’t even have to register beforehand, we just showed up and followed the crowd. It was nice to see where I’ll be spending some of the most painful and joyous hours of my life before the BIG DAY gets here. It also helped my husband feel more comfortable when directed on where to park, where to drop me off, and what to do day-of.
Second, pre-register for labor and delivery – if your hospital allows pre-registration in person or online, do it before your due date. Now, I only know from what I can imagine, but if I had to sit and give my personal and insurance information to a lady trying to register me for my hospital stay while having contractions and just wanting to push the baby out, I might lose my mind. On the hand, having already pre-registered by submitting my identifying information online, I’m feeling pretty confident that I won’t bite anyone’s head off once I get to the hospital! Yes, I am very proud of myself. Can you tell?
Third (and finally), get your car seat inspected – my husband and I are fairly educated and intelligent people and we can read instruction manuals with the best of them, but of course, when we showed up at AAA for our car seat inspection appointment the lady quickly said our attempt had FAILED. Literally, she said, “failed.” Apparently, you’re not supposed to use the car seat straps and the seatbelt to secure the base, just one or the other… I guess Luis just wanted to be extra-precautious. You’re also supposed to have it rear-facing (which we did get right), but are not supposed to put any head and neck buffers in the car seat that aren’t produced and sold specifically from the manufacturer. Oops! So, after she ripped all that stuff out, re-adjusted the base of the car seat to be more secure, and showed us how to clip the car seat in-and-out, we realized that this was one of the most informative and helpful things we had done pre-baby. We’re feeling way more confident now and all-the-more ready for Miss Adeline to be here. And just as an FYI, we’re not insured by AAA, but they provide this free service for non-members and members alike. Local police and fire departments do as well, just make sure you make an appointment ahead of time to ensure they are ready for your arrival!
… So, there you have it. Another great rant and some first-hand knowledge coming at you whether you wanted it or not. I’m currently feeling extra worn out since these contractions, which Luis has taken to calling “nicks,” subsided and I think it’s time for a virgin michelada (i.e., clamato & sparkling water) even though the real one is a-calling my name. ‘Til next time.
To receive text updates about baby Adeline’s debut, text: @adelineru to 81010. This is our official “phone tree” and announcement board for all things baby Ru! ❤