You look down and you begin to shake. You can hardly catch your breath. You begin to cry and all of these emotions flood over you. You’re holding a pregnancy test and you are going to be a mommy for the first time. You cannot wait to tell your spouse. You plan to eat healthy, read all the right books and attend birthing classes. This baby will have a perfectly coordinated nursery and tons of cute baby clothes and accessories. You will have that completely natural birth you have been dreaming about. You will not be like those parents who have screaming kids in the grocery store. You will not bribe your kids with candy. Your baby will never go out in his pajamas. No way. You are going to do everything right and everything will go perfectly.
Fast forward 9 months and it’s time to deliver that baby in that perfect planned out way you’ve been dreaming about. You were right about one thing, everything did go perfectly, but not how you planned for it to go. At least that is how it was for me and me times five! I have had 5 pregnancies and have 3 living children and 2 angels in heaven. When I was pregnant with my first I planned absolutely everything and was incredibly disappointed when things didn’t work out the way I had hoped and planned. By pregnancy number 5 and baby number 3 I was just thankful that in the end he arrived safely and was healthy.
The one thing I have learned to count on over the past 5 years is that things will never go exactly how you hoped that they would and that is okay. I had dreamed of a natural water birth. I prepared for it and went to birthing classes and had the longest most thorough birthing plan. I had multiple copies for each hospital staff member. They must have thought I was crazy! In the end I developed preeclampsia and had two failed inductions before my son was born not breathing and was rushed away from me. I couldn’t hold him for hours and I although I was thankful he was doing okay I was devastated that my birth did not go as planned. Over the next year of watching my son grow one of the most valuable things I learned was to laugh at myself and the situation. I promise as a parent you will find yourself in embarrassing situations time after time again. You’ll have the best intentions for something and then the opposite will happen. Think of those Pinterest do it yourselfs you see go wrong all the time. That’s parenting. But at the end of the day if your child’s alive and happy it’s a win!
If there was one piece of advice I could give to new mommies to be it would be this, expect the unexpected and embrace it. In 5 years I had 5 pregnancies. One of my angels was a second trimester loss and the other happened in the first. I’ve had two preemies and my youngest had a NICU stay but I have 3 beautiful living children. They did not get here how I wanted them to and parenting was nothing like I planned it. I lost babies along the way making my two youngest rainbow babies but they are here and thriving nonetheless and I know my angel babies had a purpose even if I only hold them in my heart and not my arms. It is okay to dream and plan and hope. There is nothing wrong with that. But please try to remember to be flexible and at the end of the day when you meet that baby who has had ahold of your heart from the moment you held that pregnancy test it will not matter if he or she has the perfect nursery, if you read all the right books or if they were born all naturally like you dreamed or via caesarian section. Someday your baby might be that crazy toddler pulling everything off the shelves in a grocery store while you try to get to them while holding onto the new baby. Nonetheless, what will matter in those moments when you become a new parent is that they are here looking up at you and are perfect in every way.
Parenthood is full of the unexpected. If you can learn to embrace it you will have one heck of a wild ride and be able to focus more on the blessings versus the disappointments. Buckle that seatbelt and prepare for a rollercoaster like you’ve never been on before. If you’re the planning type like me, try to go outside your comfort zone and be spontaneous. Laugh at yourself and with your kids. There’s nothing like watching your child do something cringe worthy in public and just laughing it off as opposed to freaking out. I’ve learned to not take myself too serious anymore. I think back on the days where I daydreamed about the perfect this or that and now I daydream about sleep and not chasing my oldest son while dragging along my almost 3 year old and babywearing my youngest through a park who decided it was a good idea whip down his pants and pee in public. Yes this really did happen to me last week. Five years ago the former me would have been so embarrassed. This time I was laughing hysterically I almost peed my pants. You’re going to rock it mommy to be I promise you will!