Saturday, August 11, 2007

Taking deep breaths before I've even attended Lamaze classes

Today marks the start of my third trimester and I'm officially getting nervous. I guess I just feel so unprepared.

There are the little things like not having a name picked out and not having any nursery furniture yet. Then there are the big things like not having any clue what to expect trying to get this baby out of me. Looming questions seem to have become more pronounced in my subconscious like: Can I even do this? Am I trying hard enough? Will I be a good mother?

The online pregnancy forum that I've been frequenting is only adding to my worries. All of the women with similar due dates seem to have everything together: names, pictures posted of their completed baby room and they're even swapping advice on diapers. Diapers! I can honestly say that diapers are the absolute last thing on my mind right now.

One of our very kind and thoughtful neighbors unknowingly solidified that worry by stopping by this week to drop off an information pamphlet, including coupons, for diapers that she got in the mail. She pointed out that they expire soon, but figured we would want to save money wherever possible.

When she left, I turned to Jerry and nearly had a breakdown. Should we be buying diapers? Am I already completely inept at this parenting thing? Is the whole "maternal instinct" term everybody keeps talking about a complete load of crap? Or is mine just not functioning properly? Because, if it was, I would apparently have enough diapers stashed away in my linen closet to open a retail store.

Then there was the scary realization that I still think newborns look gross. I guess I just assumed that at this stage in pregnancy, I would automatically change my opinion on the subject. Like my "maternal instinct" would kick in and make me feel all melty at the sight of the bloody, goopy, purple, wrinkly, alien-looking things they show moments after birth on "A Baby Story."

A few days ago, I watched an episode for the first time in months and still found myself recoiling in horror. In fact, I think I actually said, "Ugh, nasty" aloud, scrunched up my face and crossed my legs for good measure.

When I confided my feelings to Jerry later that night, asking if that makes me a freak among pregnant woman, he just laughed and reassured me that newborns are gross looking. But we'll feel differently when its our own. Then I think he compared it to poop -- nobody wants to see anybody else's feces, but you instinctually take a peek at your own every time you go.

Crazy analogy, sure, but it made sense somehow.

In the meantime, I've been trying not to let my fears and worries and feelings of inadequacy run rampant. I just take a deep breath and try to concentrate on one day at a time. Or even one minute at a time. My baby shower is next weekend. We're furniture shopping the day after that. The next weekend we'll be attending an intense two-day crash course at the hospital on labor and delivery.

So who cares if we haven't bought diapers yet?

We DID buy the perfect piggy bank this week ... and piggy banks in the perfect shade of pink without a creepy painted-on face are much harder to come by.

Diapers schmiapers.


its_just_ang from Xanga said...

You're gonna be great! Both of you! I have always thought newborns were gross and even kinda ugly. I don't have any kids, but I think I'd feel the same way about it as you do, that you'll feel differently when it is your own. And as far as diapers, everyone else needs to buy them for you! : ) I would be surprised if you didn't walk away with some at your shower. Have a great weekend!

Celcia said...

You are being a perfectly normal mom to be. There is also a chance that your child will not be an ugly newborn. I wasn't given my son until after he was cleaned up, be he didn't have that "newborn" look. He already looked like a baby albiet a bit red and puffy which was nothing compared to what I looked like afterwords.

Not every mom has the nursery ready either. Heck, my son slept on his changing table for his 1st 3 weeks before we even got his crib put togther. Finally don't worry about the diapers.

At this point, you don't even know what brand you will prefer & that is hit or miss.

Take heart mama, you are doing fine!

Chelsea said...

You're gonna do greaaat! And as for the diapers, I don't know anyone (and I have a BIG family) who has bought diapers before the delivery because you don't know what size tush the newborn will have! Maybe just see what kind you like the best..

fiona said...

Yeah, they are gross. But I'm sure it IS different when it's your own.
And I'm due less than two weeks before you and all I have are some bibs, pacifiers, two packages of diapers, some sleepers and a bunch of cute summer clothes for next year. No crib, pack-n-play, rocker, dresser, travel system...none of the big stuff. However my shower's next weekend, too so I'm not TOO worried. Yet.

erica said...

My first thought about the disgusting new-born bit was almost exactly the same as Jerry's. She may be a nasty glob of purple goo, but she'll be your glob of nasty purple goo. And it is this that will probably make her the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. You'll be a fantastic mom. Don't worry. Don't let yourself be compared to other mom's as well. My mother always had trouble with that. She was a fantastic mother to me growing up, but she was different than most other suburbanite soccer moms so she thought she was a bad mom. Don't let that ever get into your head. You'll both be fantastic.

~rita ... said...

I agree with everyone that you and Jerry will be fantastic parents. Don't let other people's expectations or experiences be the benchmark for your own. Even if you don't immediately know what to do in every situation with your baby, you will learn. So don't think that if your "maternal instinct" doesn't kick on the first day, something must be wrong. Even if you don't immediately think your baby looks beautiful, you will watch her growing and changing so quickly everyday that you won't even remember what she looked like at first. Every parent has a different experience, and I know that you and Jerry are going to shower your baby with love. What could be more important than that?

Ray said...

I loved Jerry's analogy. It was sweet, cute and funny. And you can tell how much he loves you and wants you to ease into the whole thing. Also: it's funny that you talk about Lamaze classes, because just the other day I was thinking about you, and if you were planning on going to one. Weird, but yeah. You seem like the type to want to be fully prepared for your baby which is great so that's why I thought of it.

I've never been a mother, and I don't plan to be. At 30 maybe if my parents and sister are lucky enough to get a grandchild/niece or nephew out of me. So sadly I don't really have any words of wisdom but this corny saying: "It'll all come to you."

As I've said before with all your worrying and wanting everything to be perfect, you can tell what a GREAT mother you'll be. So please try hard not to worry, although it's probably hard for you right now, in this stage of pregnancy.

"Everything will be fine." ;o)

Take care, Kelly.

Anonymous said...

You'll do fine!!! Don't sweat the small stuff. Your due date is still a couple of months to go. You have plenty of time to get everything in order. Besides it's always good to shop for the baby after the baby shower to see what you have to work with and what you need to buy. As far as diapers go, don't worry about it. You might, however, want to sign up for samples and stuff at huggies or They give you free samples of their products and lots of useful coupons. Pampers also has a great on-line newsletter thing that they send you once you sign up. It goes by your due date and I swear every one of my fears about pregnancy and raising a child was answered and addressed in the newsletter. I definitely recommend signing up for that.

Anyways, don't worry:) You will do fine and you can always buy as you go. I think I over-bought for my first kid. There were lots of things that I didn't even use. For my second one I just bought stuff when I needed it. Target or Walmart will become your favorite store.

Teme said...

Your concerns are totally normal, but with the love you and Jerry will shower on your daughter, you already have everything you need! Your and Jerry's awesome sense of humor and perspective will also carry you a long way and those are things that won't be found at any baby store. The stuff to select and buy, and even a name, well, there's still plenty of time. Don't let other parents freak you out, tho, cuz that's a dynamic that looms at every stage of parenting and it can make you crazy if you let it. You deserve to have every confidence in yourself -- it's so clear you'll be great parents.

Dominique said...

You will be 100% ok. My mom bought a million diapers for me when she was getting ready to be a mom to be because everyone told her she needed to. Well when I was born I weighed just about 3 lbs. She had bought the "normal size" and couldn't use them for almost a year and had to make space for them.
The store will not run of of diapers. People are crazy. It is sort of like when someone gets engaged and EVERYONE asks "what's the date?!" even if you were just asked 2 seconds ago, they expect you to have it all planned out color scheme, wedding party and of course the date.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry too much about the stuff. You get most of the important stuff at baby showers. If the baby is under 8 lbs get papmers swaddlers or target brand diaper. If you get a bigger baby get the huggies. Don't worry about it till you have the baby. I certainly didn't have have a nursery all set before my baby. Don't worry.

Marina said...

You'll be fine! Those moms remind me a bit of bridezillas. Relax. It doesn't have to be perfect all the time. Especially not at this point. :)

Newborns ARE gross-looking. Nothing anyone can do about that.

erica said...

I stand by what I said eariler, but all this talk about babies and the title of Lamaze classes triggered my memory. My parent's attended a lamaze class when they were pregnant with me. A lot of the parent's were kind of crazy there so the made friends with one of the "sane"couples in the class. They lost touch with each other after that until I hit kindergarten and by chance became close friends with that other couple's child. She's still one of my closest friends to this day. It's amazing how small the world really is sometimes. We joke sometimes that we were friends before we were even born. Just a random little anecdote.

Shalini said...

I think you both will be excellent parents! I wouldn't worry too much! Every first time parent will worry though (totally normal)

Newborns : are smushed up (vaginal delivery) and they look normal in a few days...

Nursery : no worries about this, the baby won't even care and as long as baby has a safe place to sleep, and has mom and dad to love and hold, nothing else matters!

Diapers : you are still 2 months away? You will have a metric ton of them before you deliver. If not I will send you a metric ton... but anyone and everyone you know usually ends up bringing one either before or after delivery. You shouldn't worry.

You and your hubby sound really ready and sound so excited! I think you guys are going to rock as parents!

Long time reader, but first time commenter! I love the way you write! Keep it up!

Good luck on the new arrival!

Anonymous said...

check out , Devildogs_Doll, on xanga. she is a military wife who has her 2nd baby last summer. i think you all might have a lot in common with the baby stuff. some of her blogs about being pregnant are hilarious. i dont think she had any diapers at this stage either. check her out!

Erin- long time xanga buddy=)

Nutkin said...

Happy beginning of 3rd trimester!! :)

It's been awhile since I've commented, but I still love your blog just as much! I have a lot of catching up to do in my reading.

Don't worry--I'm sure everyone actually thinks newborns other than their own are ugly.