Discover more from Scared to Be a Mom
(Diary): What Starting Over Would Look Like
I'd make new mistakes
Welcome to my diary. These are entires I wrote during my own pregnancy. What you’re about to read is unfiltered, unedited, and perhaps a bit uncanny. But these are my raw feelings written in real-time. Everyone’s perspective and journey is different. This is mine.
Jen Glantz here.
I looked at my baby the other day and said: HOW DID YOU EVER LIVE INSIDE OF MY STOMACH?
Postpartum brain and hormones make you feel silly things.
I can hardly remember what it felt like to be pregnant.
I mostly can’t wrap my head around how my body grew a baby and now that baby is in my arms.
I sometimes wish I could go back to being pregnant knowing what I know now.
Would I be as scared? Perhaps. But maybe not.
If anything, I know I would have taken the time to slow down and spend time with the baby in my belly. Speak to her. Sing to her. Share with her all the fun things we’d do when she came out.
I didn’t do enough of that because I spent my time nervous about so many things.
None of those things actually happened. Other things did. Things I could never have planned for or didn’t even know would happen (see: problems with breastfeeding).
Everyone tells you to try not to worry.
When people told me that, it made me worry more.
I think it’s okay to have a sense of worry, a sense of fear, but to take some breaks.
In those breaks, dance, sing, share everything you want to share, imagine what life will be like in just a few months.
Try, my friend, to give yourself a break.
Some quick things I loved this week:
❤️ I compared five of the most popular diapers and shared my findings. This diaper really did outshine all the other ones though and is worth the price tag - even if the baby only wears them at night.
❤️ I created a video on postpartum styling tips and what I learned working with a professional stylist. Press play here.
❤️ All my list of must-have items that I adore are here.
Ps. Know someone who would adore this newsletter or who needs honest advice during their pregnancy or postpartum journey?
What Starting Over Would Look Like
When I found out I was pregnant, the joy I felt was quickly overshadowed by a deep sense of panic. I was about to be a first-time mom and didn't feel qualified for this change. I had never changed a diaper. I'd held a baby only once, and it cried the entire time it was in my arms.
I spent as much time as possible during my pregnancy learning about motherhood. But even after reading a handful of books and taking courses about the birthing experience and life with a newborn, there were still so many things I wasn't ready for once the baby arrived.
Now that I'm a mom to a 1-month-old, I can't help but wish I'd spent more time caring and learning about a handful of topics before giving birth. Here are the five things I wish I prepared more for when I was pregnant.
Prepared for all postpartum needs
When I was pregnant, a few of my mom friends told me that after giving birth, my body would take quite a long time to heal. They shared a list of postpartum-care items that would be helpful to have in the house, such as menstrual pads and leak-proof underwear.
While I procured the items I needed to take care of my body, I wasn't prepared for the stress that would come from being unable to operate at 100% when the baby came home. Since my body was in pain, and I was perpetually exhausted from labor and life with a newborn, I didn't have the energy or the time to cook, clean, or do daily laundry. My partner helped as much as possible, but there was always so much to do around the house.
I wish that we had set a budget aside to hire professionals to help us during the early postpartum days, whether a local meal-prep chef, a housekeeper, or even a postpartum doula who could come over for a few hours a week and support the baby and us with whatever we needed.
Figured out options for feeding the baby
Even before I was pregnant, I always thought that I'd breastfeed my baby. I didn't consider any other feeding options because it seemed like everyone I knew exclusively breastfed.
It was only after I gave birth that I saw firsthand the challenges that come with breastfeeding. When my baby was born, she had trouble latching, and my supply was very low. It took me a few days to decide that breastfeeding wasn't the path I wanted to go down.
Since I wasn't familiar with other options, I rushed to order a breast pump and spent hours researching formula brands.
I wish I had spent more time learning about breastfeeding, taken a lactation class, or met with a consultant. I also wish I had backup plans so that when breastfeeding didn't work out, I would've had a breast pump and formula in the house.
Set boundaries for once the baby arrived
The day we came home from the hospital with our newborn, 10 friends and family members asked my husband and me when they could come to meet the baby. We were extremely overwhelmed and wanted to spend time bonding with our newborn before having anyone over.
When we told friends and family that it wasn't a good time, we received pushback and pressure. We even had a few people show up at our door unexpectedly just to say hello. Even worse, when people would come over, they didn't offer to help and expected us to entertain them and have food.
Since we didn't set clear boundaries before the baby arrived, it was harder to stand up to friends and family who begged us to come to meet the baby.
If I could go back in time, I would send a formal email or text message to our loved ones sharing that we'd decided not to have anyone meet the baby for six to eight weeks. That way, they would be more prepared for us to say no when the baby arrived and hopefully respect our boundaries.
Worried less and enjoyed myself more
During the last trimester of my pregnancy, I found myself feeling stressed and anxious. I wanted to make sure I was as prepared as possible. I spent weekends shopping for items and weeknights watching videos on what to expect during labor and delivery.
I pushed off date nights and said no to staycations so that I could be proactive about working on our baby's to-do list.
Rather than use all my free time to over prepare for the baby, I wish I had spent more of those days relaxing and enjoying quality time with my partner, since it will be a while before we can spend moments alone together.
Built a relationship with my doctor
One of the biggest mistakes I made during pregnancy was not reaching out to my doctor and communicating with her more. In medical situations, I often find myself hesitating to call my doctors when something isn't right or I'm feeling off.
There were many moments, especially toward the end of my pregnancy, when I felt symptoms I wasn't prepared for, like different abdominal pains and light bleeding. I was too nervous to contact my doctor because I felt like I would be annoying her since I was only one of her many patients. Instead of calling the office, I'd spend time searching for information online and often find myself more nervous.
Looking back, I wish that I made a point, from the start, to build a relationship with my doctor. If I could go back, I would force myself to ask at least three questions every visit, rather than sitting there with a buzzing brain of things I wanted to know but felt too shy to ask about. I also would ask her the best way to reach out if I had frequent questions or felt like something was off. That way, I would've been prepared to contact her without feeling like I was annoying her.