Wow so, I totally intended to keep track of my entire pregnancy but then here I find myself at the beginning of the final trimester having missed the chance to write about the most wonderful moments of pregnancy so far! I guess the second trimester was too big a party for me to sit down and put words to keyboard.
But let me tell ya that is starting to change now that I’m transforming from a speed bump into more of a freeway center divide. Lord, pregnancy is not nearly as magical and organized as some people make it out to be – they’re all totally glossing over the mid sneeze pee squirts and laughing accompanied by perfectly timed farts and wild hunger rages. I for one find all of those things perfectly charming but could see them being difficult to glitterfy for the interwebz readers.
Keeping those thoughts in mind, I wanted to quickly plug two sources of child rearing brilliance that I’ve found myself thinking about nonstop from when I wake to when I fall into pregnant mouth breather slumber – Bringing up Bebe and Science of Mom.
I loved this book. It was the first parenting book I read after finding out I was expecting. I’d started to read a combo of pregnancy horror stories and perfect pinterest mommy blogs and, coupled with a few choices memories of nasty children I’d run into in the past, I was starting to accept that I may just be doomed to birth a monster. This book changed all that.
Pamela is, first of all, hilarious. The book reads like you’re talking to one of your best girlfriends – someone who you trust, who is honest, funny and well meaning. She shares common sense lessons she learned while bringing up her daughter and twin boys while she and her husband lived abroad in Paris. She covers everything from tricks to help your baby sleep through the night to the benefits of daycare and cooking with your child. The best part is, while you’d read the concept and think “oh God here’s another hoitsy toitsy ‘French Women Don’t Get Fat’ piece of nonsense” you start reading it and she repeatedly addresses that fear! And puts it out of your mind! She’s a quirky American girl just like you, trying to make it in a world of toned arms French high-heeled preggos! I bought one for my own mother so she’d be on board for when our baby is born.
I’m only about halfway through this one and truly can’t stop thinking about it, day and night. The biggest benefit (aside from the infinite wisdom Dr. Callahan shares throughout the book) is that her approach is as gentle and non-judgey as you could ever want. Her whole point is that while you should do what feels right for your baby, you should also be able to consider cold hard facts based on real, trustworthy scientific research – so here’s how you can tell what research is trustworthy and why.
She covers everything from whether to get the vitamin K shot (Eli: “Is that like what’s in Special K cereal?”) to why babies have trouble sleeping through the night early on to breastfeeding and lots more. You know when you go for your doctor appointment at the OB’s office and they ask if you have any questions and you think “UH YES WHAT THE HECK I’VE NEVER HAD A BABY BEFORE OF COURSE I DO BUT HOW COULD I POSSIBLY KNOW WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK OTHER THAN HOW DO YOU BIRTH THE CHILD AND KEEP IT ALIVE FOREVER?” Well once you read this book, you can feel so much more ready and at ease with material to chat to your doctor about. Everyone can be on the same page, and you don’t need to feel like your doctor is internally rolling her/his eyes at you when you ask about whether you can sit in an essential oil filled bathtub while a medicine woman whispers Enya songs into your ear amidst the candle light during child birth.
The best thing I’ve been told through this whole experience, which was only reinforced by reading these two books, is that every pregnancy is different, and every parent is different. As long as you prioritize the safety and happiness of your baby using advice from your DOCTOR and your mom (as long as your mom isn’t wacko), then you’re doing it right. Or…as right as any of us know how to do it.