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Monday, February 12, 2007

Just one piece of advice

I know of at least four women who are pregnant at the moment. Two of these ladies are expecting their first babies. My thoughts go to these first-timers (one who is my best chum from high school; another a cousin of mine) and I can't help but be taken back to when I was pregnant with Keira. Spookily enough, they are both due at around the same time Keira was born, so I will have to set up some kind of sweep to see what birth dates, sex, weights, times etc are registered because, deep down, I am a compulsive gambler.

But I digress...

Another friend of mine (who has children) was asked by another first-time-mum-to-be this question: "If you could give me just one piece of advice about what's to come, what would it be?"

My friend asked our playgroup of mothers what they would say because it is a trickier question than you'd initially suppose. Because about, oh, say a dozen things immediately leap to mind; many of those, while helpful, are pretty insignificant when compared with the Miracle That Is Bringing A New Life Into The World.

Alas, my piece of advice is one of the more trivial anecdotes. When my friend asked me this question, this sentence burst forth from my mouth before I could stop it: "Buy Lansinoh and treasure it as if it were the last tube in existence". (I'm on the Breastfeeding bandwagon again. OK, I'm hopping off now).

If I were allowed to extend that sentence with an 'and' I'd also add, "and go into labour with an open mind." But that sounds horribly reductive, doesn't it? It's like saying to a patient that's going to be operated on without an anesthetic, "this is going to hurt a little bit". Well, der.

Still, I stand by that claim. Because, although I am a known worrier, before my labour with Keira I was completely....indifferent. My birth story of Keira has already been published before (in the legitimate media!) so I will have to go chase up the link, because it's a hoot-and-a-half. But I did get through it, I feel, because I just...went with the flow, I guess I'd say. But more of that another time.

What would you say? If you could just give ONE piece of advice to a new mum-to-be, what would it be?

UPDATED: Link of story found. You will need to click the "Birth According to Plan" Title. That's the 'clean' version of her birth story! (It's not really even that, is it?) I'll do the 'R' rated version at some point...

Comments on "Just one piece of advice"


Blogger Tracey said ... (9:18 am) : 

My advice (and I think I've already said this to you on several occasions anyway!).. is to listen to all the suggestions from other mums/parents about what worked for them.. try it if it sounds feasible, but above all, do what works for you. Same applies to advice from so-called 'experts'. Because YOUR situation is unique. You are different, your baby/children are all different.


Blogger Miscellaneous-Mum said ... (11:38 am) : 

That's a good one :)


Blogger strauss said ... (11:45 am) : 

I read your story from Melbourne Child- very entertaining. I think I would have been horrified if window washer had been present - that just doesn't seem right.
I too wrote a birth plan like all the books say to. But once I got into the birthing suite, it felt a bit ridiculous, like a diva's hotel and backstage requirements list. I mentioned it to my doctor and he smirked and said he would look at it a little later... it never saw the light of day. Ha!
I would tell mothers that breast feeing is more difficult that one might expect, I had a very hard time of it, was put on all sorts of drugs to increase supply, but nothing worked. I was racked with guilt over that and was called lazy by a a CAFHS midwife an ultimately had me in tears. It is definately a story for anotehr time, but if you can breast feed - GREAT, but if you can't , for whatever reason, then so be it. One shoudl not be made to feel inadequate, selfish or lazy if it doesn't work out - people can make judgements when they don't know the full story.
The other thing I woud recommend, would be to learn how to wrap an older baby, Once they are about 8 weeks old they tend not to fit in the bassinet anymore, and have outgrown the bunny rugs. My children slept and anpped soundly when i was shown, by a midwife, how to wrap my 4 month old son. It might not be for everyone, but for me, that skill was an absolute God send and saved my sanity.


Blogger jeanie said ... (12:26 pm) : 

"I should have been a Taurus – don’t they make endless 'to-do' lists, spring-clean every season and vigilantly maintain order?"

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha - I am Taurean, and while the "make endless 'to-do' lists" rings true that is NOT TO SAY they are followed through.

I think that listen to all advice and know when to apply the right dose of salt to it.

You do not have to do exactly what someone else did, everyone's journey is different, everyone's child is different - its nice to have a map but you don't have to follow someone else's directions.

Oh, and if you have a whingy baby at sundown go for a walk - with the baby, of course!!!


Blogger shishyboo said ... (4:01 pm) : 

It might not feel like it at the time but ultimately YOU will be the one who know's YOUR baby the best and YOU will know what's the right thing to do.

Nothing anyone says to you will adequately prepare you for having children

Oh and sleep deprivation doesn't last forever


Blogger Kimberly said ... (4:22 pm) : 

So with you on the Lansinoh! ~lol~ Liquid gold...well, gelatinous gold, really...

This question got me thinking along the same lines as you. I had so many preconceived ideas of how things were going to go (both times), and felt like my head was going to pop off because of how bewildered I felt once it actually happened (both times!).

The feeling foolish bit was almost the worst of it. Almost.


Blogger scribbit said ... (6:11 pm) : 

They have this activity at baby showers all the time where you're supposed to give advice to the new mother. I have the hardest time coming up with anything remotely useable.

I'm just not that profound. Especially becuase everyone seems to want to give advice. Oh well. They'll figure it out eventually I suppose, though I feel like I'm still stumbling in teh dark some times.


Blogger Miscellaneous-Mum said ... (9:08 am) : 

Very interesting thoughts ladies. From them all you can probably boil it down to: listen to others if you will, but do what you think is best for you.


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