When I think back to the days of trying to conceive, I can't help but feel that it was a lifetime ago. Technically, I guess it has been a lifetime, since Baby is now almost eight months old. I think every parent is familiar with the strange way time works in parenthood: It seems like your child has always been with you, even though you lived an entire lifetime before his arrival. That's why I want to make sure that I don't forget the roller coaster of emotions that I felt back when Baby was nothing more than a wish and a prayer to us. If I could go back and talk to my slightly younger, trying to conceive self, I would tell her the following:
- Your baby will arrive at just the right time. I know every day feels like forever when you just want a baby of your own, but please trust me. When your baby arrives, you will know that you have been blessed with the exact baby you were meant to have at exactly the right time. Meeting your baby will feel like the most perfect moment in your life because that's exactly what it is. You will not want to alter a single thing about that moment, including the timing.
- You will not have the birthing experience that you hope for. And that's okay. Right now, you are obsessed with the details of exactly how you want to give birth because it's something you feel like you can control. You're absolutely right to want the best possible birthing experience for you and your baby, but when you see your baby's face, you won't care how he got here because the only thing that will matter is the fact that he is actually here.
- Your research on how to be a parent won't really matter. You are a person who craves information, so it is only natural that you are reading everything you can get your hands on about how to be a parent. When Baby arrives, you will realize that it's nice to know facts and figures, and different perspectives on parenting, but you will follow nothing other than your instincts when it comes to making every possible decision throughout your baby's life.
- You can follow the advice of friends to go out as much as possible now while you still have the chance, but it won't make much of a difference. You can't possibly appreciate the freedom to go out and do adult things whenever you want until you no longer have that option on a regular basis. You will appreciate going out to dinner, seeing movies, having nights out with friends, and travelling in a way that you never imagined once Baby arrives. That said, you will care a lot less about doing all of those things once you can have the time of your life just sitting on the couch and making your baby laugh.
- Stop thinking that you're never going to be a parent just because you can't picture actually being one. This is not some kind of mystical premonition on your part. You can't picture actually being a parent because it is an experience of love and intensity and amazement and beauty that is so far beyond anything you have ever experienced that it is simply impossible for you to truly conjure this in your mind before it really happens.
I Thought I Knew Mama
More from parenting