Less than three years ago, I was pregnant for the first time and worried about getting everything right. Parenthood has been pretty amazing for me and my husband, Nick, but don't get me wrong; we're still figuring things out. Now that I'm pregnant with our second, a girl, I want to share with you a few things I wish I had known the first time.
You may not have an instant bond with your bump. While pregnant with my son, Camden,
I felt guilty because everyone told me about this love I'd feel, and I wasn't there yet. I remember asking Nick, "Is something wrong with me? I've wanted this my whole life, and I'm forcing myself to have those feelings." For me, the love really flowed when I found out the baby was a boy. That's when I could finally bond, once I knew "it" was a him.
Worrying is a waste of time. Once Camden was born, certain fears calmed down. I no longer thought, Will I be able to do this? My instincts really did kick in. We stumble and make mistakes, too, but that's what learning is. That's the beauty of it.
Remember to be patient. It's hard! As a baby, Camden would take about an hour to breastfeed. By the time he finished, it was almost time to feed again. A friend reminded me that infants are learning everything for the first time. So who am I to say, "Hurry up and eat. We have to go?" I tried to look at that time as an opportunity to love on him.
Resist making comparisons. With social media, people share mostly their best moments. Don't feel like you're not doing enough when you see a mom posting about making applesauce after you bought it. Ha ha! It's fine! Just for raising a little human being you should be commended.
Originally published in the December/January 2015 issue of American Baby magazine.