5 things I wish I would have done when I was pregnant

I am to the point in Raffa's life where I feel extra sentimental about his days passed. Everyone said those days would come, but I disliked the newborn stage so much, I thought that I would never miss my baby being a newborn (even as sweet, cute, and wonderful he was as an infant). However, I see newborns and infants, and now I do indeed miss my baby (side note: this does not mean I want another baby).

Missing my newborn baby has two side effects. First, it makes me all the more determined to be mindful of every moment I have with Raffa now, because time is fleeting, and certainly I will look back upon these days and miss them terribly too. And, second, it makes me reminisce about the past. That brought me to a place where I was remembering being pregnant and a few things I wish I would have known back then.

#1 Don't spend so much time preparing.
I felt {self-imposed} pressure to prepare - to make lists of what I would need for my baby and organize those things once purchased. In the end, once Raffa was born, I needed very little of all that stuff and would have rather purchased what I needed as I went along to prevent buying things I didn't need.

That begs mentioning that in the beginning, all I would have needed was tons of diapers, a tall stack of clean, folded onesies, a couple swaddle blankets, two dozen burp cloths, comfortable clothes (for me), a sling, wrap, or Bjorn, my breast pump, and Raffa's bassinet. All the rest was peripheral and I didn't need it - I really could have just purchased all the rest of that stuff as it was needed.

#2 Don't read baby books or listen to advice.
This goes hand in hand with #1, not only would I buy less stuff to prepare but I would tune out any advice and not read baby books. I actually didn't read any books and I am so glad I did not. Nothing, and I truly believe nothing, can prepare you for being a mom. You can read every book from cover to cover, but until you meet your baby who is a one-of-a-kind, no-book-can-possibly-know individual, you will not know or be able to know what he or she needs. No book can predict what will be best for your baby, because just like every other human on this planet, each baby is completely unique. Those books are mostly pushing some very specific philosophy on taking care of a baby that they say is best, when in reality there is no right or wrong way. There is only what works best for you and your baby, and that is a personal journey you take with your baby to find out what that best is.

Furthermore, I know moms who are just more stressed out because of expectations that these books set that then their babies eating, sleeping, pooping, peeing, napping habits don't live up to. They think these books know their babies and feel like they fell short or failed. Not true at all.

People will offer well intentioned advice. Some people will offer stories or anecdotes meant to scare you. Neither are helpful for the same reasons mentioned above. Smile, nod, and ignore.

#3 Take a babymoon.
I would spend more time with my husband, enjoying him and my dog before our little bomb was dropped. And, we should have gone on a babymoon. We took a day trip to the Florida Keys, but that was more like, "well, we better go see the Keys once while we live in southern Florida because now we are leaving." We should have taking a fancy-schmancy-ish vacation. I know people who have done it and it's genius. And, who doesn't love a vacation?

#4 Take more photos of my pregnant self.
I have a few photos of myself pregnant, mostly thanks to social media (here and here and here and here, for example). But for almost ten months of my life I have surprisingly fewer photos of myself than one might expect, especially photos that show all of me - what I looked like when I was pregnant. Like everyday. You see I was a funny little pregnant lady running in just shorts and a sports bra in the Miami humidity, and I would love to have a photo of that to one day show {or torture} Raffa with.

#5 Enjoy being pregnant.
This may sound impossible to some pregnant women, but I am speaking for me here. I had an easy, lovely, healthy, risk/scare-free pregnancy. I am not naive enough to think that this is the case for everyone, but since it was for me I should have spent time relishing that period of my life since that will be the only I will be pregnant.


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