Monday, June 4, 2012

We're on baby watch. Any advice?

Today we are officially within a week of our baby's due date. If she arrives on time she'll be here in six days.

We've been on baby watch for a while now. She could've arrived at any time for the last two weeks. We've been spending almost all of our free time getting the house ready. Her nursery is finally done, and it looks fantastic.

Being first time parents, we've been getting lots of advice. The most common being to get lots of sleep while we can. Or sleep when she sleeps. Lots of advice that's sleep related.

A few weeks ago we were at lunch and one of the other customers at the restaurant started asking questions. They were pretty harmless at first. "When are you due?" "Do you know what you're having?" That kind of thing. He kind of went on and on, and all we wanted to do was eat our sandwiches and go. Then he started to get personal, asking if Gina was going to have an epidural. I know he was just being friendly, but back off, weirdo.

So, since we've been getting baby advice from everyone we see, I wanted to give all of you with kids the chance to chime in. What's something you wish someone had told you before you became a parent?


  1. That having kids would change absolutely everything. Not just our lifestyle, but *me.* That I would think differently, feel more deeply, love more than I ever thought possible, worry more, pray way more, and yes... sleep less. That I would take life far more seriously at times, and far less seriously at other times. That my marriage would change and grow. And also, that I shouldn't *wish* for them to get older so they can be at the next stage (eating solids, walking, talking, etc) because it WILL happen and before you know it that little baby will be in kindergarten, and before you blink it will be fourth grade and she'll be wanting to read the Hunger Games. Cherish the time, even when it seems hard (and sleepless). Sorry for the long response-- you caught me at a reflective moment. Parenting is one of the biggest adventures!

  2. Don't believe people who suggest you can bank sleep... you cannot. It doesn't matter that you slept for a week straight (okay, technically that's a coma) before the baby came into the world, when you're on your fifth or sixth sleepless night with a colicky baby whose only goal in life is to scream until your eardrums burst.

    Don't always give in on baby's every whim, because it's just going to get worse, and the patterns you set now may be the patterns you're going to be dealing with 6 months, 6 years or 16 years down the road.

    You're going to be stressed. Your mrs. is going to be stressed. The best parents in the world still feel stress. Make sure to make a little time for each other, and make a little time for yourselves individually.

    And finally, whatever happens to you and yours', make sure you maintain perspective. When my twins were born (a year ago in ten days), we were two and a half months premature. Spent 69 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit before we could even bring them home. They're happy and healthy now, and I know that whatever trials and tribulations we went through was a cake walk compared to what some of the parents we were bunking with in the NICU were going through. But when life is at its hardest, and you're going to feel like you're at the end of your rope, think of what other people go through, and just thank God that it isn't harder...

  3. Pretty solid advice so far. I told my mother that if I thought our daughter was going to be this much fun, I would've started making babies when I first hit puberty. She hit me. I'm okay, now.

    Jason is right on the sleep thing. I've tried it and yep, you'll never recoup. Just go with it. Same with stress, go with it.

    Anna was channeling my thoughts exactly and it was pretty spot on. I've pretty much gone through every emotion that a parent can have and my Lilly is only 2 1/2. I tear up at certain commercials and it's hard to watch the news sometimes. I have weird dreams where I'm scavenging for food in some dystopian future trying to feed my child. I wonder if I will be able to send her to college. But, those thoughts go away for a while when she turns around and hugs my leg and says, "Luff you, Daddy." Or pats me on the head or lies next to me on the couch and looks up at me and rubs my chin and asks, "When you gonna shave your whiskers, Daddy?"

    All in all, show them love, read to them, talk to them, explain to them even if you don't think they'll understand, express your emotions with them, and revel in their emotion. My daughter has a sense of wonder that is the most joyful thing I've ever experienced and I love sharing in that.

    Good luck in the coming days and the rest of your life!

  4. Thanks for the words of wisdom, everyone. They are much appreciated.

  5. I finally understand the joke, "If I'd known grandchildren would be this much fun, I'd have skipped the children and just gone straight to having grandchildren." It's infinitely more fun to be a grandparent. Baby's colicky? Send her home. Baby's running a fever? Call his parents to come get him. Oh, baby wants to play and laugh and make cookies with someone? I'll do it! I'll do it!

    I know it seems like a long time before any of this applies to you, but trust me, it happens faster than you can imagine. Just tuck this away for safe keeping, and meanwhile, try not to miss the scenery along the way because you were too focused on the journey's end. Enjoy every highway, bi-way, and detour along the parenting trip. (And yes, there will be plenty of detours along the way!) You are about to embark on an awesome ride!!