I never knew the eternal feeling of joy of having a child, even when I was pregnant. You go through the motions for 10 months (yes, 10 months! contrary to popular belief of 9 months, started by men, I'm sure - for me it was almost 10 1/2 months).
You never truly get it until you are in the delivery room and, after a few long hours, a doctor finally holds up this work of art, a beautiful child that is ours that we had been longing for, and all of a sudden it hits. I'm a mom! My husband is a dad! That is our child! And my husband is saying "it's a girl?" with excited hope, nervous anxiety and sudden fear all at once. At that moment, I understood the true meaning of family and fully appreciated all that my parents had done for me.
The funniest part is that the day before I had my daughter, I had mild cramps not realizing I was in labor and we watched the movie Dogma by Kevin Smith. Right after the movie was over, we realized my labor was getting more regulated and I wanted to get some sleep before it got serious. I had my parents visiting to keep me company as we waited those long overdue days. I thought that I was in early labor all day. We swam in the lake and hung out as it was in July and I had worked up until my due date on July 4. So we went to bed after the movie and sure as I climbed into bed, my water broke. Wa laa. Nature sure has its moments! So we left for the hospital at 10:00 pm. Given that it was a Saturday and summertime in Atlanta, we were lucky - my husband was afraid that I would go into labor during rush hour in Atlanta which equals at least an hour in traffic. But it all worked out great and we learned so much about ourselves in the process. And we have an incredibly beautiful baby girl in which words cannot describe our love for her. Truly an unconditional love.
Now Megan is going to be 2 in July and time seems to be flying. The first three months were glorious and exhausting. We were getting to know her, and she was getting to know us. And there are no manuals in parenting. My parents left after two weeks and I bawled. My husband was like, "what's WRONG?" and I was all hormonal and said "they're LEAVING!" in a horrific mess of panic and lack of confidenct. But we persevered and figured it out along the way. Now we are in a nice schedule for now. Although my sister did warn me - "once you get into a nice schedule, the baby changes it. Always keeps you guessing!"
I have since learned that all of my friends, family and authors on the subject of parenting were also winging it, so I felt much better. All we have is a community to share our victories and troubles and learn from it. So I talk to my friends and family often. And I read a lot. And God love the Young and the Restless and Desperate Housewives to make me feel like a good mom! Those are such guilty pleasures. I will defend these shows until the end!
So without much further ado, here are some of my favorite parenting links that I could not live without. And, always ask your friends or family if you have questions about anything as you face parenting, because we are all in this together.
The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy - I get this for my girlfriends and the one to surviving your first year of motherhood. Vicki Iovine is great!
Babycenter - the single best newsletter around for pregnancy each week and monthly baby updates afterwards. Also my number one source for research on sickness, discipline and everything in between!
Babystyle - pricy yet cool stuff for baby. I like their clearance section. You can get cool stuff at a nice price if you wait! OR just try EBay.
Ebay - I have no shame. It's just a big consignment store online. Megan has grown so fast, I bought footie pajamas here and they were like new and I got lots of winter use out of them, guilt free. Ebay rocks. I even sold a maternity top online that I never wore to a girl in Ohio. I love the Internet!
If you are in Atlanta, I recommend Roswell Pediatrics http://www.roswellpediatrics.com/ and if your child needs ear tubes, http://www.childrensent.com/
Amazon is my favorite place for Babies R Us stuff, books, movies, you name it:
If you spend $25, you can usually get free shipping and given the cost of gas nowadays, it's worth it!
And yes, if your child has had many ear infections and antibiotics aren't helping, please consult an ENT. Tubes are not permanent and a non-medicated option to help your child as they grow. Our daughter had a non -clear ear from December to July and had infections from October to July. She has only had one or two episodes since and it is April of the next year. She is a much happier baby and we don't have to keep giving her antibiotics. The tubes will come out on their own and they help draining the natural fluid that builds up when she gets sick.
So where is the build me up buttercup reference? Right here. I realizing how cool Van Morrison is. He has so many songs that other artists have sung that I haven't been aware of. So it's time to order his album on Amazon! What great relaxing music for the baby, too.
Good luck with parenting and remember. You need to have something for you in your life, something for you as a couple and something as a family. Keep the balance and you will be happy!