Mighty Mommy has delivered seven babies and will soon be a grandmother. Here are ten pressing questions on the minds of today's pregnant women that they scramble to have answered. This episode covers five questions women grapple with in their last trimester. (For questions women have in their first trimester, check out Part One here!)
Once you start visiting your doctor or midwife during the last month of pregnancy, you’ll probably see him/her once a week until delivery. At these visits, your cervix will be checked so you’ll know if and when you’ve started to dilate.
My pregnancy bible (during each of my pregnancies) was What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Even what I thought were my silliest of questions were usually answered in this fantastic book.
In What to Expect’s 10 Signs of Labor, you’ll find an excellent article that explains everything you might be feeling or are anticipating so that you’ll feel more prepared when the big moment does arrive.
My first baby arrived two weeks early. I was in the middle of a total nesting frenzy and was scrubbing everything that didn’t move in our home. The following day I began having regular contractions. They started off at 30 minutes apart and within a few hours they were consistent at 15-minute intervals. Twenty-eight hours later, my son arrived, and our home was sparkling clean!
My advice to my daughter—don’t be afraid to call your doctor if you think you’re in labor. The worst thing that can happen is you go to the office or hospital to be checked out and get sent home if it’s not time. (Happened to me twice!) It’s all part of your delivery journey—one that you can share with your child someday.
5. What if I Don’t Bond With My Baby Right Away?
I think the question of how quickly you bond with your newborn is at the top of the charts, right along with the shame some women feel if they choose an epidural. We’ve all seen those heartfelt birth scenes in movies or soap operas where moments after a dramatic birth, mother and baby experience a quintessential bonding moment. Harps play softly in the background and the moon and stars align. It’s a moment to behold!
Enter real life. After an endless, difficult labor, where you haven’t had a thing to eat except a couple of ice chips, your bundle of joy finally arrives. You pray for that “love at first sight” moment, but you’re too exhausted for your own fairytale experience because all you can think about is getting some rest. To make matters worse, you look at your new baby and she’s nothing like you pictured she’d be. Instead of glowing, pink, and perfectly round, she’s wrinkled, purple, and has a cone-shaped head.
I experienced bonding with my newborns in different capacities. My first baby was adopted at birth, so when I held her for the first time, she was nearly ten hours old, and I had been enjoying champagne in first-class traveling to meet her. My body was super relaxed, and she was the most gorgeous little human being I had ever laid eyes on. One year later, I delivered our first son after 28 grueling hours of labor, and when I first held him—I fell asleep!
In my humble opinion, bonding immediately with your newborn is highly overrated. Every parent will feel differently when they meet their baby for the first time, and if it isn’t a “movie” moment, no big deal! Really!
In Postpartum Bonding, the article reveals a study that found that “it takes an average of two to nine weeks for mothers to have positive feelings toward their newborns. What's more, experts believe that a really strong attachment to a child doesn't completely take hold until somewhere in the second half of a baby's first year.”
Personally, once I was home from the hospital with each of my new babies, I had time to cuddle with them when I was nursing and got to fall in love with them without the interference of hospital staff.
My hope is that my daughter won’t feel the pressure to connect with her baby minutes after she gives birth, but to instead enjoy those precious moments she’s going to have getting to know him at home.
What's on your pregnancy mind? Share your thoughts in the comment section at quickanddirtytips.com/mighty-mommy or post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page. You can also connect with me on Twitter @MightyMommy or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.