by: Emma Aguirre

January 13, 2011
Week 12

I’m learning I don’t need to read up on every little quirk, and maybe I just have one of those “easy babies,” but parenthood (so far) doesn’t need to be as stressful as all the books and the shows make it out to be. Am I missing something? Am I doing it right? I’ve showered every day since my daughter was born, even the day she was born (she was born very, very early), I’ve had several full night’s sleep and we eat three home-cooked meals pretty much every day. I’d watch these shows and read those books, and they would terrify me enough to never really want children. If the birth wasn’t enough to scare someone, the aftermath certainly was. But there was no screaming in the delivery room for us, no cursing, no fainting, it was very calm. Now, I wouldn’t want to give birth every day, and I didn’t say it didn’t hurt, BUT it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. When I found out I couldn’t have a C-section just “because” (I thought it made WAY more sense to schedule it, whip the baby out and sew me back up), I was devastated. Delivering vaginally was just not an option, not to mention, I’m extremely modest. Eventually I just came to terms with it and ended up sailing through the entire thing in a few hours. Truly an amazing experience and I have so much more respect for my body than I have ever had in my life.

The aftermath is something you cannot be prepared for, simply because most books stop at the actual birth, expecting you to buy “part two.” I didn’t, and was never really told how much I would bleed, what I would need to do to take care of myself, the stitches, those gorgeous mesh panties and as shocked as I was by it all, it just didn’t seem like a big deal because we had this amazing littler person to get to know. I was in jeans that same week she was born and I made sure to put on a little make up and clean myself up a bit. It did wonders for my spirit and that really helped make introducing our little one into our lives so much easier. It’s something that I carry with me today. I make sure I’m feeling good, and then I know I can be the best for her. It sounds so cliché but it’s so true. I learned to ask for help when I needed it, and my husband was incredible those first few weeks. I leaned on him so much during my pregnancy, and I thought I could do it all as soon as it was over. But it’s important to share and let him develop his own parenting skills and his own bond with our daughter. I had no problem passing my baby to grandma, or daddy, while I rested. I was very confident that she knew I was mommy and that was a bond no one could beat. I trumped everyone and I think that’s key.

Three months into this, I still don’t have a parenting book. I probably never will own one. I’ve learned that no book can tell you why your baby is crying, or not sleeping, or not smiling yet, or not eating. It’s an instinctual thing. I’ve found getting out and talking to other moms and interacting with other babies and families can really help ease any worries.