Wednesday, October 16, 2013

37 weeks....Mommy shaming

There are, what, 18 years and 3 weeks at most ahead of me to deal with this. Then baby girl will go out into the world and demonstrate the type of person I hopefully helped her become and failings will still come back to me. I'd hope any mom knows this is what they are in for when they get pregnant. I did, but it doesn't make it any easier knowing what to expect. When that day comes in 18 years when Paul and I move her into college, clown school or her apartment next to the McDonalds she works at, is her path in life going to be what it is because I drank some coffee while pregnant, or because of the path my breastfeeding takes, or because we had her vaccinated? Is it going to be because of the age she learns her ABC's or how to count to 100? Maybe I should let her sleep in our bed. Maybe she should stay in her crib and cry all night to make her tough.

These are all choices I have had to make or will be making in the coming days and weeks. And everyone else seems to know better than me. What it seems is that they know what worked for them. This little girl pushing and stretching my stomach right now is her own person. She has her own personality and own needs. What works for her may not be what worked for my mom with me or for my mother in law for my husband. The wheel has been invented, perfect parenting has not. I fear the day someone says it has.

OH wait people are saying that.

I understand breastfeeding and look forward to doing it. Paul asked me last night how long I will breastfeed. I told him I honestly don't know. I don't have a time table or expectations. I am going to try my hardest to do it. First, it is free other than the food I feed myself. And it makes sense that she has spent 9 months growing in me so a food source that comes from me is going to be one of the best things for her. If, and honestly, when the day comes that something doesn't seem to be working right I will ask the questions. Chances are that time is going to be in the hospital after she is born. But I am never going to put the question out there for debate asking "should I be breastfeeding?" "should I stop breastfeeding?" that is up to her and I. And I hope that the people in my life will respect that. I pray I have surrounded myself by the right, supportive people.

Stella enjoys cuddle time with baby girl
I have no preconceived notions about being the perfect parent or expecting that Paul will be. We are not going to knowingly put our daughter in danger. If something seems iffy, just as if we were dealing with ourselves or dogs, we will research it. By research I mean factual accounts. We have seen so much over the last few years and more now with all the in your face "since you are pregnant you should know" conversations, emails and random internet pop-ups about vaccination.

That is our choice and our doctor's advice to give. I feel lucky to know a medical professional in my sister and a friend who is in the field of biotechnology. I trust them. When I was going to get the HPV vaccine I spoke to my doctor and I spoke to her about the vaccine. We had a room mate who refused to get it because there was no way to know what the vaccine would do. As my friend said they didn't just mix it up in a lab and send it out the next day. Research, studies, lab tests and other tests are done before it is injected into my arm.

All this is to say that as friends, siblings, parents, acquaintances and strangers need to be focused on our families and what is best for us. If it is working for you then people will come to you with their questions. Don't seek them out with your answers first.

Now, with that off my chest I will be going back to trying to stay comfortable and busy to pass the time until we finally get to meet this little girl. Braxton Hicks are officially here. The doctor said that things are getting ready but there is no progress toward delivery.

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