This post is part of an editorial series, “The Stork Stories,” brought to you by the Fort Worth Moms Blog. We hope these pieces provide you with helpful information, encouragement, and answers as you prepare for baby’s arrival.
If the day comes that you decide to have a child, I want to tell you what I think you should know about bringing a new little life into this world. If you’re anything like me, I imagine you’ll spend a great deal of time daydreaming, and planning for the birth of your child. My number one suggestion is to be prepared. Be prepared for the birth you want, but also be prepared for how your birth might differ from your plans. No matter what type of birth you envision, plan ahead for your ideal birthing scenario as much as you can.
Interview care providers that align closely with your desires. Tour a variety of facilities you might like to give birth in. Take a well-rounded childbirth education course that will help you prepare to achieve your ultimate birthing goals. Read books written by the leading experts. Do everything you can to have the birth of your dreams, but don’t forget to plan for alternate situations. Keep in mind that your plans may change. Don’t limit your education, and preparation to one potential birthing scenario.
I don’t mean you should fear all the possible ways in which things may not go as planned. Thinking positive thoughts about the birth you want can have a big impact on the outcome, but I do believe it’s a good idea to do plenty of research ahead of time and be informed of other possibilities. I’m NOT saying a healthy baby is all that matters, and if you don’t get the birth you wanted, then you should get over it.
Your desires in birth are a priority, and it’s important those desires are honored when possible, but I do want you to know that if your plans change, it’s okay. It’s important to me that you’re not blindsided if things don’t happen as you expected, and I want you to know that there are plenty of ways to bring a child into the world, and they’re all equally commendable.
Now that we have the practical suggestions out of the way, I want to tell you what you can never really be prepared for.
I want you to know that when you need it most, you’ll find a fierce and powerful strength within you that you didn’t know you had. All the preparation in the world won’t prepare you for the moment when you hear your baby’s first cry. Your heart will leap out of your chest with pride and relief, while simultaneously shattering into a million pieces at the sound of your tiny, helpless infant needing your comfort.
Even the most well-trained doctor or midwife won’t really be able to tell you how, when you look into your child’s eyes for the first time, it’s like you’ve known each other all along, even though you’ve only just met. There’s no class you can take that will teach you the feeling you get when you hold them on your chest and feel the smoothness of their perfect skin on yours, and suddenly you know that there isn’t anything you wouldn’t do to protect them. The most popular books won’t be able to prepare you for when you lean in, breathe that sweet fragrant newborn smell, and know that the love you have for them is nothing like you’ve experienced before.
If you have a partner when you birth, you probably won’t realize how much birth can change your relationship with them until it happens. When you feel the strength and support they offer you as you birth, you might feel protected in a way you’ve never felt before. Witnessing the care they take in handling your delicate infant will make your heart swell with pride and your love for them deepen. And, when you overhear the sweet things they whisper to your baby when they think no one is listening, you’ll know that birth has permanently changed them too. You both might become stressed and exhausted. Your patience with each other might be tested, but you may find your relationship can become stronger in the midst of adversity.
Birth may very well be one of the most challenging, yet rewarding experiences of your life, which is much like parenting itself. You can and should spend time preparing for it, but in the end you’ll never be prepared for what a profound impact it will have on you. The life you once knew will never be the same, but I can promise that it will be changed for the better. I know that from experience.
The Fort Worth Moms Blog is hosting its next event just for you! Bloom, happening May 20, 2017 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Cook Children’s Medical Center, is an event for expectant moms and moms who are currently parenting children two years and under. (Foster and adoptive moms are welcome too!) The afternoon will focus on information, resources, products, and more that target the pregnancy and delivery stage of parenting through the first two years. This event, held in partnership with Cook Children’s Health Care System, will provide a few hours of pampering, light snacks, educational resources, giveaways and swag, shopping, and connecting moms and families with relevant local resources for this season of life. For information, tickets, and more click HERE!