i thought it was the right time to bestow upon my little sister a few of my hard-won nuggets of experience in the baby-rearing arena.
whether she'll listen or not - well, that's an entirely different story for a different time. but, suffice it to say, my sis and i are pretty close and we share lots of common joys and pains, hopes and disappointments in life.
she has had a tough pregnancy - it wasn't the one she hoped or planned for. she suffered from what only a small, small minority of pregnant women endure - constant nausea and vomiting. it hasn't been pretty.
now, in her third trimester, she's finally able to keep some food down and not have to directly pump meds into her belly to keep her stabalized.
so, it's not been the dreamiest of pregnancies, shall we say.
but, as hope tends to spring eternal in these parts, she remains an optimist about the outcome, about mommyhood, about the new life she and her hubby are about to meet with the loving arms they embrace most everyone they encounter.
so, to them, i only say the following (because, after all, what do i really know anyway?)
1. take an I-Pod to your birthing room. I had an emergency c-section, but I always dreamt of listening to soothing or inspiring tunes while in the midst of delivery. it almost seems to make the experience all the more transcendental - like you are living the movie that is your life with a soundtrack. cool!
2. never, ever under-estimate the power of, or need to start as soon as you are medically cleared to, exercise following the Tracy Anderson Method. She saved my abs, my muscle tone (or what semblance i have of it) and my sanity with my post-pregnancy body. buy her videos NOW!
3. have patience with this whole planning thing. if i learned anything, you can plan yourself into a mirage of what it could be, should be, will be...but then, sometimes, the unexpected happens. and, i don't mean only hardships or negative surprises...i just mean that your little bambina might surprise you early or late or have a very decided way about her from day one. take it in stride. you are meeting a beautiful baby that through love and grace, you and your hubby created. don't plan away the surprise of it all.
4. load up on the essentials and, while it's fun to indulge the baby shower shoppng lists, don't fret if you don't get everything you believe you must have. these kiddos of ours survive and thrive on surprisingly little. much of the trappings are for our comfort as adults. and, whatever you are missing, i have two in my attic. so, don't worry, between us it's all covered.
5. breathe. I never did enough. I still don't enough. just breathe.
6. enjoy those moments of feeling the fluttery butterfly that is your little one moving about, saying hello, and breathing within you. for me, they were some of the most special moments of pregnancy and even now, when i think back, i felt more connected to little e at that moment than many others during the pregnancy. relish it.
7. imagine an addition to your life. not an interruption. so quickly we as parents get overwhelmed by the responsibility, the chaos, the toys, the diapers, the noise, the visitors, the list goes on and on....but, at the end of the day, you have created your family. you define who and what that looks like and how it feels. you create the walls around that fortress and embrace oneanother and those you welcome within that nurturing abode. mama and dada and baby only means more love, more joy, and more abundance. in the tough times, lean on others to remind yourself of that.
8. everything is falling into place. your body is expanding. your little one is making her presence known more frequently. and, you are ready to be a mama. you've proven that by your unqualified love and affection for our little apple cheeks; an acceptance and embrace of her that you have bestowed upon her from the minute you met her. emma is fortunate to have such a loving aunt; your daughter will be blessed to have such an empathetic and doting mama.
9. little apple cheeks keeps patting your growing belly in anticipation of your little one joinng us for play daytes. emma will be a good older, and in some ways, younger, cousin. she will teach and she will learn from your little angel. i can't wait for them to meet.
10. if anything goes other than planned, you are strong and capable and prepared as you can be- as much as anyone could be. and, you have supportive loved ones who "get it" as much as possible.
but, little sis, now is your time and i have a pretty good sense that every little thing is going to be alright....
about a thing.
(and drink more water!)
love, apple cheeks' mama