Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Welcome!


Growing up as young women, we were all exposed at some point to information about pregnancy. Some of that information came from our schools, in the form of biology textbooks and anatomical diagrams in health class. Chances are a good portion of our knowledge came from our own mothers and grandmothers, from hearing their stories and memories about what the experience of childbirth was like for them. Maybe some of us were present at the birth of younger siblings, cousins, or nieces and nephews. It could even be that for some, their knowledge of pregnancy was limited to what they saw on television or in movies. One way or another, we all developed some idea of what we thought pregnancy might be like.

Like many other young women, I had what I would describe as a very basic, mostly biological concept of human reproduction. I could identify the necessary organs and chemicals involved, explain to you the scientific process of fertilization and conception, describe the nature of DNA and chromosomes, and lay out the standard timeline of a human pregnancy. I knew that being pregnant involved things like morning sickness, gaining weight, regular doctor’s appointments and ultrasounds, maternity clothes shopping, baby showers, labor and delivery, and a fair amount of planning. I knew that having a child meant sacrificing a number of personal liberties, hours of sleep and sometimes some sanity. And I knew that it was expensive. I suppose on some level, though, I also knew that it would one of the greatest joys I would ever experience.

I am 26 now, and pregnant for the first time. Looking back now on what I thought I knew, I can safely say that in the grand scheme of things, I didn’t know shit.

The truth is, there is no way to possibly comprehend pregnancy and everything that follows it until you actually go through it. And even then, you have to learn as you go. Just when you think you’ve considered every obstacle, thought of every necessity, solved every dilemma, accounted for every conflict and answered every question, fifty more questions and dilemmas and obstacles will pop up in their place.

One thing I have found extremely helpful is the advice, support and encouragement of other mothers and mothers-to-be. I can’t even tell you how many times I have come face to face with a concern or a question and looked to the answers of so-called “experts”, whose answers often left me more confused and worried than when I started. Unsatisfied, I would search out forums and blogs of real-life parents and other pregnant women and find that many people have had the same questions, the same concerns, and the same confusion that I was experiencing – I was normal! It has been a great comfort for me to know that other women have been there and been through it, and to get advice and guidance from sources I trust. I want to share that gift with others. I want to talk about my experiences so that others may read them and say “I’m not alone”. I also want to share what I have learned with those who may also be looking for advice and guidance.

I’m going to do a number of different things here. First, I am going to tell stories. Stories about what I am experiencing and stories shared with me by other mothers and mothers-to-be. I am also going to share the knowledge and advice I receive from other mothers, as well as helpful suggestions, recommendations, and resources that I come across in my daily travels. I spend time every day reading in books and online about pregnancy, gathering as much information as possible, looking for unique ideas, checking out blogs and websites, researching product reviews, etc. There is so much great stuff out there that I feel is worth sharing. I would also love to post some poetry, photos, anecdotes, quotes and just fun little things related to pregnancy and having children and parenting in general – submissions are always welcome.

I hope this will be an informative, encouraging, inspiring, helpful and interesting resource for first-time moms – and it should be an exciting way for me to document this incredible time in my life!

~*~

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