Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Baby Boom: How to Avoid Driving an Expectant Mother Batty

"Leave me alone, stop it, just stop doggin' me around"~ Michael Jackson

Either it's just that stage in my life or there's a certifiable baby boom going on. A close friend gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on Sunday, another is due tomorrow, and I just read on Twitter that Melissa from Dear Baby had her precious son within the last 24 hours. I know a couple other people in real life who are pregnant and don't even get me started on all of the preggo bloggers I'm following. And if you all didn't know already, I am also experiencing the swell of the belly.

As friends continue to hit their due dates, I'm starting to realize just how lucky I was that Q arrived 9 days early. I hadn't yet become too impatient for his entrance into the world. I hadn't started feeling desperately uncomfortable. And more importantly, I didn't have to experience a ton of people texting me, calling me, emailing me, posting on my Facebook wall, or tweeting: "Is that baby here yet?? Any news?" I'm mentally preparing myself for this possibility when September is nigh.

I can only imagine how ridiculously annoying the constant harassment is. Well-meaning friends and relatives of expectant mothers, if you are feeling anxious for this new bundle to arrive and brighten up your world, please stop for two seconds to ponder how the mother who has carried this parasitic beast love child for 9 10 months must feel. I get it. You're excited! I'm excited, too! But I think it's wise to remind ourselves that there are better ways to show that we care.

Here are my tips on how to help maintain the sanity of a pregnant woman on the brink of her due date (and very likely on the brink of a breakdown).


1. Do not her ask the aforementioned questions regarding news of her going into labor or if the baby had arrived while you stepped away from your phone/computer for 9 seconds. Pretend you're living in the world of yesteryear (say, 15 years ago), when people would have to wait for days to hear about a new baby's arrival. And then be thankful that you will probably hear about the labor/birth of the baby within 24 hours of his/her arrival WITHOUT YOU EVEN HAVING HAD TO ASK.

2. Do send your well wishes and positive thoughts -- but sparingly. We appreciate all of the good energy and knowing that you're thinking about us, but we also don't want a ton of added pressure to get that baby out already.

3. Do not send a bunch of unsolicited advice at the last minute. This is tantamount to backseat driving when you have almost arrived at your destination. If you can believe it, we have been gathering advice for the duration of the pregnancy and longer. One or two tips might be okay, especially if it's a topic you have already discussed with the mama-to-be. Otherwise, you might just get kicked out of the car.

4. Do check what's left on the registry and send some essentials that could really help in the first weeks. Or better yet, go grocery shopping, make a dinner that can be frozen or easily stored for later use, and send it over.

5. Do not insist that she tell you when she's on her way to the hospital so that you can show up there, too. If she wants you there, she will let you know.

6. Do be patient and available for support if the mama needs you. Especially if you've already gone through this whole labor/delivery/newborn thing before. If she's feeling restless and wants to hang out, make her lunch or bring over a movie (ask first, don't just show up). But none of that creepily watching her for signs of going into labor.

Ultimately, take a cue from Michael Jackson and just leave her alone! You might even end up being one of the first people she texts when she's going into labor. (I feel so very honored, EJ!)

Mamas and lovely mamas-to-be, any other tips you would share? What do you wish friends and family had done for you in those last days of your pregnancy?

6 comments:

  1. Yes, these are great tips! I especially like the one about unsolicited last minute advice akin to a backseat driver :)

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  2. Oh, these are such great tips! I'm going to re-tweet this post as I remember how annoying it was with being a week overdue with Nya and getting those annoying calls. It was insane. I think the worst was that my mom was calling me daily to ask if I'd had the baby already. Like. Really? I remember thinking to myself with each call, "You really think that I'd go into labor and not tell you, one of the most important persons in my life?"

    I think you covered everything!

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  3. Oh Mich how I love this post! You're reading my mind. I've been thinking about sending just this weblink alone as a response to the constant emails/text/calls/FB posts. Check it out! Gave me a good laugh when I needed it.

    http://www.haveyouhadthatbabyyet.com/

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  4. Yeah, great points! I went into labor on Levi's due date (really lucky!) but even the last week or two for me started to be real torture! I would have just liked friends to invite me out to do fun things that would take my mind off of BABY for a nanosecond! Lots of "last hurrah" outings would have been good!

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  5. Thanks for the tips. :) Where are you guys registered!?!?

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  6. Love that link, Camille!

    Adriel, yes on the last hurrah outings! Good tip!

    Red, no registry just yet.

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