What I wish I’d known?
By Susan Fletcher
I have to admit, one of the most exciting things I found about being pregnant – besides the fact I was creating a new mini me – was that it opened up a whole new world of reading material. Nothing highly intellectual mind, work is far too intense to allow for that on my down time. But a new range of lifestyle, glossy Mum & baby mags, naming books etc (yes – this was pre-mature internet and Facebook). So, I knew all about the “Brussel Sprout” that was growing inside me (yes – that was Harriet’s pre birth name – we were living in Belgium). And I had timelines in magazines charting her food-like development “Look honey – the Sprout resembles a nut this week!”
The Spout kept growing and growing and the time kept passing. 40 weeks later we were in the hospital preparing to be induced. I felt fine, the baby felt fine but it clearly had no intention of “sprouting”.
What do I wish I’d known? Besides the indignity of everything you have to go through, being induced – they never cover any of that in any mags…..I wish I had known that you can be induced and it doesn’t always result in your baby coming. One night stay over and seven hours later into the process, nothing much was happening and we were sent home with no baby. That was my biggest – “I wish I’d known” – moment. No one had ever told us you could be induced and it doesn’t always result in a baby – who knew? The Sprout was not coming and they didn’t want to force it.
So, living in Belgium, we drove around lots of uneven cobbled streets, ate curry and raked fallen leaves (none of which worked!). Another week later, it eventually took a long labour and a c-section to forcibly remove the well-baked 10-pound, bouncing sprout, more than two weeks late.
Everything else has been less surprising so far and for that I’m grateful. Perhaps the books were useful after all.
One of my biggest pieces of advice, besides don’t sweat the small stuff and follow through on your threats, is to create memories and store them. The kids adore the photo books we’ve created. Fortunately, my family love photography and we have lots of photo albums of the kids when they were young. And now everything is digital, I continue to support the Apple stock price by creating photo books of every holiday or trip we take.
If the pictures just stay on a computer, they lose their value and there are just too many. So, making hard copies of the best moments keep the trips alive in our memories and the kids really enjoy looking back over time. A worthwhile investment.
I’m a displaced Brit loving the Georgia sunshine, married with two kids, a dog and two cats. Most of my spare time is spent with my kids and camera in hand, which has recently earned me the status of “cool Mum” with my kids and their classmates. Life is good.
Susan, is a really cool person I met when I worked at UPS. I love her sense of humor. Funny moments shared with TheMommyhood include tooth fairy tales and awesome kid quotes. She is very wise. I love her advice about making photo books: “If the pictures just stay on a computer, they lose their value..” I also like that her kids are older than mine, so I am watching, and I’m learning. Thanks for showing me the way, Susan. And thanks for sharing your wisdom with TheMommyhood.com!