Authors: Paula Grahame
Tales of a First Time
A collection of all the
crap the baby books
didn't tell me. Some
gross, some funny, all absolutely true.
By: Paula Grahame
New mommy circa 2011
Text copyright © 2012
All Rights Reserved
Cover image courtesy of:
Acclaim Images, LLC
The man I shared my
The man I love.
You are my world.
My whole entire world.
Congratulations! You are going to have a baby.
That's such wonderful news. You are about to embark on the ultimate journey
learning tons of new things about your body and exciting life lessons along the
way. We both know exactly what you are about to do – You're about to crack
open the first of the countless pregnancy, baby, and parenting self-help books
that you purchased the second you saw that “positive” on the stick. You expect
that these books will prepare you for what is about to happen to your body. To
tell you that your baby is going to be the most perfect little quiet, bubbly,
never-pooping, sound sleeper on the planet. To assure you that your formerly
slim figure will get right back to perfection in 8 weeks. To guarantee that if
you follow their advice, you will never have spit up on your shirt, or cheerios
smashed into your carpet. The books are great. I've read them all. They include
a wealth of knowledge and wisdom and are written by fantastic women (and some
men). But as you read them you may notice that they all seem to be lacking in a
few topics. Maybe because these topics are less than pleasant to talk about.
Maybe because it's only acceptable to believe in perfection. Maybe because we
all want to live in denial that naughty, crying, temperamental little demon
kids actually do exist. Whatever the reason, it doesn't matter now because all
of those funny, gross and quirky things that the Mommy books didn't tell me are
right here and I am sharing them with you. While I am no expert in pregnancy,
parenting, motherhood, I am a self-proclaimed funny chick who chose to put my
own spin on things. I was no perfect pregnant woman, perfect parent, or perfect
wife. I have learned, and am still learning along the way just like everyone
else. So grab yourself an iced tea, prop your swollen feet up, and prepare for
some of the funny, gross & sensitive but all very true things that I have
learned and experienced on my journey towards motherhood.
The Casually Dressed Roly Poly Oly
Being pregnant is such a mind blowing feeling.
Knowing that you and your partner created this being and it is your job to
provide the perfect environment to grow in is so incredible. It is probably
the only thing, aside from that moment you actually become ‘Mommy’ that there
truly are no words for.
While the selection is not always the best, it
is still (sort of) fun to shop for maternity clothes – even though you might be
feeling like a big fat troll. These days stores and websites have tons of
clothing options whether you want to hide that belly, or show it off. Those
prenatal vitamins you are taking, along with the surge of hormones running
through your veins will make your hair, skin and nails look amazing. In turn
you will do everything in your power to maintain your current look, or make it
better. That being said you should keep in mind that trying to 'primp' while
pregnant is a joke – at least for the last few months. I had no idea what I
was shaving or what it looked like 'down there' for a solid 4 months. Primping
for me became heaving my giant swollen ankle on to the shower ledge, lathering
up my crotch, placing the razor in the general vicinity of my nether region,
closing my eyes and just praying I removed hair. I'm fairly certain my pubic
area looked like a four year olds first attempt at making a paper snowflake.
In a related matter, shaving your legs with a giant belly is no picnic either.
I am so glad I had a winter baby. Shorts plus one month of leg hair growth is
Your confidence level is at its peak knowing
that you are now a temporary incubator for your baby and thanks to your new
found confidence you just know you will be that amazing super mommy and be able
to do everything for yourself, your baby, your husband, maintain your perfect
home, and still be able to give your dog the attention that he wants. You know
you will be able to handle it all and still have enough time and energy to work
out for two hours a day and get back into those pre-baby or better yet, those
pre-wedding jeans you've held on to for five years. Well it’s time to wake
up. My exercise routine has become endless cycle of chasing my son, picking up
toys, and jumping over the stuff he tosses out of his pack & play to avoid
breaking my ankle.
Remember the good old days when you would take
your time in the shower? When you would let the hot water stream over your
body for a half hour. Wash, rinse and repeat followed by a deep conditioning
treatment. Then loading up your loofah with the finest of body washes and
lathering yourself slowly the way they do in those soap commercials. Those
days are over ladies. Showers will no longer be for enjoyment. They become
the only 10 minutes of freedom in your day. Your escape from reality. A time
to rid yourself of the spit up that has crusted to your neck and baby boogies
that had somehow been tangled into your hair. Because I spend my precious
shower time scraping baby crud off of myself I can't even remember the last
time I shaved my legs. Here I am again talking about shaving. You must think I
look like a Yeti. Perhaps I should just become one of those women that wax
everything. Maybe if I did that then it wouldn't matter if I forgot to shave
because I'd have Oksana at the salon remember to take care of it for me.
Since we're discussing memory, you should know
that ‘Mommy Brain’ is a very real and true condition. You will forget
everything. You will find yourself needing an endless supply of post it notes,
pens, scrap paper and highlighters. You are going to download that application
on your smart phone that is supposed to help you manage your time better. You
will do all of this stuff AND mark it on every calendar you have in your house,
but you will still forget your kid has his 6 month well baby visit at 2:00
today. Still need convincing that you will become a bumbling no brain? How
about this little tidbit….Every day for the first 3 months I had to stop and
think “Did I brush my teeth yet today?” The answer was always no. Then I
would attempt to brush while I had a baby latched to by boob. You can only
imagine how well that went.
All of the duties that go along with parenthood
will eventually catch up to you. You will be more exhausted than you have ever
been in your entire life. Most of your days will not end until well after
midnight and you will be up well before dawn the next day while your husband is
still snoring away. Between motherhood, work, cooking, cleaning, pumping and
trying to remember to take a break to pee you will be amazed that you are even
able to function. Birthday presents are awesome. Cards are sweet. But the
only thing I want these days for my birthday is a day off. It doesn't have to
be that day in particular. Any day will do.
The stores really know how to suck you in to
their baby departments. From the day you discover that you are pregnant,
right on through childhood you will have this insatiable appetite for going to
stores or searching online and buying the cutest baby outfits and latest baby
gear. All of your money will be sucked into your new obsession and if you're
not careful you will be eating peanut butter and jelly every day. I haven't
bought myself anything that wasn't off of a clearance rack in what seems like
forever, but my son has a closet full of brand new (some designer) threads
that he is going to grow out of in 3 month increments. Where's the fairness?
Momma wants some Jimmy Choos.
Since we're on the topic of shoes, you should do
whatever you can to avoid shoelaces and straps during the last few months of
your pregnancy. It is completely impossible to bend over and tie shoes when
you are 9 months pregnant, plus you will just look ridiculous. You'll wind up
falling over on your back with your limbs up like an upside down insect. Go
ahead and call your husband in to help you up, but be prepared for the giggle
fit he is going to have seeing you in that state. Slip on shoes are the only
way to go. Slip on pumps. Slip on sneakers. Flip flops. Clogs. Whatever works
for you, but I guarantee shoelaces will not.
You already know that your feet will swell
making your toes look like tiny sausages during your pregnancy, but what you
might not know is that all of that swelling and pressure put on your poor feet
during your waddling days will cause your feet to grow at least a half size.
All of those fancy expensive shoes that you had before baby will be in that
donation bin in no time. I literally lived in denial for an entire year after
my son was born, squeezing my giant feet into my seemingly tiny shoes every day.
One day I woke up and just couldn't take the pain any longer. My feet were not
going to not shrink. I spent an hour sorting through the shoes that could no
longer be mine, although I did have a select few pair that I just couldn't part
with. It was a sad day in my closet, but I feel okay about it now because some
very lucky woman at the thrift store got some sweet stilettos thanks to me.
Besides, now I have an excuse to go shoe shopping. Score.
Unless you are a movie star you should know that
amazing new mommy fashion doesn't exist. You will not be walking out of the
hospital in a pair of skinny jeans paired with an awesome designer top,
matching shrug and ankle booties. In the real world new moms need comfortable,
cotton, easy to clean, easy to fold, toss in a drawer clothes. So get out your
mommy uniform ladies. You know – jeans, t-shirt, hoodie and flip flops. That's
what you're going to be wearing all the time – at least for a while. At home.
While you are grocery shopping. Date night with the husband. Hell, I'm wearing
mine right now as I'm typing this. And all of you long haired ladies be sure
buy some extra hair ties because unless you like having your hair yanked out by
a sticky fingered toddler, a pony tail is a must.
Pregnancy, Emotions and Swelling. Oh My.
You will sign up for every baby website,
pregnancy monitoring site, mommy blog, and parent’s forum on the internet.
Initially you will love them & take in every single piece of information
they throw at you. All of the advice on healthy eating, the importance of folic
acid and the suggestions of how to deal with your ever swelling ankles. You
know – all the stuff that your OB-GYN is going to tell you. Then one day it
will get to you. You will get so frustrated reading and sorting through the
54 emails the websites bombard you with every day. You will have a mini freak
out attack because every site has a different log in and password requirement
and your pregnancy brain has caused you to forget every single one of them.
The stress this causes you will bring you seconds away from tossing your laptop
off of the roof of your house. Then you will take a deep breath and instead of
smashing the expensive computer you got for your birthday last year, you will
unsubscribe and never visit those sites again. It might have taken you a few
weeks, but you've just realized that you would much rather spend that time
singing to your belly, rubbing it with cocoa butter and trying to decide
whether to spell her name with one “s” or two.