Friday, November 29, 2013

Jewish Motherhood: The Copycat Pregnancies

Today's Jewish Motherhood Project mommy lives in America, was married at 26, and had her first baby at 28. If you want to participate in The Jewish Motherhood Project, the hop over to the Q&A! Also, I'm looking for more words of advice from first-time (and seasoned) fathers.

Did you always want to be a mommy? Why or why not?
Just always assumed I would be.

What was your greatest fear when you found out you were pregnant? What was your greatest anticipation/excited feeling?
Greatest fear: something being terribly wrong with the baby. Greatest anticipation: seeing him for the first time.

How did your husband/partner and family react to you being preggo?
Thrilled. The baby was the first grandchild on both sides.

What was your pregnancy like?
My husband says I "conveniently" forget each time, but I would say relatively easy. I've been blessed with three beautiful children. (However, I had a second-trimester miscarriage with my third pregnancy and an ectopic pregnancy the fifth pregnancy.) One minor complaint was that I had borderline gestational diabetes, and they put me on a very low carb and no sugar diet. I was always hungry.

How did you decide to start telling people you were preggo? Did you wait to reveal the gender?
We waited until the end of the first trimester, but we told our parents as soon as we saw the heartbeat. We found out the gender every pregnancy, definitely my idea and not my husbands. We kept this to ourselves (though I might have "accidentally" dropped a hint or two to my mom and my best friend).

How did the pregnancy affect your work, schooling, or family?
I induced on a Monday for my first pregnancy and was still in work on Friday, just three days before. I was working full-time and did a fellowship.

In the days and weeks leading up to the birth, what do you remember experiencing or feeling?
For the first one, shock and disbelief and it was very much a planned pregnancy! I never held a baby before my son. I didn't think it was real.

How did you infuse your Jewishness into the pregnancy/labor experience?
Other than my own silent prayer when lighting Shabbat candles, I only turned to Judaism when things started to go terribly wrong. (Only infused plenty of drugs into the labor experience and it was wonderful.)

If you’ve had more children since your first, how were the experiences different? Were you more or less prepared? Was it harder or easier?
Each pregnancy was fairly similar. As for prepared, I never took a birthing class, electively induced, and even picked the day well in advance.

My first two even weighed within one ounce of one another (the third was about 5 ounces less). All the deliveries were similar, too. The second was "sunny-side up," but still very quick and easy (I'm almost afraid to say it, but all three were under four hours). I was much more relaxed with the second two deliveries knowing more or less what to expect.

What would be your three top tips for a first-time mother?
  1. Don’t obsessively read pregnancy books or obsessively look symptoms up online. It will make you crazy.
  2. Develop a birth plan that you (and your doctor) are comfortable with. You don’t need to make other people happy.
  3. Don’t share possible names with family members because you will get opinions.
Is there anything else you want to add?
Take a trip together now. Maybe one more before your baby can walk. After that, good luck!

Chavi's commentary: I couldn't agree more about the obsessively reading pregnancy books bit. Although I was hardcore jonesing for "What to Expect When You're Expecting," and although Mr. T searched near and far for it to get it for me, I couldn't help but feel like every page I read was another warning of something horrible that was happening. This is why when it comes to baby/pregnancy books I stick to things like The Pregnancy Instruction Manual and The Baby Owner's Manual, because they're hilarious and practical.  I really wish that we could take a trip together before the baby shows up, but I think we've passed our window of opportunity, unless I can convince the mister to drive north to check out a chocolate factory or something fun like that. Here's hoping!