4 things I said I'd NEVER do as a mom that I'm doing right now...
Admittedly, when I got pregnant, I knew nothing about babies. When I say nothing, I really do mean nothing, as in I'd never changed a diaper or even held a baby below a certain weight. Both were conscious decisions that I made, mainly out of fear of the "unknown." So to overcome my fear while I was pregnant, I spent a lot of time reading parenting books/blogs and I enrolled in every parenting class I could find between DC, MD and VA.
When the time came for Riley to make her "Grant" entrance into the world, I was no longer afraid. I'd studied hard and made a plan. I knew exactly what I wanted and didn't want from the time I went into labor until she was about 12 months old. By all accounts, I was ready, except that I really wasn't. It was so easy to say what I would or wouldn't do while Riley was still resting comfortably in my belly. I had no idea that everything would change the moment she came out. It was almost like she caught wind of my plan, laughed at it and then tossed it in her diaper pail with the rest of the crap.
And what's worse is that I judged. I would see a parent doing x or y and I would say to myself, "I would never do that." But alas, I found myself doing the exact same thing once I became a parent. Yep, it all came back to bite me in the butt. Hard.
It's been a little over two years since I found out that I was pregnant, so I thought I'd humor myself (and you!) with a few of the items that were pretty high up on my "I WILL NEVER..." list:
1. The C-Section
What I said when I was pregnant: "I don't want a C-section; I want a 'natural' birth."
What actually happened: I ended up having an emergency C-section after the doctor determined that Riley would probably not survive a vaginal delivery. Once I heard that, they couldn't wheel me to the operating room fast enough. Needless to say, I'm so thankful for the C-section that I said I'd never have:-)
Words of Wisdom: As long as it's a baby (versus an alien) that's coming out of you, it IS a natural birth.
2. The Pacifier/Binky
What I said when I was pregnant: "There's no way I'm giving my baby a pacifier."
What actually happened: Riley was 4 lbs, 9 oz when she was born and had to stay in the NICU for a week. Her introduction to what we (now) affectionately refer to as "Paci" happened there, before I had a chance to inform the nurses of my plan. By the time they wheeled me to see her from the recovery room, Riley and Paci had already met and it was love at first sight. Instead of being repulsed, I was comforted knowing that Riley had something to hold onto when her mommy wasn't there.
Words of Wisdom: The pacifier is not the devil. Trust me, there are far worse things that your baby could be attached to.
What I said when I was pregnant: "I will never feed my baby formula. Ever."
What actually happened: It took a few days for my milk to come in, which of course is totally normal. In our case, however, we didn't have a few days to wait. Riley needed food and the colostrum (nutrient-packed "pre-milk") I had was not enough. The only option we had was formula. Yes, the same formula that I said I'd never use gave my baby what she needed when I couldn't. Later, when I wasn't producing enough milk (another post), I had to use formula to supplement. I felt guilty at first, and even inadequate, but I forced myself to get over it. My encounters with the so-called "breast-feeding" police didn't make it easy at times (yet another post), but at the end of the day, I cannot tell you how grateful I am that formula exists.
Words of Wisdom: If at first breastfeeding doesn't go the way you planned, get over it. No need to add to mommy guilt when you've got a perfectly capable solution waiting to help you out.
What I said when I was pregnant: "The baby will not be sleeping in our bed."
What actually happened: Riley slept in a bassinet in our room initially and then we gradually moved her to the crib in the nursery. When she would wake up in the middle of the night, I would go into her room, soothe her back to sleep and then often fall asleep on her floor. I tried the "cry it out" method a few times, but it was just too painful for all of us. And for what? I thought I was doing what mainstream society hails as "best," but it wasn't the best that I could do for Riley. Honestly, the whole thing of forcing her to be in a room alone felt terribly unnatural for me. I talked it over with my husband and he supported my decision to formally adopt co-sleeping, particularly since he works long hours and some days, it's the only time that we're all together.
Words of Wisdom: Co-sleeping can be a beautiful thing when done safely (keyword "safely"). Don't focus on what other people think and do what works best for you, your mate, your baby and your bed. For safe co-sleeping tips from parenting expert, Dr. Sears, click here:What's one thing that YOU said you'd never do when you were pregnant that you're doing right now as a mom? Inquiring minds want to know...
Hey Haute Mamas! I'm Riche Holmes Grant, a modern mom + mompreneur who designs smart + stylish products that make your mommy gig easier.
When I'm not busy taking orders from my #miniboss, I'm contributing to MarthaStewart.com or in the kitchen whipping up delicious family-friendly creations in my BambiniWare Apronini.
Get my FREE book on How to Make the Best Food for Your Baby here!
I live in the Washington, DC area with my husband and daughter. Follow our adventures on Instagram via @BambiniWareLife!
- Riche Holmes Grant