Unsolicited advice (updated)

Surely I had expected to receive unsolicited advise and input of what to expect, what to do, or how life will change after having a baby; however I surely did not expect as much as was bestowed upon us/ self. Of course, I appreciated plenty of it, however some just felt negative.

Ever since we announced that we were expecting, people felt the urge to give us plenty of unsolicited “input and advise” based on their own personal experiences or opinions. I am sure many newly expecting parents have experienced the same or similar unwanted input.

Joseph and I are both definitely looking forward to decorating the nursery, shopping for a wardrobe and planning what type of future we want/ envision for our little one .Yes, I love sharing and talking about the little one to come, as I am quite excited; however feel like many of the comments/ input are unnecessary and sometimes just come across as negative.

1. “Just wait until the morning sickness kicks in”
First of all, I am already in the 2nd trimester, so I believe it would have kicked in already. I suppose I was fortunate with this pregnancy that I had very little queasiness in the beginning, however did not experience vomiting, or anything to a further extent in this regard. None the less, would still receive the remark from some stating, “It will come”.  We must respect that every woman and every pregnancy is different.

2. “You will be exhausted all the time during the pregnancy” 
Yes! I was pretty exhausted most of the first trimester, however once the energy picked up, I actually had enough energy to work two full-time positions through the end pregnancy. Yes, towards the end, I was getting tired again but this time physically. It wasn’t so much the sleepiness that I had experienced in the beginning. (Updated)

3. “Your feet will get super swollen and / or grow a shoe size or two” 
Okay, My feet did get a little swollen in the first trimester and more so tired in the 3rd. I intentionally avoided buying new shows throughout the pregnancy being cautious of this. Just kidding, I did purchase a few pairs but anyone who knows me well, knows that only a few pairs is a significant discipline on my behalf. I have a love for footwear.

None the less, aside from minor swelling, my feet did not grow.

4. “The baby will be late. At least one week, if not two” 
I suppose if you want to get technical, this would be accurate. I was one day late.  Little one was due March 1 , however wasn’t quite ready to leave his cozy nook and decided to wait one more day.

5. “Once the baby is born, you will never sleep” 
I am not sure whether it was luck or that fact that we worked on a schedule from the beginning, but the little one from the first week home, slept about 5 hours straight through the night. This has since stretched to about 6-7 hours now. Joseph and I have been great about working as a team. The first week or so, we would both would wake and he would feed as I would pump. With time, we instead switched off feeding shifts. One of us would take the last feeding before bed (feeding around 12:30-1:00am), while the other one of us would take the morning feeding (around 5am-7am). Yes, occasionally we will have a rough night, but thus far can count those nights on one hand.

6. “You need to move out of the city” 
We would either would receive comments on living in the city being too expensive, especially now that you are having a baby or that city life isn’t for a baby/kid”.

​First off, I don’t know how my/ our finances are anyone else’s business. Enough said with that one.

As for raising a kid in the city, that is just what we love about his experiences to come.

7. “Joseph must want a boy and I bet you want a girl”. 
As many know, we did not find out the sex of our baby. We wanted to wait for that ultimate surprise upon delivery.

So often, I would hear about how much Joseph must want a boy because most men do and how I must want a girl to dress up.

In fact…. initially Joseph was hoping for a baby girl and my maternal instincts felt like it was a boy from the start. None the less, the sex didn’t really matter to either of us. We simply wanted a healthy baby.

oh, and I of course would enjoy having fun shopping and dressing up a little boy or girl.

8. “You should get rid of the dogs” 
The dogs are a part of this family and we had/ have no intentions to get rid of them since we are having a baby. As with anything, I plan to simply train dogs how to behave around the baby and teach them that the baby is a new member of the family.

And, simply don’t leave the baby alone / unsupervised with the dogs period.

9. “Your life is over for the next so many years. You won’t be able to do this or that..” 
We plan to and have thus far taken the little one EVERYWHERE we go. Since week one, he loves being out and about. He is always so curious about everything going on around him. He loves looking around taking everything in. Noises don’t bother him and I attest that to having always listened to music and having been out in the city throughout the pregnancy. He is used to noise. You don’t have to whisper around him while he sleeps and has been fine when we are out, but overall he doesn’t cry much in the first place. As for how he behaves as he gets older, I believe that will come down to parenting.

10. “You shouldn’t take the baby out or do much for the first month” 
I know this is meant with good intentions, and feel twofold on this one.

As for staying in for the first month or two, I had never heard of this before until I was about 5 months pregnant. Yes, we took him out within the first week for  a walk to two. I was going crazy being cooped up inside and believe it is/ was healthy to get out for all of us.

​I understand the concern for germs and not yet having been vaccinated (if you believe in vaccinations or not), however we were and still are always sure to

  • Wash our hands before touching him,
  • Don’t pass him around from person to person. (After all he is a little person, not a new article to be passed around and showed off, but that is another topic and I will refrain from straying).
  • Make sure he is dressed/ bundled appropriately for the weather,
  • Etc

For taking it easy and avoiding doing too much. I was guilty with this one. Although I am thankful, I didn’t like having everyone jump into doing everything for me. It made me feel helpless, and I sometime would forget that I physically needed to rest and avoid over exerting myself with things around the house.

11. “Once you gain weight during pregnancy, it’ll take you forever to lose the weight, so be careful.”
Well, I personally did not want to limit myself or begin to count calories just because I was pregnant. I continued to eat what and how much I desired. I ended gaining 41 lbs through my pregnancy and more than half of that was in the last trimester. I exercised regularly in the beginning, running an average of 4 miles 3-5x a week up until the beginning of my 7th month of pregnancy. (Yes this was okayed and approved by my midwife). It isn’t as if I just began exercising when I became pregnant, it was already a part of my lifestyle. At that point in my pregnancy, I was physically tiring quite easily and deciding to end the slow running and instead simply rely on my walking. Thank goodness for living in NYC, as getting to and from work, running errands, etc; I would still get about 3-5 miles in per day up until the day before I gave birth.

One month after delivery and I  thus far have lost just over half of that weight and haven’t worked out since. As Joseph tells me, “Give it another month or two and you’ll be back to your pre-pregnancy weight”. Well, we will see. My pre-pregnancy weight was 117 in case you were wondering.

12. “You can’t do it on your own. You should move back to California as you will need the help of family with a baby/kid” or “You will need one parent stay at home”
I understand that we are relatively new parents and still have a lot to learn, however I truly believe we can and will manage. I am not saying that we will never need help or a sitter, but all will be okay. Before we ever even were expecting, we never intended or planned to have family babysit in the first place. This has no reflection on family but merely want his experiences with family to be merely spending time, visiting and making memories. We will manage between the two of us and with time will get a nanny/ sitter when needed.

I have since received comments about how, I can say this now as I am not working at the moment. Well, just because I am not working for an employer at this time, I still have my businesses, etc to manage and work. I have worked on a schedule / routine of feedings, when I will work out, what time frames I will work during the day, when I will clean, shop, run errands, etc. How will it all get done? Stick to the schedule, be disciplined and be quicker.

My conclusion/ purpose to the above, every woman and every pregnancy is different. Therefore, simply enjoy your pregnancy for what it is that YOU yourself experience. Don’t get so nervous, scared or worked up over the stories to hear from family, friends and others overall. What your best friend or sister may have experienced may not even be applicable to your pregnancy or parental approach.

Joseph and I believe in having a positive, purposeful and loving approach towards our lives, including raising our child(ren). As with anything else, there are so many opinions and parenting methods out there. Simply be respectful of others decisions, choices and experiences which may or may not be applicable to your own.

​Being a mother is definitely hard work, but worth every moment. ​

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