For some reason, people love to scare pregnant women. It was bad when I was engaged and planning a wedding, there was constantly someone who would throw a "oh, you'll see!" into every conversation as though I had no idea what I was getting into. With pregnancy, it's even worse because not only do you have the people who want to tell you what you should and should not be doing, they also love to tell their own horror stories filled with blood and gore. Why people think this is helpful is beyond me. I don't think anyone ever once told me a nice birth story.
Offbeat Mama is a great site and has written wonderful articles about this (like this one and this one) and how to keep your head above water during the whole thing. The most important thing is to keep a level head about things and keep things in perspective.
In the interest of full disclosure and to help any other first time moms to be out there, here's a list of all the ways that I went wrong and obviously could have damaged my child horribly.
- I drank caffeine. I started with the best intentions, having lost my taste for coffee early in the pregnancy. I would indulge in the occasional Dr. Pepper (my new fave since becoming pregnant), but by the time I hit the third trimester, I figured to hell with it. If I want to drink a can of pop a day, then I'm going to. I'm still not up to one a day, but I don't beat myself up for having some caffeine. And you know what? I actually sleep better when I've had some caffeine.
- I painted things. I wasn't allowed to paint the walls in the baby's room, but I sure painted a lot of furniture. I painted in well ventilated areas with low VOC paint while wearing gloves and a mask. I think the kid and I will be fine.
- I moved heavy furniture. It turns out that I was pregnant for our entire move to the new house and didn't realize it, so I've definitely done some heavy lifting. I also moved lots of furniture around after I found out I was pregnant (including trying to drag a desk up the stairs from the basement by myself, which resulted in nearly breaking my foot). I feel better when I'm doing physical activities though.
- I ate feta cheese. I tried really hard to stay away from it for a while, but there's just no sense in ordering a greek salad without feta cheese. I figure it's better to have a salad with feta cheese than no salad at all.
- I ate lunch meat/raw hot dogs/raw batter. Okay, one raw hot dog. And it was delicious. The raw batter was an accident, I was baking brownies and liked the spoon before realizing that it has raw eggs in it and I'm not supposed to eat raw eggs. As for the lunch meat, I started out doing really well not eating lunch meat, then it was all I could think about. I figure that the lunch meat being heated up in the toaster at Quiznos is good enough.
- I cleaned a litter box. Only twice while Jagger was away and someone had to do it. Again, it was while I was wearing a mask and gloves.
- I went to a concert. My sister gave me a hard time about exposing the baby to too much loud music. Guess what, I spend about 2 hours a day in the car and the radio is cranked for most of that. The kid will get used to it.
- I slept on my back. Because my belly hasn't been terribly sticky-outie, it's been comfortable for my to sleep on my back still. It's a huge relief for me to be able to switch from my sides to my back.
- I plan on using a cuddle bag. Apparently Transport Canada thinks that cuddle bags are death traps and that your kid can go flying out of the car seat in the event of an accident. I choose to believe that if the kid is properly restrained in the car seat, then it's not going to make a difference if there's fabric between them and the seat or not. That's just me though, I'm sure there are lots of people who won't use cuddle bags because they could be dangerous. To each their own.