September 14, 2020. That is when I knew I was expecting. On that date, I took a test, and it came back with a faint line, meaning positive. Isaac and I were without a doubt, 100 percent, going to be expecting for the first time. I was going to be a parent.
Do you have any idea what goes through the mind of a woman when she receives that positive test? Well, I am sure it is different for everyone. Here was my experience. Elation. Confusion. Surprise. Concern.
A million and one emotions ran through my head all at once.
Am I ready to be a parent? Will I be a good parent? How do I know how to be a parent when I have barely learned to be an adult?
Now, what do you need to expect when you’re expecting? I thought I knew all of that. I even wrote an article about it for Black Hills Parent when I interned at Evergreen Media. Of course, then, I was not a parent. I just did a lot of research and I talked to professionals that might have information to offer. That being said, when I reread my article, I was baffled.
Sure, it prepared me for what is going to happen to my body, physically. That leaves a lot of room for question about what will happen mentally and emotionally. Not to mention, it didn’t give me any real information about what I should want to research in terms of breastfeeding, birthing plans, vaccines, best products, etc.
Those are the questions that first-time parents want answered.
I turned to a few of my friends and a former teacher who have kids of their own now. Each one had different advice about what to begin researching. It became very overwhelming. I ended up with more questions than answers.
- Do I want to breastfeed?
- Do I want to find out the gender?
- Should I get a genetic screening?
- Where do I want to give birth?
- What should my birthing plan look like?
- Do I want to work or be a SAHM?
The list goes on and on. How do I prevent tearing, how do I prevent morning sickness, etc.
Honestly? There is no right or wrong answer to any of these questions. There’s also no right or wrong answer for where to start your research.
My recommendations and readings.
Ina May Gaskin is a midwife and possibly one of my favorite references during this whole process. She has a few different published readings, but below is my favorite along with a few other books I read.
- Spiritual Midwifery, Ina May Gaskin
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, La Lache League International
- Go Diaper Free: A Simplified Handbook for Elimination Communication, Andrea Olson
That being said, I definitely didn’t head all of the advice in the books. Some of what was taught wasn’t in alignment with what Isaac and I were comfortable with or just didn’t fit our idea of parenthood. On the other hand, there was a lot of information that helped me feel prepared.
I was also given a lot of information from my OBGYN’s office as the time passed on different things to consider from vaccinations to chiropractors to additional supplements and circumcision (if you don’t already know, you only need to look into this if you’re having a boy!).
To wrap up, I realize that I didn’t exactly tell anyone about what to look into as a first-time parent. Honestly, every pregnancy is so different. Every couple is so different.
It’s okay to be overwhelmed either way. There’s a lot to think about. Really, the only advice I have to offer is take things slowly and one day at a time. Don’t put too much pressure on one another to know everything, and just take the time to learn, together.