August: Dog Days of Summer

Monday, November 5, 2012

Next Time Around?

Last night's post ended with the question, "What if?...." What if I could have another baby? What if I miraculously got pregnant and actually was able to carry full term? What if we went through another round of IVF and used another gestational carrier? (I have had a number of people offer to do this again for us, which blows my mind). What if, regardless of the circumstances, we were somehow going to have another baby? What would I do differently this time around?
I know a number of people who are currently expecting- (I am a Doula, after all), some with their first baby, some with their second or even third. A friend and I were talking the other day, hypothetically, about what we would do differently the "next time around." I've been thinking about this, and the list is both really long, but in another way, it's kind of short too. The things that I would do differently mostly have to do with how much stuff I WOULDN'T buy- and not just because I've saved so many clothes and baby blankets. I definitely would NOT buy all-new, organic cotton, designer onesies because I only wanted the best Swedish cotton next to my babies' bum. Carter's onesies from Target will do JUST fine, thank you very much! I also wouldn't buy HALF the brand-new cute gender-specific little outfits, esp. from all of the catalogs that I did the first time around. Lots of great used stuff out there, and Target is my price point these days for new stuff. NO WAY would I buy a brand new stroller, AND umbrella stroller and No WAY would I buy the specialized baby car seat that snaps into the brand new stroller. Because we ended up having to buy 2 new car seats when the babies were a year old- then new ones again when they were 2, then new ones AGAIN when they were 4 (boosters). BIG lesson learned there- they make ONE car seat now that goes from infant to 5+ year old. I also would not bother with half of the "distraction" baby toys I thought would capture the attention of babies who could probably barely see in those first few months. Oh- the list is long of all the things I wouldn't buy.... and the only way I know this, is having been through it. But buying all that new stuff is somehow a new mother's right and privilege. I would never want to take that adrenaline rush of buying new baby stuff away from any newly expecting first time mommy. I remember what that felt like to walk though Babies R US, legit. Even though I wasn't sporting the belly, I was still expecting and it felt awesome to stroll through all the aisles deciding on which baby bath tub sponge I thought would work best, or which baby nail trimmer I would have the easiest time using, or which monitor I wanted. I loved that time. And I did love ordering all the cute outfits, washing them and folding all the teeny-tiny little sleeves. The first few weeks of the babies' lives, I made so many trips back and forth to B-R-US, just figuring out which stuff worked and which stuff didn't- returning the stuff that didn't, and trying out others. Diapers, in particular, are so subjective- we tried 3 or 4 different kinds before we found what really worked. NOW, of course, disposable diapers are virtually verbotten in the singleton world. And I did have to try many many different types of bottles because I couldn't breast feed. So much is trial and error at first- but I do know I would buy alot less pre-mixed baby food. It's so easy to just spin something through a blender or cuisinart and voila! Baby food! I was pretty freaked about feeding my babies. I wouldn't even use the powdered formula for about a month- I actually bought the pre-mixed shit. Oy. Same thing with the food- jars or plastic containers of sometimes organic, mostly just Gerber food... when I could have just been mashing up any regular food in about a minute. But again, it's a new mommy's right and almost obligation to go through that kind of stuff and learn on their own.
The short part of the list, would be all the holding and cuddling I did and still do with my kids. Every chance I get, they get squeezed and smooched and cuddled. I would not change all that bonding, all that nesting down, all the early reading and music playing.  Next time around, I would try to breast feed. I would try to co-sleep for as long as I could. I would wear or carry him or her instead of strapping them into a stroller. And I'd definitely go OUT with them before they were 3 months old!
In general, next time around? I'd be more relaxed! Live and learn....

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