Tuesday, July 5, 2011
book - The Second Nine Months
(image from Google)
This was a fabulous book. Seriously, one of the best I've ever read, especially from the parenting section in the library. The Second Nine Months - One Woman Tells the Real Truth About Becoming a Mom. Finally. by Vicki Glembocki was one of those books I found myself saying, THANK YOU to the author so many times I couldn't keep track of them. I felt like I wanted to be friends with the author at the end, and appreciated her honesty about what it's really like to be a new mom more than anything I've ever appreciated in a book before.
I feel I should warn you soon-to-be new moms, who may still be in a blissful, things -are-going-to-be-amazingly-perfect stage, the same stage I was in as I was nearing the end of my own pregnancy. So here is the warning (and you may need to sit down for this): This book is REALLY honest, forthcoming and real. It's warts and all real. It's no holding back, telling it like it is, even when the telling is all about boobs and baby poop colors and having a bowel movement on the hospital table during labor. It's that honest.
That's the whole point of this book - to be real, to tell the truth of the matter when it comes to this oftentimes hidden side of being a new parent. The author gets fed up with moms trying to act like they have it all under control, that it's not intense and overwhelming being responsible for a baby 24/7, a baby who you have no idea how to console when she's crying or what the heck it means when she hasn't pooped in three days.
I related to this book a lot. I related to the stupid fights with my husband and feeling like he wasn't helping enough at times. I related to the crazy pumping stories, the breastfeeding that didn't work as expected, and the lack of sleep making me crazy at times. I related to feeling like I could not share all of the overwhelming details with just anyone at mommy groups, for fear of them thinking I was a bad mom for feeling like at times it was a lot to handle.
The one theme in this book I did not relate to however, was that the author feels like she did not bond with her child for at least the first six months of her life. The author felt like she didn't love her child, didn't know how to be a mom from the start, and felt guilty for not knowing how. I'm so glad she published this book and put those feelings out there, because I'm sure mothers feel that way and it should be something that is OK to put out there and seek support for. However, I did not ever feel that way. I felt from the start like I knew how to be Owen's mom, like I was meant to do this job for a long time and just now was my chance to act it out. I imagine feeling how the author did must be incredibly lonely though.
It's an incredible book. I just can't imagine ever being so honest as she was. I learned from this book though that we aren't alone in our sometimes crazy feelings and experiences as a new parent. Being a new parent is hard. It just is. And denying that won't do anyone any good.
This book made me think about a lot. It made me realize at times on this blog I feel like I'm sugarcoating the experience for you because I know where you most likely are - in that pre-baby state of hope and positivity, thinking "how hard can this really be?" And I respect where you are, don't think otherwise. I was there, too. Still, after reading this book, I am vowing to be more honest with you, because I wish someone had been more honest with me about certain things before I had my son. Consider it another gift from me to you. And again, as with any of this stuff I write, please take it or leave it.
I will add some quotes from this book in another post. Too much to write here. I encourage you to read this book. Maybe skim through it now, to sort of prepare yourself for the many emotions you may encounter after baby arrives, just to remind yourself later that it's all OK. Then I'd suggest you read it around 6 months into having the baby, because I know you'll appreciate hearing from someone so honest at that point in your parenting journey.