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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dear 38-weeks along sista-in-law,

Dear Missy,

To my adorably sweet and very preggo sister-in-law on your 38th week of pregnancy...
wow, you've done it! You made it to May, the due date month of your soon-to-be SON! I am so proud of you. It's been a big year for you. First came marriage last summer, then came baby on board at the same time as we found out we were pregnant, too! Now baby is about to be here. I can't believe it! I am so excited to be an auntie again, and for our new baby girl to have her new boy cousin only a few weeks apart from her growing up.

It has been so very fun being pregnant with you. I've loved taking our belly pictures together, complaining about aches and pains and heartburn together. It's been great not to be alone. I won't forget when you said the only bad thing about meeting your niece two weeks ago was that it meant I was no longer pregnant with you! I'll take that as a sweet comment instead of jealousy! :) Really though, what more fun could one have than to be pregnant with her sista?!

(aw, look how little we used to be?! haha)

As you go into this new journey I'm thinking there are a few things I wish people had reminded me of before I had my first baby like you are about to do now. So I figured I would clue you in sooner rather than later. I know still that despite what anyone tells you there is still going to be this huge learning curve of things that you and your hubby will just have to figure out on your own. Still, I thought I could help a little. I can't take away the swollen feet you have (despite giving you some super amazing foot cream to make it feel all tingly and better at the end of a long day!) and I can't speed up this nerveracking process of impending labor and delivery. However, I can make you smile and help you know you aren't in this alone, others have gone before you and made it out alive just fine, you will, too! :)

Some things to remember:
1. Make time for you and hubby. Do something fun together, even if it's just going to eat (more!) ice cream together before the baby arrives. When baby gets here it's all about baby, rightfully so. So before he makes his big debut do something fun just the two of you.

2. Communicate! Hormones are going to be flying like you can't imagine. Sleep deprivation is going to make you both a little nutty and even annoyed with each other from time to time. The biggest thing to help you through that craziness is communicating, really talking about whatever is bugging you guys.

3. Blame it on the hormones. Yes, it's totally normal whatever you are going to feel or however you react to certain things when baby gets here or even before during labor. It's all normal. So just blame it on hormones, because honestly that's all it is. You are not crazy, repeat after me, you are not crazy. Just hormonal!

4. Go with the flow. We plan and plan and plan, but can't plan labor and delivery. Just not possible. So take your birth plan of ideas with you, making sure your husband knows a bit about what you do and don't want, but make sure it's just a plan of ideas not something set in stone. Babies have a way of making us change our minds about things - or changing our minds for us really depending on what they think is best. So just go with it. Whatever happens happens. Let it be.

5. Send baby to the nursery. I didn't do this with my first but did with my second. It's a WORLD of difference in how much quicker you can physically recover and your mental state when you get some REST. You need rest! Don't be afraid to send baby to the nursery even for an hour so you can really get sleep. I never would have listened to someone telling me this, but after having gone nuts my first hospital birth round I decided I had to do things differently the second time and it worked!

6. Enjoy your baby! It's so overwhelming at first - how do I nurse? What about a pacifier? So many visitors! I'm sore! Is he breathing OK? etc. - that you don't often have a chance to stop and ENJOY your new bundle of joy. Sure, you spend all day holding him, but I mean really enjoying him, staring at him, taking it all in, memorizing how he feels this tiny because he'll never again be so little. Make sure you take time to stop and love every second of this brand new newborn part.

7. Give yourself a break. You ARE going to be a good mom, right from the start, simply because you are HIS mom. Nobody else could take your place, ever. Isn't that so cool?! So give yourself a break. If nursing doesn't work the way you planned or if you get peed on every single time you change a diaper at first because you have no clue how to get one on quicker, it's all OK. If you and your husband argue or are smitten with each other all over again - whatever the response remind yourself it's normal and will pass. You will make mistakes. You will do more things right though, I promise. Give yourself the room to learn and grow along with this baby.

8. Ask for help! That's what the rest of us are here for. Please ask!

I am so incredibly happy for you both. This is going to be an awesome journey, you'll see. You both are already the BEST aunt and uncle to so many of your nieces and nephews, my kids included. I know you'll be even better parents - which seems unimaginable to me that you could even get better than I see you are as auntie and uncle!

(aw, look the bumps are touching, they're friends!)

Have fun with this next adventure in your lives. You're going to see that it's the best, coolest, most incredible thing you've ever done. I know you can do it! Hang in there. The best is right around the corner.

Love, your sista-in-law,

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