In all of my friends, I am one of the first to have a baby. While even a year ago this thought would have been absolutely INCONCEIVABLE! (If you are not imagining Vizzini from Princess Bride right now then we have a very serious communication problem), a lot can happen in a year and here I sit, six months pregnant, baffled by the fact that I have gone 6 months
without wine magically sustaining a lifeform inside of me.
While I have gotten a lot of advice, both solicited and not, about children, pregnancy, babies, and life in general, much of which is great, these people’s well-intentioned advice doesn’t change one fact:
The Internet is still there, and it’s full of crazy.
Oh, you think you understand crazy, you say? You’ve actually read some YouTube comments? Well, friends, let me explain something. Until you’ve gone to a website devoted to pregnancy/children you don’t know jack about crazy.
It took a while, but I have pretty much kicked the habit of pregnancy/motherhood websites. If I have a specific question, such as, “oh crap, how many weeks pregnant am I?” or “how big is this mass of growing human inside my belly?” I’ll go look. But otherwise, I pretty much have stopped. I still read blogs, I still like picking up tricks I might not know from people who are going through the same thing I am, but the obsessive stalking of the baby-driven sites? That habit is kicked. It wasn’t easy, but here is my progression of how this occurred.
1. I peed on a stick, and the lines turned blue.
2. I got really, really excited.
3. I realized that I was actually going to have a child. For the rest of my life.
4. I told my husband, and I got really, really excited again.
5. Repeated steps 2-4 approximately four thousand more times.
6. Went to doctor and confirmed pregnancy.
7. Signed up for every “baby website” I knew of, and made accounts with the baby’s due date in it so that I could get “personalized reminders”, which, as I would learn later, would largely consist of explaining how large the baby is in comparison to various fruits and vegetables.
fascinated obsessed with these websites. Tried to find information for what you’re not allowed to do anymore. Get excited when you come across the “no scooping the litter box for the next 9 months” thing.
9. Started reading the “community discussion” areas of these websites.
10. Tried to realize that women are concerned, hormonal, and everyone has their own path to follow on this journey of motherhood.
11. Ha, just kidding, abandoneded that ship immediately. I then lost almost all hope for the future of the country and/or world.
12. Started getting freaked out that you’re not getting freaked out about all the stuff that other people are getting freaked out about, or that you’re not as creative about things to be scared of as the rest of the pregnant populace. “Am I supposed to be worried about running the dishwasher?!? I didn’t even think to ask about the ability to take the dog out for a walk!” I immediately wondered if this meant I was a horrible pregnant person and if not worrying about such matters means that you are automatically inferior.
13. Then, thankfully, I read Pamela Druckerman’s Bringing Up Bébé and realized that, in fact, there are places in the world, namely the rest of the world, where this sort of insane worrying and brooding and general freaking out doesn’t happen and is, in fact, frowned upon. Pregnancy is looked at a time to be zen with the world. Commence lightbulbs.
14. I really started thinking about these pregnancy websites and what their original intention for use was: as a resource. Have a question about something? They’re a great place to go. Need to obsessively worry about every moment of every day and every aspect of pregnancy, motherhood, getting pregnant, and the like? Probably not mentally healthy for me, or the baby.
15. I put down the laptop/iPad/iPhone. I went and lived my life. And immediately, shockingly, felt better. I wasn’t worrying about if everything I was doing was “right or wrong”, and just used common sense, with the baby websites as an occasional help for things I might need some guidance on like symptoms. But generally, it turns out, if you put down the extra voices your voice might just be good too. The support is great sometimes, but other times I just needed to go out and live my life instead of comparing my life and my pregnancy journey to others’.
Talk about zen, man. I can has it.
And that’s how it happened. Do I still love motherhood blogs? Of course! I love reading about other people’s journeys. I have found some great hints and tricks, and that’s what my goal is here, too – to give what works for me, and try to help others know they’re not alone. Do I still go to these websites occasionally? Duh. It’s the Internet. But do I obsessively check them for new articles that can instill fears in me I didn’t know I should have? That, my friends, that is what I gave up.
And I’ve never been more glad I did.