This is a really awesome website for moms and moms-to-be and women who are trying to become pregnant. It's a website dedicated to healthy moms, pregnancies, and kids. You can make your own profile page, join groups of moms with the same due date, moms in the same areas, moms with the same interests... there are just groups for everything. The website offers daily articles on nutrition, exercise, breast feeding, bottle feeding, just EVERYTHING. There are message boards and baby tickers, nutrition and fitness trackers, and a week by week play by play of how the baby develops throughout the pregnancy. After baby arrives, there are all sorts of groups and articles for support through post partum, breast feeding woes, what to feed your baby, teething, just yep.. you guessed it: EVERYTHING. I used their website throughout my entire pregnancy with Calvin and have re-vamped my user page there for this pregnancy. Sooooo much amazing info and tools all in one place.
2. Lifenut's Big but Partial List of Pregnancy and Baby Musings
Jen's A,B,C's of Parenting
Just a few blogs/websites with some neat little posts on the whole ordeal.
3.Swistle Baby Names
This site is really awesome when you go to pick out names. You can email her and tell her some of your picks and likes/dislikes and then she'll post a blog with suggestions and people will comment and pool in. Plus it's just plain fun to talk about baby names and all
4. A few of my own tips:
*Keep your sense of humor. You're gonna need it-
And not just because kids really are the most interesting little people you'll ever meet... You're really going to need it when you're having a really crappy day and some stranger wants to rub your belly in the parking lot. Or when you're like 38 weeks and baby kicks your bladder. Oof. Or when you have one of those interesting little pregnancy melt downs because the chinese restaurant makes the WRONG kind of egg drop soup (I'm lookin at you Barb! Love Ya!). Being able to laugh at yourself .... even if not until months later is a GOOD thing. Find the humor.
*Say No to Baby TV-
No matter how tempted you may be to torture yourself by watching television about babies: i.e.- A Baby Story, Bringing Home Baby, or anything dealing with Michelle Dugger and her new tiny infant delivered at 25 weeks.... JUST SAY NO. You may think you've got a handle on the whole emotional preggo/infant thing, but just trust me and save yourself the overwhelming flood of emotions and tears. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad. You're on your own when it comes to commercials. I'm just sayin.
*Find a Good Game/Book/TV series-
Or all three. You won't really need it right away, but when it gets down to those last couple of months and you can't sleep because Baby is moving around and kicking your bladder or your ribs; or because you have heartburn, or nightmares, or insomnia; or when you think you might be having contractions and you sit up for hours timing them.... These little things come in handy. They help to pass the time during the day, they help with the boredom of waiting, they help when you CAN NOT SLEEP. For my pregnancy with Nadia it was Bejeweled2. Simple, mindless, endless gem switching and what not. For Calvin it was re-reading every book series I ever enjoyed, more Bejeweled2, and... shhhhh... watching TLC marathon re-runs of John and Kate Plus 8. I anticipate more Bejeweled2... possibly Blitz for this pregnancy.
*Pack a Bag-
This one seems kinda "doih" and you'll see it on every list. But it's a GOOD idea. Nadia was LATE. I mean... like I was knocking on the door of 42-43 weeks with her. We had to induce to get her out. She was gonna stay RIGHT THERE. I'm still convinced after that labor experience that she was gripping something on the inside. Calvin came almost a week early. My water broke at home. My point? Ya just never know, so just do it.
*Things to Bring/Not to Bring-
The hospital where I delivered Calvin gave me a list of things I should be sure to bring and it was very helpful. Like, for instance that I needed to bring my own shampoo and soap and things because those wouldn't be provided. Who knew, right? Of course toothbrush, toothpaste, that kinda thing. Some people say bring pj's, others say why for? I say bring some comfy clothes. I wouldn't bring NEW pj's as things are kind of leaky and gross for a few days. I'm just sayin. Keep in mind that people will be popping in and wanting to see Baby, especially if it's your first; so make sure you are comfortable being seen and having photos snapped of you in what you decide to bring. Some folks say don't bother bringing your own underwear, blah blah, hospital provided, yada yada. I say ... ick; and buy a pack of cheapo's and be sure to pack a couple sports bras for the pregnancy bag. Up to you. That's just what I do. Don't forget clothes for Baby; comfy and soft.
*If At First You Don't Succeed-
TRY, TRY again. *SIGH* Breastfeeding. Zomg. I breastfed Nadia for 4-5 weeks, but wasn't very good at it. It was frustrating and HARD and I'd cry and she'd cry and I gave up and gave her formula. She's FINE. She's healthy and smart, some would say smarter than the average bear (and not just her Momma). I don't really think my milk ever came in fully with her though. I made it 6 weeks with Calvin. My milk came in ... like fo sho. I tried the whole pumping thing with him too so that I could get a break from a feeding now and again. *snort* But it HURT. It H. U. R. T. And things were drippy and exposed and Tim's grandparents/family kept popping in and banging on the front door WITH NO WARNING. AT ALL, while I was fighting the breastfeeding battle. Then I wimped out and switched to formula. Calvin is FINE. He's healthy and smart and he's not obese or anything silly like that. I'm going to try again with the breastfeeding. It will HURT and it will be HARD, but I'm going to try again. However, if things do not work out I will forgo the 2-3 weeks of beating myself up emotionally and berating myself and feeling guilty and sub-par as a mom. Period.
*Be Informative and Be Firm About It-
Seriously. Especially if you choose to go the breastfeeding route. Explain to family and friends that popping over unannounced is NOT COOL. There will be boobs exposed and some veteran moms might not think twice about it, but when you're trying to figure that stuff out it's stressful and emotional and the last thing you need is for someone to start pounding "open-up-it's-the-police" style on your front door after you FINALLY after 1/2 an hour of tears and re-arranging got Baby to latch properly and now you're stranded in the living room with your boob out and by God you are NOT MOVING to the bedroom!!! (in the event that informing said family members to call first and then having them show up anyway, have the hubby meet them and KEEP them in the yard for half an hour or until they go home.....ahem......)Also, Baby will be sleeping, you will be trying to nap or shower or brush your teeth... it's just good manners, okay? Sometime before you come home with Baby make sure all well-meaning relatives and friends know that there is a "please call first" policy in place. Help is awesome and amazing. Unannounced company is NOT COOL.
*Last But Not Least: ENJOY-
Enjoy while it lasts. Try to take time out from the stressing and the sleeplessness to enjoy them being tiny and little and cuddly and wanting to sleep on you for hours at a time. Before too long they will be all knees and elbows and on the go and running around and before you know it, it is embarrassing for you to kiss them in public and attempts to do so are met with "Moooooommmmmm!!!!"