Pregnancy and The Gift of Advice?

by Gina



                               

Advice. We give it without thinking about it…unless it’s a touchy or emotionally charged subject, then every now and again we might stop for at least a moment and think about what advice we might dispense. Then there are some situations where advice is a given even if it isn’t wanted or needed.

Good Advice

Good Advice by HelloJenuine via Flickr

Pregnancy for instance. We mothers have a way of using another’s pregnancy as our opportunity to open the door of nostalgia for our own experiences. Reliving each moment, describing emotions, pains, the fun and certainly not so fun part of pregnancy… and yes, for whatever reason, many of us find pregnancy / giving birth to be a subject when it’s okay – even obligatory – to throw caution to the wind and describe all the ‘gross’ things that can happen. Ahem.

As a pregnancy furthers, we change our talk to the first few weeks, the sleepless nights, midnight bottle feedings, the dreaded first BM and more. The advice is overflowing with how to handle a crying baby – let him cry, give him the countdown of your time, answer his every call. With a few around me who are nearing the end of their pregnancies, I’ve found myself in those conversations.

This go around though, I’ve found myself sitting back, laughing at the stories, nodding with acknowledgment and warming in the nostalgia of my own pregnancies. But when eyes turn to me for my appropriate response, my part in the gift giving of advice, I have found myself only willing to give the one piece of advice that has stuck with me.

I wonder if it’s the road we’ve been on, if I unknowingly have a perception that all the other stuff doesn’t matter because of the road we’ve been on has been so different than the norm, or if there are so many factors in the development of any child, any parent-child relationship that I’m left feeling as though all the dished advice has to be tossed aside and a new parent has to find their way?

Am I jaded? Am I realistic? Is it something else? I wonder what types of advice others give, if you give. So please, let me know your one piece of advice or where you stand on this…

Oh, and mine goes something like this: “It will work out. When your daughter’s 18 she probably isn’t going to be using a binkie no matter how you go about that. So, you’ll figure it out and it will be just fine.” … but of course I see the irony in that too.

Email Author    |    Website About Gina

Gina St. Aubin is a mother of 3, one diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, PDD-NOS, Sensory Processing Disorder, and Landau-Kleffner Syndrome (a rare epileptic disorder causing verbal aphasia) . A former Victim's Advocate turned advocate for those with intellectual and physical challenges, Gina believes being a 'Special Parent' means to discover, embrace, educate, advocate, encourage, treasure and laugh.

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1 Laurie November 11, 2011 at 11:18 am

Oh, girl, this hits home. Last night as I drove to visit my girl in the residential facility we passed a sign for a birthing center. A picture of a big, perfect expectant belly… next to these words: “Your baby, Your way.” I burst into tears. It was too much for me. I wanted to throw up or set fire to the sign. Really? I yelled. Our babies are rarely what we expect, and it’s signs like that that create depression in moms raising their very-real kids with very real issues. I like the way you handle it when you encourage moms. I think that’s one of the blessings of having things in our own families so whacked… we can fill our peers with encouragement and confidence. Even if we find our comments a little ironic :).

2 betty November 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I remember once when we were trying so hard to wait to be matched for adoption and my husband said he went on and on about it at work when another Dr said to him “it’s not always all it’s cracked up to be….” Now this may seem harsh, but he had a heck of a time with a now grown daughter with maybe bi polar as a child etc…maybe he was in a mood..maybe something had happened…

at work a few yrs ago I had someone burst my bubble(when my son was still an infant and had no dx yet) at work when she mentioned she had adopted and her life had been a living “he**” due to her daughter (through adoption also) mental illness and their omission of info on her birthmom…

I now totally feel the same way at times. Mostly when people are complaining about the most “typical” mundane things….I often think at least there is that boundry of child/parent….maybe even soem respect..it is hard to be cheerful and optimistic when you are fearful at times of a 6 yr old….

i tend to avoid pregnant women like the plague as I have never been..so I don’t even have that blissful time to be nostalgic about…always has been some sort of stress from the get go

3 Debbye December 9, 2011 at 11:12 am

I guess I still hold some sadness and anger about how my pregnancy went all wrong from week 7. Loosing one baby and giving birth under oh so not the intended circumstances to a critically ill and possibly permanently developmentally disabled and medically fragile baby. I keep my mouth shut, and even tend to shy away from any conversation that may cause me to reflect on my own situation and therefore bring me to tears. It has only been 19 months since giving birth, and many turbulent months since, so maybe it is because it is new, or maybe I need to be more proactive in healing myself so that I can choose what advice to give- without tearing up.

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