Saturday, October 8, 2011

Princess in Progress

Today I went to a baby shower (7 hours round trip, thank you very much), but I wouldn't have missed it for the *world*. UNIVERSE, probably.

The baby shower was in honor of Lisa Spooner, formerly of local Tyler channel CBS 19, currently of Florida's Fox 4.

She's due with she and Ron's first baby, a girl, on Dec. 26.

I hadn't seen Lisa since she abandoned me moved to Florida at least 3,000 years ago at the end of last year. But there was no way I was going to miss the celebration of her "Princess in Progress," as Baby Spooner is known. Fitting, of course, since MOM, LISA, is Miss Texas 2002.

 Lisa, who is a MAGNETIC, DYNAMIC, BEAUTIFUL soul, inside and out,  doesn't look much different now than she did in this 2002 photo. *sigh. (and Harry Potter spells upon her). Even seven months pregnant. She glowed.

Like I never did. (bitter x 3)

But she GLOWED. Because that's what Lisa does. From the moment I met her, on a wintery, gray, slushy, damp day, she glowed. She tromped into my workplace in white, fur-trimmed snow slushboots and made me feel instantly at home in her world of broadcast journalism when I had chosen print journalism for a reason.

It was friendship at first sight.

After that, there were weekly Chick-Fil-A dates, usually with then-morning show-co-anchor Bryan Houston, and lots of great discussion. I fought back tears when she finally told me she had a contract in Florida, although I knew it was a great move for her and Ron.

There are some friends that you can be apart from and pick up right back where you left off when you see them again. Lisa is one of those friends.

I'm BEYOND thrilled she'll be a mom, right around Christmas. She's keeping her daughter's name close to her heart, but in the meantime, her baby shower invitations referred to Baby Girl Spooner as "Princess in Progress," so that's what I'll call her, too.

And here's the things I wish *I'd known before becoming a mother. Or at least had LISTENED to.

1. SLEEP WHEN THE BABY SLEEPS.  Thank-you notes can wait. Everyone understands if you're a bit late. The baby WILL survive the dust bunnies in the corner and your husband knows how to work the washing machine as well as you do. (If not, let him practice on his OWN clothes). Bottom line, you don't want to spend the first few months of your baby's life in a sleep-deprived fog. SO SLEEP WHEN YOU CAN AND DON'T YOU *DARE* FEEL GUILTY.

2. Pacifiers do NOT impede breast-feeding. Curt, my first born, sucked a blister onto my pinkie finger before I realized that SUCKING SOOTHES infants. At three weeks old, Curt got his first pacifier and I got my first two hours uninterrupted sleep. I promise you they will NOT go to kindergarten with a paci.

3. Take infant portraits. Capture all those moments in black and white when the sheer innocence and miraculousness of your child is apparent.

4. Schedules are GOOD. There is much debate over whether the infant, or the parent, dictates the schedule. Compromise. Figure out your baby's biorhythms and implement a schedule accordingly. Be willing to be flexible and compromise. But let them know what to expect.

5. Co-sleeping...another hot bed of debate. I didn't co-sleep with Curt. And Curt wasn't a co-sleeping kinda kid .But that's an entirely different story. Curt ate every 3 hours from birth, implementing his own schedule. Luke...oh, sweet Luke... ate every 90 minutes AT MOST for the first 4 months of life. Co-sleeping saved my life.

6. Record everything. You will forget.

I promise.

7. Find your own RULES. Not mine, not Ferber's, not Spock's. FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.

8. Ketchup will not kill your baby .  hurt you or your baby. Sorry, What to Eat When You're Expecting.

9. Slings are good. American mommas tend to think we can just transition our babies from the womb to the bassinet. But baby carrying is amazing...

10. Breastfeed if you can, for whatever amount of time  you can. (stepping off my soapbox) I was a formula fed baby. And although my breastfed siblings will argue, I'm super-way-smart. But bf'ing is beneficial for so many reasons. 

11. Induced labor stinks. Go natural if you can. Your body knows when it's ready to deliver your baby; your doctor's golf tee-time does not.

12.Oh. MY. GOSH!!! This is a secret...shhhhhhhh....I never knew.....when you're water breaks, it's NOT a finite supply. It keeps coming. Throughout labor.  I mean, some women have a WHOOSH, but for some, it keeps comin' throughout labor.

13. Vaccines are good. Enough said. (My autistic child NEVER EVER had a thimerisol based vaccine before he was diagnosed with autism)

14. Please, please, PLEASE learn how to correctly use your carseat. And those carry-bars in the infant carriers are not meant to be riding overhead when your baby is secured to your car. If your child is not ready to be face fronting at the recommended age, don't push it. If your FOURTH grader doesn't meet the requirements for sitting in a car seat versus a booster, err on the side of caution. Which would you rather have: a child with a sore back or a paraplegic?

15. Keep. Trying. Vegetables. Even if your baby doesn't seem to "like" them. I bet they will someday. And guess what? You can sneak ALL KINDS of fruits and veggies into oatmeal pancakes. \

16. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Oh I said that. But  I mean it. My firstborn, Curt, only woke up to nurse at 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. after the first few weeks of life. I thought I was golden. Until I had Luke. The baby-who-never-stopped-eating. So I'd put 17 month old Curt down for his afternoon nap, then lay down with Luke (co-sleeping) and let him nurse until he fell asleep. We all slept. And we were all better for it

I'm sure I'll think of more. And I'm sure Lisa and Ron will make their own way.

I celebrate the parents you are, and will become.


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