Hopefully we are all hip to the title of this post, but in the event that these letters have no significance to you, TMI stands for Too Much Information.
And as much as we all want this post to be filled with embarrassing facts about my life that have you screaming “TMI”…this post is actually intended to help new mommies and mommies-to-be find some sanity in the midst of TMI.
By TMI I am referring to the inordinate amount of information you begin to drown in the second you discover the double pink lines on your pee-stick. From books, to doctors, to friends, to blogs, to little old ladies at the grocery store, everyone wants to give you the low down on what life is going to be like for the next 9 months. And as grateful as we all are for the opportunity to get our questions answered, sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. So this is my attempt to help you sort through the piles of stuff by giving you my two cents on some of my favorite finds.
As new parents, we are thirsty for knowledge. We are curious and eager to digest as much information as our brains can hold. I can remember when Freddie and I found out that we were pregnant. The first thing we did was go out and buy two copies of What to Expect When You are Expecting, one for each of us. I had heard that it was a “must have” for all expecting parents. When we returned home that night Freddie and I sat up in bed, cracked open the book and started reading, with bookmarks and highlighters in hand. We lasted all of 5 minutes, max! Unfortunately, there was a bit too much information all at once. And the writing was very dry and quite boring. So we put it down and never picked it up again.
But I still needed to know what this whole experience was going to be like. So I started digging through a pile of books that someone had given to me. I was excited when I came across The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy: Or everything your doctor won’t tell you. I decided to take it with me to breakfast one morning and was laughing out loud as I enjoyed my chorizo and eggs by myself…mmmmm :). What I enjoyed most about this book was the author’s approach to the information that she provided. She was relaxed in her presentation and it truly felt as if it were a girlfriend who was offering me advice.
Speaking of girlfriends, one day I happened to be in a conversation with my co-worker who was also pregnant, with her second child, and she mentioned babycenter.com. I had never heard of it before and was excited to see what all the hype was about. Talk about a lot of information! Luckily, you can easily search what you are looking for and it will direct you to an experts take on it as well as community boards where other mothers-to-be share their thoughts and feelings. My favorite part about this site was signing up for the weekly emails that offer information on your baby’s development while in utero. This helped me to better understand what was going on in my belly.
As my pregnancy progressed and Freddie and I started looking into what to buy for our little bundle, my friend gave me the Baby Bargains book which truly is the bible for reviews and ratings of baby gear. I tailored my entire registry list based off of their recommendations. What I found most helpful was the safety ratings. With all the possible options out there, it helped to narrow down our choices, knowing we were purchasing the safest product on the market.
If you haven’t seen the movie The Business of Being Born, add it to your Netflix queue immediately. Even if you are not a mother-to-be, or have already birthed your babies, this movie is powerful. I am so grateful that someone shared this movie with me. It is a wealth of information that will move you to change the way you approach childbirth, or at least it did for me.
Finally, one of my favorite sites for natural parenting is mothering.com. There is a plethora of resources on everything from pregnancy and birth to green living and recipes all with a natural approach. This site became very helpful to me after Harper was born as I felt that it offered me the support I was looking for when it came to issues such as vaccines, breastfeeding and co-sleeping.
In addition to the books, websites and movie mentioned, I found attending a birth class with my husband was not only a great source of information on what to expect, but also a wonderful place to meet other pregnant women with whom I was able to form a network of peers. And almost a year later, all of our babies are buddies and now we participate in mommy groups together. Another great way to meet other pregnant moms can be through pre-natal yoga. I was lucky to find a pre-natal yoga class that not only offered good stretching and exercise but also a forum where we could share our thoughts and feelings with other women who may be going through a similar thing. Sometimes gathering information from your peers who are in the midst of pregnancy themselves can prove helpful.
So after bombarding you with more information, I hope it wasn’t TMI. At the end of the day it is all about balance. You don’t want to go into this experience blindly, but you also don’t want to be overloaded. I like to remember La Leche League’s motto which is “Take what seems right for you and leave the rest”. The truth of the matter is all the knowledge you need is already inside of you. It’s called your mother’s intuition. And its available to you 24/7 if you learn to trust it.