Pregnancy preparedness: Things you’ll want to do before you get knocked up – in no particular order.
1. Start telling strangers in line at the grocery store and strangers you’re connected with on social media that you are pregnant and that you are planning to formula feed. Take notes when they give you loads of valuable advice about infant feeding.
2. Stare at your naked self in the mirror and pinch the flabbiest part of your belly. Sneer at it in disgust. Then, try to imagine that your flabby belly will never again be this toned. Pat your (soon to be thought of as toned) flab and tell it you’ll miss it.
3. Google childbirth worst-case scenarios. Develop extreme anxiety. PANIC.
4. Stock up on your favorite seasonal treats, since you don’t know what will be available when you crave it most. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT eat your Thin Mints. You will need them later. TRUST ME. Scavange boxes from your friends and family if you can.
5. Drink copious amounts of vino. You’re really gonna miss this stuff.
6. Attend a natural childbirthing class and ask questions like, “What is the herbal equivalent to an epidural?” and, “How many six packs do I need to drink to help my milk come in?”
7. Keep a box of tissues in your purse at all times. When you want to be pregnant, everyone else around you will become pregnant. Teenagers, nuns, your eccentric uncle. EVERYONE.
8. Go to yoga. You’ll need the core strength to sustain a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and recovery. You’ll need the breathing exercises to offset the breast-feeding advice, childbirth horror stories and immaculate conceptions going on all around you.
9. Kegels. Yes, you need to do them. Start ‘em now. Do them in the car, do them at work, do them when you empty the dishwasher. You’d better get used to multi-tasking.
10. Drink more wine. Relish it.
11. Research baby products and read each and every review. Buy fifteen books reviewing the products and then buy three more books reviewing the reviews. Create an elaborate wish list. Go register for products and get so annoyed with the process that you just scan the first two items on each shelf. (*Note – those choices will work out just fine). Pass along books along to the nearest pregnant sap.
12. Sex it up. If you’re struggling with conception, sex will quickly turn into a chore you have to complete in between laundry and online banking. Once you get pregnant, your husband will worry about poking the baby. Right after having the baby, you’ll worry about breaking your pelvis. When the baby is older, you’ll both choose sleep over sex. It’ll be a couple years before you’re both in the mood (and that’s when you’ll start trying for your next baby).
13. Read up on the importance of infant schedules and sleep training. Try to do 100 pull ups, walk across hot coals, and hold your breath for 4 minutes under water. These three tasks will better prepare you for the inevitable realization that carefully planned schedules and techniques won’t work out for you in any way, shape or form.
14. Start slathering on the cocoa butter. If it doesn’t prevent stretch marks, it’ll at least smell like coconuts and make you think of the beach. Once you’re pregnant, keep using it but know that you’ll feel less like a Hawaiian Tropics girl and more like a beached whale.
15. Start spending time with other people’s kids. Their whining, incessant chatter, tantrum throwing and disgusting drooling will prepare you for what is to come. Let me remind you that evolution has programmed us to love our own so much more than our neighbor’s. Don’t be afraid, your own will be amazing. A science refresher is always valuable.
16. Relax. Because we all know that unlike ovulation, balanced hormones or healthy uterine linings, this is the true key to conceiving.
Any other advice for those who want to be parents?