I’m eight weeks postpartum now, with enough distance from my twin pregnancy to see things a little bit more clearly. If I could, I’d love to be able to communicate with my recently pregnant self and give her a little advice based on what I know now. Today, I wrote for Parents.com a list of the things I wish I could tell her, like…:
You’re absolutely right to make manic lists and do everything on them.
When the babies come home from the hospital, just try to handle even the most basic task and see how hard it’s become. Your epic list-making serves you well here, but there are even a couple more things you’ll want to do. First off, make sure the changing station is fully set up, because it’s the first thing you’ll need when you walk in the door. Second, read all the manuals for the things you’ll want to use in the first three months. Because when the babies are several weeks old, and you want to use the Ergos with the infant inserts, you will tearfully lament how hard it is to figure them out. You will scratch your head while you unfurl folded manuals with comic exaggeration, and you will watch YouTube videos with a layer of emotionality that makes it terribly hard to focus. (You will also watch your husband trying so intently to figure it out, and marvel once again how awesome he is, and how devoted.)
A couple of bean sprouts won’t kill you.
I know you’re starving and your bibimbap at the Korean lunch place came with bean sprouts, even though you’d specifically said you couldn’t eat them during pregnancy. But you don’t need to be so intense in your mission to pick out every last one. And similarly, avoid the gorgonzola, sure—but you can probably ease up on the hard cheese that’s been cooked anyway on your babymoon in France, Italy, and Spain. (Also, don’t bother asking the Parisian waiter if the cheese is pasteurized: He’ll look at you like you’re crazy/evil.) You’re right to be cautious and smart about what you put in your mouth in pregnancy, of course, but obsessive behavior isn’t necessary or even useful.