I like to know stuff.
I realize that there are some people out there who wear their ignorance as a badge of honor. They happily boast that they don’t know how to cook or proudly state that they don’t even know who the vice president is. I suppose that’s all fine and dandy for them, but I enjoy learning new things and basically don’t want to be a friggin’ idiot.
Once we were expecting, I started the long process of learning all about it and here are seven things you learn when expecting a baby:
1. Braxton Hicks is not a new super-duo made up of 90’s diva Toni Braxton and American Idol season 5 winner Taylor Hicks
They are actually practice contractions that can happen as early as 6 weeks into pregnancy. They should be irregular and sporadic (just like Taylor Hicks) and only involve minor cramping (just like Toni Braxton unless you watch her reality show, then it’s a full on pain train). They are thought to aid the body and prepare it for birth though not all expectant mothers feel them.
2. 4-1-1 is more than just the number you call for information
The birthing center tells you not to call (unless you are concerned about something) until the contractions are 4 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute each for 1 hour – otherwise known as the 4-1-1 Rule. In fact, if your contractions start in the evening, they said it’s best to try to get some sleep because once they get strong, you will be awake for the duration.
3. The difference between a doula and Amendola
This most likely happened because I first started learning about a doula right about the time fantasy football started. To clarify, a doula is a labor coach – someone who assists the woman during birth. Amendola, as in Danny Amendola, is a wide receiver who last season played for the New England Patriots and was projected to put up some decent fantasy stats (full disclosure? he did not).
4. Many people are NOT going to buy from your registry
You spend hours researching and planning, master that sweet scanning gun at the store and finally create an award-worthy registry. You are so pleased and proud of yourself and you can’t wait to share it. The baby shower finally arrives and… you get other things. Now I don’t want to sound ungrateful as we received lots of amazing stuff from lots of amazing people, but it’s something you need to keep in mind.
5. Number of weeks pregnant is two weeks more than the number of weeks since conception
I always wondered how 40 weeks equaled 9 months pregnant and I finally learned that it wasn’t my below-average math skills rearing their despicable head, but a difference in when the counting begins. The people in the baby game prefer to start counting from the first day of the woman’s last cycle, which is generally 2 weeks before actual conception. Mathically-speaking (definitely not even close to being a word) that would mean 40 weeks is really 38 weeks since conception, which is closer to 9 months.
6. No one, mostly parents, will like the names you come up with
We made the horrendous mistake early on of sharing some names we came up with and were shot down quicker than something that gets shot down really fast (a frat boy at a lesbian bar?). After a while we finally smartened up and learned to keep our names to ourselves. It should be a blast to introduce Chalupa Batman Poore to the world.
7. Terms like “clean the stump,” “mucous plug” and “bloody show”
These are all legitimate terms that one can say when talking about pregnancy and no one will even be offended. I don’t suggest you bring them up in other environments though, like an office meeting or a wedding. In case you are curious, “clean the stump” refers to a newborn’s belly button or what will be the belly button once the remaining cord falls off. It sounds amazingly disgusting and I can not wait to post a super close up photo of it. “Mucous plug” is actually very beneficial as it prevents bacteria from entering the uterus, it is often described as a glob of snot. Finally, to wrap up this gory trifecta, is “bloody show,” which is when a small amount of blood escapes the vagina near the end of pregnancy. It sometimes is an indicator that labor is beginning and midwives love to ask all about it.
Obviously this is not all that I have learned but it’s a nice sampling. Oh, here’s another tidbit (titbit?): breast milk is apparently liquid gold… baby has an eye infection? Squirt some breast milk in it. Stump looking extra grody today? Dab it in boob juice. New baby came out with stupid baby acne? Rub a little bit of mom all over it.
Remember back in high school when all the cool kids used the word smegma as a derogatory term? Yeah, that’s a real thing…