Nancy, that is a bitter subject for me. Where the heck was the manual?!!![:(!] I got zip with Finn.. no goody bag for mommies who show up a month in advance... ditto with Lucy. I didn't get anything 'till Chloe. All of a sudden, a zillion bags, a mountain of formula freebies sitting in the pantry waiting for me to finally crack but still no manual[:(]. Except the obligatory "how to breastfeed" pamphlet. That was useless, life would have been much easier if they'd included a booklist like for college. I regained my figure after Finn by walking back and forth to the Brookline Public Library and reading the baby manuals from one end of the shelf to the other as if I was cramming for an exam. FYI.. it is always easy to breastfeed in French Literature and Poetry of the 17-19th Centuries.. there's never anyone there.
I have to say... I was so unprepared for Lucy, had a refresher class for us and a sibling class for Finn scheduled.. too late. Then for Chloe, we were so afraid that something bad would happen, not to mention that the whole world and his dog thought we were experts at having kids.. she'd be our third after all, that I didn't dare even phone to set up the class. I could actually kill DH, after the Lucy experience, he thinks that babies should be delivered like tumours.. surgically! That's why I'm always curious about peoples opinions on childbirth education. It seems to me that if you don't get it right first time around, there's no way to try again, or take another approach, especially if you aren't going off the deep end with a home birth in the family paddling pool [:o)][}:)]. If I were going around again, I swear that I would try to regain control of the process, I didn't even know the way to L&D last time, I never took the tour pre-Lucy (would have been part of the darned class) and left that floor on the flat of my back in bed..... I do think that something positive was stolen from us even though things went so well. We forgot to take pictures or even relax enough to celebrate... endless fear, especially when it proves groundless, shadows and undermines the joy of the process. We really held back on Chloe's birth and delivery, no real preparations, no efforts at a picture on the spot etc. I know that these are trivial things in comparison to leaving the hospital with a healthy baby and on your own two feet.. but I still say... be greedy, try and have it all!
Wooohaaa Nelly, I guess I touched a nerve I wasn't aware off..[B)][:I]. Oh well, all you "bloomers", learn from my mistake, bring the camera and the other stuff and don't be afraid to labor to the song of the whales, or failing that "Dusty in Memphis". I swore upsidedown that I was going to listen to that all through labor when I discovered that on my third pregnancy... an m/c and two babies later... the disc is still sitting there. I'll happily burn a copy for anyone willing to do it in my place[:D].
Mom to Finn, Lucy (preeclampsia and HELLP) and Chloe.
Moderator HELLP Syndrome Survivors