Knowledge is power, and all that…

Stacks of books, Seattle, Washington, USA

Image by Wonderlane via Flickr

I like to plan and research.

Case in point:  A year before we even intend to start attempting to conceive our first* child, I’ve already made my way through not one, but two pregnancy books, am a daily visitor in the Being Pregnant section at Babble.com, and read every pregnancy article I stumble across.  I cross examine my poor pregnant and mommy friends about their experiences with pregnancy, labor, newborns.

So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that I can tell you about pregnancy symptoms, mucous plugs, pros and cons to epidurals, what to expect during labor, what the appropriate amount of weight gain is based on your pre-pregnancy weight and even how much of that weight is baby, placenta, etc.

I can tell you when you’re more likely to start feeling the baby move – at how many weeks you can find out the gender (if baby is cooperative) – and how big your baby is at  27 weeks pregnant.

I can tell you a lot of things for someone who never got past week 5 of her own pregnancy 

But, there are two things I am not going to do with my ridiculous amounts of research:
1) Offer unsolicited advice to anyone who is currently pregnant (or trying to conceive)
2) Make decisions about my own future pregnancy

I’m not going to decide now if I’m for or against epidurals.  I’m not going to decide now how much weight I will gain (even though this can be out of my control up to a certain extent).  I’m not going to decide right now how or when I will share my pregnancy news.  

I want to enter my pregnancy armed with knowledge, but with an open mind.

And hopefully, next year at this time, I’ll be in the throes of morning sickness brought on by the first trimester – and we can see how little knowledge I truly have. :)

Did anyone else do massive researching before conceiving?  Did it shape your opinions of pregnancy and childbirth? 

*The baby I lost will always be in my thoughts – but considering how early I miscarried and all that, here I won’t refer to that pregnancy as my first (seeing as I barely even realized I was truly pregnant).  That does not mean it hurts any less, it just means that I don’t have any real knowledge or experiences from that pregnancy to share.
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15 thoughts on “Knowledge is power, and all that…

  1. Pingback: My Period is Late, Am I Pregnant? | Oh My God – Faqs

  2. Well not before I conceived, but as soon as I found out I was pregnant I bought every baby magazine and book I could lay my hands on. I went to the library and got a load of different books from there too, I just kept renewing them throughout the whole 9 months of my pregnancy lol

    I was the same with my second child to, of course I knew everything there was to know about pregnancy and birth, but I had an insatiable appetite for any information that I thought would help me.

    Oooh you have it all to look forward to, I’m a little envious, I loved being pregnant, it was the most amazing experience. Pregnancy, labour and birth is the most awesome thing ever!

    I will look forward to reading all about your experiences when it eventually happens :) x

    • Thanks Carole — It’s good to know that I’m not the only one that loves researching this kind of thing. I have a feeling that as soon as I’m pregnant I’ll be diving into parenting books, haha. :)

  3. This post cracked me up. I’m just at the end of my second pregnancy. My step-mom is a labor and delivery nurse, she’s been doing the job for 25+ years and her best advice to me with both my pregnancies… Go with the flow. You never know what you’re going to get, especially with the delivery.

    • Haha.. I’m not a ‘go with the flow’ kind of person.. but I will try. I just like knowing the possibilities, not necessarily making the decisions. I’m not allowing myself to think about how my pregnancy will be like, because I know that I can’t predict or control it.

  4. Heh. I am a research fiend. Not always ahead of time, but if something needs research (or has caught my attention), I am all over it.

    I think the “go with the flow” idea is a good one. It is hard to know what you’re going to get & if you get something you didn’t expect, it makes life easier if you don’t have to change your mind from some “firm” decision you made before you knew the circumstances.

    Hehe…it’s good practice for actually being a parent…where you take all you thought you knew & throw it right out the window. ;o)

  5. i’m with @michelle. I did no research or preplanning. I was very happy that my sister (who does do a lot of research & I trust explicitly) had given birth to her surprise baby boy just the year before I announced I was pregnant. Things were very new for her. She gave me all of her books, which I flipped through. Our biggest decision was using a doctor or midwife. Once we determined to use a midwife then all other information followed easily. I totally agree with you, I hated it when people offer unsolicited advice (and STILL DO!). That is one thing I learned. Only offer advice if someone asks.

    • Yup, never give advice unless asked.
      I’m the research fiend in the family.. my cousinl, who is pregnant with her 2nd, comes to me for advice because she knows I read more – and while I lack ‘street smarts’ on the subject, I’m full of book knowledge.

  6. If I suspect I have any medical condition, I read up on everything. Does that count?

    Seriously, I could tell you a little bit of everything when it comes to fertility and pretty much all women issues (and some men issues). I am addicted to knowledge. : )

    • Totally counts.. I am addicted too.. My husband laughs at how I want to collect all sorts of pregnancy books so I can be as prepared as possible.

  7. I’m one of those “go with the flow” kinda people. With my first I was all, “what to expect when you’re expecting” and then with my second I was all “eh, been there, done that, can we just get this part over with?”. And I had two very different pregnancies. Anyway, its good to be prepared, (the boy scout motto!) but (as I’m sure you know) every pregnancy is different and may not always go according to what you’ve read and researched. I wish I could be a researcher like you. I’m envious.

  8. We didn’t do any real research into pregnancy before our son came along and ended up going with the flow, which was pretty much the only thing we could do at the end of the pregnancy because of pre-eclampsia and being in and out of hospital.

    The only research we did after we’d decided to have a baby was to talk to a genetic nurse because my other half has neurofibromatosis and we needed to understand what that meant for us and our baby. My son is now 13 years old, has been in and out of hospital since he was 2 and is the light of my life.

    “*The baby I lost will always be in my thoughts ” – I lost my first child during the first trimester because of a miscarriage so I can understand you. In my head my child was a she and Kayleigh would have been nearly 20 years of age now.

    • Thank you for your imput Jenny! I definitely think research has its place… but only when you don’t obsessively stick to ideas that don’t work.
      I too view the miscarried baby as a girl – and I have named her – which is something I keep to myself. She would have been 7 months right now if she had lived. :(

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