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Why I Stopped Reading the Baby Books

I have a rather…high strung temperament. I get easily stressed out by things and tend to focus on the what if’s. I like to control things. I like knowing what is going to happen even if no one can predict it.

I can hear everyone that knows me laughing.

When I found out I was pregnant with my now 2 1/2 year old Bella, I went a little insane. I read every baby book I could get my hands on. I bought and registered for things only if they rated high enough on Baby Bargains (which fell apart due to continual use). I was so panicked and overwhelmed at the thought of the unknowns, terrified I’d mess it all up, that I tried to plan for anything that might go wrong.

Just in case.

Of everything.

This time around, I was determined to be a little less crazy with it all. I realized that babies come home and do not notice that you spent hours scrubbing their floorboards – they are too busy pooping and screaming. They do not care that you spent 16 hours picking matching car seat/stroller colors. I realized my daughter was simply a tiny human that needed the very basics we were equipped to give her. The rest should have been just fun stuff.

Then we found out we were expecting twins. The shock of it all sent me into a “Now what?” frenzy. I downloaded 5 twin how-to books on my phone and read chapters each night from every one. I read online. I read blogs. I read everything.

And while I was certainly more informed, I was also making myself mentally exhausted and constantly stressed out. I began to talk to Sam at 10 weeks about NICU stays and a second crib and where Bella would go during labor – all the things that I really had months to ponder and reflect. I was so focused on eating the right things and amounts that I felt guilty 24-7 because my food aversions were so bad I couldn’t eat anything at all. Everything about this pregnancy weighed heavily on me.

I remember one night curling up into bed after weeks of this, and thinking, “I don’t want to read another chapter in that book tonight.” In fact, I was dreading it. I knew once I did, I’d read something I missed or did wrong and I’d spend forever trying to fix it.

I simply couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted to enjoy my pregnancy.

So I stopped. I stopped reading the books. I started to listen to my body, my Dr, my friends with twins when I had a question. I took the basic knowledge I already had and used that to fit my life and my needs. I know what I need to if something goes wrong and how to look for signs of trouble. I have an app that gives me little daily updates and tidbits of positive info. I have emergency numbers and Google if I need to know. (Sometimes Google is not your friend. Learned that the hard way.)

It hit me after doing this that what I was trying to do, both with Bella and this time around, was find the ONE THING that would make it all be ok. Explain it all, tell me exactly what to do in order for things to go the way they “should.” That’s what I kept doing. And nothing on this earth would ever be able to do that.

I knew it. Rationally I knew it. But subconsciously I still went seeking that out. I never found it, of course.

Of course, many books are wonderful for info. I’ll need them as I reach new stages or have new questions and concerns. But they can’t be my all. They can’t take over this pregnancy. I have begun to realize that whatever is going to happen, usually will happen. There is very little I can try to control or prepare for by reading every baby book on the face of the earth.

So now I relax, feel my boys move around, and focus on the here and now. If something happens I need to know or check – well – there are about 3,000 pages of information waiting on my Kindle ready to help.

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Diana blogs on more on raising a toddler daughter, a surprise twin pregnancy, being an Army wife, and her crazy life on the aptly named Hormonal Imbalances.

Smaller glimpses into her day are on Twitter as @lifeasaSAHM and Facebook.

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