I am a pretty traditional gal, with what I consider traditional goals. I married my high school sweetheart a year after graduating North High School. I started working at L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in 2007, earned my bachelors in 2010 from UW – Eau Claire and took a year off before heading back to UW – Milwaukee for my Masters in Library Science. Within a year of earning my professional degree, I had earned a management position at this wonderful library (programming for adults, so much fun!) and we purchased our first home and got a couple of dogs. So…guess what our next goal was?
You guessed it; we wanted to have a baby. We tried for nearly two years to grow our family, but when we realized that all the secret Pinterest boards and late-night conversations about baby names were not going to make our dreams come true we had some tough conversations about what a future without children might look like.
Although it was difficult, over the course of a few months my husband and I were able to come to terms with that future, and even to somewhat embrace it, which is why we planned a little vacation for ourselves earlier this summer. Nothing extravagant, just a long weekend in one of my favorite getaway spots…Duluth, Minnesota. We thoroughly enjoyed our few days there, but I wasn’t feeling great after indulging in too many sweets and a couple of decadent dinners. At least, I thought that was the issue – turns out, I was actually about five weeks pregnant and I was experiencing the joys of morning sickness. Surprise!
While I am overjoyed with the completely unexpected news, I’m also more than a little terrified. There are no easy choices these days; I google just about everything to make sure it’s safe to eat or drink. Even then, I mostly find anecdotes from other expectant mothers, or if I do find something more scientific-sounding, it doesn’t provide resources (which as a librarian, I know are important to identify if information is credible or not). And, as I look at those Pinterest boards I created years ago, I see they are very out of date on things like safety ratings.
So, how do I navigate this new reality? I started with the book, Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, which I downloaded as an e-book (very discreet!) and used the library’s medical databases to find answers to my questions like: how much weight should I gain, can I still drink Diet Coke, what kind of exercise can I do, how will my age affect my pregnancy, and many, many, others.
As much as I love a good deal, I want to make sure the products I purchase for my baby are safe and will stand up to whatever baby will throw at them, so I’ve also started to update my Pinterest boards with new travel gear, nursery furniture, and baby monitors based on research I’ve done by accessing “Consumer Reports”magazine through the library.
Right now, I’m mostly focused on a healthy pregnancy and preparing our home – and budget – for a baby. However, in the coming months I will need to make important decisions on which prenatal tests to have done, changes to our health and life insurance, and a birthing plan. Once “Squishy” (our in-utero nickname for baby) makes his/her debut in March and exists as an individual we’ll have even harder decisions to make on how we’ll handle things like feedings, sleep schedules, and potty training. As overwhelming as those decisions seem, I know I’ll find reliable, credible resources at the library to make informed decisions. Squishy will also have plenty of library books to read, be entertained with the Youth Service’s “Play and Learn” early literacy area, be enthralled by storytime, and so much more.