Jessica Katz: So how did I become a baby coach Â-- a.k.a. a life coach for everything baby?
I had a terrible pregnancy, caught a horrible superbug from my C-section and was convinced that my baby was evil when she was born (because she had beady eyes). I had a slight case of postpartum depression, felt no connection to my bundle of joy and had an impossible time breastfeeding. Did I mention that creating human life and attempting to raise it was way harder than anyone had told me it would be? Why wasn't I warned? This was supposed to be the most magical time in my life Â... where was the magic?
When my husband and I decided to start trying for baby, I couldn't wait to sport that adorable baby bump a la Heidi Klum. My mom had four children (all naturally) and had loved every minute of her pregnancies, glowing the whole time. I longed for the promise of an amazing 10 months. ÂOh, yes -- it takes 10 long months to make a baby.
From the moment I saw the plus sign, I was puking. Morning sickness would have been a welcome break. I had all-day-and-night sickness, and it went on for months and months. Eventually, my OB told me it would be over in nine months Â.... Great. Where was the glow, where was the cute bump? I hated being pregnant. I puked in the shower, in the car, in fancy restaurants and on the side of the road, and I puked for the last time right before I delivered my daughter. I wanted a time machine to get this baby out of me.
She did come three weeks early, but only after 29 hours of labor and two epidurals, at which point my doctor finally decided to go for the C-section. Really? Could he have not just cut her out before we tried the whole labor thing?
When she came, I didn't hire a baby nurse. I let my daughter sleep in her own room and even skipped the whole "sleep training" thing and let her cry it out at 4 months old. She survived, even though people thought it was a form of child abuse. When I gave my daughter baby formula rather than my breast milk, people looked at me like I was poisoning her. I even let her have bumpers in her crib. I like they way they look, and they were expensive (Serena & Lily).
When friends started talking to me, they realized that they could be honest. Having a baby is really hard. My daughter is the toughest boss I have ever had. I cannot send her to voice mail or put her on hold or go out to lunch. When she needs me, I come running. I have never been so tired or bitchy or lonely in my 32 years of life. Friends were referring me to their friends, and before you knew it, I was helping moms.
I am also a little Type A, and felt like I had to try everything to know what was good enough for my daughter. I am an obsessive researcher and shopper. People knew I had tried five strollers and six bottles and three formulas. Suddenly people started coming to me, realizing they didn't have to do the legwork -- they knew I already had. They would e-mail me about what sippy cup or baby food to buy. I wanted to help them avoid my retail mistakes.
After all, this may be the most financially and emotionally expensive time in your life. But despite it all, it will be worth every penny.