Don't worry, Mama

You’re pregnant! For the first time!

Or, maybe, again! Again? With twins! Twins!? Yep: You’re about to experience something awesome, dare I say, miraculous.

And, yet … a pregnancy can also leave you wondering: What was I thinking?

Never are the sublime and mundane so tightly intertwined as when you contemplate bringing a new life into the world — while throwing up in a garbage can under your desk at work.

Then, add in hormone-hijacked emotions, backaches, stretch marks and worrying.

Ah, yes, the worrying. I loved being pregnant (really!), but I worried almost constantly about what to eat (kale?) and what to avoid (lunch meat! soft cheeses! listeria!).

I also worried, honestly, if my baby and I would survive our journey unscathed: What makes people delight in telling pregnant women their most harrowing labor stories?

When your baby arrives, the complexities continue: You’ve literally created life, but you’re elbow deep in diapers and sleep deprivation. And you’re never sure you’re doing the whole parenting thing “right.” And, as the years go by, it goes on just like that. 

Today, now the proud mama of a 7-year-old, I’m still a mix of overjoyed, amazed and terrified — though slightly less terrified, thank goodness. And I’m way more in love. (That love they say you’ll “instantly” fall into? It takes a while for some moms to get there, me included.)

With this month’s magazine — our annual Maternity Issue — I hope we can ease your worries a little with some awesome stories, brought to you by local moms and dads.

Wondering what you really need to put on your registry or where to birth in the Twin Cities? We’ve got you covered with insights from a local postpartum doula (turned journalist). Do you really need a breast pump? Are you worried about chemicals in your baby’s nursery? We have some ideas on those, too. 

Finally, don’t forget to check out our Baby on Board columnist’s pregnancy pointers.

She says it’s OK to set boundaries when folks try to share prenatal horror stories, preach against epidurals or grope your belly.

Simply say: “I’m trying to reduce my stress levels, so I’d really rather not discuss birth stories,” or “Please, don’t touch me.” Yes. It’s OK to do that. (You’re not public property.)

Whatever your situation, be this your first child or your sixth, we wish you well and thank you for taking Minnesota Parent along for the ride.