My First Lesson in Parenting


piopio, baby feet, newborn photography, heidi calma photography, virginia beach newborn photographyMy first lesson in parenting happened before Piopio was even born. It happened before I went into labor, during my 38-week doctor’s appointment, when I was told labor would be induced the following week. My birth plan — along with months and months of reading about natural pain relief techniques, learning about the best positions to facilitate labor, and fine-tuning my expectations of Piopio’s birthday — went out the window.Despite having been admonished not to even bother with a birth plan because the chances of childbirth going according to any sort of outline — let alone plan — were approximately zero, I, being the Type A control freak organized person that I am, dutifully drew one up, using the handy “Birth Preferences” tool of my BabyCenter app. (The fact that it was titled “Birth Preferences” made me feel less like a control freak when I presented it to my obstetrician. Like, Oh, this old thing? Just a couple ideas. Nothing set in stone. While internally I was all, Medical interventions? No thank you.)piopio, baby feet, newborn photography, heidi calma photography, virginia beach newborn photographyFast forward to 38 weeks and 6 days into my pregnancy, when I held my baby boy for the first time after an earlier-than-anticipated induction (I had barely wrapped my head around a scheduled induction, and it ended up happening three days earlier than that), roughly 16 hours of labor, and an unscheduled C-section. Basically the opposite of everything that was in my birth plan, with the exception of one healthy baby, the apple of my eye. In the end, that’s all that matters.You can’t control what happens during pregnancy any more than you can control what happens during labor and childbirth — or child-rearing, for that matter. Nothing goes according to plan. Natural birth? How about a C-section? Exclusive breastfeeding? How about supplementing with formula due to delayed milk onset in order to grow your tiny baby? (Fortunately I only had to supplement 3 ounces of formula total spread out over a couple days.)Sleep? Forget about it. A feeding and napping schedule? Not for Piopio. And on and on. (I can only imagine what this list looks like later in childhood and adolescence. Screen time limits? Curfew? Those kids you think are cool but are really bad news?) The last 15 weeks (and nine months) have been one big exercise in relaxing my inner control freak and going with the flow.It’s been a challenge, but I’m working on it. So here’s to celebrating one parenting lesson in the books. Piopio is certainly a good (and adorable!) teacher.Photos by Heidi Calma.

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

4 thoughts on “My First Lesson in Parenting

  1. Congratulations!!! Aren’t baby feet and hands just the sweetest things to get lost staring at and holding!! Wishing you peace and bliss inbetween and around and through all the details that go with your body recovering, your baby growing daily, and your schedule never being a schedule until one day, for a brief interval, it is. Hang in there!!


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