My phone search history and activities are a clear indication of the big changes in my life from pre-pregnancy to now having an infant. I went from pinning cute outfits and scanning Facebook, to reading mom blogs and Googling every question related to pregnancy and parenting.
This is all new to me, so every little change from what was normal 5 minutes ago sparks my curiosity. (Or sends me into a temporary panic). After I sift through some of the irresistibly crazy message boards, I find internet gems of advice and reassurance. Google has become my confidant and nonjudgmental friend that I can call on no matter what time it is, and no matter how crazy my question.
*Disclaimer: I obviously call my doctor with medical concerns and questions. These Google searches are never intended to take the place of professional opinions, only to satisfy a new mommy to whom everything baby related is brand new. Most of my frantic searches take place during sleepless nights and moments of overreactive panic, and involve little nuances and not actual perceived problems.
Here are my most frequent searches, followed by some of the results I have found most helpful.
“Did my water break, or did I just pee a little?”
In those last few days, I was so desperate to go into labor, I convinced myself that my water broke and I just hadn’t realize it. I’m not ashamed to admit that my sweet nugget was doing backflips on my bladder and there was at least one time that I sneezed and peed my pants a little. Gross, I know. T.M.I. I get it, but the struggle was real. My doctor assured me several times that there would be no doubt if my water broke, even if the message boards said otherwise. He was completely right.
“Why do I suck at breastfeeding?”
Pun intended. Also add the following to the list: Plugged ducts. Proper latch. Pumping tips. I had a million questions about breastfeeding and then pumping when I went back to work. I read and heard all these people telling me that “breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt” and if it did, I was clearly doing something wrong. After giving birth, my definition of pain is forever altered, so this strange, new sensation was hard to put into words. I was so upset that it actually did hurt a little. We eventually figured each other out, but it took a few days and several websites to help me find the best hold and the best position. I watched so many videos of babies and boobies. It is such a natural, beautiful thing, but I needed all the help I could get. My trusty search engine was there for me in the wee hours of the night when it wouldn’t be possible to call a lactation consultant. And the whole pumping process … so helpful to get advice from my online mommy friend group on how to make it more pleasant and productive.
“Is _____ baby poop normal?”
I can’t even tell you how many times I have looked at baby poop websites. How funny that poop is not just gross, but now educational? Once, I changed a weird green foamy diaper. A quick Google search told me to make sure I wasn’t switching sides too soon while breastfeeding … problem solved. Weird diapers after solid foods are the norm, but it is helpful to have a poop guide. I can’t bring myself to look at the images because I see enough of it in real life, but I found a few helpful guides that advise if all is ok in the diaper.
“Baby hit head?!”
I am still convinced every time my now mobile baby bumps his head, he must have a concussion. I’m sure someone has bumped his noggin into a door frame at some point, and he is notorious for pulling up on something, getting over ambitious about his ability to stand on two feet, and then falling down. The first time it happened, I really beat myself up about it. It wasn’t as if I left him to his own devices, I was right there beside him, watching him pull up and explore, I just didn’t catch him in time. I felt terrible, and his little tearful look at me made me feel worse. I just knew he was damaged for life because of my ineptitude. He fell on carpet, he didn’t cry, and two seconds later he was attempting the same stunt. Now I just wrap him up in bubble wrap and let him loose. There was a Google result that suggested this. (Kidding … but I do consider it as he heavily bumbles along faster and braver every day!)
“Runny nose, drooling, red eyes, etc?”
I’m one of those admittedly crazy people who will WebMD a symptom even though I know no matter what is going on, it will always diagnose me with some incurable disease. Headache? You probably have a brain tumor. Stomach ache and fever? Call 911 because your appendix has ruptured, and you may not make it. I am even worse with the baby. Omg, his nose is running again. Why is he drooling so much?? Is it normal for a baby to smile this often?! GET. A. GRIP. He is fine, growing, teething, happy … don’t panic. I am slowly getting more confident with my mommy intuition and trusting my instincts about when to visit/call the doctor, but that doesn’t stop me from checking in with my virtual doctors.
“Will my baby forget/hate me if he goes to daycare?”
I had several moments of doubt, fear, and guilt when it was time for me to return to work. I just knew that being away from my baby for hours at a time would drive him into the arms of another woman for comfort and love. Here is what I’ve learned, through Google’s reassurance initially and now through my own experience. He does love his teachers at daycare. They are kind, sweet, and loving to him. They think he’s funny, and they love telling me how he is growing and changing. But my boy still loves mommy and daddy, and there is nothing like seeing that smile when he sees us at the end of the day. He hasn’t forgotten us, there is still plenty of love, and I am accepting Google’s assertion that I am not a terrible mommy.
Need Good Online Help? Try these!
You’re already on my FAVORITE mom site, but here are a few others that I have found helpful.
- La Leche League – Tons of helpful information about breastfeeding and pumping.
- Parents Magazine online – This symptom guide has a helpful snapshot of baby ailments.
- What To Expect – Great for pregnant and new moms. Includes week by week pregnancy information and message boards. (Caution: Message boards are sometimes crazy … and always entertaining!)
- Baby Center – All. Things. Baby.
Happy Googling, mamas, and don’t worry. Whatever the baby is doing is completely normal … unless it’s not.