By Christopher Klose
"I always felt I was meant to be a mom!" smiles Erica Hobby, proud mother of soon-to-be-one year old toddler Sophie. But it was a long wait for Hobby, 35, and husband, Jay, 42, of Pikesville, Md.
"We needed to be ready; to devote time to our careers and our relationship so that we could be better parents," she explains. And like so many thousands of would-be parents these days, they'd suffered the tragedy of a prior miscarriage.
Finding a Down-to-Earth Doctor
An admitted "worry wart," one of the keys for Hobby was to find an obstetrician with whom she could feel comfortable during her pregnancy, and who had privileges in a good hospital with strong backup from other physicians. "We needed someone down-toearth, someone approachable, who would hold my hand a bit and answer our questions—we had a list at every appointment! We were fortunate to find the doctor and the practice that was right for us."
Seeking Helpful Information
Also in preparation, Hobby read and recommends What to Expect When You're Expecting, which she found an especially reader-friendly, helpful reference book. "There is a lot to learn about how your body works."
"I was very conscious of what I was eating, for example, because I wanted Sophie to have the best chance to grow and thrive." Because of what had happened before, Hobby was concerned throughout the first trimester about complications or another miscarriage.
"I wanted to understand how my body—and Sophie's—were changing at each stage of her development. So I turned to the Internet and MedlinePlus to educate myself." For practical advice about the normal aches and changes during pregnancy, she turned to her mother and friends. "My mom and I are very close, so I'd ask her." Hobby says, "And many of our friends have kids, so they provided great guidance and support as well."
Bonding and Sharing
One of the best things expectant mothers can and should do, Hobby advises, is to include their husbands as much as possible in the pregnancy. "Being pregnant is such an amazing experience. My husband and I would talk together to the baby, read books, listen to music with her. The talking, the bonding, and experiencing it all together was incredibly meaningful."