These types of posts are always tough for me to write, because I don’t want to be insensitive to others and their experiences as expecting mothers. I recognize that everyone’s pregnancy is different, instead I hope this post encourages other women to not fear pregnancy, but instead let it become a natural part of your life.
Ever since I was young, I’ve always loved children and always imagined my life with them. However, I never actually imagined myself pregnant. For most of my adult life, I thought about having kids, but there was always a missing piece, the piece of me actually being pregnant. When I thought about pregnancy, I thought about a woman sitting on a sofa binge eating ice cream and feeling horrible 99% of the time. That image caused me to pause and somewhat fear getting pregnant. Which led me to put off having a baby for a few years.
After our wedding, naturally people asked when we were planning on having kids. I know people don’t mean to be intrusive into our life but it always rubbed me the wrong way. I wanted a baby, but it needed to be when I was comfortable. I needed to get beyond my fear and the negative images I had about pregnancy that clouded my mind.
So I guess what I’m getting at is that it’s not anything close to what I had been fearing. Psssst, pass along to your friends. Again, I realize some women have really difficult pregnancies and even though they take the proper steps, it can still be difficult. However, for me, it’s been fantastic and an amazing journey. I have been uber conscious with being healthy and taking care of yourself.
With all that being said, here are five things that surprised me about being pregnant over the last eight months…
My bump didn’t show up till I was almost six months pregnant. From what I have read, it’s actually normal during the first pregnancy for the bump not to truly appear till late in the second trimester. Even if it does and your self-conscious about it, it’s super easy to cover up. Anything that’s black, oversized or has texture will help conceal your little bump. For me, it wasn’t till the third trimester that it really started to show.
The Connection Between Baby & Momma
This has been something that has been a little more difficult for me to understand. I’ve watched so many women bask over the excitement of their growing stomach and everything that happened throughout the pregnancy was documented. That just wasn’t me. They said I’d start to feel more connected to the baby when he started to kick. He started to kick and it felt more like a ninja trying to escape from inside, than a special bond. They said I’d start to feel that bond the closer I got to the due date. Well, I’m 4 weeks out and I really haven’t had that WOW moment I’ve been waiting for. Of course I’m over the moon to have my little one, but I’ve not felt that crazy connection. I know that everyone is different and it can be completely normal not to feel all mushy when carrying your baby. What I do feel is an incredible excitement to meet our little boy in a few weeks, stare into his eyes, and hold him tight. It’s going to be amazing!
The Busier The Better
Throughout my pregnancy, the more I moved around and the busier I am, the better my pregnancy adjusted to my life. I slowed down a little(to reduce that little bit of stress), but I didn’t take a break from what I am doing just because I was pregnant. I promised myself that I wouldn’t use the pregnancy as an excuse. I carried on going to events, birthday parties, dinners, etc. If I genuinely didn’t feel well (which was rare), I wouldn’t go. I haven’t used it as a crutch. However, you do get tired slightly faster and sometimes you just don’t feel up for certain things. That’s ok and it has worked out just fine.
Also, the more I move around, the more comfortable both myself and the baby are throughout the day. They, the experts, say that walking and constant movement is what puts the baby to sleep and is equivalent to rocking a baby. Agreed, and have found that to be the case. For those days that I just wanted to jump in a cab, I forced myself to walk to the subway, down the stairs and carry on with my normal routine. I knew if I adjusted my lifestyle too much for the pregnancy, my entire routine would be off and I would be doing myself a disservice. When people ask how I’m still wearing heels, maintaining minimal weight gain, etc, I contribute it to simply carrying on with my life and not making my life revolve around the pregnancy. Granted, you have to make certain adjustments but I haven’t let it stop me from being me.
Maybe it’s just my doctor, but the doctor’s visits have been few and far between. I thought I’d be there every week! I was completely wrong. I also thought that I’d always have my blood drawn, sonograms, shots and so on. I’ve had my blood drawn once, three sonograms and one set of shots. If you’re scared of the doctor, fear not, you probably won’t be there every week. Again, I do know people who had high risk pregnancy and they had a some complications, so their experience was a little different. I have been fortunate in that my doctor is very straightforward with me and doesn’t make me do unnecessary things when they aren’t needed.
I’m a woman, I know a thing or two about mood swings. My husband can attest. Before getting pregnant, I was always quick to recognize when I was moody and needed to reset. I’d basically give myself a “time out”. It worked 99% of the time. Fast forward to pregnancy hormones, phew. These hormones are 2x the strength of our normal ones. At least it feels like it. In my second trimester, I remember turning to Matt and saying, “I’m sorry, I’m a psycho today.” Nothing I was thinking was rational and I was being overly sensitive about everything. It was rough. That’s not my personality, so I knew it was the pregnancy hormones playing tricks with my mind. For those days, I’d drink lots of water and take a nap. Getting enough sleep throughout your pregnancy is really important. This has helped me keep my mood swings at bay and my hormones more in balance.
If there are three things I could tell anyone expecting or trying to get pregnant 1. nap when your body wants to nap, 2. drink plenty of water and 3. walk as much as possible.
I sincerely hope that didn’t scare anyone, rather, encourage you to feel empowered with the decision and ability to bring a new life into the world. It’s truly amazing what our bodies are capable of doing! And don’t worry, you’re not going to become a couch potato eating ice cream while the rest of your friends are out living life. You’ll be right there with them, granted you might be drinking water (lots of it), but you’ll still be living life to the fullest and happy as ever.