5.09.2013

DEAR: PREGNANT SELF

I've been working on this post for months now, adding here and there as my pregnancy progresses and since we're getting close, I figured it was time to share.  Here are a few things that I have found particularly helpful, hilarious or just plain amusing so far in my pregnancy, all of which were not common knowledge to myself before I was all pregofied I've gotten incredible advice from my mother, and other mom friends, of course, but there were still a few unexpected things that impacted me...


  • What's normal in pregnancy is what's normal for YOU.  This is the best advice I've come across.  You will be bombarded with information the minute you announce the big news and it can lead to questioning whether or not everything is normal and whether your body is doing what it's supposed to or not.  You might be surprised at what comes easy and what challenges you during your pregnancy.  I get nauseous easily so I thought morning sickness would be horrible, but I only lost it a few times and could handle the nausea pretty well.  However, I got horrible headaches that completely caught me off guard and have found nothing that relieves them, so I'm still gutting them out.  Pregnancy really is different for everyone.  You, your body and your baby will settle into the whole growing a human thing (although it is ever-changing) and you'll feel more confident as you go.
  • Pregnancy brain is FOR REAL.  It may not be medically proven, but I sure have proven it myself over the past few months.  From turning the car off before it's in park to putting the bread in the fridge to literally having to check a calender to know what day it is, I've done itMy poor husband, I've been packing his lunch everyday this week and today is the first day all week I've gotten it right.  I've switched our sandwiches, switched our lunches all together... and there's even a missing sandwich somewhere.  He kindly told me I forgot to pack it yesterday, and although I'm positive I made one, it is nowhere to be found.  I recently read your brain is switching focuses from your normal world to your baby to establish a bond and the desire to nurture the baby upon it's arrival, so that's why you just can't seem to do anything else right.  Which is alright, because baby is now priority #1.
  •  Your baby is very safe and protected in you.  It's so easy to worry about every little thing and type "is it ok to (fill in the blank) when you're pregnant?" into your phone every five minutes.  But really, baby is in a little roll-cage and very protected by it's own surroundings and your body itself.  I found myself worrying about bending over too far or loud noises or whatever.  But if you're educating yourself and taking care of yourself, you're a good mom, so try not to worry so much about every little thing.  Baby is tougher than you think.
  • You feel so wonderful... and so not wonderful, but the not so wonderful is in the most wonderful way possible.  Make sense?  Pretty much it feels amazing to be pregnant and know and feel that little baby in there, but at the same time, you have all those pregnancy symptoms and are just plain uncomfortable about halfway in and on.  But all the hard symptoms and the unrelenting uncomfortableness are felt in a good way, in a way that confirms you are taking care of baby.  Plus, it's bearable considering the end result and the extra massages you often get.
  • You will get all kinds of conflicting opinions.  I've been called both tiny and huge within a matter of hours more than once - don't let either get you worked up - your body is doing exactly what it needs to specifically for YOUR baby"You're so tiny!  You would never know you're pregnant" vs. "You're getting so big!  It's so obvious you're pregnant"... "You really should get some labor medication to help keep yourself calm" vs. "Don't use any drugs, no matter what, they're horrible for you and baby and you can do it on your own"... "You're going to looove being pregnant" vs. "Ugh, you're going to be so uncomfortable all the time, you're not going to enjoy it"... I could go on and on, but you get the point.  It becomes quite amusing after awhile.  By the way, it isn't easy at all, but I LOVE it.  Also - as an FYI to anyone talking to a pregnant women, THINK before you speak please.  Even well-intentioned words can cause worry when you're growing a human, so be smart, mmkay?  Thanks.
  • That bump will come and go in the beginning!  Maybe this isn't true for everyone, but between 11 and 14 weeks, my bump came and went.  At that point the baby is still pretty tiny and a lot of your bump could be attributed to lovely pregnancy symptoms such as gas and bloating.  Of course I Googled this, found it was quite normal, and relished the moments when I had a little something to show for baby.  A few weeks later though, that bump will come and come for good.
  • Finding out the gender of your baby gives you an incredible, instant bond with your child.  I admire those who wait to find out and think it's special that it goes with tradition of older generations.  However, it was the best decision for us to find out and I'm so glad we did.  Once we knew she was a she, things became more real, we became closer to her and our excitement for her to actually be here grew incredibly.  Plus, let's be honest, you can really get going on nursery, names and registering!
  • Find a friend who's been pregnant and had a baby and take advantage of her!  I have texted countless questions to my mom-friends and am so thankful for a more personal response than you could ever find on Google or hear from your doctor.  They've been there, done that and have lived to tell about it.
  • Your whole life will change, but you're still the same person.  You have a new focus, better than anything before and although life was pretty great before you became prego, you can't imagine ever going back.  At the same time, you're still you.  I think we're all guilty of creating this "new and improved" version of ourselves when we think of significant events in our future - having a grown-up job, getting married, having a child.  But really, you're still you.  Which is perfect because that's exactly who baby needs.
  • Time crawls by... and flies by.  At times, it felt like time had really never passed by slower than it did, especially in the beginning.  Once you're in your second trimester however, it seems like you can't keep up with how fast the weeks are flying by and everything you have to do before the baby comes.  Third trimester... goes fast, but not as.  You're a bit more uncomfortable, much more excited, and it starts to become very real that you're not just pregnant, but that you will soon actually have a baby.
  • You'll worry for real, and the worry will never end.  Everything that ever concerned you previously in life all of a sudden becomes so trivial once you're thinking about a child growing in you, and even more so, caring for that child once it's born.  Here's where you have to do the best you can for you and baby, and take comfort that in doing so, you a wonderful mother.  Also, pray.  God has been so good in alleviating countless worries we've had so far.  You can worry about it until you pray about it, then you have to let God handle it and trust Him.  Another piece of advice my dad gave us when we told my parents we were pregnant and voiced some of our early onset worries wondering when they would subside?  "Now that you're having a kid, the worrying will never end."  So, there you go.
  • Your child will be the center of your world, but not your entire world.  You still need to make time for your spouse.  After all, the best thing you can do for your baby is have a good marriage and provide them a loving environment to grow up in.  And the love between you and your spouse will be the best example you can give them, besides the love God has for us.  Make your hubby feel special, loved and a big a part as you can.  Sure, you'll be getting a lot of attention but always make sure to credit the father of your child for all he's doing whenever possible, especially in front of him.

There's my take on pregnancy revelations so far.  Hopefully it provided a bit of insight for you mommas-yet-to-be or some comfort for those of you that are pregnant and crazy in the mind sometimes like myself.  Any advice from other moms out there?  We, myself included, would love to hear it!

3 comments:

  1. Ah so exciting! There must be so many things you just don't even think about until you are in that situation. I for one don't know a thing about pregnancy etc, I can see myself googling every question under the sun (and probably panicking at the answers I get). These are very wise words. I better bookmark them for future use. :)

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  2. Yes Yes Yes YES and YES!!! So true. I love it!!! So excited about baby Tollis!

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  3. You got it, girl. You're going to be a great mama and you are right-- every part of the journey is worth it! So excited for you! (PS: pregnancy brain sadly only lessens, but never goes away, even years after birth! Ha!)

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