I am going to start off by saying this: pregnancy is a freaking blessing, and I do not take the fact that God chose me to be a mama, to not only one, but two, heathy babies lightly. I know more women than I can count that have struggled with becoming pregnant, staying pregnant, and carrying healthy babes full term–and for them, I will not take a healthy pregnancy, mama and baby lightly. Having said all of this, I would be lying if I told you that pregnancy is all unicorns and butterflies. Sure, I have days where I think to myself “this is what I was created for, I am a glowing, life bearing mama” and then I have other days that I think things to myself such as “there is literally an alien living inside of me, this cellulite is out of control, and the earth shakes when I walk.” The reality is that, I am clearly being dramatic– yet, that seems to be a constant mood setting for a pregnant woman. I have come up with a list of things that I felt nobody told me the first time around, and I am realizing this second time around that they are still just as true.
1.It’s OKAY not to love being pregnant. seriously, it is.
I can’t lie, gaining weight isn’t something that I find fun. I absolutely love to workout, and I love to feel like my body is tight, feminine and strong. It’s like the minute that I get a positive on that pregnancy test that my body just decides to let it all go..literally, like, my hips just decide to go ahead and expand 9 months before they have to do any work birthing a child, the tone in my legs just disappears into thin air, and let’s not even get started on what happens to my boobs. But, it’s all necessary, and it’s all for a short time.
2. You don’t actually need to eat for two.
My opinion on this is to eat when you are hungry. For me there is no in between– I am either not hungry at all, or I am freaking hangry and need food immediately (and it important to note that this can change at any given moment). Keep healthy snacks everywhere–bed side table, glove box of your car, purse, etc. It’s a whole lot easier to grab something healthy when the hunger strikes if you have it ready, and on hand– otherwise, I don’t know a single pregnant woman who can turn down french fries and a milkshake, just sayin.
3. Pamper Yourself. especially during your first pregnancy.
Something that I didn’t think about during my first pregnancy is that the next time I am pregnant I will have another child that still needs my full, undivided attention..yet, I will still be pregnant. During my first pregnancy I wish that I would’ve not been so hard on myself about napping when I was tired– important to note here, I used to take 2 hour naps every afternoon, but I felt guilty about it, every. single. time. I wish that I would’ve been more gracious with myself and allowed myself to really pamper and bask in the magic of my first pregnancy.
4. Don’t fight the maternity clothes.
Okay, I am guilty. My first pregnancy, and my second, I have kind of had this mental battle with myself to see how long I could make it before needing to switch to maternity clothing. I am going to be honest, pregnant life is SO much better when you just accept that your pants aren’t going to fit, and instead of staring at them in your drawer/closet, and feeling sorry for your growing self you just put them aside. Like put them in a trash bag and know that there will be a day that you will fit into them again, but it isn’t going to be while you are pregnant. Buy yourself clothes the next size up and be comfortable. Gaining weight is all part of having a healthy pregnancy, it is necessary for you, and for your baby. It won’t ever be easy to accept, but it’s the reality and the longer you fight it, the harder the 40 weeks are going to be.
5. Let people help you.
If my friends or family are reading, hi guys, and I know you’re rolling your eyes and or laughing because you know that I suck at this. I keep on as if I am not pregnant and rarely do I ask for help. Not until I cannot see my feet do I feel like I am “actually pregnant.” Obviously, this is so not true– we are pregnant long before we are visibly pregnant. If you need help doing something, ask. I have found that people are naturally drawn to a pregnant woman, so if they offer to hold the door, or lift that case of Smart Water for you at COSTCO, just let them.
6. It’s okay to feel like you have no idea what you are going to do when the baby comes.
The truth is, you don’t, I don’t, nobody does. We can read all of the books, ask all of the questions and drive ourselves absolutely crazy worrying about what we will do when we are sent home with a baby that is fully depending on us for survival. The beautiful thing about this is that you just kind of figure it out. It may sound cliche, it may not make you feel any better– but for myself and all of my girlfriends, it has been the truth. Surely it doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time, trial and error and it takes mistakes..but eventually, you will feel like this has always been your life and you won’t remember what you did before he/she came into the world.
It can be awkward, uncomfortable, more desired, less desired, you name it- it’s possible. The best thing that I can say about this is to communicate with your partner. Getting personal, there are some months of pregnancy that I am all about it, and there are other months where I take my clothes off in the dark to shower and don’t even want to see my own naked body. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
8. You can use it as an excuse if you want to. But, don’t.
If there was ever a time in life when people will allow you to win an argument, it will be during pregnancy. If there was ever a time in life when people wouldn’t think twice about you ordering three different entrees for dinner (and finishing them all), it will be during pregnancy. If there was ever a time in your life that working out will sound like the last thing you want to do, it will be during pregnancy. My advice for all of this is that pregnancy lasts 40 weeks– the decisions you make during pregnancy will (potentially) last forever. If you decide to be a raging b-word to everybody in your life for 40 weeks because you feel like someone other than yourself, you will have to pay for the damage done to those relationships afterwards. If you decide to eat absolute junk and not take care of yourself, losing that baby weight is going to be even harder. If you decide to be a lazy bum and use pregnancy as an excuse to binge watch every single show on Netflix and you lose all muscle tone in your body and in turn you are unable to deliver your baby and or walk postpartum, that will make the already difficult transition even harder. Try your absolute best to keep life the same as it was before, during your pregnancy, and what I have found is that life after will be a lot easier.
9. First trimester is about survival.
If you are anything like me, weeks 6-12, 13 are pure torture. Rarely did I leave the house, and if I did I would have to plug my nose because heaven forbid we drove past a fast food place and I smelled anything fried in the air. I lived off of cheese-it’s and second time around my kid watched far too much Disney Junior and I spent too many hours laying on our cold tiled bathroom floor. It’s miserable. But, it ends. Every first trimester I have sworn that I will never get pregnant again…and here I am, seven months pregnant, writing this post. It’s worth it people. All of those days of pure nausea and exhaustion and vomiting will be a distant memory when they place that beautiful baby on your chest. I promise.
10. You will miss your bump.
I know it sounds insane, and it may be…but a few months postpartum you will be scrolling through your photos when you come across a picture of yourself from your pregnancy (a picture that you remember taking and you felt ABSOLUTELY HIDEOUS, MASSIVE, etc) and you will miss it. You will realize that you actually did look “cute” and that everybody wasn’t “lying” to you during pregnancy, and believe it or not, you will miss it.
re-reading my words, because I need to be reminded of these things too. xo, Grace