As I put the finishing touches on our little guys nursery in preparation for his arrival any week now, I am in a state of reflection as I am nearing the end of my pregnancy. Pregnancy has been such a journey for me. I have experienced so many emotions while pregnant and many women will tell you that it has a lot to do with those pesky hormones that sky rocket during the process.
Truth is; no one can truly prepare you for the rollercoaster of emotions that pregnancy brings. When you first get pregnant you are so happy and full of joy as you should be. Pregnancy is truly a miracle from God. You will spend plenty of time reflecting and wrapping your mind around the fact that you are growing a human being inside of your belly.
Although this process is a blessing, there are 8 major things I have learned throughout this journey so far:
- You are not in control. I am a woman who likes things in order, I am particular about a lot of things. I don’t like chaos and I would rather know what was going to happen in the next 10 minutes versus life just happening to me without warning. My husband is the complete opposite, he loves challenges and works very well under pressure. When unexpected things occur he is already in game mode figuring out how to succeed. Glad we balance one another out. I’m pretty sure God thinks this is hilarious about me because the truth is we are NOT in control of anything. HE makes all of the decisions and knows our beginning from our end. So, to think that you will know ALL the details and not have to rely on God in faith for anything in this life is actually comical. I have learned to let go and laugh a lot more and not take myself or this process so serious all the time.
- Your body WILL change. Ok, so this one was very hard for me. I am so used to working out when I want to, maintaining my weight, dressing up and wearing heels when I want to, etc. When you are pregnant and nauseous all the time, tired, emotionally overwhelmed, etc. you are NOT thinking about trying to be cute 24/7. I have tried my best to stay decent looking but for the most part I just had to embrace all the changes. You have all of these images in your mind of how pregnancy is supposed to go and once reality hits you can’t do anything but laugh.
When you think you will look and feel like this …
But in reality you look and feel like this…
3. Crazy mom groups exist! These are the women whom you heard about before pregnancy was ever a thought. Now that you are pregnant you know for sure that they exist. They constantly post pictures of how much breast milk they have pumped in 15 minutes (A refrigerator full). These are women who randomly offer you advice without you asking. They tell you everything that is going to happen, from guessing the sex of your baby because of how high or low your stomach sits to telling you how to breast feed, if you use formula you are the devil, which vaccines they know is best for YOUR child, and how much sleep you will never get in life. They constantly argue about SAHM (Stay at home moms) versus working moms. It becomes a huge competition when it shouldn’t be. There’s nothing wrong with helpful advice, but when it is NOT asked for it can be a burden, stressful, and annoying! I honestly don’t think some of these women know they are insensitive or annoying. Just give them that “leave me alone stare” and hopefully they will take a hint.
4. Don’t publicly tell people your birth plans. This includes home births versus hospital. Epidural versus natural birth, etc. Just keep all plans to yourself or share with a small group of family or friends you TRUST. If you don’t, be ready to be overwhelmed with opinions and judgements you did not ask for.
5. People can be mean and insensitive. “Girl you are so BIG!” , “Wow I didn’t think you would gain that much weight!”. And the list goes on. Unfortunately people forget that you have feelings and decide to say everything that comes to their mind when it comes to how different you look now that you are pregnant. “Your face is fat”, “I was smaller than you when I was pregnant”. These people suck. No thoughts of encouragement or thinking to say anything positive. The funny thing is the main people who do this would not be happy if you pointed out something unflattering about them. Not so fun when the jokes on them huh?
6. Keep positive family & friends around you. Nothing feels better than having positive and encouraging emotional support. There are moments when pregnancy gets really tough. (3rd trimester) The sleepless nights, the acid reflux, the swollen feet and hands, etc. You will need people around you who are sympathetic and know how to support you emotionally. Stay FAR away from anyone who causes you stress or who doesn’t know how to support you during this vital time. This is not the time for draining or negative people to be around. You are building a human inside of you, who at this point can hear and feel all of what you experience, so be careful of the energy you are allowing to get to them.
7. Take pictures of your journey and journal the experience. Pregnancy is a gift. You will want to document your process to share with your child in the future. All the progress pics will be little milestones that remind you of all you have sacrificed and achieved. You will be proud to look back on this in life if you ever need a reminder of when you did something very brave. A reminder of Gods love and the blessing to carry a child is priceless.
8. Don’t pressure yourself to be a “perfect mother”. Perfect moms do not exist. If someone is trying to sell you the dream that they have it all together, they don’t. Everyone is learning as they go and trying to help others along the way. This is where having faith comes into play. Praying to the Lord and trusting him that he will guide you and bring others into your path who will be great mentors to help you along the way. Read books, watch videos, etc. Enjoy the ups and downs, because when your little baby arrives you will make some mistakes. Just trust and believe that you have exactly what you need to be a great mom and that’s all that matters right now.