Today is Monday, July 29th 2013 and I am officially “due” with my first baby! I’m writing this post early so at this very moment I am either:
a. In labor. Can you hear me screaming from where you are???
b. Eating spicy foods and squatting because this baby is LATE! Taking after his dad
c. Already a mom to a beautiful baby boy!
But for now I wait (oh so
unpatiently) and so I wanted to share a few thoughts on this whole pregnancy journey. While I don’t typically like to steer too far away from the home decor theme on this blog, I also know many of my readers are women who may at some point embark on the pregnancy journey themselves (or already have!) or maybe you have friends or loved ones that you will want to support during that time. And since I have found such incredible value in learning from other’s experiences, I want to pay it forward!
I do want to preface this by saying that everyone’s experience is completely unique, and so these lessons may not apply to you, or you may not agree! But I hope to at least shed some light on a few areas that were somewhat unknown to me before this journey began!
Ready? Okay let’s go!
1. Getting pregnant can be HARD!!!
Contrary to what they told you in 8th grade health class (I look back now and swear this was intentionally a scare tactic), getting pregnant can be quite difficult. No, it can’t happen at “any time” and in fact, there are only a few days a month that you can actually conceive. I guess this strategy is intentional for promoting safe sex practices, but wow – this was news to me! And so on that note…
2. Be incredibly sensitive when asking other’s about their baby plans, or sharing your opinions on the matter.
Tony and I were very lucky and fortunate in our ability to conceive right away, but the more I talk to others, the more I realize that is not the norm. So think twice before you innocently pester your girlfriends about when they are going to have kids. For one thing, they might not want kids! And for all you know they have been trying unsuccessfully for a while and might not want to share that with you. This is an incredibly sensitive subject for all of us, and so my personal strategy is to just make sure my close friends know I am here to talk/listen when they are ready, and will not badger them in the meantime. This tip especially goes to you, well meaning moms and grandmas who not so secretly want to see babies in the family! (Note: this was not the case for me, and so to my mom & mother-in-law, thank you for never pressuring us!!!)
3. Pregnancy can be absolutely wonderful!
Yes, you are going to have discomfort, pain, you are going to have times where you feel fat and slow, and sometimes you will cry for no reason… And every blog and pregnancy website is going to highlight the sh*t out all of the horrible side effects that come with being “with child” which drove me crazy! But guess what? We survive it, and while some people may have it much worse than others (and my heart truly goes out to my friends who have had especially tough pregnancies!!!!) it’s important to remember that what is happening is absolutely incredible, and an honor, and I’m going to go ahead and guess here – 100% worth it!!!! So when you take your head out of the toilet, try and remember how lucky you are to be able to do this, and that it is all going to be worth it in the end.
Or if that doesn’t work for you, think of it this way… when was the last time you could let your belly completely hang out with no judgement! No sucking in for 9 months? I’ll take it
4. Pregnancy can also be really scary.
At about 18 weeks I had my first “whoa, hold up” moment during my pregnancy. We were off to our second ultrasound and I was so excited to see our baby again. The first one went well but to be honest, he looked more like a blob than a baby to me, but at ultrasound #2 we were hoping to find out the gender. WHOOHOO! Everyone told us it”s such a special moment and seeing your baby (looking more like a baby now) up on the monitor is one of the most incredible things you will experience. However no one told me it could also be scary as hell!! While you are gazing up at this kinda-sorta-looks-like-a-baby up on the monitor, the tech and doc are measuring everything imaginable, looking for possible problems or “red flags”.
Now… Let me first say that I feel incredibly grateful and fortunate for modern medicine (hello 3D ultrasounds!) and affordable and accessible prenatal care, however unfortunately with that also comes many “false alarms” and what I now consider “exercising extreme caution” when it comes to doctors suggesting extra tests and follow ups, both of which I experienced first hand. And it was only after I shared our experiences with friends did I learn that many went through similar scary moments, that fortunately in the end lead to perfectly healthy babies.
So I put this out there publicly now – no pregnancy is without some concerns (hopefully minor ones!), some may be valid, but some may lead to absolutely nothing of concern. And so it’s important to go into your appointments knowing that sometimes you may leave feeling scared, worried and with more questions than when you came in. But know that this is normal. Get support. Talk to friends. Oh, and stay away from Google!!!
5. The last two weeks are probably the worst… and the slowest!
I had no idea how hard these last two weeks would be, both physically and emotionally. I have gotten pretty used to carrying around the extra weight and so up until now it hasn’t been all that bad, but all of the sudden – BAM! – I am huge, and need a fork lift to roll over at night. No joke… I need to mentally gear up for something as simple as turning over in bed. It’s like you grow at warp speed at the end! And coupled with that is this complete lack of control as to when you are going to go into labor. Every day I go into work and at least 10 people say “you’re still here???”. I know they mean well, but it’s like everyone thinks you’re holding out on them or something. Yes, this is all one big joke folks, and I plan to be pregnant forever!!! Mwhahaha. Trust me I am more ready than you are!
And let’s end with a few funnies….
You will quickly learn (and rate) every public bathroom within a 5 mile radius of where you live. FYI: I was pleasantly surprised by the cleanliness of the McDonald’s bathroom in Natick, but somewhat disappointed by the Target in Watertown.
Strangers will smile at you creepily, stop their car to let you cross the street (even when you’re not at a cross walk) and hold the door for you from 20 feet away. I’m trying not to get too used to this though, so I don’t get annoyed when all of this niceness completely stops post pregnancy!
People will encourage you to skip them in line while waiting for food. Are they worried I might bite them in a hunger rage? But sure, I’ll take it.
Everyone will share their horror labor stories with you. Thanks folks, greatly appreciated.
Your partner may not realize you are “really” pregnant until your big fat belly is staring him/her in the face. Love you, T!
After the third trimester, invest in a dog to avoid crying when you drop a piece of food on the floor. Otherwise it means the impossible task of bending over to get it.
I’d love to hear from YOU!!! Got any tips or funny pregnancy stories to share??? Please leave them below!