Five Things I’ve Learned From Pregnancy

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At 30 weeks, I (finally) have a better sense of reality when it comes to pregnancy. As I was driving home the other day, I suddenly had the urge to share some insights about my pregnancy journey. Not ‘how’ we got pregnant or ‘why’ we got pregnant… but some of the realities behind this pregnancy that I’ve recently come to realize. The realities that I wish I had known beforehand but likely couldn’t have prepared for, even if I had known. Pregnancy is by far the most incredible experience and has changed me in more ways that I could’ve imagined but the biggest reality of all is that it can be a pretty scary, overwhelming thing. No matter what your personal journey entails, there are ups and downs to pregnancy. And that’s normal. That’s okay. And whether you already experienced this yourself, are going through it now or will encounter some of these things down the road, I hope this post will help you in one way or another. And if nothing else, sharing it with all of you will certainly help me. So thank you.

1. Make time for yourself and your better half. – As first-time parents, we really have no idea what we’re in store for but if there’s one piece of advice I can’t stress enough, it’s to cherish this time together and to make time for yourself too… because life is about to take a major turn. Looking back on married life over the last several years, I am truly grateful for the choice we made to wait to have children. We focused on ourselves, our careers, our life together. And with time quickly flying by before baby, we’ve made the commitment to slow down. Sounds easy, but in reality, it’s not at all. It’s natural to want to make the most of your free time before baby (and you should) but it’s also important to rest, enjoy the quiet, and savor these moments as a couple.

On that same note, taking time for yourself is a critical part of pregnancy. Whether you go on walks outside, take a prenatal yoga class, pamper yourself at the spa or enjoy a soothing bubble bath while reading your favorite book, moments to yourself will go a long way, helping you maintain a positive balance and calm that is so important for both you and your baby’s health and well-being.

2. Do things your way. – We’re brand new to this whole parenting thing and are soaking in all of the advice we can get. It’s such a blessing to hear from loved ones and friends on their personal experiences, what worked and what didn’t, what they would recommend, etc. etc. But what I’ve really come to learn is to take all of the advice with a grain of salt. Sure, some of it will apply to us as parents. But some of it won’t. We will make the choices that make sense for us as a family. We’re trusting our instincts, using advice that makes sense for us and learning as we go. And doing things our way, together, is the most fun of all.

3. Small potatoes. – All my life, I’ve been one to stress over the little things. I don’t rest easily and have a hard time seeing through the clutter. Yet, one of the best parts of my marriage is the balance my husband provides when it comes to seeing the glass half full. He is always the voice of reason, often talking me down from the ledge and giving me the perspective I need to come to a calm, practical solution — and this has translated well into my pregnancy too.

The truth is, not everyone knows how to react when you say you are expecting. Of course most people are thrilled for your big news but not everyone responds the way you would expect or hope they would. And that can certainly feel disappointing. In our home, we call this reality small potatoes. It’s our news to enjoy, celebrate and embrace. And whether everyone else shares in this incredible joy or barely offers a hand to help, it’s not worth the worry or upset. It might sting or hurt a little (and you may see someone’s true colors in the process) but in the end, preparing for your little one is the biggest joy of all and no one can take that away from you.

4. It’s okay to be sad sometimes. – At the beginning of this pregnancy, I was super distracted. We were busy making our house a home and were on cloud nine as we settled into our new surroundings. But then out of nowhere my third trimester came around. And truth be told, I’ve been sad. I suspected this would happen at some point during my pregnancy but I didn’t know when or why or how it would come to life.

Becoming a mother is something I have always dreamed of, and in just two short months, I’ll be meeting our baby and wishing so deeply that my mom could be here to hold her grandchild in her arms. I’m blessed — truly blessed — with some wonderful women who have been there for me to talk to, to guide me and offer advice, to share their own personal journeys of motherhood, and who have helped in their own ways. But this is still one of those big life moments to file under ‘it just really sucks.’

Yet I remind myself constantly that she is present in her own way. And while I may not be able to hold her hand or hear her voice, she is here with me in this moment. The tears just mean that I miss her — and that’s perfectly normal.

5. You are beautiful. – Over the years, I’ve grown to love my curves… but pregnancy brings on a whole new meaning to ‘curves.’ Your body is changing and growing faster than you can possibly keep up with and just when you think you’ve found some maternity-wear that looks cute, you have to throw in the towel, opting for maternity yoga pants and your husband’s oversized tees everyday.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked in the mirror and wanted to cry. My skin continues not to cooperate and I can’t seem to find an easy hairstyle that doesn’t look like I just rolled out of bed. There are days when I can’t possibly bring myself to brush my hair, the mere thought of putting makeup on sounds exhausting and I’d rather curl up on the couch than attempt to put together a decent outfit.

But then there are times when I feel like a complete babe, rockin’ the tight maternity tee, killer heels and a good hair day. And although this isn’t an all-the-time thing, those little moments are so important to my overall confidence as an expecting woman. I still get a manicure and pedicure every other week, get my hair blown out if I don’t have the energy to do it myself, take a bubble bath at least once a week, and try to stay somewhat active. Taking those small steps to pamper myself and feel pretty have gone a long way during these months, giving me a greater perspective on what it means to surrender your body to your growing baby — it’s truly a gift.

I can’t wait to share more of my journey into motherhood over the next several months and am so thankful to have you join me along the way. Be sure to follow me on Instagram if you aren’t already for nursery updates and bumpdate pics!