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things i've learned

for some reason, when you start growing a baby, there is a constant aura around you that says "please, by all means, tell me exactly how to be pregnant and what worked for you and how i'm doing it all wrong."

and sometimes (10%) i welcome opinions and ideas and thoughtful comments like "oh your mood swings will go away". (psh - tell that to my husband, who has named my pregnancy personality calypso after the character in pirates of the caribbean.)

and sometimes i completely ignore everything they are saying and just smile and nod while their words go in one ear and out the other. (90%)

there are three things i've learned so far that i've put in to good use and i'm here to share them with you. like i do, you can take them or leave them! you will not hurt my feelings. however, i seem to have no control over calypso so.... ;)

there is no right or wrong way to "do pregnancy" you can read all the books you want, talk to every pregnant woman that ever walked the earth, read every study ever published, and i still think you could do pregnancy better without any of it. i have always said, and still maintain, that God did indeed make our bodies to do exactly this - bring new life into the world. i'm pretty sure that He knew what he was doing... i don't think i need to read a 3,000 page book on what to expect that will mainly just overwhelm and scare the crap out of me.

we have survived, as a civilization, for thousands of years and only within the last 200 been privy to all of the medical knowledge we have now. i'm going to go with all the women who reproduced in the early 1900s (and before then) who managed pregnancy without a weekly doctor's visit and childbirth with nothing but a semi-experienced midwife and a tub of hot water at their side. this is not to say that i will be having a home birth - i'm definitely taking advantage of the hospital and most likely an epidural. i am saying, however, that i will do it my own way, listen to my own body, and do everything i can to keep me comfortable, which in turn will keep my baby comfortable. that is highest on my priority list.

there are no rewards at the end well except for the baby of course. ;) but seriously - you don't get a trophy for having the healthiest pregnancy ever, or gaining the perfect amount of weight, or having a natural birth without an epidural. no one cares as long as mom and baby are both healthy. they don't make any announcements over the intercom or send you home in a limo for having your baby a certain way or without complications.

so the point is to do pregnancy in whatever way you deem fits your lifestyle and make sure it is for the baby's sake that you make all the decisions that you do.

sometimes you just need to talk to someone one of the first questions i asked my OB was for a recommendation for a family therapist. i haven't called yet but i have her card in my purse because i know, somehow, that before this baby gets here i will need to just talk it all out with someone who can give me some professional reassurance about some of my fears.

i know that every new mom is afraid of being a terrible mother and that bringing a child into the world is just cause for freaking out a little. but my fears run much deeper than that, especially given that i wasn't really gung-ho about having a baby in the first place! so i know i can spill my guts here, and all my amazing mommy friends will swoop in and encourage and support me, (and Lord only knows how much it means to me!) but i know talking to a counselor is something i will need to do. and sometimes you just need to do that. i had a friend tell me once that everyone needs a therapist. i agree with this 100%.

i'd love to just hear some of the things you learned about being pregnant while you were pregnant! i still love to talk with other mom's about being pregnant and hearing their stories and advice. please share - i'd love to get a nice conversation started! :)

13 comments:

  1. Well I'm still early into this pregnancy thing - even though I've been panicking time is running out since week 4. ha! I haven't read 1 book either. For one I feel the same about it as you and the other reason I was just sick for a long time and didn't feel like reading.

    At the begining I had a lot of guilt because we tried for so long for a baby and now we were getting one and I was kind of mad at the baby for making me feel so crappy. I think I skipped over when everyone told me pregnancy was hard. Should have at least listened a little bit! I also had huge guilt for bringing a baby into the this crappy world. But my friends reassured me that "our" personal world wasn't crappy and it is so true. We have this baby on loan from God and we will do everything in our power to make sure it lives in God's will.
    I was also scared because I didn't have that instant bond with my growing baby and I was afraid that I wouldn't want to spend every second with it like a lot of new parents do. Well let me tell you everyone of those fears is gone now. I am starting to get a little belly and we found out the baby's sex this week. Seeing that baby so big and active on the screen took away every fear and anxiety I had about becoming a parent. I am so in love and ready to meet our little one. I've always been so thankful for the baby but now I feel totally different and confident that God has given us everything we need to raise this baby. Sorry for the book but that is where I am at 18 weeks!

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    1. I feel you so much! I've been in GO-MODE since the moment I found out. I immediately made a huge list of all the things that we needed to get done around here... I've slowed down a bit but now that I've hit my second trimester I've got a little more energy and that helped.

      I'm constantly concerned that I will resent the baby once it is here for making so many changes in my life or body or relationship with my husband. Chris and I talk about that a lot actually because we want to be prepared for whatever feelings might come forth. I love what you said too about having this baby on loan from God. So true!

      I haven't had that bond yet, and it is one of my fears, that once the baby is born I won't have that moment of intense bonding that everyone says happens. I mean - I'm really scared of that happening to me. We aren't finding out the sex of the baby but we got to hear the heartbeat at the last appointment and saw actual limbs and toes and everything and still Chris and I left feeling ambivalent... I'm hoping to have that transforming moment soon (today I'm at 16 weeks so maybe I will) but I'm still kind of freaked out and skeptical of the whole thing! :)

      Thanks for sharing with me Vanessa! I think it is kind of neat that we are pregnant at the same time! :)

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  2. I've been out of the blog reading world for a while - so I'm very late in saying CONGRATS! SO excited for you guys. I know you're going to be a great mama! Excited to catch up and read along for the journey!

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    1. You aren't too late girl!! It has only been public knowledge for a couple of weeks but THANK YOU for the big congrats!!! :) I have loved keeping up with your successful business on IG and can't wait to make a trip to Canton and see you!! xoxo

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  3. God made our bodies to do this: YES. That is the core of all of this. And I would add this thought which blew my mind when I was pregnant with Weston. Pain in childbirth was a curse in the garden of Eden. Jesus came to revoke every other curse God gave at that time, and I believe that He can also revoke the pain in childbirth. That's a pretty radical opinion, for sure. And He obviously doesn't do that for every woman, and there are medical exceptions and other exceptions for everything, but if there ever was a time to pray pray PRAY for His will, pregnancy is it! I believe that you can pray for His will and His freedom in your pregnancy and childbirth, and when you come to a place of complete trust that He's in control of your body, He can give you the perfect birth. (I was several weeks into terrible nausea in my pregnancy with Weston when someone suggested I pray about it. Don't know WHY that had never occurred to me, but I did it, and the nausea went away IMMEDIATELY. That was still early in my first trimester, maybe week 7ish.) Regarding childbirth, it's fear that leads to pain, in my experience. I'm a little nervous to type this all out, but this is the core of why I went with a natural birth. Not because there's a trophy at the end or because I wanted to challenge myself, but because God had placed a desire in my heart to prove His power over my kids' birth. He encouraged me to pray for His will and be without fear, and that led to easy, comfortable births for both of my kids. I just think pregnancy and childbirth are such an opportunity for God to prove Himself and do miraculous things that the rest of the world doesn't even know is possible. And now that you think I'm a total kook... :) Ah well, there it is.

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    1. I love everything you said and to be honest - the pregnancy and the childbirth give me absolutely no fear, no pause, nothing. I know I can do this part and take good care of my body & baby during this process... It is the rest of my life that makes me want to hide! :) And I definitely do not think you are a total kook by any stretch of the imagination. I admire you so much as a dedicated woman of God and mother so I will always be reaching out to you asking if I'm crazy! Thanks for being there from me from the beginning! xoxo

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  4. Oh honey. I feel for you. I've never been pregnant but my two best friends have. I've heard many a horror story about unsolicited advice from friends, family...and people they didn't even know! They've said strangers want to touch your belly & give you advice. Family try to tell YOU how to raise YOUR kid....I just can't imagine dealing with that patiently. You have my respect for being a strong, brave woman who seems to have it all together:)

    Have a great weekend!
    Tiffany
    lifeofalostmuse.com

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    1. Tiffany... I have obviously got you fooled!! LOL :) I do not have it all together (and if I did, I'd definitely forget where I put it) but thank you so much for the kind comment and for stopping by. Patience has never ever been my strongest suit so I know it will definitely be tested over the next few months and then of course by my child for the rest of my life. I have to tell myself every single day that God will never give me a task that He doesn't believe I can handle (whether I believe I can or not).

      Also - I've decided if a stranger rubs my belly that I will just rub theirs back. ;) I have personal space issues anyways but now that I'm pregnant, and feel like I'm constantly fighting the baby for my own personal space, I don't even want my husband near me. So if a strange woman rubs my belly in Wal-Mart I hope she is prepared for Calypso to peek out a bit. :)

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  5. every body is different.
    every human is different.
    what works/happens/ can be predicted from one mom to the next is massively different.
    Even each pregnancy in the same mom is different!
    NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY, NO MATTER WHAT THEY TELL YOU, their right, might not be your right, and JUST knowing that and trusting YOURSELF, your gut is doing the right thing.
    You may feel like you are not ready.
    You may feel scared.you may have nightmares that you have left your baby somewhere....
    but I promise you this. The moment you lay eyes on your child, your everything will change. It will all be okay.
    All you can ever do is your best.
    use your best judgement. try not to second guess too much, because, believe me you will.
    everything you do will not be 100% right.
    But that will not matter.
    Even things like a perfectly crisp house or a perfectly planned party, may mean everything to you now, and maybe even with this first child, but as time goes, you will find what is most important, and that some of those things that felt most important will not be so important anymore.
    things that work like magic for this baby will not work for other babies or even your next baby (if that happens)
    SO, I guess what I am trying to say, is this.
    EMPOWER yourself.
    Trust yourself.
    And enjoy the ride.
    Because even if you are up all night crying, never believing you can do this, feeling like you just don't know how you can wipe one more bottom, or pick up one more toy....
    In a blink of an eye, you might be crying because that baby is taller than you and looks like a man, or a woman.
    ENJOY IT. EVERY SINGLE BIT OF IT.
    Don't sweat the small stuff. in the whole scheme of things, it is, really, really small.
    smootch!!

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    1. My mom always said "Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things." How true is that? ;)

      I admire you so much Aubrey and cannot thank you enough for your support... The EMPOWER yourself really touched me. I need to remember (and be reminded daily) that God will never give me a task I can't handle and that I have been given this specific child because I am the perfect momma for it. Truer words have never been spoken and I thank you so much for reminding me of that simple fact! :) xoxo

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  6. Well friend...since you asked, and I suck as a blog friend and this comment has taken like forever...I'll write you a little novel on this here comment form ;)

    Alright...
    So, books - you nailed it. I hated reading books, in fact I read two. Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy which was a funny little book that I completed in one afternoon. And I read Bloom by Kelle Hampton. I read Bloom for fun. I read Belly Laughs because I thought I needed to read pregnancy books, I'm glad I picked a funny one to be my only book to read. I tried to read another but they bored my to my wits-end. Plus, lets be real - every book says something completely different which can confused the daylights right out of you. It's super lame.
    Instead of books, if you have a question - ask a friend.

    And yep, there is no right or wrong way to do pregnancy and frankly everyone will have something to say no matter what you do which will make you want to turn around and say "frankly my dear, I don't give a damn what you have to say." I had people tell me how incredibly tiny I looked, and I had people tell me what would or wouldn't work for nausea and frankly some of the ideas made me vomit even more. It was grand, let me tell ya. I had people tell me that my belly looked huge. I had people comparing my pregnancy to theirs. It was odd. People are odd.

    I also learned how people become ridiculously awkward around pregnant women. I'm not sure how exactly you are carrying, but I carried right out front, so straight on or straight behind you really couldn't tell that I was pregnant which really made for some strange looks because it surprised them. Men especially. Little creepers. One day it was sweet though (and slightly awkward) I was walking and turn around and this woman behind me was like "oh my goodness, I couldn't even tell you were pregnant and then you turned around and it was the most beautiful thing." Then you have people guaging how far along you are and their thoughts. I was like 36 weeks pregnant and I had a woman at the bank ask how far along I was and I was like "36 weeks" and she said "Really? you are soo tiny I would have guessed 6 months." Then the next week I had a man (probably late 50s) that was at the grocery store and was like "You must be having twins." It rubbed me the wrong way and I was like "Ummm...nope. Just due REAL SOON." and walked off.

    Another lesson - prepare for any kind of delivery. I was so sure I would be having A in a normal birthing situation (vaginally), but learned a few weeks before the Dr needed me to have a C-Section b/c of my heart. I was not really prepared for that...but it was best for the babe and that's all that mattered. Also, don't syke yourself out either way, and stay away from Google, it's like the books - everyone says something different and it confuses the daylights out of you. Ask a couple of friends about their birthing stories and know that anything can happen. It will help with your sanity.

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  7. (This is comment part 2 because I wrote to the max in the last one LOL)
    Lastly, follow your mama instincts friend. Seriously. Like you said, our bodies are made for this. I'm going to write more about this in an upcoming post - but before Google, mama's had to follow their intuition. I know some have a disconnect (lets be honest) but I know you are going to be a great mama. I know it was a little different than what you had in mind, but friend, you have an amazing heart and you know what you're doing, even when you don't think you do. Lean on your friends, and believe. Like Aubrey said (which I agree with her entire comment), once you lay eye on that sweet baby your world is going to change and your heart is going to be transformed more than you will ever imagine. It will change. Everything will change. Your outlook on things will change. Your love for your hubby the first time he lays eyes on that sweet baby will deepen more than you can imagine and the love you have for the baby will be more than you heart can imagine right now.

    Alright, I'm leaving your comment section alone. Love to you sweet friend, and as always I'm here for you lovely!

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  8. I read ALL the books and took ALL the classes but none of it REALLY helped. N was late, was tongue tied, had latch issues, I was a ball of stress and had issues nursing, and she had reflux. Talk about throwing me some major curve balls that the books and classes don't teach you. So, we made it up as we went along.

    I was GINORMOUS by my due date and I swear, if one more person asked me "when are you having that baby?" I was going to lose my testimony and lose my cool. The end was toughest for me and so I rested A LOT. I kind of wrapped myself up in a baby bubble and decorated her nursery, folded her clothes, and spent as much time as I could sleeping and doing absolutely nothing. It was bliss.

    I SHOULD have talked to someone after N was born. I definitely had postpartum anxiety - which was exacerbated by a crap ton of other "life" stuff happening at the exact same time. I wish that I would have answered honestly when my OB and her pediatrician asked me (with concern in their faces) how I was really doing. There is NO SHAME in needing someone to talk to and if necessary, use medication to help with that. I have several friends who have temporarily been on medicine because of PPD and it helped them return to normalcy.

    Parenting is HARD WORK. I truly never expected it to be so difficult (mainly because I never realized how incredibly selfish I am) but it is absolutely the coolest thing ever. There are hard days but there are many more FABULOUS days that leave you wondering what the poop you did before she (or he?) came along.

    I am so happy for you, friend! <3

    P.S. This comment is super belated. Sorry about that.

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