When I first learned I was pregnant, I was anxious. Not just because my life was about to change, but because I had NO IDEA what to expect. You watch movies with pregnant women in them, but they are always wearing a cute little fake bump underneath their shirts. That fake bump doesn’t give them heartburn or kick them in their ribs every 5 minutes. There were SO many things I wanted to know…what will it feel like? Will I feel my skin stretch? Does heartburn hurt? Will I really pee every time I sneeze?
To answer that last question? Yes, yes you will. Good luck during allergy season!
Here are some other things I came to find out along the way about pregnancy and the joy of child birth:
1. You will gain weight. No, you can’t fight it. I see so many women struggle with the weight gain, thinking they can somehow stop the scale from going up, despite having a child GROW inside of them. Accept it! No matter how much you work out, or what you eat, you will get bigger. And it’s ok.
2. You will obtain the ability to belch and fart like a seasoned trucker. I already HAD this lovely talent, but man, oh man did it just come out in full glory during pregnancy. Those habits also don’t take into consideration WHERE you are, be it church, the grocery store, a company meeting…
3. The person sitting next to you at dinner has just become your personal buffet. My husband learned early on that his dinner was mine, and mine was off limits. Also, snack time was anytime, and no matter how silly the craving was to him, it was very real to me. One night, all I wanted was a cucumber.
4. Rubbing your belly is not creepy. It’s beautiful. I loved “playing” with Ollie when he was in my womb. He would kick or punch, and I would press on my belly in response. It was my way of interacting with him early on, letting him know I was there.
5. Your body will become an exhibit. People will stare at your belly, especially as you get further into pregnancy. Doctors will poke and prod you. Lactation consultants will grab your boobs.
6. Along those same lines, everyone will see you naked. During the birthing process, you have a gown on, but let’s just face it, that’s just to keep you warm in the cool hospital rooms. Humility and grace fly right out the window. For my C-section, I was naked on the table, surrounded by men and women I had just met. Talk about a nice “HELLO!”
7. It’s possible to function properly and still be asleep. During the sleep deprived newborn days, it’s not just the baby that can nurse or be changed while fast asleep. I’ve talked in my sleep, eaten while dozing off, and even been burped by my snoozing husband.
8. You are not a bad mother if you send your baby to the nursery after birth. My husband and I chose to have Ollie put in the nursery each night so we could get some sleep. It was glorious. I was so exhausted from labor and the surgery that having those 3 hour increments alone was enough to regain my strength for the next day. I knew once we left the hospital we wouldn’t have the 24/7 care, so we took advantage of the help while we had it.
9. A C-Section is still birth. No, I didn’t dilate or push, but a baby DID come out of me, and boy was it hard! I’ve found that there are people out there who look at C-sections as the ‘easy way out”. Trust me, this is so far from the truth. While I may not have had the pain DURING delivery, I certainly did feel it afterwards. C-sections are MAJOR surgeries, and with that, comes a painful recovery. We c-section mamas are just as brave and fierce as those that did it the natural way. Plus, we get a wicked cool scar. ;)
10. Breastfeeding is a two-person job. Especially right after birth. I remember at one point in the hospital I had a nurse, my husband AND my sister all offering their services. Despite what they say about mothering being “natural”, no one has EVER drank milk from my boobs before. Forgive me if I don’t get the hang of it right away!
11. You really do forget the pain. Some first time moms think, “After that experience, I’ll NEVER have a second kid!” Skip ahead a couple years and there they are, pushing that double stroller. Even now, 6 months post-baby, I’ve started to forget the negative feelings and memories of the delivery room. Watching Ollie grow and discover things magically erases that rib pain I felt or the aversion to dairy.
How about you other moms (or dads)? What are some things you learned along the way?
hearts and hugs,