I have dreamt about the days of being pregnant since I knew I wanted children. Last year in September I married Nathan, the absolute love of my life. Of course we had talked about children for the years leading up to our engagement and marriage. We would sip our wine on a Friday night and get lost in daydreaming conversations about what our life will be like in 5 years. We talked about what we think our kids will be like or look like, how to raise them, discipline them, and love them. Those nights were my absolute favorite. I miss those nights, and sometimes wine.
Alright, now let's jump into today. Flash forward to March this year when we found out we actually were pregnant. I can honestly say I cried my eyes out when I saw those bright pink double lines, truthfully, I'm not sure if I was happy or scared to death. I think it's safe to say both. I remember coming home and showing Nathan the test and he laughed and said, "are you sure?". I took another test right then and there to prove to him this is no joke. We both giggled and joked around a bit for the rest of the night, but little did we know what this pregnancy journey would bring. I was so naive.
Here are the 5 Things I've Learned About Pregnancy.
1. NOBODY experiences the same pregnancy.
This is so important. I am so blessed to have my best friend on this journey with me. Our due dates, to our surprise, are 3 days apart. How crazy cool is that? But, our experiences are the complete opposite! I was sick, she wasn't. I started showing early, she did not. I am constantly tired; she gets waves of crazy energy. It's a lot of fun talking with her about our growing bellies, and to have a friend to talk to about everything baby is a huge comfort. Which brings me to #2.
2. Take advantage of all the support you can get.
Baby books, friends, doctors, or family, use these resources to your greatest advantage. There are moments where you will feel very alone. Your hormones, aches and pains are something you deal with on a daily basis and having people there to love and support you makes it a little less lonely. No one will truly understand what YOUR body is going through, but a friend coming over and hanging out or your spouse/partner giving you snuggles and massages can make days so much easier. Educate yourself with baby books and discuss with your doctor or midwife about any questions you have. Understanding yourself and what your body is going through will make this process much easier.
3. Hormones are not something to be reckoned with.
As women we all deal with aunt flow coming around once a month, making us tired, irritable, and emotional. Imagine those feelings times 100. In the first half of pregnancy your body is still trying to work out all the changes happening, especially hormonally. I remember sitting on the couch watching The Voice and crying at every performer that sang. I couldn't even tell you why, half of the performances weren't even sad. In my second trimester, when everyone says you feel your best, is when my hormones took a huge turn for the worst. I was so sad and depressed. I didn't want to do anything or see anyone. If I could have just hidden inside my bedroom for days on end, I would have. There was a point where I wasn't sure if it was my hormones or if it was actually me. I'm a very happy person in general and for me to feel this way was so unusual. Unfortunately, the ones closest to you, in this case my husband Nathan, get the brunt of it all. I was so angry all the time; at him, at life, even at this baby. I absolutely despised being pregnant. I am so blessed to have one hell of a good circle of people around me, who noticed I was "off". I had held in my emotions for weeks if not months to pretend I was fine and I finally broke and spoke to a dear friend of mine about what I was feeling. She had been through something very similar with her pregnancy and made me feel normal again, like I wasn't actually going crazy. I discovered ways to deal with these emotions and not take it out on my poor husband. I started keeping a journal to write down my emotions, talking more with my friends and family and not keeping everything bottled up.
4. Take advantage of naps - there is no such thing as good sleep anymore.
In your first trimester, even a little into your second, you are so tired. You take naps on the regular if you can, sleep in as long as you can, and go to bed as early as possible. It's amazing how much sleep you need. At some point when your belly starts to grow that changes. You're still tired, but find yourself waking up 2-4 times a night to pee. You become restless and uncomfortable, and it becomes harder and harder to find a spot in your bed that makes you cozy again. I truly feel like it is your body preparing you for this baby. Eventually you just become used to waking up and being a little uncomfortable. OH, and waking up early... there is no such thing as sleeping in anymore. I was always a championship sleeper (just ask my parents), but this baby has made me an early riser, no matter what time I end up going to bed. Thanks babe.
5. Seeing and feeling your baby is the ultimate high.
I'll never forget going into our first ultrasound and seeing the little teddy graham. We call the baby that because that is exactly what it looked like, a teddy graham cracker. I cried the whole way home after our appointment. It was such an overwhelming feeling of joy and reassurance that our baby was healthy and growing! In the past couple weeks, I have felt the baby move for the first time and that was so incredible. It really does feel like gas bubbles at first, then all of a sudden you feel stronger and harder kicks. It seems like it happens overnight. My husband was recently able to feel the baby kick for the first time this week. It was so subtle, but it was felt. When you can get your spouse/partner involved in this way it makes things so much more fun and exciting! Another staple appointment is the 20-week ultrasound. We only had the 9-week ultrasound before then. To see the baby actually look like a baby and moving around is so incredible. I always take a moment to look at Nathan during these appointments because the joy in his face and seeing him on the edge of his seat staring at that TV screen, makes my heart so happy and warm. This is the one thing that has made pregnancy a joy for me.
Everyone is going to have a different experience with their pregnancy , and there is absolutely no way to predict anything. This journey truly is life’s biggest surprise. There will be high's and low's but just remember the end result is all worth it. I am only 24 weeks and have learned so much, but yet, have so much more to learn. I can honestly say I already want this baby out! I can't wait to cover this baby with snuggles and kisses and be able to study all of its features. Mostly, I am looking forward to being a mom next to the guy I know is going to be the world's greatest dad.