That is definitely not to say that pregnancy is easy. I won't lie and say that I don't miss my waistline now and then. At some point every day, I catch myself thinking about how I never really appreciated the tiny abdominal area I once possessed. And worry that I may never get it back. There are times where I feel awkward and ungainly, and I know that this feeling is just going to get worse as baby boy gets bigger. I miss browsing through the racks of gorgeous, normal-sized clothing (especially with all of the beautiful things that are appearing for spring right now). I miss being able to throw clothes on quickly without having to think about it. I miss doing anything quickly. Or gracefully. Sometimes, I just miss being me. The me that didn't have to share her body with another living being. I think that's all normal, and just part of being pregnant. At least, I hope so.
Through this process, I have learned that, while pregnancy is definitely a precious and lovely thing, there are also some things about it that - for some reason - people just don't tell you. But, as it turns out, that are completely normal parts of the pregnancy experience. Hoping that what I have to share today will help newly preggo and future pregnant mamas out there who may just be reading this post today.
Here's What I Know:
Unless you've got mucho bucks to spare, don't even bother going to A Pea in the Pod
(which is where I assumed I'd be shopping in my pre-reality, pre-preggo days, ha!) Go ahead and plan to hit up the sale sections at Gap and Old Navy religiously. Those are the places in which you'll find the basics at good prices. Motherhood Maternity? No. Kohls? Blecchhh. Target? Maybe (but I've been very disappointed with most of their stuff throughout my pregnancy). Zulily and some other online stores, like Pink Blush, offer some cute options but you won't have the opportunity to try any of these items on which makes it hard to know what sizes you will need.
#2 Babies 'R Us will overwhelm you
If you are a first time mom, go ahead and prepare yourself to be completely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things the ever-so-kind associates at your local Babies 'R Us will 'prescribe' for your registry. I had no idea that there was such a wide variety of pacifiers before I got pregnant. Or that BPA free was so important. Or that breast pumps cost over $200. Just try to remember that newborns really don't need that much, so be sure to register for the things you really want or need. The rest of it - despite what they tell you - is not necessary.
#3 Buy panty liners. Just do it.
#4 You will be more tired than you ever thought possible.
This is especially true during the first trimester. Trust me, you will be that girl nodding off in the middle of the day at your desk/work/home/wherever. Expect to take naps - even if they're just for 15 or 20 minutes once a day.
#5 Invest in a good lotion.
Because, despite the fact that no lotions have ever been proven to prevent stretch marks, they do help prevent another uncomfortable side effect of pregnancy - itchy skin. Slather it on. I like Palmers - which I've heard is the typical 'go to' for many pregnant women. It's thick and creamy, but doesn't leave your skin feeling sticky.
#6 There is a good chance that, once in a while, you will want to cry or bite someone's head off for no good reason. And, sometimes, you may feel both emotions at the same time.
Those pregnancy hormones you hear about? Yes, they're real. And they can make you feel very emotional at times. Case in point: yours truly breaking into tears yesterday at the prospect of cooking dinner. Don't ask me why. I love to cook usually. Just not yesterday apparently. The gallant husband swooped in and saved the day by whipping up the meatloaf that was on the menu, so that crisis was averted. But still, tears? Oh yes.
#7 Red spots may appear. In various places on your body.
Again, thank the hormones for this. I have had dry skin and red spots since about week 20. Sometimes these show up on my face. I've also seen them pop up on my back. I wouldn't call it acne (though I've heard that pregnancy acne is also common), but it's definitely some sort of irritation. Which is also very common my friends. From my understanding, the color gets darker the darker your skin is. So, while the spots that show up on me tend to be pink and red, my fellow brunettes/olive skinned beauties would be more likely to see brownish colored spots. Don't be alarmed - these are supposed to disappear after the baby arrives.
#8 Take probiotics, if you aren't on them already. Just do it.
These will help alleviate many unpleasant pregnancy experiences - unless you just want to experience constipation, bloating, gas and hemorrhoids. I have been fortunate enough to avoid all of these, and I truly believe it's due to my daily probiotics.
#9 You will experience a severe lack of sleep. No need for explanation.
Apparently, this will continue post-baby, so I guess it's just nature's way of preparing you for parenthood.
#10 Accept assistance and rest as needed.
As a 'go-go-go' type person, this has probably been the hardest lesson for me to learn. Throughout this pregnancy thus far, I've tried to keep up the same level of activity as normal. Which just isn't possible. When your body is making a baby, there just isn't enough energy to keep everything going at normal speed. I've had to slow down, learn to accept help from the hubby, remember to pace myself, and teach myself to let things go. If the entire 'to do' list doesn't get accomplished anymore? Well, too bad. My baby is more important.
Those are the top ten that I can think of to share with you now. I'm sure I'll have a few new ones to add to the list by the time this process is over, so maybe I'll plan an updated post on this topic later in the pregnancy. And, as always, feel free to email me or comment below if you have any specific questions and I will be happy to share what I know!