Photo taken by my incredibly talented sister-in-aw, Barb.
It’s crunch time. Just a few days, and we’ll be welcoming our little one into this world. I thought it might be a good time to reflect on some of the things–good and bad–I’ve experienced over the course of my pregnancy. So, here it is, the ABC’s of pregnancy.
A quick caveat: There are a lot of blog posts out there claiming to list the most important things to know about pregnancy. This isn’t one of them. This is strictly a personal account of my experiences. So, take this list with a grain of salt. If you’re pregnant, I’d love to hear if you’ve had similar experiences or where yours diverge from mine. (Because one of the best things about pregnancy is commiserating with other preggos.)
Acne. I had no idea I would break out like a 12-year-old boy during pregnancy. Fortunately I stumbled upon Belli products and I’ve used their face wash and blemish products since then. Strange pregnancy purchase number one.
Birth plan. I’m going to keep things kind of light here. Basically, though, I feel like there’s so much weight placed on the birthing process. I know it’s miraculous and painful and one of a kind, but it’s also brief. And afterwards, you have a kid. A. KID. That you have to take care of for 18ish years. So… that’s a lot more time. I’m not saying that the birth plan isn’t important, but isn’t it just the start of something much bigger? Kind of like a wedding is to a marriage. (Special note here: I haven’t given birth yet, obviously. So – you know – GRAIN OF SALT.)
Clogs. Best purchase ever. I got Troentorps, which are much roomier (read: WIDER) than Hasbeens. Perfect for the pregnant feet.
Dehydration. Baby sucks you dry.
Extra legroom. I’ve gone on at least one plane trip a month since I got pregnant. (Probably for the past 1.5 years, actually.) Plane travel wasn’t too bad until I hit about seven months. I flew back to South Carolina and was so grateful that I paid for the economy plus seats with extra legroom. Every little inch counts.
Fruit. This has been my number one craving throughout my entire pregnancy. Give me an apple and I’m happy. When berries were in season life was grand, but when stone fruit was around life was the best.
Gelatin. To help prevent stretch marks. Strange pregnancy purchase number two. I figured it can’t hurt!
Internalizing. Pregnancy is the weirdest thing I’ve ever experienced, but so much of it is just internal. You can talk to other women who are or have been pregnant, but there’s so much circling around in your brain that it’s hard to compare to someone else’s experience. It’s singular.
Joggers. Basically just a fancy name for sweatpants, though they’re not always knit. Joggers have been a life saver for my maternity style, especially since they’re not actually maternity wear. And you can dress them up (to some extent).
Keeping secrets. The first trimester is a super weird time. I was pregnant, but it was this secret that I couldn’t–wouldn’t–tell but a few close people. I even waited a little while to tell my folks and in laws–just long enough to get comfortable with the idea. It was strange to feel like I was keeping a secret from the world, and equally strange to tell people because, for most, it just didn’t come up naturally in conversations.
Layering. Towards the end of my third trimester, I’ve found that even my maternity wear is getting too tight and difficult to wear. I’ve had to get creative with layering more than a few times to compensate for this fact. it makes for a creative morning in front of my wardrobe.
Moxibustion sticks. Weird pregnancy purchase number three.
New thoughts. I always knew that I wanted kids some day, but never really looked at myself as “mom material.” I wasn’t one of those gals who dreamed about being a mom and what that would be like. So one of the weirdest parts of pregnancy has been thinking about myself in a new way: as a mom. Now that I’ve had nine months to get used to the thought, I think it’s pretty cool.
Overalls. My favorite maternity wardrobe go-to. Unfortunately, they only carried me through about two-thirds of my pregnancy. But I look forward to wearing them lots during the post-natal period.
Plans. You can have ’em, but they won’t always work out. I don’t like being out of control. I like knowing the lay of the land. Labor and delivery sounded like the ultimate out-of-control experience to me, but I was preparing myself to deal with that on a minute-by-minute basis. Then, at 37.5 weeks, I found out my baby was breech. He had been turned the right way (head down) for as long as I could tell, then I woke up one morning to feel his rock-hard head right above my naval. So my plans changed and I’m scheduled for a C-section on Thursday. Truth be told, I’m kind of relieved. We got to pick the day and ensure that our moms are in town in time for it. I mean, surgery isn’t ideal, but I’d rather go through what’s become a very routine procedure than risk a breech vaginal birth. I’m good with the new plans.
Questions. “When are you due?” “Boy or girl?” “Are you excited?” “Are you ready?” I’m surprised that I haven’t really been bugged by the questions. I am excited and I do enjoy telling people about it. Besides, it’s been a nice ice breaker at some conferences for work, oddly enough.
Round ligament pain. More surprising and weird pregnancy things.
Smugness. After I found out I was pregnant, I watched this video for the first time. I was offended. Smug?? ME??? Never! But further along in my pregnancy, I started to feel this sense of pride. Even smugness. I couldn’t help it. I felt like I was doing all of this work and the world should think highly of me. Oh, boy. Garfunkel and Oates, you were right…
Tying my shoes. I never realized something so simple–one of the first complicated things you learn as a little one–could be so dang hard. The awkward positions I have to get myself into to tie my shoes – ugh.
Unsolicited advice. I imagine I’ve only started getting it. I just hope I can use some of these lines on a stranger.
Version. External cephalic version, to be exact. Ouch, seriously.
Waddling. I didn’t become a full-fledged waddler until sometime late in my third trimester. The thing I’m most sad about is how much longer my mile commute to work has gotten. Waddle!
Xtra snacks. (Ok, I cheated.) For me, being pregnant has meant knowing where I can get some food–quickly–at all times. (And, of course, knowing where the bathrooms are at all times.) Fortunately, my office is generously stocked with snacks. When not at work, I made sure to have a snack or two in my bag.
Yawn. Being pregnant is tiring! And I’ve heard that having a newborn is even more tiring (duh). But at least I’ll have a cute little human to play with instead of an ever-growing belly, swollen ankles and killer heartburn, amiright?
Zzzzzzz’s. They’re right, you know, when they say you should get as much rest as you can. I… probably haven’t. But I have found that sleeping with a candy cane-shaped body pillow has helped me get into more comfortable positions that I’d be able to otherwise.
So, there you have it, a not-so-comprehensive list of stuff and things I’ve experienced during my pregnancy. Does this make up for the lack of posts since August? Don’t worry–pretty soon you’ll just see a bunch of photos of my cute and oh-so-fashionable kid.
P.S. If you wanna help a new mom out, the best way to do so would be with a meal: http://mealbaby.com/viewregistry/18417500