What Pregnancy Has Taught Me
Pregnancy has been a wild ride and has taught me so much about myself and other things in my life which I share in this blog post. One thing I do want to make very clear is that myself and Brendan are extremely grateful that we were able to conceive naturally which I know is not a reality for so many people. However, I have wanted to be fully transparent during this pregnancy and share the realities of what some women go through. Not all women have had the same symptoms or struggles as me while others have also had it much worse and I think its important to share these stories to make other pregnant women feel less alone.
The point of this blog post is really just to share more about my experience and hope that someone else can relate or learn from it. I am doing it in a bit of a list format so that I keep on track because my baby brain is in full throttle lately and it can’t be trusted…
- Set Clear Boundaries from Day One: Ok so this is something we had to learn the hard way in terms of what we felt comfortable sharing AND with who. When something is happening physically to YOUR body, even if there is another person involved, means that you need to be clear with what it is that you are comfortable with other people knowing. I recommend having this conversation with your partner before you tell people you are pregnant. There will still be times of miscommunication but this is something we had to learn the hard way. Also, setting boundaries can relate to so many other things in your pregnancy such as how much work you are doing, who you want to spend your time with, and also be clear with your boundaries with family and friends in your life. It’s better to set those right at the beginning rather than having more issues down the road!
- It’s OK to Ask For Help: I am somewhat laughing to myself as I write this because I am in my third trimester and Brendan literally just reminded me of this yesterday. I never like inconveniencing people and like to be mindful of other people’s time and space. I think that is a good quality for many reasons but sometimes I take it too far and am too stubborn to ask for help. Trust me, I have had to ask for more help during this pregnancy (mostly from Brendan), then I swear I have had to during our entire relationship BUT simply put, I had to. There are things I can not emotionally or physically handle and without him, I honestly don’t know what I would have done or would do. I applaud women who are on this journey alone because even with a great support system it can be hard on the best of days. This is not just asking for help from your partner but I have asked my family to help with things and have asked for a lot of help from friends and family who have had kids. If you’re like me and find it hard to ask for help then pregnancy will quickly teach you the hard way that you don’t really have a choice and that you are NOT inconveniencing people and that they are ready and willing to help.
- Your partner needs support: Yes, you are growing the baby and there is so much freaking shit that comes along with that but remember to check in with your partner frequently and make sure they are ok or even encourage them to talk to someone other than yourself for support. Not only can it be overwhelming to be a parent for the first time but it’s also hard for them to pick up more chores around the house and also see their loved one in physical pain or discomfort.
- Napping or sleeping in does not make you lazy: Again, laughing at this one as I think back to this morning and thought to myself “ugh I could have gotten so much more done if I woke up earlier”. Let’s be real, I probably would have not gotten that much more done and would have been tired earlier in the day and maybe not even gotten to write this blog post. I grew up on a farm and sleeping in was not a thing even on weekends so when I started NEEDING naps and had changes in my sleep schedule I felt guilty. Then people reminded me that I need to embrace this before the newborn stage and to soak it all in. If you experience fatigue at any stage of your pregnancy to the extent I did, then you know how hard it is to function. I couldn’t even answer one email some days and Brendan was a great reminder that I was growing a literal human and needed to stop fighting naps and sleep in general.
- You are not a nuisance: This is an extension of the asking for help point but feeling sick, maybe not being as “productive”, or not being able to keep up with your typical chores and needing to pass them on does not make you a nuisance. This also goes with having to cancel or reschedule meetings or social events. People are incredibly understanding and I actually found that when I apologized for needing to reschedule or not getting something done I promised, people actually got after me and told me that I should not worry about it at all.
- Your body knows what it’s doing: This is an especially great reminder to all my nauseated friends. I think as a nutritionist I set my standards a little too high in terms of nutrition during pregnancy BUT fun fact, I am still growing a human and my bloodwork has come back amazing each time. Even when I was on a strict beige diet and hardly eating any fruits, veggies, or protein, my iron, and other levels were optimal. This just shows that your body is smarter than you may realize and although nutrition is SO important, you should not get too hung up on force-feeding yourself greens when you are on the verge of puking.
- Your priorities can change: About two days after I found out I was pregnant, I launched a huge project that I had been working on for MONTHS and hours each day. Little did I know that within about 1.5 weeks, I would feel extremely sick and not be able to do the bare minimum. I had to close down the membership and focus on resting and growing this baby. This was extremely hard for me mentally because I am someone who has always had a strong work ethic and drive and was also super passionate about this membership I was launching but in an instant, my priorities changed and that is OK. This is also something I have been really struggling with as a solo entrepreneur knowing that things simply can’t run without me and I won’t be getting any sort of paid maternity leave. I truly don’t have a plan for my business moving forward other than getting a few things organized before baby comes but I am trying to go with the flow for the first time in my life and see what the New Year brings as I navigate motherhood and newborn life for the first time ever.
- You can question everything and be grateful at the same time: As I mentioned at the very beginning of this blog post, I am extremely grateful for this babe but at the same time I have so many moments of fear and anxiety. Sometimes it’s around labour and giving birth, other times it’s about how to take care of a newborn, and other times it’s already missing my old life which I know will be heightened even more in the New Year. I try to remind myself, with Brendan’s help, that all these feelings and emotions are valid and that I can be excited and grateful and also scared shitless and question everything.
- Moving through emotions is essential: similar to my point above, I have learned the hard way that it’s not healthy to hold in emotions. Despite feeling like an actual trash can in my first trimester into my second, I was oddly at peace and chill which is not like me as an overanalytical Capricorn. I then tried to hide my fears, worries, and stress until it all spilled over at the beginning of my third trimester and I balled my eyes out multiple times in a week. Mind you, I felt a lot better after that but how much better would I have probably felt if I just opened up about how I was feeling earlier? Maybe it was the nausea and need to sleep 24/7 that was distracting me but all I can say is don’t wait until you are in the last part of your pregnancy to open up about how you are feeling.
- You will never be truly ready: According to every other mother I have talked to, no one knows what they are doing with their first and that is ok and you will figure it out. Also, there is no number of videos, podcasts, books that can prepare you for what you’re about to experience.
- Pregnancy is hard AF and beautiful at the same time: I am not much of a sappy person so the fact I even have any photos of my bump or show it in quick boomerangs is shocking to me. Apparently, pregnancy is turning me into more of a softy. I thought to myself that so many women have gone through this so how “special” can it really feel. Well, I learned quickly that when it’s happening to you, it’s the wildest and beautiful thing ever. Multiple times I week I say to Brendan “WOW there is an actual human inside of me” or “that bulge in my stomach right now is one of Rex’s body parts”. I still find the whole experience crazy and unbelievable. At the same time pregnancy has been extremely challenging for me mentally and physically and again, this is not to say I am not grateful but to also be honest that some days I want to crawl into bed and just watch Netflix and shut out the world even if I just cried over how excited I am to meet her an hour earlier.
- Don’t get too hung up on your baby registry: Many people will buy you things you asked for and need but A LOT will buy you random crap you don’t want or already have for some confusing reason. Sorry had to add that because it’s honestly hilarious. If anyone needs baby stuff let me know because I likely have multiples of stuff LOL
Thank you so much for reading this blog and being a part of this community. It truly means a lot! I would love to hear from you so comment below or better yet, head over to @randomwellnessco on Instagram to connect over DM. Always here to answer questions as well and hear from what types of content you want to see more of!