10 Things I’ve Learned About Being Pregnant

Lately, I have become obsessed with reading other “mommy blogs”. I have read all about pregnancy, delivery, post-baby, how-to’s, what-not-to-do’s, product reviews…everything! It’s great that people’s personal experience and advice is so readily available to us new Moms who don’t know what to expect. While I do not agree with every one of them, I definitely feel more prepared.

One trend I see throughout these blogs is “what I’ve learned while being pregnant” posts. Moms (or future Moms) have created many lists of “What no one tells you about being pregnant”, “What they loved/hated about being pregnant”, “What they discovered/learned during pregnancy”, etc. Because I’m not one to miss out on a bandwagon, I figure I’ll jump on and share my own lists.

Here it goes:

10 Things I Have Learned/Discovered/Been Surprised About/ Think You Should Know about Being Pregnant

  1. It has been awesome to my body…besides the whole gaining weight, skin-stretching stuff. My skin is the clearest it’s been since I was 12.  My hair is so thick, healthy and shiny. And, my nails are super long, strong and grow like wild fire. My boobs are bigger (obviously) and I feel pretty darn good most of the time. Not everyone is so lucky, and I assumed I’d be one of those pregnant women with horrible acne and skin-discoloration, but my God am I relieved to have the opposite!2.
  2. I do not mind weird pregnancy questions from anyone. Lots of people have told me how annoying it is to have so many people ask you things like “How much weight have you gained? Are you going to breastfeed? Are you happy? Do you want more kids? Blah blah blah”, but there has yet to be a question to bother me. In fact, I LOVE when people ask me anything about being pregnant. It’s all I’m thinking about anyways, so it’s nice to know that someone else is interested. Plus, pregnancy is a crazy miraculous experience that is hard to imagine if you’ve never been pregnant, so why not ask questions???
  3. Questions have been no problem, but I have been offended and surprised by some people’s comments. It is very surprising how many people have told me on some level or another that my life is basically over… It mostly makes me sad for them and whatever experience they had or are having. In case you are wondering, it’s not very polite to tell expecting parents that parenting is no fun. I get that it is not always fun and it’d definitely hard, but let’s try to keep things a little more positive.
  4. No strangers have touched my belly. I was told this would happen all the time. It has yet to happen.
  5. I am the most calm and level-headed I have possibly ever been. So, not only has pregnancy done wonders for my skin and hair, but also for my mind. No panic attacks since I was about 12 weeks…woohoo!
  6. A few pregnancy symptoms I did not know about until actually being pregnant? My gums and nose bleed all the time. My hips and tailbone ache a lot. Sitting up and getting out of the bed are oh-so difficult. My eyes are super dry and sometimes blurry. There’s lots of other strange things that happen, but I was prepared for the rest.
  7. People are often super nice and polite to you while pregnant. Most people will offer to carry things, help you up or down or give you their seat. 99% of the time I say “no thanks!” because I feel great or even prefer to stand, but the 1% of the time that I REALLY need to sit or need help, no one offers. I have learned to just ask during these times.
  8. I LOVE being pregnant and experiencing all of these crazy movements and changes. It really is the coolest thing I’ve ever done. However, I also miss my body, being able to move like a normal person and wear regular clothes. I’m sure I’ll miss being pregnant once it’s all said and done, but right now I’d like to be able to let Husband carry her for a little while.
  9. Feeling the baby move is WAY more exciting for me than for Husband. I wish he could feel what I feel, but he can’t and it’s just not as crazy cool to him as it is to me. It kind of sucks that he’ll never know what it’s like, but I’m pretty sure he considers himself lucky.
  10.  EVERY SINGLE PERSON gives you advice on being pregnant, delivering a baby and raising a child. Everyone has an opinion, idea, suggestion or comment and wants to be taken very seriously. My advice to you is keep in mind that everyone means well and wants to help. Your family and friends are so excited and love you and the baby so much, they just want to be a part of the experience. So soak it in, appreciate their help, write down the best advice, take the rest with a grain of salt and learn to nod and smile for that crazy relative who tells you that lying the baby down after it eats will make milk come out of its ears. They mean well.


Panic in the Stairwell

This last week has been stressful, and I have not denied it a bit. I assumed that admitting the stress and venting a little has been helping me deal, but today I had a rude awakening. All day I felt ill. I was nauseous at work, dizzy and feeling so achy that my boss offered to let me go home. I refused because 1) I don’t like to feel defeated, and 2) going home just meant doing different work.

When I got home, I was ready to continue tackling my extra long to-do list and began with laundry. (Yay, for being able to do laundry in the building!) After loading the washer, I decided to take the stairs up so I could cross “cardio” of my list. After walking one set of stairs I broke….my chest hurt and panic hit me like a truck. All of my positive and realistic thinking exercises kicked in and I was quickly able to convince myself that it was not a heart attack, just a panic attack.

I decided to sit in the middle of the steps and just breathe. In and out…this too shall pass. Of course breathing turned into thinking.. why? How is doing laundry causing me to freak out? Why now? How am I to get everything done if I’m wasting these precious minutes sitting in a stairwell praying no one else decides to be healthy and skip the elevator? 

Then, two words struck me, “everything done”. Of course, I’m panicking, I’m overwhelmed. I’m a control freak and I have no control over what is happening in my new home. I’m simultaneously losing control over my responsibilities at work. I’ve heard the phrase “everyone is replaceable”, but I tend to be a little cocky when it comes to my profession…NO ONE can replace me. I worry that the next person won’t do it my way right. (Secretly, I worry that they will do it better…) It’s so hard to lose control.

Anytime I have ever quit a job I have been cursed with horrible nightmares. Once I dreamed all my students were locked in a glass building while being chased around by scary men with weapons. I was trapped outside the building watching the whole scene. There was nothing I could do, but watch and scream for someone to help, I was helpless and useless.  This is the common theme in my dreams every time I leave a school. It’s silly because there are hundreds of wonderful teachers who can do just as great a job (if not better) than I’ve done, but I guess that’s hard to accept.

Eventually, I stood up from the stairs and like a prince on a white horse, Husband came to my rescue. His spidey-sense must have alerted him because he called immediately. He just wanted to talk, and talking to him is exactly what I needed. He assured me that I was not dying. Then he told me about the deer in our front yard that he watched from our deck, how much Belle loves running free in the grass and how I have way too many clothes to unpack (NOT true).

I managed to pull myself together (thanks xanax) enough to finish the laundry and a good bit of my list. I rewarded myself with a long bath and a good book. The absolute most relaxing activity is laying in a steaming hot bath with a good book. I like to soak in a tub that is so hot I am sweating and read for so long that the water turns cold. Oh, how I have missed having a bathtub.

Tomorrow will be a better day. I’m sure of it, and if it’s not I plan to make someone else’s day better. I just read this quote from Glennon Melton’s new book Carry on Warrior, and it’s perfect.

“When you feel scared because you don’t have enough money, find someone to offer a little money. When you start to feel like you don’t have enough love, find someone to offer love. When you feel unappreciated and unacknowledged, appreciate and acknowledge someone else in a concrete way. Whey you feel unlucky, order yourself to consider a blessing or two. Then find a tangible way to make today somebody else’s lucky day.”