5 Things I Didn’t Understand Before Being Pregnant
This post is for two groups of people.
A) The women who have yet to embark on the pregnancy journey.
B) The women who have.
If you’re in this group, I hope it’s because you have happily put off babies for good reasons, basically just waiting for Mr. Right or the right time. Enjoy the ignorance and lack of body changes and just the all around awesomeness of having only your body to worry about.
Although, you can’t deny that many of your friends have left Group A and are trotting their way over to Group B. This may be depressing, exciting, frustrating, joyful-all the things. I get that.
Friends having kids is one of the biggest life moments that can unite or divide relationships; it can bring chaos and peace, jealousy and celebration.
Whenever another friend announces her pregnancy whether in person to me or I find out on Facebook (that always hurts) I often found myself disappointed and ready to bounce because having a baby is just too big for me to handle-I didn’t want any part of it. And because of my lack of knowledge of this foreign baby world, there were a lot of misconceptions and judgements I had of pregnant ladies.
So to my fellow Group Aer’s, I’ve got some insight now being just about 9 months into this pregnancy journey that will hopefully bring some ah-ha’s and bridge the gap between two very different worlds.
Prepared to be entertained by my ignorance.
Counting of the Weeks
Why do all of a sudden pregnant ladies ONLY know how to track time in weeks?! It’s like a different language that only medical people and pregnant people converse in and so when they used to tell me, “I’m 19 weeks.” I think, “Ok, so? I’m just trying to keep track what day of the week it is this week let alone figure out if that means your baby is still the size of a pea or an eggplant.”
But I get it now. Every week IS a BIG deal. So that actually makes life really exciting for the entire 10 months which means pregnant people are excited to tell you what milestone they are at this week because they’re that far into the pregnancy and their baby has hit some major growth points too.
So the next time your pregnant friend tells you she’s so many weeks, just act excited for her even if you have no clue what that truly means.
And did you catch the whole 10 month thing? Yeah, when you’re pregnant, in medical world, it’s technically 10 months, not 9. So just ditch that 9 month timeline now before it’s too late.
Always Touching the Belly
It REALLY bugged me when I’d see women walking around rubbing their big ‘ole belly. Are they doing this to rub into my face that they’re obviously, hugely pregnant with a cute, squishy baby that I don’t have right now? As if a big bump isn’t enough of a billboard, do you really need to point to it all day long wherever you go?
Now I’m THAT woman. I can’t believe it, but it’s true. And I do it for all the reasons opposite of my past judgements. It’s kind of unavoidable as this baby daily crowds the front of your bubble, and you start feeling their movements, your hand is instantly drawn to rubbing the bump, like a magic lamp-you just rub and rub and rub. There’s definite maternal instincts that kick in too drawing your hand to that bump like a magnet.
And that’s the other thing. Everyone calls it a bump which is true-I do as well. But to you as the momma-to-be, you’re not looking down thinking how big this growth of a bump has gotten-you’re thinking about how big and long a human life has been flourishing inside of you! That’s why I rub.
But I am self-conscious about it knowing that this simple act can actually cause a lot of pain and frustration to onlookers who may be desperately wanting what I have. So I often try not to rub the bump in public.
Constantly Feeling Him Move
So this one is THE coolest. No one told me how much I’d be feeling my baby’s movements, like all the time! I first felt him move at 18 weeks-just a quick squirm, kind of like the feeling of when your stomach drops on a roller coaster. It only gets better. Kicks and jabs and rolling over and hiccups. It’s pure magic-heaven on earth and those first 20 weeks of absolute sickness and exhaustion are totally worth every little movement I feel from him now, and they’re a lot! A lot, a lot. So that’s something to look forward to!
The waddling has now begun for me. I thought pregnant woman just walked funny because they were either out of shape, had to pee in that moment, or had a horrible sense of balance. And while all these things can be true for some, I don’t think these things are true for me and I still waddle. At this point I’m 36 weeks pregnant (again-sorry for the “weeks” language-basically I’m really huge) and it literally feels like someone stuck a basketball in between my boobs and hips so there’s no crunching, bending over, or running at this point. And with that kind of mass, your body compensates with waddling. I’m walking slower in more deliberate patterns so as not to hurt anything, because you never know what little spike of pain will say hello if walking carelessly. I’m happy to say I don’t always waddle, but it’s often in transition of movements. Just believe me when I say-the waddling is necessary.
Getting Sucked Into Buying Lots of Unnecessary Baby Gear
I remember being at a baby shower once and hearing a young mom say, “Babies need a lot of stuff!” I did like the biggest eye roll possible in my heart. And right there I rebelled with all my might and vowed to myself to buy as little as possible if I were to ever have a baby. And this is mostly because of my days working at a birthing clinic who served the poorest of the poor women and their babies. Most of the world does not have the amount of items we deem necessary for a baby to live.
But there’s also this little thing called Mom guilt and I have experienced it tons already as I try to navigate what it looks like for me to be a responsible, prepared mother for this new life entering the world that will be solely dependent upon me and Brad. So I’m now understanding the temptation to buy just about anything and everything that Pinterest says you NEED. But that’s where I’m also trying to draw the line daily-it’s just a temptation. With prayer, wisdom and a good dose of a global perspective, I can limit what I buy for this little man because ultimately, especially in the first month or two, all he needs are his parents, a bed, clothes and diapers.
Now there are definitely tools that make the parents’ lives much easier and we are ALL over that no doubt. I plan to write a post on our absolute essentials once he’s here because as of now, still have no idea what’s useful vs. not.
As a momma-to-be, I do give myself a few passes simply to enjoy this unique, magical season like these bandanas and hipster backpack that’s totally a diaper bag but also just a really cool accessory for mom and dad.