1. Morning sickness is a lie. I’m sure that it can be just in the morning for some lucky ladies out there, but NOT for this girl (or most people I talk to). Mine would be better described as morning, afternoon, and *especially* evening sickness.
2. No amount of educating myself prepared me for my own pregnancy. Everyone’s pregnancy journey is so different. While I am a super advocate of knowing as much as possible, it didn’t take long to learn that none of the “How I Survived Morning Sickness” YouTube videos were going to cut it for me. It quickly became just about letting my body do its thing and being along for the ride.
3. Those first weeks are fragile and scary and Jesus is the only One who was going to get me through them. It didn’t help that I had already experienced a loss before this baby, but without His hand, I would have sent myself into a constant spin of anxiety. All I can say is cling to Him.
4. Measuring time in weeks makes everything go by so slow. And also so fast. It’s like getting a birthday every week! But there are forty of them…
5. Body image issues do not go away. (In fact, they can definitely increase.) I always thought that once I had a baby bump, I would feel super confident about my body. I mean, everybody looks great pregnant, right!? Unfortunately, that’s a whole lot easier to think before you have a basketball strapped under your shirt. Learning to love how my body is changing is a challenge. An important challenge. It’s so important to keep reminding ourselves what our bodies are doing and learning to love that first.
6. I can’t necessarily just eat all I want. And trust me, I want. As soon as my pregnancy nausea subsided, I was starving constantly. More than one time, I ordered a giant portion at a restaurant, only to be able to eat about half of it–or even a forth! My sweet baby just takes up so much room, that there isn’t quite enough space for a full sized naked burrito. So I’m sticking with the kid’s size for the next few months.
7. Pillows are my new best friend. Seriously. I now choose my coffee shop based on which ones have throw pillows I can put under my back.
8. Just because I’m tired all the time doesn’t mean I get a good night’s sleep. For one thing, you’re only supposed to sleep on your left side. Also, your back is being pulled every which way by new weight. Oh, and those sweet late night kicks. My little girl is just all about partying after the lights go out. Hope this isn’t a sign!
9. The beginning can be hard. Like really hard. At the beginning of my pregnancy, I was so. stinking. sick. And completely unmotivated to do anything. Throw the fear of a miscarriage on top of that, and it has the potential to be rough. It wasn’t until I could feel her moving around inside of me that I felt like I really bonded with this pregnancy.
Side note: If you’re in the beginning and you’re struggling, it does get better. Hang in there, sister.
10. So can the middle and end for that matter. The beginning can also be the easiest time. It is totally dependant on our individual bodies and how they change.
11. Hormones don’t only mean I have been a little weepier. They make you feel every emotion. I have wept, I have full-out sobbed, and I have laughed until I look absolutely insane. No point in fighting it. I’m just feeling all the feels right now and blaming it on all these girl hormones going on inside of me.
12. I’m not eating anything acidic unless I want to breathe fire. No seriously. I have had heartburn before. This is different. This baby better have hair (although, I’m pretty sure that’s a myth.)
13. I’m still not sure what it means to be “glowing.” But it’s a sweet compliment, so I’ll take it!
14. The feeling of a baby moving is the coolest thing ever. For me, it makes it all so worth it. When I’m having a hard day or feeling that extra pain, I just ask the Lord to let her wiggle around inside of me. It helps. I can begin to see–to the tiniest of degrees–what it is like to be cool with discomfort in light of the well-being of my baby.
15. Pregnancy brain is REAL. Super real. I have stories.
16. So is pregnancy perspective. Without even being a parent yet, I am aware of everything in a different way. Every decision I make could affect this little one. I am more concerned by policies that will affect her life as a citizen of this country and as a little girl with brown skin. Even more, I am moved by the urgency to share the Gospel. It just totally changes the way I think about everything.
17. I have no idea how people do this with children to chase around. Props to all those moms. I’m sure that the Lord will walk me through it if/when it happens to me, but I sure don’t understand how that will be possible now.
18. Everyone’s pregnancy is so different. Yes, there are similarities. But I’ve never talked to two people who had the same experience. In fact, I’ve never talked to a mom who had two identical pregnancies. I’m to the point of embracing what comes each day rather than trying to pinpoint exactly what the next week will feel like.
19. People in the gym look at me like I am the spawn of satan. IT IS GOOD FOR YOU TO EXERCISE WHILE PREGNANT, PEOPLE. I’m careful, and my baby is healthy. 🙂
20. It’s best to save pregnancy stories (especially horror stories) for when you are asked. I get it. It’s one of–if not–the biggest things that can happen to someone, so we want to tell the world! But save the stories for the woman who has already had all her babies. Or save it for when you get asked. I have certainly done my fair share of asking, but I’m also super thankful for women who have refrained from reminding me what to be scared of and just let me do my thing.
21. There’s a lot of judgment surrounding how someone chooses to have their baby. I always thought it just came from one side, but it definitely comes from every angle!
22. I love my husband even more than I thought I was capable of. And I can’t wait until I get to bring His little girl into the world. Loving him more is what I am most looking forward to in meeting her.
23. Getting pregnant right after a miscarriage is hard. I want to say this with great caution. I know there are so many women who want nothing more than to become pregnant–right after a miscarriage or not. My heart is with you, sisters. Totally feel free to skip past this part if you need.
A huge part of the struggle with the beginning of this pregnancy was mourning my last baby while trying desperately to celebrate this baby. Just like the enemy likes to dig into any vulnerable area of our lives, he certainly did so here. When I celebrated this baby, I felt guilty because I couldn’t have this child without having had lost the last. When I felt sad about the last baby, I felt guilty because if my last pregnancy had continued, I wouldn’t have this baby. It doesn’t make much sense, but the feelings of sorrow and confusion are oh, so real.
I’m not “over it” by any means. But clinging closely to my Bible, my community, and telling the Lord about all of my feelings has certainly brought immense healing. I will forever mourn the loss of my first baby, but I can now do so with the freedom to celebrate the baby I now carry. And it is only the faithfulness of the Lord who carried me through all of that.
24. There’s deep value in having other women to talk to. LOVE my husband. He has been so supportive. But having women to bounce the crazy parts of growing a human off of is something special.
25. I am so thankful for these ten bonding months with my baby. Above all the physical discomfort and hormones and stress about the logistics of bringing a baby into our home is this sweet sense of having ten months where it’s just me and this little girl inside me. I get to hold her with my inmost being. I get to be the vessel through which the Lord sustains her. I won’t say that pregnancy is magical by any means. It is uncomfortable, it even hurts (and I haven’t gotten to labor yet!).
But it is miracle, and I am constantly aware of it. I mean, there is a little brain developing inside of me, and I’m not even doing anything!
I constantly hear (and have even said in the past) that men have it so much easier than women because they don’t have to be the ones to go through pregnancy and labor. While pregnancy is hard, and I have no doubt that labor is super hard, I feel very privileged to be able to be the vessel for this process.
Thank you, Jesus, for choosing me to carry this little girl. I cannot wait to meet her, but until then, I am soaking in every kick and roll and this precious time with my husband.
Bring on the next fifteen (to seventeen) weeks.
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What were some things that took you by surprise during your pregnancy? Let me know in the comments below! This thing isn’t over for me yet, so I’d love to hear all about your experience too!