Pregnancy is a journey. A long, awkward, uncomfortable journey full of conversations with strangers, including those lovely people who freely touch your belly. Not that it’s all bad, though, because it’s not. Although it may not be fun to eventually come down to covering your belly with the largest of clothes, helping out your swollen feet with the most comfortable (read: less stylish) shoes, and dreading the marathon that is climbing any stairs or getting up from any seat, the big picture isn’t terrible. People become extremely friendly and conversational; they rush to open the door or help you with tasks requiring even the smallest effort. Everyone becomes extremely complimentary as well, particularly women and older couples, who will smile at you and say, “You look adorable!” and predictably ask about the baby’s sex and due date. If you’re lucky, some people even say, “You’re ALL belly!” and make sure to admire you from all sides. Teenagers are less subtle, more so in the third trimester when your belly is all people notice, and will usually just stare at your belly openly without saying anything.
I am 38 weeks today, and it’s time for a moment of honesty. I am done being pregnant. I can only wear about three outfits anymore and can barely even squeeze my feet into my most comfortable Toms. I literally cannot get up from the floor without help, and even rolling out of bed has become a challenge. I ache everywhere, particularly my back and legs, and sleeping through the night has long since become a thing of the past. (I know, I know; it’s “preparation for the future.”) Trips to the bathroom are now a very real and very urgent need when the need comes up. However, despite all of that, I must say that my pregnancy has truly gone very well. I never had morning sickness and have zero complications. I continued to work until 37 weeks, finally quitting last Friday. I have stayed in decent shape and feel pretty good most the time. One of my friends just told me this weekend, “You’re the most mobile pregnant woman I’ve ever seen.” I just have my moments where I feel like a slow-moving hippo.
Naturally, when you’re pregnant, people like to give you advice. This includes not only family and close friends, but also people you barely know, random baristas and waitresses, and other shoppers you meet in Target. People will sigh or look away in disapproval with some of your decisions or try to correct you via Facebook comments, but it all becomes easy to brush aside. You do what you think is best for you, your health, your pregnancy, your child. Period. Every woman and every pregnancy is different.
If you’re looking for fun advice, though, there’s a lot of it out there on blogs, the best of which you can find on Pinterest. I have a number of them pinned and have enjoyed reading both serious and humorous advice, personal experiences, and helpful links. As for me, here’s my advice. Take it or leave it. 🙂
> Big sweaters, tunics, leggings, and maxi dresses/skirts are amazing. H&M and Forever 21 are fine….who needs to spend tons of money on maternity clothes? If you do, go to Target.
> Staying active isn’t necessarily fun when you just want to collapse as early as 7pm, but it makes a big difference later on.
> A good doctor that you really, really like makes all the difference, especially when you get super up-close and personal at later check-ups. (Pregnancy is not a time you’re allowed to be modest anymore.)
> Dr. Pepper, slushies from QT, and Taco Bell make any pregnancy blahs go away. Seriously.
> Getting a venti Mocha Cookie Crumble frappucino from Starbucks and ignoring the calories also makes for a pretty great day.
> Looking up “Is ___ okay when pregnant?” really just makes you paranoid and is unnecessary. This did not make for a fun first few weeks of pregnancy.
> Body pillows ARE. THE. BEST.
> Going to the bathroom becomes a very real and very urgent need where you want to push people out of the way to get there immediately.
> Maternity pictures are wonderful. I’m thankful for mine. Do it.
> Feeling your baby move is strange and incredible. I have sat for hours just watching my belly bounce around. At the end of the third trimester, your belly pretty much has corners, and these corners poke and prod in all kinds of uncomfortable but hilarious ways.
> Don’t forget about your poor husband! He can’t really understand fully what you’re going through, but be patient with him. Read this wonderful blog post about that.
I could probably offer random advice all day, but I won’t. This is what came to mind first, so I’ll leave it at that. In summation….I really don’t mind being pregnant. It’s an adventure, and the best kind, because it ends with you meeting the little one you’ve always dreamed about having. 🙂
God bless. xo