There are plenty of first time soon-to-be moms out there, Googling away about what it’s like to be pregnant or the things you should or should not be doing. Heck, I’m one of them. I’ve found a lot of inspiration from this post by Kendra, and for the most part, pregnancy for me has been basically normal life. I’m just about at 32 weeks, so I have a lot more to experience as far as being really pregnant. But, I thought I’d sum up my experience so far in seven quick(-ish) takes. Keep in mind, everyone is different, and their bodies will respond to being pregnant how they need to.
If you want actual quick takes, head over to Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum ( I’m only one day late this time!).
— 1 —
First Trimester No barfing to be had here! Whew! I was so happy to not have crazy morning sickness. I think that would have made our initial move to Wisconsin really unpleasant, so I’m thankful to be spared that pain in the midst of being moved 1000 miles away from friends and family.
I did have to learn how to eat. If I didn’t have a snack every 2-3 hours or so, I would get a little nauseous. But, after a few days, I picked up on my pattern and learned when I needed to eat to avoid the nauseous feelings all together.
Also, my nose was ridiculously sensitive to smells. I have a shampoo and conditioner that smells like herbs and Matt has a soap that smells like fire (yes, like, you’ve just been around a campfire…), and I couldn’t tolerate them. Not. At. All. They both made me a little sick to my stomach. Rather than fighting it, I had to find a more neutral shampoo and Matt had to quit smelling like fire.
Naps. They were also important to me this trimester. I didn’t take one every day; however, the first trimester has been the only time that I randomly needed a day to just sleep. Luckily, with this no real job thing, it wasn’t too hard for me to work that in.
Yes, I did start having to wake up in the middle of the night to go pee. I think it bothers Matt more than me.
— 2 —
Second Trimester I’m not exactly sure when the transition of my needing snacks every few hours to not happened, but we can assume it was near the 13 week mark. Basically, everything I experienced up there faded away, and Matt could go back to smelling like fire.
I would say the second trimester was really pretty easy. I did throw up once, but like I said here, I believe it to be the work of a stomach bug.
We traveled back to Texas when I was about 24 weeks. That’s 17 hours in a car spread between two days (bleghhhh :| ). For the first few days after our arrival, my body had to do some intense adjusting. It seemed like baby boy was up higher than he usually sat, so I was getting a bit of acid reflux. And, throughout the night, I would wake up in pain because it felt like he was pushing up on everything – stomach, ribs, lungs. (I remember Matt waking up so concerned, so sweet.) We ended up propping me up on a bunch of pillows to get gravity to work in my favor, and it seemed to work. Woo! This only lasted the first few days after that car ride, but then everything was back to normal and easy peasy.
I ate lots of sweets and treats over Christmas.
— 3 —
Exercise I am already a pretty active person; I just feel better if my body has done some kind of vigorous work in a day. When I found out that I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to keep some kind of consistent routine so I wouldn’t have to adjust my exercises too much when I became really pregnant. I could have chosen running, but I hate running and couldn’t picture myself super preggers trying to walk/run in Wisconsin in February. I love dancing but also didn’t think I’d be able to handle it very well later on in pregnancy.
My answer was swimming! I’ve always loved it, and it’s great for your whole body. I’ve been swimming about four times a week since last August (minus the month break of Christmas where I went on walk/jogs) and hope to keep doing so until our baby boy arrives.
Naturally, if you’re working out, you need to make sure you’re responding to the cues of your body. I’ve recently turned down my speed because my body just doesn’t want to work quite as quickly, and that’s fine. My body is still working, and it feels better for it.
— 4 —
Food and Drink If you’re a first time pregnant lady, you’ve definitely Googled what you should and shouldn’t do in pregnancy: “don’t walk or sit for long periods of time” (sooo, what AM I supposed to do if not that?); “avoid all these foods and definitely don’t drink caffeine” (nay.). Reading the list of food “no no’s” was really discouraging for me. If I were to place myself on some kind of spectrum for where I fall on the healthy eating scale, it’s above the fast foodies but below the gluten free/vegan/palio breed of human. Basically, I eat relatively healthy; I like to buy organic when I can, and I rarely buy processed foods.
Adjusting my diet wasn’t really an issue for me. I still eat deli meats because I’ve never gotten listeria from eating them my whole life. I eat the soft cheeses I’m not supposed to because I live in a state that’s known for its cheese. On just a couple occasions I have bought cookie dough and eaten about 154315123 cookies in one night (granted, that used to happen once a month…). I’ll even drink a glass of wine or beer, but that happens, at most, once a week. I drink coffee every day because.
Though this is my first child, I plan to treat him like he was my fifth. I don’t want to tie myself to the “expert” advice in books and magazines and the internet. I’ve sought advice from my own mom and other sound moms on the interwebz, and I think, overall, it’s best to use common sense with your eating habits (if you eat McDonald’s every day, obviously, you may need to consider adjusting your diet).
I haven’t had weird cravings, so I like to think I’m getting some sort of balanced diet. The only thing I have truly given up is tuna. I don’t want any baby to be exposed to more mercury than necessary, and I can live without it for nine months.
— 5 —
Birthing Education As soon as I knew I was pregnant, I couldn’t wait to learn more about everything. Being pregnant, labor, delivery, breastfeeding, child rearing. All of it. I know there’s a factor of doing what works for you and your family lifestyle, but I didn’t think having as much information as possible could be harmful. Thanks to this post from Kendra, I found a bunch of great resources and started looking into them.
Natural childbirth has always seemed like the only option for me regarding childbirth, so I checked this book out about the Bradley Method.
It seemed like the perfect fit for how Matt and I wanted our pregnancy and delivery to be. We even signed up for a ten week class just on the Bradley Method.
This particular class, though it was for the Bradley Method, was very comprehensive and taught more than what Dr. Bradley said in his book. I feel much more able to go into the hospital where we are having this little boy with an understanding of my options and their affects as well as my rights as a patient. Not that I don’t trust my doctor or the hospital staff; but, watch this documentary (it’s on Netflix!!) and it will make you question their motives.
What’s most shocking to me is how many expecting mothers go into pregnancy and labor not knowing anything. Maybe they take a 6 hour class at the hospital a couple of months before the baby is due, but that really isn’t enough time to learn how labor works or to get a good understanding of your options when you are in labor.
If you plan to ever be pregnant, please learn about pregnancy and labor and delivery. Or, at least learn as much as you would about a camera you’re about to spend $600+ on.
— 6 —
Hormones What I didn’t really mention in the first/second trimester bits was how my body was responding to this new influx of hormones. Goodness. It was rough at first. I would cry if Matt jokingly made fun of me. I would cry for no reason. I would get mad at Matt for trying to help me out because he wasn’t doing whatever it was how I would. I would get mad at Matt for no reason.
Though some women use pregnancy as an excuse to not control those emotions, I look at controlling them as a way to grow in virtue. I know I have all the abilities to be snappy and mean – Matt used to experience bits of that once a month. But, like this pregnancy, I did’t want those PMS hormones to control me and the way I interacted with others.
The best thing I’ve been able to do is quickly realize that I treated Matt wrongly and apologize. I could usually tell pretty quickly that I was being unreasonable because of the way Matt responded to my sass (never mean back, he has always SO patient with me!).
Luckily, these emotional-hormone-changes have calmed themselves down (or I’ve gotten better control over them?), but that was by-far the “worst” part of me being pregnant so far…or it probably was for Matt.
— 7 —
Matt’s Perspective Matt, what’s it like me being pregnant?
“I get to eat more.”
“Is that selfish?”
“You make bigger and more delicious meals.”
“This you not sleeping thing is keeping me up.”
“Tossing and turning.”
“Getting up to go to the bathroom.”
“Watching you try to not slip on the ice is really cute.”
“I like feeling the baby move.”
“Going to the doctor during the week is like a field trip when you’re supposed to be in school.”
“I’d say the naming process has been quite fun.”
“I like that you think people look at you like you’re just an odd shape and not pregnant.”
Any thoughts on what it’s like being pregnant or how you approach it?!