Alright, so nine months of carrying a tiny human can be some of the most exciting, but also most frustrating times of your life! You’re filled with anticipation about the little bundle of awesomeness growing at light speed inside you, while your body goes through all sorts of interesting changes that you may or may not be ready for. Let’s face it, for some people pregnancy isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, it can take you by surprise and require you to adapt to a whole new lifestyle in preparation for your little noodle! In this post, I’m going to delve into my own personal experience so far so that hopefully any new mama’s to be out there who may be struggling find a little piece of mind and solace in the fact that you’re never alone on this crazy journey!
One of the biggest things that caught me by surprise about being pregnant was the absolute need for a healthy set of coping skills to handle the plethora of emotions that you’re going to be dealing with, from irrational bouts of anger, to crying over how adorable your cat is, to just an overall feeling that your buckled into an emotional roller coaster that you can’t escape, having healthy coping skills will get you through the best and worst of times. During my first trimester, I realized my coping skills pre-pregnancy included drinking my favorite six-dollar bottle of wine with a straw and going for a sporadic six mile run, neither of which were healthy for mama or baby, so I had to re-evaluate how to handle my emotions. I did a lot of soul searching and started meditating, as well as focusing on the cause of certain emotions and worked better at communicating my needs and expressing my emotions in a way that didn’t involve locking myself in my closet for twenty minutes because I didn’t want to handle adult things in an adult manner. Nearly nine months in and opening the lines of communication and learning to take a step back have definitely improved my pregnancy ten-fold, not saying it was entirely sunshine and rainbows, but learning to cope with emotions effectively really made a difference in my relationship with not only my family and friends, but at work as well.
Your jeans will stop fitting, this is totally normal. As will your tee shirts, and your bras, and that super cute sweater dress you wore last Thanksgiving, some days you will feel like a house, and you’re going to get frustrated because you don’t want to feel like a house, that is totally normal. For someone who still wears the same things she was wearing in high school, this one really threw me for a loop, especially during the pre-watermelon belly phases of pregnancy, you know those weeks when you know you’re pregnant but also kind of just look like you ate one too many gingerbread villages over the holidays? Yeah that phase was the worst! But have heart! You don’t need to go crazy buying a ton of maternity clothes if that’s not your thing, I was lucky enough to adopt some beautiful and versatile maternity dresses from one of my friends, and scored a pair of maternity pants for $4 at a thrift store, but there are still some simple life hacks to get you through paying for a whole new wardrobe! Check out my article here for my favorite maternity hacks that won’t break the bank, and don’t be afraid to wear the same thing six hundred times because it feels good and you look good in it! I swear I cycle through the same seven outfits every week just because I know they fit and I’m not uncomfortable wearing them, life isn’t the Oscars and at the end of the day, no one cares how you look as long as mama and baby are comfy and feeling good!
There’s going to come a time when it feels like your life is one long nine month wait on the sidelines, and that’s okay. When I found out I was pregnant, I had just been offered a new opportunity in my military career that I unfortunately had to turn down, and my civilian career also was sidelined as I put my search for a new job in a separate field on hold, and to be honest for a few days that really sucked. It felt like everything I had worked for was slipping out from beneath me, but then I realized that life isn’t a race and other opportunities will always present themselves. Looking back at the beginning I’m honestly so glad my initial plans didn’t work out because I’m so happy with where I am right now, and I’m still working to get to where I need to be, only this time I’m more motivated because I’ll have my baby bean to cheer me on from the sidelines. So yes, being pregnant can feel like a wait for forever to get back to the life you had planned, but just remember with that cute little bundle of joy is a whole new life waiting for you at the finish line and it will have so many surprises and moments in store that will make it all worth it.
My personal pregnancy journey continues to be a learning experience I wouldn’t trade for the world, because with every doubt or speed bump along the way, I’ve gained a new confidence that I didn’t realize existed in the world, because at the end of the day no matter what you do, you’re growing a freaking tiny human! With every breath, you’re growing toe nails and toe beans, little chubby cheeks, and brain cells for a tiny human that is going to come into your life and make it ten thousand times better! No matter how low you may be feeling, that little baby loves you and will continue to love you for every second of their life! If that’s not enough to make you throw on some happy tunes and dance around with your watermelon belly I don’t know what is! So have no fear, eventually you’ll get your body back from the tiny human that is currently calling the shots, but until then enjoy the ups and downs with pride, because growing a baby bean is hard work, and you’re slaying at it!