Here I am in my 39th week of pregnancy, hugely pregnant and awake at 4 am. With the delivery of this baby imminent, I have taken some time to reflect on this season of pregnancy as I enter in a whole new season; parenting. Here are some things about pregnancy that surprised me that I would like to share with you.
1. 1st and 2nd Trimester Morning Sickness is Horrible – Morning sickness is a hard experience. It is depressing. I so badly wanted to be happy and excited about this pregnancy, but there was something about feeling sick to my stomach all day long, throwing up in the shower, and having food be your enemy AND your friend at the same time that made it very hard. I never thought I would be sick from 5 to 17 weeks. Honestly, I thought I wouldn’t get sick at all. Boy was I wrong. I would never trade 3rd trimester hugeness and being uncomfortable for “morning” sickness.
2. Hip and Pelvic Discomfort/Pain – Ouch! Pregnant woman are gifted with a hormone called Relaxin that helps loosen and soften all your joints. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for this hormone – I’m glad my body is getting ready for this baby to enter this world! However, it was really shocking when I started feeling hip and pelvic discomfort – especially getting in and out of bed (which you do a lot of during the night going to the bathroom). Is this what being elderly feels like?
3. Feeling Unconnected To This Baby – I’m having a baby? What? For some reason I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that I’m having a real baby. I see my belly get large, I feel him kick and move around, my baby room is ready with diapers and onesies, yet I don’t quite grasp that I’m having a breathing, living, human being. I think this will pass quickly once he’s in my arms.
4. Maternity Clothes Can Hurt – Stay away from tight banded maternity bottoms! They may work in the beginning, but once your baby bump is noticeable it is not comfortable at all for your bump to be pushed back in your body via elastic. It makes no sense at all and it doesn’t feel good! Also, tight banded maternity bottoms encourage babies to be in a posterior position and during labor and deliver this is NOT what you want - ask anybody who has had back labor.
5. The Generosity of Friends and Family – I am blessed to know so many wonderful and amazing people and never did I expect such generosity from them. My husband and I are blown away with all the well wishes and baby gifts we have received. When it comes to baby items, we are without need. Praise God!
6. How Excited Strangers Are For Your Pregnancy – This is one that I just can’t get used to. About a month ago at the grocery store a man started laughing at me saying, “You’re smuggling a watermelon!” Just last week the SAME thing happened to me again! One time while at a grocery store the lady who was bagging my groceries was arguing with me about my due date. She thought that I would have this baby in May when my due date is in June. I tried to blow it off, but she kept pressing and even asking if my doctor was correct! I eventually told her I hope he won’t be born in May because then he’ll have to be in the NICU due to prematurity. Maybe I should have my husband do all the grocery shopping?
7. How I Eventually Need Help From Others – I let that same lady who was bagging my groceries and arguing with me about my due date help take my bags out to my car. As a former New Yorker who likes her personal space, this is huge.
8. It Takes a Strong Woman to Go “Overdue” – This one ties in to the well meaning comments of family, friends, and strangers. If I wasn’t a doula and didn’t have experience with how lots of women go past their due dates and how NORMAL it is, I would be feeling a lot of pressure and maybe even inadequacy at this point in my pregnancy. As a doula guru once shared with me, due dates don’t make much sense – it should be more like a due month.
9. In The End Only I Can Get This Baby Out – I know this is a DUH sort of thing, but at some point it just hit me. I can have all the support in pregnancy, labor, and delivery that any woman can have, but in the end it’s just me who has to push this baby out. This can be a lonely thought, but I see it as an experience that will stretch me as a woman and show me exactly what I am capable of.
10. I Am Not In Control – This is a good thing! This is something I am forever learning, and the experience of pregnancy reinforces this lesson tenfold. I never need to be reliant on myself, but on God’s provision, plan, and power. When I had spotting from week 10-18 in my pregnancy, at some point I just gave up worrying and gave it to God. He knew what was going on and I had to keep giving my anxieties and questions to God. Once I gave it all up (over and over again) I felt peace.
Just for fun, here's my belly at 33 weeks: