In my prenatal group appointment this week, one of the things we were asked was, “how has your pregnancy been different from what you expected?” It was an interesting question to think about, and as I came up with my answer, I realize that so much of my pregnancy has been different than I could have ever initially imagined.
Let me count the ways…
As much as I was excited to be pregnant, I can’t lie and tell you that I was pumped about all the changes in my body that were inevitably coming. There have certainly been moments (particularly in early pregnancy) where outgrowing my clothes and seeing my shape change was difficult. But now that I sit here with a giant belly in my lap, a glow in my cheeks, and new strength in my legs, I can honestly say that I am totally in love with my pregnant body.
While getting fit and working hard to lose weight in the past definitely made me feel great – both inside and out, I have discovered that pregnancy has given me more body confidence that I ever knew I could have.
One of my biggest demons has been battling panic and anxiety for the past ten years or so. I was really worried that pregnancy would bring out the worst in this, and that I would obsess over every twinge, pain, and potential thing that can go wrong. I thought I would be the one calling my midwife each week with a new question or worry I needed to have eased. Surprisingly enough, in 37 weeks I have never once called my midwife office. I have learned to trust both my body and my medical team, which has allowed me to relax and enjoy the bigger experience, rather than fret about all the small things.
I make no secret of the fact that my husband and I are incredibly close. But being pregnant has changed the way I see him now. He’s no longer just my husband and my partner. He’s going to be a father to my kids, and something about that makes me all mushy and teary every time I think about it. One of the things I look forward to most is seeing him hold his son for the first time. Gives me goose bumps.
I knew that my activity level would obviously change during pregnancy, but actually experiencing it has been quite different from what I expected. These days I consider a three mile walk to be an awesome physical accomplishment each day, whereas a year ago I wouldn’t have even considered that to be exercise. And while I’m really looking forward to getting back into my running shoes soon enough, it has also been a nice lesson to me that workouts don’t all have to be back-breaking and intense. It can be just as effective to slow down sometimes.
Going into pregnancy, we hear so much about all of the horrible symptoms we should expect. While I had my fair share of awful morning sickness, beyond that I have really felt great through this whole pregnancy. Maybe it is all over-hyped, or maybe I just got lucky – who knows. But my symptoms beyond the first trimester have been minimal, and I am most definitely grateful for it.
This sort of goes hand in hand with the others, but I think the biggest lesson I’ve gained from pregnancy is just to trust and believe in myself. I have read books, magazines, and websites, and have educated myself as best as possible. A year ago I’m not sure I would have felt ready or responsible enough to imagine caring for another small life. But with just a few weeks left, I can confidently say that I am most definitely ready to be a mom.