Im just a couple weeks over 8 months pregnant. We recently found out that we should be expecting our little girl closer to the end of May or beginning of June! So ready to meet her face to face.
With the pregnancy coming to an end I have been doing a lot of reflecting. I know that after she is born I will have more lessons learned and more reflection, but I want to share what I have learned so far. Looking back to the day we found out that I was pregnant I feel like I am a totally different person. My view of pregnancy has molded into something new than when I started, and I feel that God has really brought me into a new season of life with Him. For those reasons I feel it is important to share 8 things I have learned during my pregnancy. Im no expert (I’m not even done yet!) but I value sharing and being transparent with where we are in life with others. This is for me, and for you…
FIND THE NAME YOU LOVE.
Picking a name for your baby can be heck of a long process, especially when so many people have their own options. You will probably experience it all: Family members pushing the names of great grandmothers or grandfathers, friends who just can’t accept the meaning of the name, or even people who will respond with the oh so familiar, “Oh no, you can’t name her that, I had a classmate in kindergarden that was so mean named that!”. So many opinions, so many personal experiences, its impossible to please everyone. So dont. To be frank, its your baby, no one else’s. Choose the name YOU love.
STOP WHEN YOU NEED TO.
Slowing down is a discipline that is hard for me. I enjoy the feeling of a full days work and being productive. In reality pregnancy will limit how much you are able to do during the day. It was a struggle for me to accept the fact that I physically can’t do as much as I did before I was pregnant. Especially in the 3rd trimester when I realized my basketball belly, swollen ankles, and aching back were things I couldn’t just ignore. I want to tell the future pregnant me, “Just stop. Take a break. Accept the season you are in by letting go of the normal life you know, and allow your body to take a rest. Its good for you.”
EAT SOMETHING YUMMY.
For crying out loud, eat the dang chocolate! There are so many books, blogs and magazines that will tell you what you should and shouldn’t eat during pregnancy. For the first 6 months I was so cautious about everything I ate and was always worried if I was hurting the baby. To be honest it can become quite consuming and stressful to think about everything you are putting into your body. Im not saying go crazy and eat all the ice-cream sandwiches you can get your hands on, but don’t become overly paranoid either. Have that Starbucks drink when you go out with a friend and treat yourself to something yummy when the day has been long. A cup of Chai in the evenings has worked wonders for me.
Early on in my pregnancy I began walking everyday. I understand that this isn’t possible for everyone in the beginning especially if you are fighting through morning sickness. I was fortunate that I didn’t suffer to much from feeling sick through my whole pregnancy so far. Walking and doing yoga (I do Shiva Ray pregnancy yoga) has been super helpful for me. I feel that I have been able to cope with a lot of the normal aches and pains much better than I would have if I hadn’t been walking and preparing my body for labour. On days when I didn’t feel well I would feel much better after I went for a walk. Be true to where you are and how you feel when it comes to being active. In the beginning I was able to walk briskly and for a good distance. Now at 34 weeks I can only walk about 20 minutes and I have slowed down my pace to keep my breathing at a good rhythm. Finding an exercise that works for you and keeps you active is so important and I promise you will benefit from it.
HELLO, LITTLE ONE!
Its so exciting when you feel the first movements of your little one! I remember sitting on the couch with my hand on my little belly when I felt her first kick. Everything feels so much more real after that. But even before there are physical signs of your baby I believe that it is so important to speak to that precious little one. Even before your baby develops the ability to hear their spirit is alive. Josh and I from the day we found out we were pregnant began to pray and speak love and blessings over her spirit and developing body. This created a connection very early on for both of us with her and I’m so glad we did that. For us our parenting began when we knew of her existence. We knew that God already had a purpose and plan for her life. He already loved her, knew her name, new her gender. We found so much joy in speaking Gods promises and love over her from day one.
Ill keep this one simple and sweet. Never judge someone else for how they are handling their pregnancy. Everyones experience is different and their own. For some its super easy, for others it can be a very depressing season. Whats important is not to put your own standards or expectations on other people. Give others the freedom to be real with how they feel and where they are in their pregnancy. In the end we are all doing the best we can.
Extend grace. Extend love.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU GOOGLE.
Your body will go through the craziest changes throughout your pregnancy. For starters your abs split apart. Then all your organs shift around to make room for your growing baby. Acid reflux kicks in. Constipation. Leg cramps. Itchy skin. Random numb patches. Forgetfulness. Fatigue. Unable to hold your pee when you sneeze. The list doesn’t end. I had a friend tell me recently that pregnancy symptoms are the same as someone who is dying…comforting huh? Every new feeling or discomfort I have had I would begin to worry and turn to good ol’ Google for answers. This was a bad idea. There is a time that you just have to let it go and not worry about every little thing that you feel. Of course there are some things you don’t want to ignore, but don’t google yourself to death over every discomfort. This is to protect your own sanity. Realize that you will hurt sometimes and you will become more uncomfortable as the months go on, and thats normal.
TRUST YOUR BODY.
Lastly, trust your body. No pregnancy is the same and your experience will be different from everyone else’s because you are unique. God created each of our bodies in the most amazing and detailed ways. We don’t tell our bodies how to develop a growing baby or when and how to change during the different trimesters. God has created our bodies to naturally function in this way. Your body is capable and created to do this. So listen to what your body is telling you. Early in my pregnancy I was craving burgers so intensely that it hurt. All I could think about was getting my mouth around a Big Mac from McDonalds. When I went to the doctor for a check-up I found out that I was very, very low in Iron. This explained my craving for burgers. My body new what I was lacking and began craving what it needed. If you feel your body needed a break during the day, take a break. If you are really craving a certain food, ask your doctor what nutrients you could be lacking. Learn to trust the signals your body is giving you.
So thats, that! My 8 things I have learned over these past 8 months during pregnancy. This is my personal experience and I know that it will be different for each person as each pregnancy is unique. If you are in a season of being pregnant I would love to hear some of the things you have gained through your experience.
Thanks for reading!