PREGNANCY THOUGHTS & PREPARATION FOR BABY BROWN
This conversation has been on my heart for a few months now and I feel I need to share some of the thoughts floating around. So often we see “highlight reels” and show nothing but happy smiling faces on our timelines, and I think it’s important to remember the in-between times. I try not to dwell on negativity but also want to be realistic and, to be honest, I haven’t felt that realism from many other mothers.I love that moms want to emphasize the beautiful process that is bringing a child into this world, but sometimes this can leave us newbies with unrealistic expectations. As I’ve been talking to other new moms and pregnant moms I have found that so many of us are sorely misinformed. Towards the bottom of this post I included a few links to resources I have found helpful throughout this process.
I knew going into it that obviously my belly would grow, but smaller aspects of pregnancy had not really occurred to me. I think I always thought that you just get bigger in the midsection, not considering that my abs would sometimes feel like they were tearing apart to make room. I could no longer use my core to sit or stand, and that took a lot of adjusting.We probably have all heard that some women’s feet grow when they’re pregnant, but collapsed arches? Never crossed my mind that that, as opposed to swelling, was the culprit. Every body, every woman, every baby, and every pregnancy is different (of course) so it’s hard to anticipate what you can expect. A friend of mine did send me this book that went in depth, too much so sometimes, but it was helpful to hear what random things were happening to other women so that I would have a better idea of what to expect. I also started listening to a new podcast during my pregnancy and it had lots of information. I especially loved the Q & A segments that are included.
Podcasts Mentioned: 40 Weeks and The Pregnancy Podcast
EXPERIENCES BY TRIMESTER
Each trimester sort of has it’s own characteristics. So far, the first trimester has been the worst for me. I have never been so tired in my life, as when I was in my first trimester of pregnancy. Not during those crazy college years or any of my moves across country or overnight nannying sessions. Nothing compared to the overwhelming lag I was constantly feeling. I consider myself lucky because I never really got morning sickness (just a heavy, foggy, dehydrated feeling from time to time) but the total lack of energy was something I had never ever heard of. I wish that more moms would admit how nauseating and tiresome this part can be on your body. It sometimes seems to be glazed over because you’re usually not showing yet and so we assume that mom doesn’t feel anything. I am glad that bloggers and others who share online are starting to talk about this in their posts, though!
You definitely feel many different things, whether other people can see them or not. I felt awful most of the time while being told “you’re glowing” or “this is the easy part” and it was so discouraging. You mean to tell me that I’m napping every day after work as it is, and somehow, I’ll become even more tired in my pregnancy? I’m sure that the comments I was hearing were well meaning but I think it better to just allow new moms to be in that moment, while they’re there. Anything else can feel disheartening.
To be honest, as soon as the second trimester started, I went right back to normal me and was so excited to have my energy return. My only real problem was that I still had the idea that something horrible was coming any day, thanks to comments I shouldn’t have allowed to fester. But, like I said, the beginning was the hardest part. I’m only just beginning my third trimester now so I’ll update this post when I know more, but outside of feeling anxious about having our home ready for the baby I don’t foresee much difference headed my way. I know that towards the end I’ll start to lose patience and the weight of a full grown baby will really kick in, but otherwise, I can’t say there’s been much change.
There's no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one. - Jill Churchill
NUTRITION FOR MOM & BABY
The day that the doctor cleared us and said that the partial placenta previa had cleared, was the same day he informed us that the placenta might still be problematic. Since baby is on the smaller side, he believes that the baby might not be getting enough nutrients. I have been taking iron supplements since my first trimester blood draw, as well as the prenatal vitamins, every day. I asked if maybe I just was not eating enough and he told me that wouldn’t be the blame, but the actual placenta itself.
We have another appointment to re-measure Baby Brown and take a look at the growth after the holiday. From there we will find out how the baby has progressed… and if we need to talk about inducing early. (It might actually be better at a certain point for the baby to be delivered and be fed milk than to wait and only pull limited nutrients from the placenta.) Fingers crossed we can go full term. Pregnancy (outside of the first trimester) has not changed our activity level much, which has been nice. We still walk almost every afternoon after work, and I sit on my birthing ball a lot at home. Yoga poses have changed, of course, but the practice has only gotten better.
BABY BUMP SIZE & THE COMPARISON GAME
I wasn’t one to compare my body to others until I started progressing through this pregnancy.
I know that we all have different genes and situations so it used to be easy to ignore shapes, but for some reason I truly pay attention when it comes to baby bumps.
I hear comments of concern with how small my bump is compared to my co-worker, even though her pregnancy is a month ahead of mine. I have a couple of friends from school who are closer to me in their pregnancies but none of our bumps look alike. Even across my birthing classes you can see major variation, and many of us have “compared” our baby bumps. It’s like we can’t help it.
Perhaps the foreignness of it all is just coming into play but I do find myself worrying that I (or my baby) am “too small” and this only sends me down a rabbit hole about what I consume. The logical side of my brain knows that everybody is different but it’s still scary sometimes. I would not call this a major problem in my day to day but I do wonder if other pregnant women think this way too. The doctor tells me that the baby and I are both right on track at every appointment, so I try to keep that in mind.
Related: We’re Expecting + Announcement Ideas
LABOR & BABY DELIVERY
I am hoping to deliver Baby Brown at a birthing center without medication.
I have started trying to prepare my body for labor as best I can through my workouts, diet, and stretching. While I am planning to steer clear of medical intervention, our doctor has brought up delivering the baby earlier, as I talked about above. Lots of researching is going on regarding this option so that when the time comes we can make the most informed and educated decision.
Now this one might be a little specific, but as most of you know, I’m a stepmom too. My husband already had a little boy when we met and although every new mom won’t experience a blended family, I wanted to touch on what I’ve experienced.
I always thought it was strange that people expected me to just want to stop at one kid. I love my son more than I ever thought I could, but I never imagined having just one child in the home, since I loved having siblings growing up. I had heard questions about why I would want to go through pregnancy and all the stress of newborns when I already have a child, but I get this question even more now that I am pregnant.
Why shouldn’t I want to experience the development of a whole person inside me? It’s completely natural and doesn’t mean that either of us love our son any less. He’s not even nine years old and can understand that, so I’m not sure why it’s more difficult for adults to comprehend.
Telling me I was “already out of the woods” or implying that our “one should be enough” is a little ridiculous. I wonder how moms on their second or third child are treated for wanting more children of their own, or if I feel the backlash just because I’m a stepmom.
I can’t compare having a second pregnancy (yet) but I would think that anyone with one biological child would not be questioned about wanting to have another. I’m not sure why one is more acceptable but I try not to let these opinions bother me. I’m excited, my husband is excited, and my son is excited, and those are the people that matter.
All photos in this post by the wonderful Liz (thank you!) who will taking our maternity photos when the bump grows a little more. Check her out if you're in the Delaware/Maryland area!
Suggested Resources: Pregnancy and Tracking App (or this one) | What I Wish I Knew About Pregnancy, Birth, and Beyond | 10 Tips for a Successful Natural Birth Plan | Birthing Ball