My last draft of my blog post was at 34 weeks and I never published it. Now, we are a mere few days away from my little one making her entry into this world. I have been busy, but my mind is so jumbled with thoughts and emotions and I don’t always know which are my own logical thoughts and which are hormone driven thoughts. Everyone asks me if I’m ready. I don’t know how to answer that question. As far as baby supplies and getting my home ready for baby – yes, I am ready. Am I ready to be a mom? I don’t know how to be one yet, so it’s hard to say. Ready or not, she’s coming soon and I’ll have to learn along the way.
I wanted to post today because I wanted to share some of the things that I learned from my pregnancy which may (or may not) be helpful to others. In the grand scheme of things, my pregnancy was easier than I expected. I’m saying that hesitantly because these last few days and have been very uncomfortable as expected. I tried to go to spin class on New Year’s Eve and I lasted a whole 9 minutes. I just couldn’t do it. No room for my belly and my belly band no longer fits. Anyway — so here’s what I learned:
(1) Exercise during pregnancy is not only do-able, it’s one of the best decisions I made. I didn’t even realize how much it helped me until I stopped a couple of weeks ago and within 2 days my hands and feet started swelling and my mood was not as perky as normal. I taught my spinning class until 37 weeks. I taught Zumba until 34 weeks. Right now, walking is all I do, but I really, really try to walk every day to stop the bad pregnancy symptoms from creeping in. There were many, many, MANY days I didn’t want to exercise and would not have worked out had I not been the instructor. Boy, am I glad I had to show up every day because I never regretted one single workout. And I did workout almost every single day, sometimes more than once a day. Just do it.
(2) Maternity clothes can be super cute and stylish. I actually ended up buying a lot of stuff from Motherhood Maternity, Target, and online at amazon. I was able to wear my own normal clothes until about 6 months. I just bought slightly bigger sizes, mostly from LOFT. My workout clothes from Lululemon lasted me a long time. I never really needed to buy maternity workout clothes. The Lulu styles in the right sizes were great.
(3) Belly bands! I tried 3 before finding the one I stuck with. I bought the Upsie Belly band from Bellybandit.com. It’s much pricier than all the other belly bands, but well worth the money. Right now, I wear mine 24 hours a day when I can get it to fit around my huge waist. Life saver!
(4) I learned that many people, strangers, commuters, don’t care if you are pregnant and will absolutely not accommodate you unless you speak up. I lost track of all the crazy stories of riders not giving me a seat on Metro on my daily commute. This happened even when I was 9 months pregnant. Unbelievable how people are totally unconnected to each other and just don’t pay attention.
(4) For the most part, no one said anything that hurt my feelings or made me feel fat, but it did happen once or twice. Do not, and I repeat, do not as in NEVER, NEVER ask a woman if she is having twins and when she replies “No” ask her if she’s sure. If a woman is having twins, she will tell you. Also, if a woman is having a C-section and she doesn’t explain why, don’t ask her why. There are a lot of personal reasons why she does not want to share that information, some of them medical reasons that she does not feel like sharing with you. Just nod your head and say okay and smile. Nothing more.
(5) You really will learn who your friends are. I was completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and kindness I received from the most unexpected people and it really made the difference. On the flip side, there were people who I thought would be supportive, who absolutely were not and just disappeared without explanation. Duly noted.
(6) You will get lots of advice, but most people mean well. Just do the best you can, do what feels good, and cherish the time. The 9 months (10 months!) will fly by and it will be over. For those 9 months, your baby is always with you and safe. You are never alone. That’s the one feeling I will really miss.
(7) Eat healthy and remember, you are not eating for two in terms of quantity. Eat healthy and choose quality foods for you and your baby. What is good for you is good for baby. Keep your weight in check and don’t give in to the tempting foods. People will encourage you to eat junk food all the time, but really, your baby needs the vitamins from healthy, whole foods. Sugar-laden sweets and carbohydrates are just not nutritious.
(8) Choose your OBGYN wisely because the two of you will become close!
That’s it for now. I’m counting down the hours now…. Wow!