What pregnancy has taught me (so far)

  1. Chivalry is not dead (See #2).
  2. My husband is really such a sweetheart (See #1).
  3. No matter what your relationship with your belly before you’re pregnant, you start to think of it as something fascinating and beautiful and kind of imbued with magic, and you all of a sudden find your hands resting on it all the time.
  4. Speaking of that, even when you’re not showing all that much, people who you barely know will try to touch your belly, or they’ll have that look in their eyes that they really, really want to touch it. It’s like this raw hunger or something.
  5. I don’t care how much of a camel bladder you have, you will pee more than you ever thought possible. Where before I could go several hours in the car without issue, now an hour on the road seems iffy.
  6. Sitting down is underrated. Chairs are glorious things sometimes.
  7. Right now, waking up in the middle of the night (to pee, why else?) and feeling the kiddo moving and kicking is adorable and special — just a little time in the dark between you two. You almost forget that, after they’re born, that probably means they’re awake and crying and you’re not getting back to sleep anytime soon.
  8. With the Interwebs and the Googling, there is entirely too much information at the fingertips of expectant moms.
  9. Going to bars with your husband and friends takes on an entirely different feel. It’s actually incredibly boring most of the time. And barstools are really hard on your back.
  10. The news that, “No, we’re not going to find out the gender of the baby,” is generally met with one of two responses: either utter disbelief because HOW WILL YOU EVER SHOP?, or “Oh, that’s so cool! That’s the coolest cool thing ever! I swoon at the coolness!” There is really no middle ground.
  11. Blueberries are more awesome than I ever thought they were, and I already thought they were pretty awesome.
  12. Blueberries put into buckwheat pancakes take on a transcendence approaching something like a religious experience.
  13. BTW, I have totally rediscovered pancakes.
  14. “Eating for two” is bullshit; use it at your own peril. Unless you’re eating fruits and vegetables, in which case, eat for three.
  15. There is a certain amount of “sisterhood guilt” involved in not being one of those women who has horrible (or any) morning sickness. There is also a tiny bit of, “Hey, I’m kind of a badass at this pregnancy thing.”
  16. Filling out a baby registry is difficult. Not the finding stuff part; that’s pretty easy. It’s the part where you have to get comfortable with the idea that you’re just making a shopping list for your family and friends and saying “Oh hai! Gimme?” Maybe it was how I was raised. There’s something embarrassing about it.
  17. There is so much baby stuff that I can already tell is completely extraneous. I mean, seriously? A baby wipe warmer? What are you raising, an orchid?
  18. Miralax is a lovely product, and has been, on occasion, my best friend. I want to send it a thank you card.
  19. Elastic waists are dangerous, and not to be invited into long-term tenancy in my closet.
  20. I am seriously so sick of Diet 7-up.
  21. Taking breaks and listening to your body is definitely good, but don’t stop taking the stairs or parking out in BFE at the grocery store or going on that three-mile walk with the dog. You’re not made of eggshells, you’re just knocked up.
  22. Even if you have never been able to regularly take vitamins in your life, you’ll be loath to miss a prenatal vitamin. Because you’re not doing it for you anymore.
  23. If you are a “money worrier” to start with, pregnancy and impending parenthood ratchets that up to a truly breathtaking level.
  24. If you haven’t had nausea in your pregnancy yet, start researching daycare costs. Guarantee you’ll want to puke.
  25. Your gratefulness for good insurance becomes boundless.
  26. Round ligament pain makes coughing and sneezing a whole new adventure. So does your sudden and dismaying lack of bladder control (see #5).
  27. You won’t realize how much you like that morning French press coffee or deli sandwich or plate of gorgeous fresh, RAW sushi or glass of red wine with dinner until you have to go without them. Then you kinda miss them.
  28. Odds that you’d normally take in a heartbeat, e.g. “You have a 1 in 500 chance of your ankle not completely healing,” suddenly become way scarier when placed in the context of something involving the baby inside you.
  29. Speaking of heartbeats, you never forget the first time you hear it. That speedy “shoe-shoe-shoe-shoe” of someone’s heart inside you. Blows your mind.
  30. Don’t buy tons of maternity clothes. Just buy things that are long. Empire waists, things that stretch, tunics — that’s all you need.
  31. The number on the scale is going up because you’re GROWING A PERSON. Try not to fret about it. That said, see #14.
  32. Even if you’re not a crier, you’ll get emotional at weird stuff. You’ll start identifying with being a Mom long before you ever meet the person that’s in there. It’s fierce and powerful. I, for example, now cannot watch the “Baby Of Mine” clip from Dumbo unless I’m somewhere I can turn into a sniveling, sobbing wreck.
  33. You’ll make all kinds of plans about the kind of parent you’re going to be and how you’re going to handle certain situations. This is fine, and it’s good to prepare, as long as you simultaneously ready yourself for those beautiful plans to all go flying out the window. My new background mantra is: “I’m going to do the very best I can, and that’s plenty.”
  34. Yoga is magic. TAKE A YOGA CLASS. There is such power in getting connected with your breathing, and a prenatal Warrior II makes you feel like you could kick some major ass.
  35. If you live in a cross-rivalry collegiate sports household like mine, make sure you buy equal amounts of team baby paraphernalia. But sing the kid YOUR fight song. Hey, you’re doing the work. It’s perfectly okay to tip the scales in favor of your team.
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