Don't Take an Easy Pregnancy for Granted 1
Besides some early spotting, my first pregnancy was nearly textbook. My son arrived a week early and I was left well, sort of smug about how well my body had handled growing another human being. Going into my second pregnancy, I expected the same. I totally took for granted that a reasonably healthy and fit twenty-something should breeze through pregnancy, and found myself reeling in shock as I dashed to the toilet at 10 p.m. more than halfway through my pregnancy. Smug no more.
It's Okay to Take it Easy 2
You might be wondering why it seems impossible to work, keep up your house and take care of your kids right now--after all your own abuela and mami didn't seem to have any trouble functioning while pregnant. But every woman's body and every pregnancy is different, so if you have to take a pass on dishes for the next couple of months, don't be too hard on yourself. Your body is running a marathon right now. It's okay to take it easy when you need to.
Let Him Take Care of You 3
Hopefully your baby's daddy wants to be as involved as possible. You'll probably need more physical and emotional support than ever before, and that's okay.Let your partner be your support person both throughout your pregnancy and during labor and delivery. Daily massages, snacks when you're hangry, late night craving runs, it's all important. Heck, my husband actually had to call out of work a few times because I was too sick to care for my son alone.
Exercise is Great...Until it's Not 5
I pushed through the morning sickness and exhaustion and worked out at the gym a couple of times a week until I was eight months pregnant, because I was convinced that it would help me have an even better pregnancy and delivery than I did the first time. But right around 32 weeks I lost all motivation. I was huge and working out was painful, so I stopped. Eventually I started pretty regular walks and I did some light stretching, but that was all I could handle towards the end, even though I had been working out the majority of my pregnancy. I did the best I could. I will say, I had no problem pushing out a nine-and-a-half pound baby--maybe it was the exercise.
Every Pregnancy is Different 6
My two pregnancies were very, very different from each other, including labor and delivery. And apparently, that's much more common than having identical pregnancies with each child. So if pregnancies can be so different for one woman, can you imagine how different the experience is from woman to woman? With that in mind, we should all remember not to judge each other, especially how another woman tolerates pregnancy.
You Don't Have to Love Being Pregnant 7
I know there's some taboo around this topic--women feel guilty complaining about their pregnancies knowing that other women are struggling with fertility. I understand, I've felt that guilt, many of my friends have felt that guilt, but another person's experience does not take away from your own. If your pregnancy sucks (or even if it doesn't) and you just flat out don't enjoy being pregnant, you don't have to be ashamed for admitting it. Pregnancy is one of the toughest physical experiences many women will ever go through, you don't have to love it, and not loving it doesn't mean you'll love your baby any less either.
You Won't Be Pregnant Forever 8
Pregnancy can seem to go on forever, especially the last few months which seem to drag on and on, but I promise you will not be pregnant forever. All babies come out at some point. I fully anticipated that my daugher would be born early like my son was, but she arrived on her due date and those last few weeks were torturous. The moment she was born though, none of the past 40 weeks mattered. I know it's cliche, but it's true--every agonizing moment of pregnancy was worth it.
Drugs Fail 9
I've birthed two children and have experienced two failed epidurals. When the first one completely wore off after a couple of hours, I figured it was a fluke. When I got pregnant the second time I thought I might be able to handle the pain since the first one didn't really work anyway. Well, I got pretty far into labor and once my contractions were less than a minute apart I was desparate for relief. Well, sure enough the epi never really took full effect and after about 40 minutes any relief it had initially provided was completely gone. My doctor agreed--epidurals just don't work for me.