9 Months

2.03.2020


I can't believe it's been nine months with our little dude on board. 

As of today, I'm officially 39 weeks. One week away from his due date. And I have to say... 

I'm not tired of being pregnant. 

Honestly? I have had the best pregnancy, which has genuinely left me stunned every single day. 

For most of my life I feel like I have only heard about fertility challenges, how terrible and difficult pregnancy is and the absolute horror show that is labor and delivery... not to mention how a newborn wreaks havoc on your life, how babies ruin your body and blah blah blahdy BLAH. 

Well.... eff all that. 

To be very clear here... I have deep respect, love and high hopes for those who are trying to conceive or adopt and meet the baby that's waiting for them. I believe the women who struggle through difficult pregnancies and pregnancy loss are to be hugged and taken care of and listened to as they grieve through their pain or loss. I am deeply sympathetic to and wish nothing but healing for anyone who has had a traumatic birth experience or a postpartum mood disorder. And to that end, if hearing about someone's positive experience with conception and pregnancy is triggering to you, I get it. If that's you, heads up: you probably won't want to read the rest of this post. 

But.. there are good stories too! And because I have one, I'm going to tell it. 

For a long time I was scared to share my positive feelings about this pregnancy because I didn't want someone to accuse me of bragging or being dismissive of or insensitive to anyone's less positive experience. I openly acknowledge that so much about conception and pregnancy is unique and out of our control and I am endlessly grateful for how lucky I have been.

Also important: I'm not giving a sermon. I don't believe that I did or didn't do anything to have resulted in my positive experience.

But I do wish I'd known it could be this great. I wish I'd felt safer to celebrate and enjoy and be present in it every step of the way, especially in the first two trimesters. I wish I hadn't felt such pressure to downplay how great it was in order to avoid being shamed for my presumed naïveté. I wish I hadn't needed to preemptively acknowledge all of The Terrible Things in conversations just so that I wouldn't have to listen to yet another lecture on what could or would go wrong. I wish I didn't have to make the socially expected jokes about discomfort or whatever just to avoid getting snarkily put in my place by someone who'd had a less than stellar experience. Because all I did was perpetuate the same fear-based mentality around maternity that I so resented.

For that matter, I wish women would be more conscious about why they're saying the things they say to pregnant women and explore some of the intentions (or lack thereof) they have in sharing certain comments and anecdotes. And I'm not innocent... I know I've probably mindlessly regurgitated some of those comments too. 

Call it internalized misogyny, call it ignorant parroting, call it being an extrovert who rambles on senselessly just to hear herself talk... whatever it stemmed from, if I've ever said something to perpetuate the belief that conception, pregnancy or impending motherhood could be something short of great, I'm truly sorry. Because holy shit, chicas... I don't think we hear ourselves sometimes. Let's all please be more conscious of what we're saying to each other and why. 

So here goes... a list of random thoughts and details about this pregnancy. Hopefully this will satisfy someone else's curiosity or make someone feel less lonely or less anxious so they can spend more time enjoying their journey to motherhood!

  • If you read nothing beyond this bullet point, this is what I want ladies to know who want to hear a positive pregnancy story! We were super lucky to get pregnant when we wanted to. I had zero morning sickness and no negative symptoms throughout my first trimester. I've had absolutely no hormonal rollercoasters or cinematic-style emotional outbursts the entire pregnancy. I traveled throughout my pregnancy, laughed a bunch, stayed up late at bars and weddings, have never felt so close to or in love with Ryan, and have thoroughly enjoyed the glowing skin and healthy hair that pregnancy brings. I didn't experience weight gain, had no real cravings (except for extra lemonade and sour candy early on, but I do eat those normally) or aversions, enjoyed a vegetarian diet and, so far, don't see any stretch marks. "Baby brain" was kind of a thing when it came to language (I struggled with finding the words or phrases I wanted for a few weeks), but I definitely took advantage of the stereotype more than it actually affected me ;). I never really had acid reflux or heart burn (that I wouldn't have otherwise had), I don't have to pee every 5 minutes at night, and as a lifelong insomniac, I've slept better throughout this pregnancy than I have my entire life. I don't have any real discomfort, even now at 39 weeks, with the occasional exception of some pelvic sensitivity and the occasional (hilariously named) Lightning Crotch effect when I go from sitting to standing or after I take a big step. And baby boy is healthy, passed all his tests with flying colors, has been gentle with his kicks, has been in a head down position since 33 weeks and is just super comfy in there. Which I'm ok with because we've been a great team thus far. Like I said: The Best. Pregnancy. Ever.
  • Basically? All the negative things that women would say to me constantly both before and during pregnancy ("Oh just wait until xyz!")... never happened. 
  • Sooo the first trimester really was great... as long as I didn't talk about it. Honestly, the only negative thing I've experienced about pregnancy was the reaction people had to it. I shit you not, with women especially, the most common response to me telling someone I was pregnant for the first half of my pregnancy was for someone to make a cautious reference to miscarriage or tell me a story about how they or someone they know miscarried in the exact week that I was pregnant. It often seemed like an involuntary, knee-jerk reaction and I was stunned as it happened over and over again for months. Look, I am all about ladies talking about pregnancy loss more, normalizing it and finding support in their shared experiences. But this isn't that. PSA: there is never any reason to respond to a woman who is excitedly telling you she is pregnant with any reference to what is most likely her greatest fear at the moment. #endrant
  • Caffeine... about a month before I got pregnant I went from 16-24oz of cold brew a day to cold turkey. I stayed caffeine-free until the end of my second trimester. That's when Starbucks came out with their Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew and it. sounded. ahhmazing. Unsurprisingly, it tasted amazing too. After that I limited myself to 12oz of cold brew a day, usually no more than 4-5 days a week. 
  • Going vegetarian... I became a vegetarian in March of 2019, several months before I got pregnant. And were it not for the pregnancy, I probably would have talked more about it on the blog and started sharing some of the awesome recipes I've been up to. But what I learned is that the same people who feel compelled to openly judge your diet on a regular day feel an absolute dire moral responsibility to do so if you're a pregnant woman because HOW IS THE BABY GOING TO GET ANY PROTEIN?! I don't know what to tell you other than #science. Vegetarian pregnancy has been great! I'm excited to start sharing more vegetarian recipes and reviews in this space. 
  • Alcohol... I love alcohol, so that was the only thing I was genuinely bummed about having to give up during pregnancy. I have to say: I didn't really get less bummed about sobriety. I definitely still wished I could have a glass of wine (sometimes 5) after work, but I didn't actually want it either. I think I missed the social component of it the most and pairing it with certain foods or experiences. I know it's fine to have a little during pregnancy, so I took a few sips of wine and champagne during special occasions, but it wasn't the same. I verryyyy much look forward to enjoying it again. 
  • Maternity clothes hack: ThredUp. I have really been looking for ways to get more sustainable in every area of my life, including my wardrobe. Enter ThredUp and their maternity section. I scored an entire selection of thrifted maternity jeans, dresses and tops, saved a bunch of money, and felt great about buying it all secondhand. 
  • The best part about being pregnant has been feeling his little movements and hiccups and kicks. The second best part has been how much he has already taught me... like how he is his own independent soul even though he's a part of me and how to be gentle with myself for both of our sake's. 
  • Weight gain... full disclosure, per my doctor I was really overweight when I got pregnant (see: loving alcohol, above), so I'm explicitly not offering myself as an example, good or bad, for anyone here. But I did incorrectly assume I would gain a ton of weight if I got pregnant. In fact, I kept getting told by everyone until about a month ago that I would gain a ton of weight and ultimately, I thought it was pretty neat that I didn't. I think I'm only up 2 lbs overall from my pre-pregnancy weight because apparently I've been losing weight this whole time from how healthy I've been eating. The moral of the story here is to drink all your calories and soak up the alcohol with pizza and burritos and chips before you get pregnant and you'll remain weight neutral while pregnant! ....obviously kidding. The moral of the story is: who gives a fuck about your weight gain or lack thereof... you're growing a babe and as long as your doctor or midwife says everything is alright, that's all that matters. But just know that massive weight gain isn't a guarantee and therefore, not necessarily something to be focused on or afraid of like I was. 
  • Exercise... I was coming off of completing a 10 week yoga teacher training when I got pregnant, so I was in decent shape and had every intention of moving a ton throughout my pregnancy. And then I just... didn't. Outside of walking and hiking, which I still craved and did a fair amount of, I listened to my body and my body didn't want to do yoga or run or take any kind of classes. When I did force myself to do those things, I defffffinitely wasn't feeling it, so I stopped. No guilt, just honesty.
  • Something that I learned the hard way: I am not my mom. Or my mother-in-law. Or my friends. Or my co-workers. Or the celebrities or influencers I follow. And my babe is not their babe. Times infinity. This pregnancy and my baby are uniquely mine. So the comparison game is pointless and only led to unnecessary anxiety and was definitely not worth my time. 
  • Supplements and whatnot... I jumped on the bandwagon and have really liked the Ritual prenatals. I tried a few others, including a powdered prenatal that I had to add to a smoothie every day. Ritual remained my favorite (and personally, the difference showed in my labwork). I tried and failed to take a few additional supplements I'd read about in addition to the prenatal, but based on my labs eventually I decided that I don't really need anything extra as it seems I'm getting enough of key nutrients from my diet.
  • Education: I hope to tackle the books, courses, videos, and podcasts that I consumed in a separate post on this blog in case the list will be helpful to anyone else. All I can say is that I spent the first few months feeling totally comfortable with winging this whole pregnancy thing, then panicked and tried to read and listen to and learn all the things, then hit a wall and didn't want to consume any more information. Which is where I am now. There was a principle in YTT that I learned that was especially relevant here: know that the information that you are meant to know will stick with you and you can release the rest. There's so much info out there and it can be extremely overwhelming and scary. And some of it can be really reassuring and eye-opening. I'm trusting that what I need will stick and letting the rest go. 
  • Unsolicited advice and unwanted belly touching: one was completely unavoidable, the other was not. As an Aries and a 7 Enneagram type, I have extremely stereotypical authority issues and found the unsolicited advice to be almost maddening... but for the most part well-intentioned. The condescending comments, less so... which has resulted in me making a mental list of all the things I will never say to another woman, period. But I luckily did not experience any unwanted belly touching. The few people who felt compelled to touch my belly always asked and I surprised myself by being totally okay with it. 
  • Another really cool thing that this pregnancy has given me is a peace with my belly. I thought it would do the opposite and yet here I am, loving and owning my belly for the first time in my entire life.

Overall, I am still just in total awe of this entire experience and how smooth and lovely it's been. It is pretty crazy that I am growing another human with my body. It legit blows me away. I am so grateful and impressed that this whole process could be so wonderful. And I'm glad I get to share this experience as a positive one here, because I could definitely have used some more positivity during my pregnancy.

And now... we wait. Patiently. Because any day now he's going to be here and I honestly am so excited to meet him it's insane. At the same time, I feel super calm about him getting here whenever he gets here because this has been an awesome ride. I'm happy to stay on for as long as it takes.  :)
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