6 May 2016

my pregnancy advice
{mostly for myself!}

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baby bump in budapest! more on our thirty six hours in that incredible city coming soon! ^^

i can’t believe i am already three-quarters of the way through my pregnancy. i feel like it’s pretty often that you hear pregnant women expressing excitement about nearing the end by the time they’ve hit the third trimester, but i am honestly quite sad that i won’t be pregnant much longer. (…maybe i’ll have a different feeling in ten weeks?!) i’ve been so lucky to have such a healthy and active pregnancy, and i’ve really enjoyed the whole experience. i’ve discovered really amazing things about my body and really insightful things about my self. i’ve drawn closer to my husband and to the wonderful women in my life and to god in beautiful ways. and i’ve realized, as one only can through personal experience, things that i want to remember for the (hopeful) next time i grow a human.

this week i took some time to summarize and write down my personal pregnancy lessons learned. i thought i’d share them here so i can easily reference them next time around, and in case they are useful to anyone else out there! note the very first point is that every woman and every pregnancy is so different, so these tidbits of advice certainly won’t apply in every (or possibly even the majority of) situations. but for what it’s worth…here’s my pregnancy advice {mostly for myself!}
  • recognize and remember that every woman’s pregnancy and body is so, so different. do not compare and don’t worry about anyone else’s experience or opinions. relish the opportunity to be self-guided and learn and decide for yourself.
  • combat body scrutiny or dislike with body awe. consciously work hard to consistently replace worries about how you look with wonder around the incredible work your body is doing.
  • eat healthy and drink a lot of water – way more than you did before you were pregnant. exercise as much as possible. being more active will make you less tired and sick (not the opposite!). of course what you put in your body and how active you remain really matters, more than ever before in your life – you are building a human!
  • don’t worry too much about the “rules” around what not to eat/what to avoid in exercise/activity. there are very few hard and fast rules and lots of conflicting opinions. the most important thing is to listen to your heart and body and to the spirit. pray and ask god to guide you in what you eat, how you exercise or participate in other activities during pregnancy, and how you can best prepare to bring your baby into the world.
  • recognize and remember that being pregnant is not a cop-out. take care of yourself but be real about how you feel and don’t allow yourself to make insincere excuses.
  • acknowledge that being anxious about your baby’s health is normal. pray and ask for reassurance, and draw closer to god in the process. know that miscarriage cannot be controlled – except for in very, very rare circumstances, the actions of a pregnant woman do not cause loss of life in the womb – so you don’t need to be anxious about things you do, as long as you are listening to your body and being smart.
  • remember that there are many who see you or interact with you that really, really want to be pregnant and can/are not. be grateful and not showy.
  • make due with non-maternity clothes as long as you can. once you really can’t fit into things, buy maternity clothes bit by bit (not in one huge spree) to figure out what you like and how you can best adjust your wardrobe. my favourite places to get maternity clothes have been asos and h&m.
  • read up and learn as much as you can about the miracle happening inside your body. read books (i’ve read ina may’s guide to childbirth, birthing from within, and the gift of giving life and heartily recommend all three; i also just started reading hypnobirthing: the mongan method), sign up for online newsletters that email you updates on what is happening at different stages, talk with women you know and trust about their experiences (especially those that share genes with you).
  • learn about what to expect (in both pregnancy and labor/delivery), but also expect that the unexpected will happen – things will likely not go just as you planned/envisioned. use a little time and energy to consciously work on being open to anything happening and still having a beautiful pregnancy and birth experience.
  • keep a journal and/or baby book. you won’t remember the exciting milestones and new emotions and funky cravings and novel experiences if you don’t write them down. and you’ll want to remember them!
  • towards the end of pregnancy, start visualizing. while falling asleep each night, listen to hynobirthing meditations and picture the changes that your body will need to make for your cervix to open and birth your baby….imagine encouraging the sensations and welcoming the opening process.
  • practice pain management techniques during pregnancy: certainly you can’t be expected to use them well during labor and delivery without some practice beforehand! practice relaxing and breathing when you feel physical or emotional pain. practice being in control of what you can control – your mindset – and letting go of control of all else. practice different positions, visualizations, and movements (i got a lot of ideas on things to try from birthing from within). attempt to be really present in ordinary day-to-day activities so you can be present in birth; live in awareness.
  • enjoy the miracle of pregnancy! take the time to think about the incredible role you are taking on in creation, in god’s plan. use these months as a beautiful opportunity to reflect on your body, your spirit, your purpose, your relationships, your evolution as a human. recognize what a supremely special experience this is and relish it.
i’ve also summarized the things i’ve learned from my reading about and experience/advice-gathering around labor and delivery – which i will likely share soon as a sequel to this list :) i feel quite passionate about the perspective i have gained, and i am genuinely super excited to experience childbirth.

my heart is so, so full of gratitude for the past seven months of bearing a child, and the lifetime ahead of being a mother.

11 comments :

  1. This doesn't have anything to do with pregnancy... But I have a question about shoes! I am going to Paris for the month of July and then London for 5 days in August! Do you have any recommendations for cute, young, summer shoes that will support my feet with all of the walking? I have quite a few sandals, but they do not have the support I will need walking all day!

    by the way... Congrats on your pregnancy! ����

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    1. I love my bucket feet shoes. They come in different styles, and tons of colours. http://www.bucketfeet.com ;-)
      Very comfy and not that "bulky" as sneakers/tennis shoes

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  2. Hi Charity,
    Thank you so much for being aware of people like myself who would love to be a Mum.

    I love the bit about a baby book. Just remember to make them for each child that you have. So many times I find that some people have memory books for the 1st child but hardly anything for the other children, which is such a shame.

    Are you going to follow any routines for the baby, such as The Contented Baby/Gina Ford?


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    1. I feel for you, I really do!

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  3. The only thing I disagree with is....Buy maternity clothes early and wear it as much as possible! Cost per use...and comfy! Also good for people working that need professional maternity clothes. Congrats and enjoy being pregnant!

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    1. to each her own :) i do love the maternity clothes i have, but i hate having more "stuff." i've been able to make some skirts and dresses that i already had work for when i'm in the office and now have a few staple pieces of maternity clothes that work well for work.

      thank you!!

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  4. I read it and am amazed at what you are doing. Build him Wright.

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  5. I used the hypnobirthing Mongan method with 3 babies and loved it! The more you practice and visualize as you fall asleep the better. Pregnancy and labor and delivery were all SO wonderful and fun!! I loved every second of it all 5 times!!! I would do it more but my capacity to raise the five I have feels complete. I just love it all SO SO much!!! Best wishes!

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  6. Wonderful insights! I did the same and focused a lot on finding everything I could about pregnancy, my changing body and preparing for labour/the birth. Then I went home with a baby and had no techniques to settle him beside rocking him (I thought that would be fairly simple since I'd held babies and put them to sleep since I was 12yrs old). Boy was I wrong! When I couldn't settle that new baby and he cried everytime I put him down I was beside myself! So start the research of baby settling and routines or attached parenting or whatever - just be prepared for the going home with the baby bit too!! Best Wishes from Oz. xo

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  7. I usually wear non-maternity clothes as long as possible too, but each time I inevitably stretch out a few shirts that end up looking funny afterward. Kinda' frustrating. I also loved reading everything I could about pregnancy and I just figured the newborn part would take care of itself. ha! Definitely a good idea to read up on how to take care of, and what to expect with an infant. (I'm sure you're planning on it.) Good luck in the coming weeks. Babies are the BEST!

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  8. OK, enjoyed reading the list, but the photo is terrific! Look at that joyful 7-month expectant mother! The colors look great, and you look radiant. Very happy for you!

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