A lot of things are very different during this pregnancy compared to my first pregnany; many of which I’m sure you can relate to – i.e., lessened anxiety, heightened awareness with fetal movement.
But one major difference between the two was a sparking realization that I feel quite silly about in retrospect – I did not allow myself to be fully comfortable because I hadn’t quite “earned” it yet.
That’s probably confusing to read, so let me explain…
Wear the maternity clothing!
For one thing, I did not want to spend money on this. I thought it would be a very short amount of time that they would be necessary at the very end of my pregnancy, and I could use the money more wisely. This thought process led to me wearing my normal clothes for longer than they were comfortable, including the well-known jeans “hack.”
Which honestly cut into my already sensitive, stretched skin and felt miserable.
My second reason being that I felt I hadn’t been far enough along yet to wear maternity clothing (or other flowy clothing), therefore, not earning the right to do so. Some of you may not be able to relate to that, but I know some of you know that feeling. For some unknown reason, you don’t want to be “that girl” that obsessed about her pregnancy and tries to be omniscient of something she hasn’t experienced in its fullness. I felt that I should wear my normal clothes, somehow thinking this would mask me in a “coolness” that meant I acknowledged my ignorance in motherhood as a new mom – there is nothing more ridiculous than this, but I digress.
I feel that I cannot stress this enough, but I give you permission to be uncomfortable. If sitting upright in a desk chair is harsh on you, make adjustments to further relax you. If you don’t feel like going out to dinner with friends, but would rather lay on the couch in for the night – do it. Personally, I felt such a pressure to continue my normal routines as though to let everyone know that becoming a mother wasn’t going to “change” me in any negative ways. All the while, no one put any pressure on me to push myself and no one expected my priorities not to change as I transitioned into motherhood. I did all of that to myself.
Eat the dang thing
Mom-shaming has certainly got its death grip on this one, but please eat. There is this unspoken (or perhaps sometimes rudely spoken) rule that we aren’t supposed to indulge during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Don’t misunderstand, gluttony is unhealthy and there is a time and a place for everything, but if you are in the throws of pregnancy and you feel like you could eat a horse – eat that horse. If your pregnancy is anything like either of mine, your eyes may be bigger than your stomach anyway. Or you’ll be hungry as a wolf today, and be barely able to even look at toast tomorrow.
I’m not saying that other women won’t judge you while watching you scarf down a Big Mac in the mall food court, but that really doesn’t matter. Outnumbering the negative Nancys who will never have the nerve to say it to your face anyway, we are there – your soul sisters. We’re sitting across the cafe from you eating something similar and likely promising ourselves all of the wonderful ways we’ll make up for it tomorrow, but today? We feast.
In the spirit of balance, the best thing you can do is take advice from an actual nutritionist or other provider who has a proven track record – and no, I’m not talking about your MLM friend on Facebook who sells a magical pill. 😉
The way I have applied these ideals in my life are keeping heating pads and cushions at home AND work, buying maternity clothing at a local Goodwill, and taking in a balanced diet of fruit, veggies, sweet tea and Chik-Fil-A.
You’re only pregnant once to a few times in your life, and you can’t take back time and do things differently; whether you’re 4 weeks or 34 weeks – take a walk, buy maternity yoga pants, sit on a birthing ball at your desk, and drink your milkshake. Balance.
“You will come to know that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you will ever make.” – Gorden B. Hinkley