I have 6 weeks left (if all goes well.) Am I ready? Yes!
… ready to raise a baby, you mean? Oh, no, not at all. I’m terrified. But I AM ready to not be pregnant anymore!
I feel like, despite ALL the advice out there and all the women I know who have been through this before, there was still stuff I wish I’d known earlier. And yes, I know every woman is different and every pregnancy is different and every baby is different, but in case you happen to be similar to me, I decided to write down a non-exhaustive list of some things I will go back in time and tell myself once I’ve perfected my time machine.
They are, in no particular order:
- Buy new clothes early on. Feeling good in your changing body is hard, and wearing clothes that don’t fit only makes you feel worse. It doesn’t have to be maternity, just getting a few dresses in a looser style or 1 size up will be such a relief. (Surprisingly, Old Navy was where I found the best stuff, maybe because they’re one of the few retailers who make maternity petite sizes.)
- Drink ALL the water, even when you feel full. At least 10 glasses a day!
- Eat ALL the fiber. (Even if you need comfort food, like the week straight you are eating angel hair pasta with garlic and oil every night, add greens to it.) TRUST ME
- In addition to comfort food, you will also crave comfort stories. Don’t feel bad about not trying out all the new stuff people are talking about. I’ve rewatched more of my favorite shows (Buffy, Angel, Downton Abbey, Friends) and reread more of my favorite books (this, this, this) this past year than I think in any year. I plan to continue this trend postpartum
- Buy the giant bed-taking-over pregnancy pillow
- Do you. If you don’t want to spend the time cooking up a cute social media post, don’t do it. If you don’t want to take photos of your bump and send them to people, don’t do it, no matter how much they want them. If you want men at your baby shower because you believe it’s stupid that having a baby is seen as a women-only thing, then do it. If you want to do the opposite of those things, do them!
- Get prenatal massages, but only in the second trimester onwards. The ones my massage therapist gave me in the first trimester were so gentle (because of the bigger risk of miscarriage) they didn’t even really do anything for me
- You can’t take hot baths 😦 but you can take hot showers. Don’t feel bad about doing this twice a day, especially when your pregnancy happens in the summer and you come home a round sweaty mess at the end of every day
- Native natural deodorant is the only natural one that works
- Avoid upsetting media. I stopped watching Westworld and did not get past the first ep of the Handmaid’s Tale and I’m not sorry
- People are shitty and rude and they don’t cease to be so during pregnancy. They will shove you on the train, often won’t get up unless you ask, and will make comments on your body that are unwelcome. C’est la vie
- Though you will have the occasional sweet older person who will stop you on the street and tell you you are glowing and beautiful, and that is kind of nice
- Though you can occasionally get some good advice, Mommy Facebook groups and message boards are dark holes of the internet you should really try not to fall down
- That being said, having friends and relatives who’ve been through this before who you can talk to is essential. (Just remember that not all their experiences will apply to you.)
- People who say they loved being pregnant are either lying or aliens. (I’m kidding, I know everyone’s experience is different, but really, I don’t understand these women.)
- The nesting is real. Even though I’m not the most organized person, I’ve really loved the time I’ve spent reorganizing and rearranging my apartment to get ready for bébé. (I just need more hours in the day in which to do it.)
- Toward the end, you will become concerned at how active your baby is and will be constantly googling, “Can my baby break herself out of my stomach on her own?” She can’t. Stop worrying
- But also, all the kicking and punching is kind of cool
- You don’t stop being you. Sure I miss my old fashioneds and my energy and my in-retrospect thin and spry body, but I’m still writing even more than I used to, still reading up a storm, still having my bouts of insecurity and worries … still me
What would you add to this list? I’d love to hear!