Still, I can't wait to meet my babe (face to face I mean, because we chat and play tag all the time these days) and with just about everyone I know having babies or being pregnant right now I definitely have baby-fever. I know I haven't written too much about my pregnancy on here, largely due to the fact that I've had it really easy and there is never too much to report, but I wanted to jot down a few things I've learned/enjoyed/discovered since last October. Surprisingly, most of what I've learned is about myself and not about the baby.
1. Tyler is the best husband ever!!! And I know he'll be the best daddy ever too! Everyone has told me that you never realize just how much you can love until you have a baby, but I wasn't prepared for how much more I would love my husband too. I constantly feel like I'm bursting with joy when I'm around him and I honestly think he is just about perfect. It's like I don't even notice the cereal bowls left on the counter and not in the dishwasher every morning now. If only this dang belly didn't make it so hard to shnuggle!
2. Showers are the best! For some reason, practically since the day I found out I was pregnant, I have felt like I need a shower all the time! Sometimes more than once a day I feel like taking a quick shower. As I've gotten bigger, I've discovered that one reason for this may be that I always feel thinner after I shower. Yes, I sometimes think the shower washes away a few pounds and I know that's ridiculous, but I'll take it :)
3. Even though Tyler thinks it is a little gross, I can't get enough of these baby kicks, rolls, head-butts, flips, booty-tooches, etc. I think the babe's movements play a huge role in the mother-baby bond because I feel like I already know his personality a little bit from all of his athletic feats in there.
4. No matter how vain it sounds, I love it when people tell me how good/happy/healthy I look or seem. I know it's for a good cause, the best cause actually, but gaining a lot of weight in a short period of time is still hard physically and mentally and compliments can often change my entire day or week! So thank you everyone who has given me one and feel free to keep sending happy thoughts my way :)
5. I have a new and better appreciation for my body than ever before. First of all, it's creating a human life as we speak. Talk about multi-tasking :) Second, it has been pretty amazing to me how much a little walk makes a difference in how I feel. My body knows it needs to be prepared for labor and when I keep moving, whether it's walking, running (pre-third trimester), swimming, yoga or cruising on my bike, I feel better and more prepared mentally and physically. I also really enjoy more fruits and vegetables in my diet, as I'm sure little man does. For instance, I cannot seem to get enough watermelon or grapefruit these days- both fruits I've previously enjoyed, but now I'm obsessed! And milk! I've never had so much milk in my life and it does a body good!
6. It's okay to be tired. I have a hard time sleeping in and a hard time going to bed too early, because I feel as if I might miss out on something or that I'm not maximizing my time. However, my body is creating a child and it's hard work, which means more sleep is good. Plus, I hear I'll never have time to sleep once that babe is here, so I've learned to just rest/sleep when I need to and not feel guilty about it.
7. I have always been a little stress-prone, especially when it comes to big changes, but since becoming pregnant I have really come to realize that stressing about something never helps the situation. I have to apologize to Tyler, who has been telling me this for over three and half years now, and I promise not to ignore your advice anymore :) I've really learned to rely on my Savior and my friends and family for support when things start to overwhelm me, and I've found myself much more calm and relaxed than I could have possibly imagined myself. I am much more aware of my emotions because I know my baby can feel what I'm feeling and I really don't want to stress him out, so I've learned to just take a deep breath and think things through slowly to avoid the hyper-ventilating panic that used to be so normal for me. I think Tyler is especially grateful for this breakthrough, as he was not-so-secretly anticipating a crazed banshee to take my place for nine months :) I just like to surprise him every once in a while.
8. Everyone has very strong opinions and lots of advice about pregnancy and motherhood - some of it is weird and useless (like my neighbor telling me it would be really, really bad if I had a Gemini baby and to avoid that at all costs... what?!), and some of it is gold (like my sister reminding me over and over again that some things you will just figure out on your own no matter how much you prepare). I have developed my own opinions and have lots of advice for new mothers already, but I have really come to appreciate the subtle advice from others. I tend to ignore people who present their opinions as fact and I want more from those who present their opinions simply as a possible method that worked for them. I'm sure I still have a lot to learn, but I'm becoming more and more aware that my sister's advice is the best so far and most things I will just have to figure out on my own despite the number of books I've read or doctor's I've consulted.
9. I am learning, very slowly, that it is okay to be vulnerable and to not always be 'pretty', 'feminine', or 'perfect' around my husband. After over three and half years of marriage, I still get pretty embarrassed in front of Tyler at least once a week. But those moments are slowly decreasing and I'm figuring out that he isn't going to suddenly think I'm hideous, gross, stupid or an awful person and stop loving me for some silly little thing. In fact, I think he is completely oblivious most of the time when I'm embarrassed. So, it's okay that I don't always have perfect manners at the table when we go out to eat or that I pretty much ignore all make-up, fashion and hair products during the week when all I do is go sit in an office by myself and then go workout. I like that he motivates me to be my best self, but it's nice to have some of the pressure off at times too.
10. I love being pregnant!! I feel powerful, calm, humble, useful, special, pretty, important and lots of other really good things. I feel bad when I have friends and family who are pregnant and feeling sick or useless or fat, because I am really enjoying myself. I wish I could be more sympathetic to you, but even as I'm writing this post and trying to think of anything negative I've discovered or learned, I'm just not coming up with anything. Pregnancy has been great for me and I am sooo happy to have this opportunity/responsibility. I definitely didn't expect this and I know not every pregnancy I have will be this great (I'm sure chasing a toddler around while being 8 months pregnant has its drawbacks), but for now I am just happy to be fat and healthy and sooo grateful I've been able to enjoy this sacred experience. Of course, after the delivery I might have a few not so happy things to share, but that hasn't happened yet :)
11. I am sooo grateful for the gospel in my life!! I don't know how people survive without it. Several times throughout my pregnancy Tyler has reminded me that if I miscarry, if the baby has health/mental problems, if we lose the baby in delivery, etc. we will be just fine. I know he is partially telling me this to voice his own concerns, but it has really helped me appreciate the knowledge of eternal families and salvation. Yes, all of those things would be sad, but we would be just fine because our baby would be safe and probably doing much more important things elsewhere.
Not only that, but without the support and friendship of our ward members, things would be much harder. Our callings have kept us busy and can be tiring, but at the same time I feel like they have been very important in our preparation, and the opportunity to serve in a variety of capacities has helped me appreciate families so much more.
In addition, I have personally relied much more heavily on my Savior through prayer over the past eight months. I think every pregnant woman in the church can attest to the fact that even a simple blessing on your food takes on a whole new meaning while pregnant, sick or not. And I have been constantly comforted and uplifted throughout this whole experience, which I know is a result of having the companionship of the Spirit. Listening to General Conference and reading my scriptures have also helped me trust in myself as I prepare to take on the responsibility of parenthood.
I love this gospel, I know it’s true, and I can’t wait to start my eternal family here on earth!!
I’m sooooo excited!!!