When you are pregnant with your first baby it seems like there is so much to do in a small amount of time. You have watched your friends and family members go through this point in their lives and now it is your turn up to the plate. You imagine how you will raise your kids, how you will handle pregnancy and everything else in between. Where do you start? What do you do? Who has the answer?
I mentioned this at the beginning of my pregnancy, and now a week shy of my third trimester, I’m going to reiterate, everyone is different. What your cousin’s, third uncle’s, twice removed, donkey did for their pregnancy is not what you may want or need to do in your pregnancy. There is an abundance of information out there in the form of groups, forums, books, articles, etc that will tell you the perfect way to raise your child/be pregnant and they will also tell you how you will likely screw up your kid beyond belief. It is a lot.
My doctor gave me a folder of articles at my first appointment along with a book about pregnancy through birth. I haven’t cracked open either and don’t plan on it. I didn’t even go out and buy the classic What to Expect When You are Expecting book. I failed in the book reading department is what I’m saying. I’ve kept it to classic beach reads instead. If I have had questions, I have asked my doctor or a trusted non-judgmental friend, fully realizing that this is just what works for me.
I’ve been judged by plenty of people, don’t worry. I haven’t had to adjust my workouts in yoga, pilates, cardio, or piyo yet and have overheard people talking about me outside of classes. I’ve had people make comments about my weight gain either to my face or behind my face. I’ve had people drill me on my birth plan and then critique it. But I’ve done the most important thing for me-I have listened to my body, done what has worked for our lifestyle and worked with my OB/perintologist/cardiologist on a game plan. At the end of the day I’m comfortable with that and what I’m doing for my pregnancy.
Fortunately, every pregnant woman can agree on one thing- everyone else can just STFU. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like enough pregnant women stand up and support one another.
It is easy to get down on yourself for the choices you are making or how you are going about things without everyone else adding to it. The other day I realized I have yet to pull out a children’s book and read to my bump. I do however talk out loud way too much to myself and sometimes to her in general. Instead of listening to soft baby lullabies, I drive with the windows down and sing at the top of my lungs. She kicks me and I poke her back. My Husband and I do not spend hours softly talking to bump, while laying in bed together. In fact, Husband came home after an 18 hour day yesterday and slept on the couch for fours hours before going back to work. Are we failing at bonding with her already? The internet will probably say yes but we are just rolling with what we have.
Put down the judgmental eyes. Put down all the information. Quit with Google. It can suck the life out of you and if you are already pregnant, you know that kiddo (or kiddos) you are hauling around is already doing a good job of sucking the life out of you as it is. You can’t live up to what society wants, so quit trying. There are no perfect answers out there. Plus, we would be a very boring society if we did all settle on one perfect, ideal image. We all want to do what is right for our bodies, unborn babies and children already here. I get that. So just do that. Lower your expectations, put down your phone, go outside, and enjoy the day. No matter what you are doing, I bet you are doing it right, so give yourself a pat on the back for that.