It just doesn’t seem real that in around 10 weeks, Baby Girl will be here. It also doesn’t seem too long ago that we were even thinking about having a kiddo of our own… and my teeny mound of a belly has now grown into something much larger and I am so proud of this body.
People seem to be surprised that a pregnant woman keeps gets bigger. (Hello! That’s the point!) And it continues to surprise me when people (mostly women actually, which is the craziest part to me) say well-meaning things that are actually rude, personal, and offensive.
For instance, my husband and I are doing this birthing class at the hospital with other first-time parents. We’re learning a lot and we leave the class horrified/amazed/excited each time!
The woman who runs the class is a L&D nurse and obviously knows her stuff. In our first class, she kept mentioning her diet and how she’s been able to lose a bunch of weight. It was a casual thing but also a boasting, “A-ha, I found the secret!” sort of way of talking about it. But as the class went on, she continued to talk specifically about how we, as first-time mothers, can lose the weight quickly after the baby comes. And, “Don’t be like me, I gained 55 pounds. This is too much weight, I struggled to get it off, this is too much to eat, etc. etc.”
If the other women are anything like me, we’re very aware of our bodies in this time of transition and change. We’ve also feared what our bodies will be like, look like, feel like after the baby is born. But for a nurse who delivers LIFE into this world to harp on weight and already having us think about how we’re going to lose the weight after giving birth, is horrifying to me.
Aren’t there more important things to worry about? Shouldn’t my focus be on learning how to navigate caring for a new human and learning how to be my own person and heal from delivery and find time to sleep, eat, communicate with my husband? I don’t know how to breastfeed, tell me that. I don’t know what an epidural, a tear, and the emotions of seeing my baby for the first time will feel like, let’s talk about that. How do I wrap a swaddle? When do I feed the baby purees? What are my child care options? What are my postnatal mental health care options?
But, this woman wants to give me tips on how many calories I can burn by breastfeeding and that’s why we should do it. Only drink water and don’t eat too many carbs. Not just once, but let’s continue to harp on this and “I hope you don’t end up like me.” Listen, this is information we should be told because that means if we’re burning X calories to feed our child, of course we should be eating more.
“You’re getting bigger every time I see you!” “Look at you, getting so big!” I know what you mean, but that’s not very helpful. I’m very aware I’m getting bigger. I feel it, I see it, my clothes and body tell me.
“Are you going to nurse? Because I just know how much time and energy that takes!” – Said from someone in my workplace. Is this judgement? I feel like they’re already judging me for my work slacking in the future.
“Just wait until you start swelling!” Gee, thanks. I’m enjoying this time, actually. I love feeling the little (and big) kicks and I’m a freaking rock star for growing life. Swelling? It’ll probably happen.
Thanks for letting me rant. (Oh wait, this is my blog!) Just saying that we should be more compassionate with our stages of life. Don’t rub my belly, I am not a genie. I won’t grant you three wishes. And I will not touch your belly, either. Being pregnant is not easy and it’s also amazing!
I’m very happy to talk about non-body-based compliments in all stages of life. Why do those go out the window because I’m clearly pregnant? Let’s focus on that (You look great, how are you feeling? What are most excited about? You’ll be such a great mom because __…)
Anyway, let’s get to it. Here’s the latest with me:
— Cravings: Fruit! I’ve always liked fruit, but these days I’m eating around 4-7 servings per day. I still can’t eat peaches (which actually sound really good!) because of a couple of *ahem* incidents, but otherwise I’m especially loving blueberries, oranges, and pineapple.
— Feeling (Physically): *Knock on wood* I’m still feeling really good! I’ve been combatting some SI joint pain, but regular stretching and getting up out of my chair to walk around helps. Tired, but working through it (because I know it won’t get easier!).
I’m thankful to still be active and I joined the student rec center for a month because a) it’s so dang hot! b) swimming feels really good. There are community members who also belong to the gym, but it’s on a college campus, so I’m always wondering if they think I’m a pregnant college student (I should be so flattered!).
I’m still traveling for work. I have two more trips (I’ll be 32 and 33 weeks), then I’ll be able to stay put for the home stretch! I’m loving sneaking into the nursery just to look! It’s just about done!
— Feeling (Emotionally): It’s a little bit of a “wtf – only 10 more weeks???” and also “omg just 10 more weeks!!!”
— Things No One Told Me, But I’m Finding Out: Sleeping is beginning to get uncomfortable, but not in the ways I anticipated. I’ve read about the back pain, the baby kicking me, and the always-full bladder. But, I didn’t realize my nose would be so stuffy, it’d be so uncomfortable to breathe. And I didn’t know my restless legs would be the last thing keeping me up… always. trying. to kick.
Those breathing techniques they teach you? Not just for childbirth, I think. *breathe in… heeee… breathe out… hooo* I also use it to stand up after laying down, to catch my breath after doing too much or, sure, eating too much!
The hunger. But, oh, the fullness. They say to eat small meals throughout the day because your pregnant stomach kind of runs out of room. But that leaves me hungry all the time… like, every time, I feel like I’ve never been so hungry in all of my life! Eat too much, and I feel a fullness that reaches my back. Who knows how to balance this because I haven’t been able to conquer it?
My dogs do sense something’s up, which is insane! But, they don’t see anything new other than an extra cushion attached to me. We haven’t been letting them in the nursery very much, but sometimes they’ll find a way in and dart right for the basket of toys. Their favorites are the fleece blankets with a stuffed animal attached.
Thanks for checking in with me (us!). We’re so excited and want to continue enjoying this beautiful time.