Everyone is an expert. Seriously, never in my life have I received more unsolicited advice than during pregnancy.** Don't get me wrong, some of the advice is great-- even super helpful, but at times it becomes really overwhelming. Lots of women (whether they have kids or not) have very strong opinions about pregnancy, labor and delivery, and parenting. Even though it can be difficult, I find the best policy is to listen politely and mentally file the information that seems relevant, while disregarding the rest. Because in the end, every woman's experience is so different, and you are entitled to your unique choices and experiences just as much as the next person.
Feeling baby wiggles is the best thing in the universe. The. Best. Thing. I started feeling the baby around 17-18 weeks, and by 19 weeks my husband could feel him too. Even though sometimes it looks as if a crazy alien has inhabited your body, it is the most amazing feeling. Not to mention that once this starts, you have constant reassurance that not only is there a baby inside of you, but he or she is thriving! I think this is the single thing I will miss most about being pregnant.
You only THINK you want to show sooner. It felt like it took forever for people to notice I was pregnant without me telling them! I think I was around 24 weeks when the first person asked me about it. I know everyone's body is different, and they say you show sooner with subsequent pregnancies. Seriously though, I was so ready to finally look "really pregnant." Then I became "really pregnant." Not that I am complaining, because I am so happy to have this big old belly, but the bigger your stomach gets, the more uncomfortable you become. There is a reason why the baby does most of his growing at the end of this thing! Good thinking, God. Good thinking.
Belly touchers. To be fair, I was warned about this. Still, you can never be prepared for the sheer number of people who want to feel your growing womb. It honestly doesn't bother me for people to touch my stomach, but when I think about it objectively I can laugh at its weirdness. And, to those of you who are "belly touchers," there is no shame, but it is always a good idea to ask mom first if she is comfortable with you invading her space because many women aren't.
The 2nd trimester is a gift from the heavens. If you want to do something, anything that requires any amount of energy, this is your chance! It's a small window ladies, and hopefully you will be lucky and get to experience its pleasantness because I know it doesn't work out that way for everyone. If you do get to experience the wonderful increase in energy and end to sickness these 13 weeks provide, take advantage of it! By the time your third trimester rolls around, you may not have quite as much pep in your step.
Waddling is inevitable. You may think it isn't, but it is. Your center of gravity is shifted in a dramatic way, and it will likely make you walk a little funny. Just go with it.
Things don't always go as planned. This is something I heard often about the birthing experience, but I would like to extend this to pregnancy as well. In my personal case, I was having, by all accounts, an extremely smooth, easy pregnancy...right up until I wasn't. Being put on bed rest at 28 weeks was not part of my plan. Some women have it way worse, and I feel very lucky that my baby seems to be healthy in spite of my difficulties. Still, my message here is that it is important to be flexible. This experience has taught me above all else to listen to my body because as much as my type-A, inner-first born wanted to plan every moment of this experience, it wasn't possible. I think this lesson in unforeseen circumstances is just further helping to prepare me for parenthood!
IT GOES BY SO FAST. I thought for sure pregnancy would drag on and on. You know, because when you are looking forward to something it seems like it takes FOREVER for it to happen, and I have never looked forward to anything so much as I have meeting this kid. I feel as if I blinked and was 7 months pregnant. Cherish each moment that sweet baby is growing inside you because before you know it, it will be time to prepare to welcome them into the world.
Thanks for reading luvvies! I won't try to claim these truths as universal, but they have each been true in my experience. I hope I can at least get an "amen" from a few of you!
**No, the irony is not lost on me that by writing this post I am becoming one of those ladies who gives the aforementioned unsolicited advice :)