9 things you should know before getting pregnant

I recently found a bunch of old journal entries I wrote while I was pregnant with Journey 12 years ago.

Some of them are funny, some bittersweet – and a few are worth sharing here.

Since I didn’t start this blog until Journey was two, there’s really not much pregnancy content to be found here. I figure it’s worth sharing a post or two from those early days in my motherhood journey.

Below, you’ll find excerpts from an entry I wrote when I was 7 months pregnant, feeling pretty round and ready to spit some truths. I even dug up these old belly pics to go with it!

There may be some pregnancy-related TMI here, so beware. Anything in quotes is verbatim from long ago, prego me. Here are 9 things you should know before getting pregnant:

1. Your belly button may end up looking like a pig nose. “When hubby first noticed it; he said it with a mix of horror and amusement. When I protested, he took a close-up photo to show me. Now I know that he’s right. My navel resembles a PIG NOSE! E said it’s the cutest pig nose he’s ever seen, but still. A pig nose! OMG.”

2. It will sound like you’re complaining a lot – and that’s normal. “I am not complaining about any of this. No matter how much it might sound like I’m complaining, I swear I’m not. I love being pregnant! She is totally worth all of this. Even if I end up a flabby, wrecked mess at the end of it all, it will have been totally worth it. Not that I’m giving up, mind you – I’ll be doing my best in the spring to get into MILF shape as soon as possible – and breastfeeding my butt off, hopefully literally – but I am very aware that there will be some things I can’t change or fix. And I’m okay with that. She’s soooo worth it.”

3. If you’re vain at all, it’s best to wait until you’re older before you get pregnant. I was so glad that I didn’t get pregnant when I was young and hot. Not that I was old and hideous at 39 when I got pregnant, but you know what I mean. “Even before we got pregnant, I was already starting to see little telltale signs of aging when I looked in the mirror. Now, I can blame all the changes on the higher cause of having a baby. That’s far more palatable – and nobler – than just the usual excuse of getting old! This will be especially reassuring in May when I turn 40.”

4. There are other good reasons for waiting until you’re older to have a baby. “I’m glad I waited for other reasons, too – not just vanity or aesthetics. I feel like I’m much more mellow and relaxed now than I would have been in my 20s or even early 30s. I have lived enough to have a very well-developed sense of faith in the universe and belief in the power of good – not to mention confidence in myself, in E, in us as a couple, etc. I’m not worried about a lot of the stuff I would have worried about had I done this during the traditional childbearing years. At the same time, I am also not worried about many things that women in my age bracket (aka “advanced maternal age“) typically worry about when prego. For the most part, I’m a chill, relaxed and peaceful mama.”

5. Your boobs will get bigger than you can possibly imagine right now. “Looking back, I can’t believe I thought my boobs were big at 6 weeks pregnant. HA! I had no idea what big was! It’s not until you’re standing in front of the mirror in awe, feeling like a natural woman right out of the pages of National Geographic, that you understand what big is. They are humongous. I wish I was exaggerating!” (I have to laugh, reading this, because my milk hadn’t even come in yet. I had no idea what I had in store!)

6. Other body parts will get swollen and change color. “Things are getting distorted, distended, puffy, engorged, enlarged, sore and more. It’s not just the obvious things, either. Every time E sees me naked, he appears startled and taken aback. He covers well with humor and sweetness and says I am the cutest prego he has ever seen, but at the same time I can tell he’s somewhat horrified. It’s okay! Our baby will be totally worth it. I’m not so worried about having a cute tight little bod of my own anymore – I will be more than content with strong and healthy. And yes, there are good days when I feel glowy, cute, round, adorable, womanly, ripe, fertile, beautiful… but those days are not as often as one might hope. I just keep my focus on our little one, and any of the bad stuff simply falls off my radar screen of concern.”

7. It helps to research and take a childbirth class together. We loved our Bradley Method childbirth class. “We are seriously considering having this baby at home. At the very least, we’ll be waiting to go to the hospital until we are pretty much crowning – the last possible second. E is very confident about having her at home, but I still have a few nagging concerns (mainly due to my age and “what if” concerning baby’s safety). I have loved the books I’ve read on natural childbirth, most notably The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Better Birth by Henci Goer and my Bradley Method student handbook. I want to read a book or two specifically on homebirth now. We’re also going to be talking to midwives in the coming weeks and likely making the switch from OB care to the midwifery model. I’m excited about that, but the pushback from well-meaning family and friends has been horrendous.”

8. Being pregnant changes others’ perceptions of you. “Suddenly I’m in the mom club – a cult-like group I’ve always witnessed from afar with a mixture of horror and curiosity. It’s a very odd feeling suddenly being included! All of a sudden, people who never showed interest in me before are giving me all kinds of advice and support, whereas friends I connected with for years have withdrawn somewhat and now see me as a “breeder.” It’s such a strange thing because I still feel like I’m the same me – just me with a baby in my belly. I still feel like our life would have been wonderful either way – just in a different way. I haven’t turned my back on everything I believed to be true before, I just wanted to open myself up to this possibility… and I am SO glad we have. It’s amazing! Not better, just different.”

9. Strangely, some people will want to rain on your parade. Whether it’s friends who ask me if my mermaid belly tattoo is destroyed yet (“and if not, she soon will be” said with malicious glee) or work acquaintances who tell me how HARD it’s all going to be – “you can’t imagine how hard,” or family members who threaten not to come for a visit if we decide to have our baby anywhere but in a hospital (you get one guess who made that threat). It’s all rather annoying. Sure, there are negative aspects to pregnancy, birth and parenting, and we’ll have plenty of things to work through, but do you really have to point them out for me? I realize that I’m in a pretty blissed out state over the baby, so maybe people feel like they need to help me see the other aspects of all of this, but come on. I’m pregnant, but that doesn’t mean I’ve become a total idiot. Don’t people realize I am intelligent enough, and we as a couple are intelligent enough, to figure these things out?”

There you have it – a guest blog post from past, prego me.

Do you think I should share more of these past journal entries here? Let me know what you think in the comments below or over on Instagram or Facebook!

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About the author

Proud and loving midlife mama. Lucky and devoted wife. Dog, cat and snake mom. Travel nut. Natural born writer. PR and social media pro by day - tattoo doula by night.
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