Before I start, I just want to set a disclaimer I am not now, nor have I ever been, any sort of medical professional. I have no medical training or education. I am simply sharing my own thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
Looking back on my first pregnancy, even my second…possibly even my third (sometimes I just don’t learn until the fourth time around, I guess), there are so many things I wish I knew. So, I thought I would take a moment to share them with you. Here are the top ten things I wish I knew the first time I got pregnant.
1. You Don’t Need Many Ultrasounds
You do not need 100 ultrasounds. Yes, they are great, and it’s amazing to see the baby. However, it can cause a lot more stress than it can help. We all stare at the screen, basically holding our breath, hoping and praying baby looks good, and everything else they’re looking at in there. Stop and enjoy the few that you get. Don’t stress; if they were worried, they would send you for those extra ones.
2. You Can’t Avoid Stretch Marks
You can’t avoid stretch marks (unless you were genetically blessed). There’s very little information that is scientifically backed that can make them not happen at all. You can do things that could lessen their intensity or not make them so painful/itchy, but nothing can truly stop them altogether.
3. Don’t Scratch Your Stretch Marks
While we are already talking about stretch marks – DO NOT SCRATCH THEM. I know they are itchy, I know, but don’t scratch them – doing this can make them worse. If you really have to itch, take a damp cloth and rub it on them. Add a little pressure, but not ‘rip your skin off’ pressure.
4. Stop Wearing Your Pre-Pregnancy Clothing In The Second Trimester
Put your pre-pregnancy clothing away. For the love of God, I know you don’t want to let it go, but once you start to show, you’re going to stretch it and you may not notice at first. But you’re going to be real upset once you are no longer pregnant and the belly on everything is stretched out.
5. You Don’t Have To Spend A Fortune On Maternity Clothing, Either
You don’t necessarily need to spend hundreds of dollars on maternity clothing. Go check out your local thrift shop and check buy-and-sell websites. Accept the hand-me-downs. Maternity clothing can be so overpriced and you only wear it for a short time. (Okay, well, maybe the pants you’ll wear for a while after having the baby. I know I wore my maternity jeans for months after. They are so comfortable.)
6. If It’s Baby Number 2 Or More, People Don’t Get As Excited
So, this one is for subsequent pregnancies. People don’t care as much about your second or third pregnancies. From my personal experience, they’re shocked at the fourth! Not in a rude way, but you’ve been there, you’ve done that. It’s exciting, yes, but it’s not the first, so it’s an old story. You know what you’re doing now. They don’t ‘need’ to loom and awe over you.
7. It’s Not Like T.V.
Your water does not break as it does in the movies and T.V. It will not be this huge gush of water soaking your clothing, shoes, and the floor. Yes, there can be a big gush, but it’s not as dramatic as movies and T.V would make you think.
8. You’re Hormonal, Not Crazy
You aren’t crazy, you’re hormonal. I promise there is a difference. Your body is changing everything right now and this includes your hormones. You are going to laugh, cry and get mad all in the same hour and it’s normal. You’ll get back to normal a couple of weeks after having the baby. For now, find something soothing like yoga, meditation, or a hot bath to help you keep yourself level. (If you are concerned about your emotional and mental well-being, please do seek the attention from a medical professional.)
9. Mommy Brain Is Real
Your memory does actually suck right now. ‘Mommy brain’ is a real thing. It happens because during pregnancy your brain actually shrinks a little. And a little more than that if you are preeclamptic. Change in brain size during and after pregnancy are normal.
10. It Flies By
Even though nine months feels so far away, it’s really not a long time. It will fly by, and before you know it, your baby will be here. So take all the pictures, write it all down, and enjoy every moment.
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Ashley Cirka of Canada and originally appeared here. You can follow her journey on Instagram, Facebook, her blog, Twitter, and Pinterest. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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