The Whole Pregnancy Thing
We decided we wanted to start trying for kids in November 2016. This decision itself was an exciting transition. Basically evolving the teenage mindset of, "whatever you do try not to get pregnant" to "recognizing sex as a fundamental means of conception." Like I said, exciting but also weird.
When I thought about trying to conceive it was all very exciting but I never told anyone we were trying…not even my mom. I didn't quite anticipate the variety of thoughts and emotions and questions that would run through my mind during this stage of the process. Can I even get pregnant? How long will it take? Maybe my body doesn't work like it's supposed to? Are we doing it right? All legit questions but really emotionally useless and kind of draining because I didn't know the answers and I wouldn't know the answers until we were pregnant. But naturally who doesn't think of the worst case scenario? And on top of it who wants the judgement of others to screw with the mind some more.
Fortunately we conceived right away, which I am extremely grateful for. I can't even imagine the emotional roller coaster of having trouble conceiving. Not to mention to toll it takes on the physical side of the relationship. My heart goes out to all these people.
Never the less, once we found out we were pregnant, I (of course) peed on an entire pack of pregnancy tests over the course of the following week…just to make sure. Then booked a doctors appointment to make it official.
To think that an entire pregnancy is all about excitement and love and joy is really not very accurate. In short it was personally testing and just the beginning of an enormous individual learning curve. And I had a good pregnancy. Don't get me wrong, I was very thrilled we were expecting but I don't think I fully anticipated the mental changes I was going to endure during the pregnancy.
Being pregnant was solely the most selfless thing I have ever done. I would't classify myself as a selfish person, but it really is challenging to have to think of someone, especially so fragile, in everything that you do for 9 whole months. That brings forth the endless questions, "Can I eat this? Should I eat this? Can I do this activity? Maybe it's too much? Maybe it's not enough? Is she ok in there? Maybe I'm not eating enough? Maybe too much?" …. This gets exhausting over the course of three trimesters when all you want to do is be your normal self and do your normal things and not have it affect someone else directly.
That being said, I am a better person because of it and I truly think it has prepared me for motherhood.
I was lucky and had a great pregnancy. No morning sickness. No real aches and pains. No swollen ankles. The worst I had was restless nights in my third trimester. But overall, I can't say I thoroughly enjoyed being pregnant. If a stork could deliver our baby, I think I would choose that route. I definitely was't one of those people that felt an incredible immediate connection the moment I found out I was pregnant. It got better as we had the ultrasounds and could literally see our baby bird and hear her heartbeat. It becomes more real then.
The experience really became more alive once we found out we were having a baby girl. We were okay with either a girl or a boy but just simply knowing she was a girl allowed us to build her identity a little bit more. We were able to imagine our life with her. Doing activities with her. Dressing her up. And so on. From our experience I recommend finding out the gender as it really helped me and my hubby to bring our pregnancy to a reality.
The other thing that really helped me was staying active and getting outside. Papa Bird and I biked a ton in my second trimester and it really helped with my overall self-confidence and the pregnancy mood swings. It also allowed me to sleep better at night which also kept the moodiness at bay.
In summary: Conception is harder than you think. Being pregnant was so-so. Find out the gender. Stay fit and active. Be prepared for the learning curve and soak it all in - it truly makes you a better person.
- Mama Bird
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Photo taken by Ashley Legg of First Glance Studios