What I was really thinking as a pregnant mom-to-be
I would have never admitted most of this while I was pregnant. It’s much easier to share now, so I’m just going to go for it.
“Am I doing this right?”
I was obsessively thinking about being pregnant. If you’re pregnant and reading this you probably know what I mean. Everything I ate, drank, touched, or merely looked at was met with the ever present question, “How does this impact the baby?” It was healthy, I suppose. I think it’s how we biologically prepare to keep our littles safe while on the inside and then later on the outside!
I was nervous to embrace the title “mom”.
Let’s be honest: there are a lot of stereotypes out there around moms, and I just didn’t want any part of being put in a box or being told I couldn’t do something or being perceived as unable to do something. I thought embracing the title would mean I wasn’t going to be a cool mom but it didn’t take me long to realize it’s the coolest title and privilege in the whole wide world. I wish I had embraced it earlier!
What was I afraid of?
I wasn’t as anxious about everything as much as I thought I would be. This became especially true once Ainsley arrived!
I actually was able to keep my cool more than I thought I would. This is in thanks to
1. A mindful birthing/parenting class we took early in my pregnancy (tldr/summary — drop your expectations about everything in life because when we have expectations/ “a way” we think things will be — we are filled with disappointment. If we don’t create expectations for events, relationships, etc. we instead hold space for things to be the way they were intended and that’s a much happier and easier way to live). We took our class with Lorraine Rocco here in Raleigh and if you’re local I highly recommend her class. It’s worth the investment and commitment! She truly taught us life skills, not just parenting skills.
2. My husband. He’s pretty good at hearing my concerns and calming them. Now is the time to make sure you’re good at communicating with your spouse. It gets harder as the pregnancy goes on!
3. Research and committing to science based decisions. I researched things I was curious about and armed myself with (good and true) facts instead of filling myself with uncertainty. There is a lot of good information out there but also a lot of false and misleading information. Use your research skills, gather the information and make a decision that’s best for you and your family.
4. My midwife. She was sent from the heavens. She calmed my nerves and helped me make good decisions and was all-around amazing. I highly recommend midwifery care. We use Cassandra Elder of Oak City Midwifery and I cannot say enough about her. Her model of care certainly impacted the type of mom and person I am today!
Was I eating enough nutritious food?
I felt like the pressure was on to have a prefect nutritious diet and well, pregnancy doesn’t exactly make you 100% crave that. I had a really little appetite my first and second trimester. If not for very frequent Chipotle lunch dates with a mentor I would have really struggled to make myself eat at least a full meal everyday. I usually got the kids meal with brown rice, chicken and mild salsa. That’s all it felt like there was room for in my belly!
Am I going to go into early labor?
We have a number of close friends/acquaintances who have had early babies and I was scared for them when it happened. I thought about this alot as it related to drinking enough water/overdoing physical activity/resting. I really thought about it when I was traveling/when I was in Colorado around 30 weeks simply because that’s where two friends delivered their babies…around 30 weeks. I ended up being fine and having Ainsley at 38 weeks and for that I’m grateful!
I thought about this alot simply because I had anxiety even before being pregnant which meant I was at a higher risk for developing postpartum depression. I took many many many steps to try and minimize my risk to the degree that I was able to control (so much of that wasn’t in my hands). I went off my anxiety medicine while trying to conceive and ultimately made the decision alongside of my midwife and husband to go back on it and I’m so glad I did. I’ll write an entire post about that later.
How am I going to keep my baby close to me when she’s brand new?
I had so many consuming thoughts about this! I think a lot of it came from other moms in other online groups who feared the same idea and talked about it a lot/I saw a lot of this conversation on my newsfeed. There’s a lot of “don’t kiss babies! They will get herpes or RSV!” things floating around out there and that freaked. me. out. big time. I was so heart set on immediate and strong bonding with my baby I was to keep her all to myself (and to her daddy). I wanted her to be close to me so that we established a great breastfeeding relationship. I feared not being able to speak up for myself when I wanted her back from friends or family holding her (as it turns out I’m not very good at this–still). This same anxiety largely contributed to my MISSION to turn my girl from being breech so that I could have a vaginal delivery. I did not want those first moments stolen away by a c-section. More on that later.
A lot of little things.
My anxious brain is pretty good at having a wild imagination. Here are some recurring things that ran through my mind:
What if I get in a car accident and the seatbelt hit my placenta? I had an anterior placenta (front of womb wall) and this always freaked me out.
What is she going to look like? I thought about this so. much.
Am I gaining enough or too much weight?
Is that a kick or gas?
Am I drinking enough water?
Am I going to get to have a vaginal birth?
Am I doing enough kegels?
Will my back hurt like this forever?
Am I going to be able to take a lot of photos of her or will I be overwhelmed?
Will I ever get to take a relaxing bath again?
Will I have postpartum depression?
Will I make mom friends?
How do I convince my mom to move to Raleigh?
What will the birth be like?
Oh my God who is smoking?! Ddon’t they know I’m growing a baby?! Eww nooo it smells!.
Can I have more coffee?
Can I take a nap?
Am I going to be a good mom?
Anyone else think these things? Just me?
I shared in this post 7 things I did to take on self-care while pregnant. The post includes my pregnancy essentials! I’m working on a blog post of everything I registered for so check back in if you want to see what worked for us, what we would pass on and the things I ordered from my nursing chair that first week we brought Ainsley home! Feel free to reach out on instagram if you have any questions or comments! Thanks for reading.