What to Really Expect When You Are Expecting

pregnant woman outside
No two pregnancies are the same. I am going to tell you what all of those wonderful books out there… leave out. Here are some of the ups and downs...

by Jennifer Shakeel

This piece is really going to be geared towards all of the first time moms out there. Now if it has been awhile between pregnancies, like it was for me… about 10 years, then you are going to want to read this too because pregnancy was not like I remember it. It wasn’t bad, so I am not going to give you horror stories here. I did love being pregnant, I didn’t like the weight I gained but I did like the experience. I would do it again in a heartbeat. So trust me when I tell you that there will be nothing else in life that will ever compare to the wonders of what you are going through and what you have yet to experience.

But I am going to tell you the truth. I am going to tell you what all of those wonderful books out there… leave out. Understand this first; no two pregnancies are the same. This means that your pregnancy is not going to be like your mom’s or your best friend’s and if you have been pregnant before… this pregnancy will be unlike that one. I don’t know why really, I think it is Mother Nature’s way of preparing you for being a parent. As a parent you have to be prepared for anything and be able to handle whatever your child is going to surprise you with. Well, that is my story and I am sticking to it anyway.

I don’t think it necessary to go all the way back to before you found out you were pregnant. You already know that you felt tired… or you were experiencing a lot of nausea. Whatever it was, you just weren’t feeling like yourself. Congratulations on your wonderful news! I will start with the way you feel. I want you to know right now that every woman out there that has found out she is pregnant, throughout time, is not always happy about the news.

There are a multitude of reasons for a woman to be sad, or angry or upset or feel depressed about being pregnant. Guess what, this is normal. Yes… it is normal. No one is going to tell you that because we have this belief that a woman should be happy when they get that news and when a woman is not happy no one knows what to do or say. You will get through it, and the first time you feel baby move, or hear baby’s heartbeat your attitude will change. With one pregnancy I cried for three days after I found out. I love that child more than anything, and the majority of the pregnancy I was very happy and exciting. But initially I was depressed. You will get through it.

While we are on the topic of feelings I also want to let you know that it is perfectly normal for you to question whether or not you are going to be a good mom. It is normal for you to doubt your abilities. As a matter of fact, I think the women that walk around thinking that they are going to be the best mom in the world are… let’s just say, they are not being honest with themselves. Relax you can do it. You will do it, and you will do it to the best of your abilities and there is nothing wrong with you feeling doubtful right now. As a mom of three there are still days when I sit there and go, “Wouldn’t they be better with a different mom?… Am I screwing them up or doing a good job raising them?”

From your feelings to your body, the fun really begins here. You now that you are going to gain weight. Accept it now, as a matter of fact embrace the fact that right now is the one time in your life when the fact that your jeans don’t fit is a good thing. It means baby is growing, and that baby is healthy. Now there is putting on to much weight, so you do need to keep your weight in check, but don’t worry about gaining weight. Being pregnant is a beautiful thing and 99% of people see it that way also. I know it isn’t easy, I looked in the mirror and just saw myself getting fat… I had to stop myself and remind myself that I was pregnant and I was growing a beautiful baby that I really couldn’t wait to meet.

Along with the weight and the growing baby bump come other… inconveniences, such as aches and pains that you have never had before. Your hips are going to move out, you are going to have difficulty getting up and down, and walking may even become difficult. It is going to depend on the amount of weight you put on, how much water you retain and how big baby is. With my most recent baby, I was not able to eat or poo most of the last trimester. I was uncomfortable. I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t sleep… there were nights that I just cried because I was so tired and so uncomfortable. It passes though. For me, my difficulty was the way my baby was laying and how big she was. I shouldn’t say big, she was very long and she took up all the space that was in there which squished my organs. I tell you that after I had her I was never so excited to go to the bathroom.

You may also find that your libido decreases, or you may find that your libido increases. No one can predict that. But it is something that you are going to have to deal with. In that department you are also going to notice that as the baby bump grows… you are going to have to become more creative and imaginative in that department. Let me give a big disclaimer here, intercourse is not going to hurt the baby. As long as you are careful with positioning and baby is healthy everything will be fine.

You are going to go through a lot of changes both physically and emotionally. Be open to them, and find someone that you can talk to about them. Hopefully you can talk to your partner, if not then a best friend or family member. There are also numerous social sites and forums that you can sign onto and talk to other pregnant women. It is an exciting time, but it can also be scary and you may question the way you are feeling. That is why it is important that you have someone to talk to.

It will be okay, and all worthwhile when you are holding your new baby in your arms for the first time.

Congratulations! Love and Peace

Jennifer Shakeel is a writer and former nurse with over 12 years medical experience.  As a mother of two incredible children with one on the way, I am here to share with you what I have learned about parenting and the joys and changes that take place during pregnancy. Together we can laugh and cry and rejoice in the fact that we are moms!

No part of this article may be copied or reproduced in any form without the express permission of More4Kids © All Rights Reserved

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