20 weeks. Halfway there.
I've learned a lot of things throughout this pregnancy so far. Things about babies, things about the human body (spoiler alert: it's f**king crazy), things about Mike, and things about myself. Here's just a few I wanted to share.
1. Everyone's experience is different: Yes, there are a ton of similarities between women's pregnancies, and you may talk to a few women who have shared nearly identical symptoms and experiences as you. Google is not always necessarily your friend, and can sometimes initiate more panic than necessary. That's not to say I haven't had my fair share of late night rendezvous with the search engine, let's be real. But I've learned that just because someone I know experienced one thing and I didn't, doesn't necessarily mean something is wrong. I've chosen to limit my informational intake as to not overload myself to a few resources, namely TheBump.com, my doctors office, my mom, and close friends.
2. The human body is cray. Like really cray: During my first trimester, it felt as if a host took over my body. It wasn't subtle, or a gradual transition. It was swift, all-consuming and said "What up, girl! I'm about to make you feel like absolute shit for the next few weeks. Sound good? K." My doctors confirmed that "morning sickness" is not necessarily the most accurate term, as my nausea was more of an all-day, but let's REALLY rev it up starting at about 4pm experience every afternoon. Walking incline level 2 on the treadmill felt like I was walking up Mount Everest and Sour Patch Kids were the only kind of kids I could stomach being around and keep up with. I finally turned a corner around week 14, the host said it's farewell (for now) and old Rach was back, baby!!
3. Bigger boobs are no joke: I fully understand now why my larger chested friends often told me to not complain about my barely there size 34, slighty B-ish boobs.
4. Listen to your gut: This has been the biggest piece of advice I've received from many mama friends and it's one I want to carry with me into motherhood. There are so many unknowns when it comes to this space and like I mentioned before, the experience is different for everyone. Your body is unique, your kid is unique, your family is unique. It's important to keep this in mind when making decisions on what's best for each of those things. Over the last few months this has meant mostly reflecting on what seems to be working best for me (physically and mentally) and Mike and I having conversations about what we think will be best for us in the future.
5. If it hasn't already, your relationship will officially enter the #nofilter zone: "Those look fun." That's what Mike said to me as he noticed the stirrups on the bed at our first OB/GYN appt. We did a deep dive with our doctor on all things related to the female anatomy and Mike still can't seem to get over the fact that there isn't another better term for a pap smear, but I have to say he has been present and engaging in all aspects of this experience so far. It's not that I ever doubted he would be but you can't ever be too sure just how your male partner will react to this new territory of physical changes and experiences. There have been tears, and moments of self-doubt, worry, and funky physical occurrences, but I have been lucky that Mike has been by my side, with curiosity rather than distaste, and support rather than opposition. Ultimately, he's not carrying our child and can never fully relate to that experience, but it's been amazing watching him try his hardest and I know it's not just for me. It's coming from a place of genuine excitement and love for our family. So thank you, Mike for being there, and for patiently pressing pause on Netflix multiple times an episode because I have to pee every five minutes.
6. Things are going to be different soon, and that's okay: Another sentiment I've heard often is the enjoy _____ now. I recently stopped at Target after a shoot to "pick up a few things" and much to my delight, the new Magnolia Home holiday display was up and I took my time wandering the space, sniffing pine scented candles and admiring Joanna's effortless table settings (ugh I love her so much). All of a sudden the "enjoy this now" phrase flashed into my brain. While I initially laughed at the idea of myself having this revelation in the middle of Target, I'd be lying if I said it didn't scare me a little bit. This pressure of having to savor every single moment of independence before the baby comes because once he or she is here, everything will change. I mean when it's put like that, doesn't it just sound daunting? But there is truth in it. Things are going to change. A lot. But it'll be a new normal, sure to be filled with its fair share of stress and chaos, but also filled with new forms of immense joy and love.**
Here's to the next 20 weeks. Can't wait to meet ya, Baby C.
**My friend Molly sent me this article to read after I wrote this post and I felt like it really resonated with some of the things I mentioned and is just an overall great read. Wanted to include it here for any soon-to-be or current mamas! Read Here