5 Ways to Enjoy Your Pregnancy
This ain’t my first rodeo.
Pictures of my children to show you that it is in fact, my third rodeo. And because I can’t resist just sharing some of my favorite pictures that have no context other than they’re my cute kids.
I feel so weird that this is my third pregnancy. How can I almost have three kids? I’m so not qualified. At all. I still want to go to Warped Tour (yeah I love 2008 emo music). I refuse to get rid of any old cheerleading nationals t-shirts. There are a lot of things that aren’t very “mom” about me. Especially to 3 kids. Although one of the girls at youth group endearingly calls me a “cringey mom” (whatever that means) and it took me a while to learn the Juju on That Beat dance. So I guess I am very “mom” in some regards.
I have learned some things though, through the 27 months I’ve spent pregnant. (By the way, it’s pretty obvious I am not a doctor. Don’t take this as medical advice! If you have any questions about how to have your own personal healthiest pregnancy, reach out to your physician.)
I mentioned earlier that it took me a while to learn the Juju on That Beat dance. Truth: still working on it. Even more embarrassing truth: I work on learning this dance and similar dances. Honestly. My kids and I love to have dance parties and I would much rather have a dance party with them than play Monopoly Jr. for the 100th time. I’m too cheap to go buy Just Dance for our XBox, so we look up Just Dance videos on Youtube and work on them. (Highly recommend. If your kids are under 6, chances are they won’t know the difference. #momhack)
Any form of physical activity is crucial (if your doctor allows it!) to a healthier, more fun, more bearable pregnancy. I have stayed fairly active through this pregnancy as I mentioned before, and I have noticed a huge difference in my aches and pains in my hips/back/etc. even on the days I take off from walking or going to the gym.
Dancing helps me stay active on days where the gym sounds miserable, and gets a lot of the kids’ energy out so they can take a nap, or at least sit still through a movie so I can take a nap.
I also feel like dancing is also one of the best ways to let loose when everything feels hard (which it all feels hard so much in pregnancy!). The wise Meredith Grey is known to dance it out when things get too tough to handle, and that philosophy is one of my favorites. The belly is also a great prop when you don’t really know how to dance. (Just hold it, and shake it around a little bit. Works like a charm.)
I can whip and nae nae with the best of ’em.
If you have the opportunity to do so, sleep in or take a nap. Whenever you get the chance. Especially if you have other kids. I turn into a monster when I don’t get enough sleep (ask my husband). If going to bed earlier is more your jam, do that instead.
I’m sure you’ve noticed by now if you’ve been pregnant, that it makes you way more tired than usual. You are growing a human for goodness sake. Pushing the snooze button one more time is sometimes good for the soul.
Sometimes sleep is not achievable (we work, we have other kids, we have laundry that hasn’t been folded in 2 weeks..) but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to fill yourself up! We all know the saying “You can’t pour from an empty cup” and it rings so true, especially during pregnancy. So fill your cup with what makes you feel rested. More times than not for me, that is sleep. Do what works for you (but also don’t be afraid to turn on a movie for your toddler and close your eyes for an hour.)
Eat, but not too much
We get it by now. I love food. I really do. Maybe too much (I am way off the chart for weight gain recommendations) but to be fair, I have been heavier at the end of every pregnancy. That’s why I have to add in the disclaimer about “not too much.” More for my own good than anyone else’s.
Especially in the first trimester, it is so important to make sure you are eating enough! I never got horrible morning sickness (or really any at all), and I think part of that has to do with making sure to eat small meals throughout the day. The thought of chicken or eggs or anything semi-healthy sounded awful to me, so honestly I ate a lot of cereal, oatmeal and apples in the first trimester. Just listen to your body!
Don’t be scared of gaining weight either. I still struggle with this. (True story time: I stepped on the scale for the first time in a week last night, after not going to the gym all week and almost cried. This should be another tip. Stay away from the scale.) My husband is always reminding me that pregnancy looks different for every person. It’s not fair to anyone for me to be comparing my weight gain with someone else’s. There are so many things that are worse in life than not being able to fit in my pre-pregnancy jeans while 8 months pregnant (or even 8 months after the pregnancy).
Buy (or borrow) the maternity clothes
I don’t know why I (and a lot of other moms) was so anti-maternity clothes. Especially today. Tents that hide the belly are a thing of the past, and there are so many cute options. Even when you don’t want to spend a ton of money. I tried making it far this pregnancy without buying any maternity clothes, mainly for budgeting reasons. (I would much rather use our clothes budget on our cute tiny children then on jeans I hope I don’t fit into too much longer after the baby is here.)
When I gave in and bought myself a couple of pairs of jeans…game changer. Most of my pre-baby jeans are high waisted, so the little rubber band trick only worked for so long. I only had to buy two pairs of jeans, and a couple of dresses and I was set. Now, I am wearing a lot of the same thing over and over again, but learning to get creative with how I pair things together and accessorize. I am looking forward to wearing non-maternity clothes again, but also am 100% okay with wearing what are essentially denim sweatpants for the next 5-6 weeks.
Here are a couple of my favorite maternity staples.
Document Your Journey
This time around, I have taken way less bump pictures than with my previous two pregnancies. This is partly due to the fact that I have less time to make myself look presentable, and also because I just am not a huge fan of having my picture taken while pregnant. Regardless, I am documenting as much as I can through journaling, this blog, and the occasional bump photo.
At the risk of being a total cheese ball, pregnancy is such a beautiful time of bonding with your baby. This is the perfect time to write letters to your son or daughter, spend time daydreaming in the nursery and soaking in every scent of baby laundry detergent as you wash their clothes for the 3rd time. There really is no better smell than Dreft.. really.
I love looking back at pictures of being pregnant with Micah, and journal entries I wrote even in just week 10 of this pregnancy. Chronicling your journey will help the time move a little bit faster, and help you take time to realize all of the excitement that comes with growing a human.
Take Everyone’s Advice with a Grain of Salt (Bonus! #6)
Yes, even mine. Take it all in stride and know how to advocate for yourself and your baby during your pregnancy. Don’t let the latest articles on Facebook that your crazy second cousin posted scare you. Pray about it. Do a little googling. Make educated decisions for yourself. You’re growing a human! And you’re doing a great job.
If you feel unsure, or feel like it’s just too tough – take my first piece of advice and dance it out.