February 7, 2018

What No One Prepares You For With Pregnancy & Motherhood

As a new Mom, there's obviously a lot of hormones and feelings involved.
Throughout your pregnancy your body changes and does so many crazy new things that you wonder if anything you're thinking, doing and feeling are normal. I want to start by saying, that I think normal is such a vague word when used talking about these things. I think that everything you feel and think is OKAY- because at the end of the day we're growing a human and responsible for another person and it's all very surreal.

No one wants to talk about the sad or scary things, let's face it. It's difficult to bring up the fact that you may be feeling a bit on the edge and incomplete. 
I experienced many things while pregnant- highs, lows, scares and joys. I did a lot of reading, and I wish more people talked about the things that aren't rainbows and butterflies and kicks and gender reveals. I wanted to read "this is really tough right now- but you'll make it through. You've got this Mama!" So thinking about the things people don't talk about inspired me to write a post about things you should be prepared for- and I'm not talking about packing the hospital bag.

Some of you reading this may not be Mom's or going through any of this and this post is still an essential read- because I'm sure you still know one. Share this with them- because it's all important to remember as they are going through these new journeys of life.

The sonogram picture you get at your appointment may be your last one.
- I'm speaking for both Chuck and myself when I say that we always looked forward to getting pictures of Bella when we went to our next appointment. Due to my complications and high risk, every appointment we had a sonogram to check on things and they always gave us a ton of pictures. Once I entered the hospital for bedrest at 26 weeks, we never got a picture again. We were told we could ask, but were always given the run around and never ended up getting more. In the grand scheme of things, this is a minor "problem"- but I wish I would have been prepared for it. I always put the new one of Bella at my desk and on my nightstand and really looked forward to having those keepsakes. 

All the celebrating takes a back seat sometimes.
- If you know me at all, you know I LOVE a celebration. I was SO excited for my baby shower and celebrating with all our family and friends. When we had to cancel it, I cried and cried and was super sad the day it came and I was stuck in a hospital bed. Sometimes, all the exciting things take a backseat to the safety and best thing for your child and your body. 

There will be tears. Lots of them. 
-Happy tears, tears of confusion, thinking you're a can all happen. The day Bella was born and second she entered the world my body couldn't stop shaking. Between the adrenaline and emotions I was so overwhelmed and happy and relieved. I cried tears of joy and then it went to being scared seeing her in the NICU. Once Bella was home and we got over the initial "Holy crap she's all ours and we have to do this alone now" I experienced so many emotions. One night I had a breakdown while Chuck was at work and honestly began to think that I couldn't do this. I couldn't possibly be a Mom because I was super overwhelmed and feeling like everything was a struggle and it was only the second week she was home from the hospital. My mind raced, I texted my girlfriends with children about everything under the sun and wondered if I would ever feel okay again. I came across this book The Magic of Motherhood on Amazon and just from reading the description decided I needed it to feel sane. That sounds dramatic, but it was reassuring to hear that I wasn't alone. The book is full of stories about your world flipping upside down in the most magical way. I'm not that far in to it yet and I've already decided that it will now be a part of my gift at every baby shower I attend from here on out. I've cried all over again reading the stories because I've felt these emotions described and Mom's are so kick-ass- it's incredible. 

It's okay to not always love what you're going through.
- Bella's health and safety was always my number one priority and thought when we had scares during my pregnancy, but to be honest I hated all those extra appointments. I don't enjoy being on the phone making appointments to begin with- I get extreme anxiety when it comes to setting things up and my phone was constantly ringing about test results and this specialist and the next bit of information. I was so overwhelmed and usually bawled after each scary call. 
I've now cried at 2 pm on a Tuesday because my baby is crying and I don't know why and it's hard to think you don't know your own child sometimes yet. I don't love those parts of motherhood. But it's okay- because I love my child and forget about those Tuesday afternoons when she wakes up smiling at me the next morning. It's okay to not love every second of this- it's not easy being a Mom.

My point in all this is to give yourself grace and try to enjoy every high and soak in every kick and baby babble. Pregnancy and motherhood is a beautiful thing, but not every day is wonderful. It's okay- you've got this Mama!

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