Thursday, June 14, 2012

How To Have A Relaxed Pregnancy

My wish for all the pregnant ladies to be out there would be first and foremost, healthy pregnancies and babies. Second after that would be to experience a relaxed pregnancy. Yes, even above a pain free labor or super fast and easy delivery (neither of which are very likely anyhow, so might as well go for 9 months of relaxation, right?).

It's no secret that I'm usually a bit of a worrier and "the sky is falling" type of person. Well then, you can only imagine how worried I was during my first pregnancy. I read too much, listened to too much unsolicited advice, researched too much, and even made too many lists. Yes, there is such a thing as too much list making. When you add "make a baby supply list" to your "to do" list, you've taken it too far. All my fretting and worrying landed me with not much more than a fretful pregnancy, multiple unnecessary visits to the ER because she didn't meet the 'kick count' criteria, and an induced labor because by 39 weeks, I literally just wanted Taylor out of me so that I could be in control of her safety and well being, not my body. That my friends, is my very first piece of advice; keep that baby cooking in there for as long as possible because they're much easier to take care of inside the womb, than outside ;)

My second pregnancy was much more relaxed. I was still working full time and traveling a ton, so as relaxed as one could be in that situation, but in terms of the safety of my unborn baby, I overall was much more at peace with my body and the process of growing a human. In fact when at 10 weeks I suddenly started bleeding profusely on the bathroom floor, I was scared, but I had a feeling that me and my baby would be just fine. And we were.
This third time around though, I am like a different person. So much so that some friends, and even my husband are amazed by my carefree, "wing it" attitude about this pregnancy. The once controlling, type A personality has been replaced by a laid-back woman I myself hardly recognize at times. I've thought a lot about how I got here, and what purposeful steps I've taken to find this balance, so I thought I'd share a few of the things I've done that have personally helped me sit back, relax and enjoy this special time in my life.
  •  Don't read What to Expect When You're Expecting type of books.  Alright, if this is your first time, you're probably going to find it impossible to follow this advice, especially when every relative and friend gives you a copy.  So if you're going to read, just read the first happy parts of each section that describe your baby's growth and development, and steer clear of the secondary sections that explain all the horrible things that could go wrong.  I know knowledge is key, but too much knowledge in the hands of a pregnant woman can be frightful. 
  • On the subject of books, don't read any behavior or sleep books ahead of time, because it's a waste of time.  I tried to get a jump start on my parental education by reading 2 different baby sleep books and it just confused me, it was like reading Latin.  Each baby is different, and you won't know which book and bit of advice is going to suit you and your partner's style best until you meet your baby.
  • Ignore people's silly remarks and comments.  And if you can't ignore them, just agree with them because it totally throws them off.  The other day a grocery checker literally said to me "That's so weird!  I didn't know people still did that!", in reply to me when I explained we weren't finding out the sex of the baby.  After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I just said, "I know, isn't it strange?!  My husband and I are so loopy!"  He sort of just looked at me shocked, when he heard the words he spoke repeated back to him.
  • Have faith, whatever your faith may be.  Millions of women and babies have gone through this process before and have come out alive on the other side.  Have faith in your body that it knows what to do, and if you believe in a creator, have faith that He has a plan for you and your baby.  
  • Be wary of lists.  I laughed the other day when I looked at a "suggested baby registry list" because it was just so overwhelming, and I breathed a sigh of relief that this time around I knew what was really necessary and what to steer away from.  If it's your first time, take an experienced friend or sister along with you when registering to help you navigate through what is really necessary and what is superfluous.
  • Let go of the notion that it all has to be done before the baby arrives.  With both my first two pregnancies I just HAD to have the nurseries all in check before the babies arrived, as well as 1 million house projects completed.  This time around, I'm not even sure we'll do a nursery to be quite honest.  10 weeks to go, and well I don't know.  The point is, yes, it will be crazy and hectic after a baby is born.  But there will also be down time and hopefully you'll have help.  People will bring you meals, a mom or mother in law will come and help you do laundry.  You're hands will be busy a lot, and you'll be tired, but you most likely will also look forward to having something or some project to work on and occupy your time during the 10 naps a day a baby takes.  Or maybe that's just me...;)
  • Lastly, indulge yourself!  Take extra time for yourself, buy yourself that maternity dress that will help you feel pretty during this time, even if it's not practical.  Eat the extra piece of pizza every now and then, and for goodness sake don't weigh yourself!  No other time in your life should you take the opportunity to be a bit selfish and indulgent as when you're pregnant.  You're growing a human after all, and that's pretty darn spectacular.  You deserve every bit of indulgence you can afford.     
I hope this "list" is and can be helpful to you or a friend.  I can honestly say that aside from the normal emotional ups and downs of pregnancy hormones, this is one of the happiest and most relaxed times of my life.  It's taken me two pregnancies to get here, but for the first time I am truly enjoying being pregnant.  And please, if you have any other tips to add to this list, share in the comments!

This post is sponsored by Disney Baby. I'll be joining the Disney Baby blogging team next month, and look forward to sharing these kinds of stories (projects/ideas/etc) with you over there! Stay tuned for more details!


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