seven things pregnancy has taught me

The past nine months have been the most demanding, challenging, scary, surreal months of my entire life. Every week brings some new wonder or worry with it. There are so many aspects of pregnancy that nobody told me about, and maybe you can't fully understand it until you're experiencing it. Even if that's the case, I want to share my experiences to help others prepare and know they're not alone.

1. The first trimester was almost unbearable. I experienced an exhaustion that I never knew possible and nausea that just wouldn't quite. Every inch of me was achy, sick and tired. By the end of it I felt so unbelievably defeated. Then just when I thought I could not bear it a single day longer, the miracle that is the second trimester happened.

2. I attached to our child almost instantly. I used to think that even if I did have kids I would need to meet them before I was emotionally invested. Honestly, there are many moments even now where the idea of her is still so strange that I don't feel overwhelmed by love. But in those first few days, weeks and months I would have done anything in the world be ensure her safety. From the very moment I first said "I'm pregnant" out loud, I knew that I loved this child and would be devastated if anything happened to them.

3. I am capable of sucking it up. My first trimester I worked very early in the morning and pretty long, physically demanding hours. There were definitely times when it was too much and I'd have to go home early and just lay on the couch, but most days I didn't. Most days I'd take a second, go throw up/cry in the bathroom and then get right back to work. Part of that was my pride being unwilling to be seen differently, but part of that is just proof that I capable of handling more than I sometimes believe.

4. Every single part of my body has been effected. There were weeks that my back hurt so bad I couldn't sit, stand or walk without being in tears. If I sit without my feet being elevated for too long they swell up like balloons. Some days there's so much pressure on my bladder that I literally pee every ten minutes. There was a phase when she was essentially living in my ribs and I couldn't eat more than two bites of chicken broth without feeling like I'd gorged myself on the most lavish buffet imaginable. Each of these experiences has been truly terrible, but more importantly they've all been temporary.

5. It is really hard to sacrifice my entire being for someone I've never met. There are few things I love more than turkey sandwiches and sushi (also, wine and mango margaritas). As of this week, it's been nine months since I've eaten even one tiny morsel of turkey. It's been nine months since I've been able to order something without first making sure there's no soft cheese, or raw sprouts, or under cooked meat. It's been nine months since I've been able to have sushi without stressing that it wasn't properly cooked. It's been nine months since I've been able to share a bottle of wine with friends or have Mexican food and margaritas. It's been months since I've been able to stand on a ladder without being reprimanded, exercised without worrying about over exertion, or taken a shower without wondering if the water was too hot. It's been nine months since I've made one single decision without first considering if it's one the list of pregnancy approved foods, activities, etc. I know, in the grand scheme of life these things don't really matter. I know that nine months isn't really that long and that the health of my child is more important than a turkey sandwich. I know all of that, but that doesn't mean it's not hard. And I think that's legitimate. I think it's OK that every once in awhile I cry because I can't have sushi. I've given up my body to this little person for nearly a year now, and that's hard. It just is.

6. I care about baby clothes,cloth diapers, hair bows and chemical free toys more than I ever thought I could. I never expected to be a crazy cloth diapering parent who reads books on brain development, but apparently I am. Cloth diapers are adorable and I really do want to know what I can do to make my kid smarter.

7. This is an adventure that terrifies and excites me. I cannot process that in no more than five weeks I will be responsible for protecting and shaping a little life. That's the most insane thing ever. At the same time, I cannot wait for Tom, Lana and I to be a family. I can't wait to watch him love her, to see her personality, to have holiday traditions and bedtime routines that she one day tells her kids about. I can't wait to do my very best to create a little space in her life that she knows is full of love, grace, peace and joy.

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