Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Things I wish I knew then...

Yesterday I went to my 4th La Leche League (aka Breast Club in my dictionary) meeting to find out more about breastfeeding and it's challenges/joys. I figure since I haven't attended any prenatal classes I should probably learn what I can about what I don't already know (this was my decision because of my E.C.E schooling and experience with infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children... I elected to save the $40+ just because). The main things that I don't know about the labour situation is different breathing techniques (but I know how it goes... in...out... repeat) and breastfeeding. La Leche League has given me a chance to meet other mothers in my area, as well as their stories/questions to learn from, and a chance to ask any questions that I might feel silly asking anyone else. SO YESTERDAY... one of the questions the leader asked us was "What do you know now, that you wish you knew before?" and for most of the mothers it was about things they've learned after having their first child, or for the first time mothers it was about the things they worried about and now feel so confident doing, and for me it was the things no one ever tells you about pregnancy that I wish I had known (and what I've learned). Here are some things that I thought of after the meeting...

1. Watch out body, here comes a HUMAN!
If you've ever been even a tad-bit self-concious about your body, wait to be "in shape" before getting pregnant. I had just stopped working at lululemon and was enjoying the summer of not really putting much effort into working out, and I could feel the difference in my body. I wish I had known that if I had kept up with a regular fitness routine it would make my prenatal body very happy. A bonus is that the less fat you have around the middle, the sooner you can feel your baby kick on the outside and see all those little flip-flop movements he/she makes!! I believe that I most likely wouldn't have had some (key word is SOME) of the pains that I have now (ie: lower back, hip joint, pelvis, ancle/foot etc) because the muscle in that area would be stronger. NOW that being said, some women get those pains regardless, and that is perfectly normal too. I've been able to tough it out for the most part, with a little help from 1. Wayne or someone else massaging me 2. the greatest thing to man, Bio-freeze (it's the cold stuff that chiropractors use on muscles... hard to find but amazing to own). 
In the first trimester (weeks 1-13) when most people don't typically show a bump it's hard not to think "wow I'm just packin on the pounds here eh friend?" but I was fortunate enough to have my mom and close friends (and of course Wayne as well) reminding me "You're not fat, your creating a HUMAN!" For me it was (and still is) hard to eliminate those negitive words from my vocabulary like fat, tubbers, fatty lump-kins, and so on. Also remember, you're not the only pregnant woman out there wishing for a bump to appear so that you can finally justify your pants and tops not fitting. (This can also be really hard when it's winter and you already have to wear 5 layers of clothes just to feel warm, let alone hide the chunky-ness you might be feeling. Winter and pregnancy means two things to me now, work-out-work-out-work out for the endorphins to keep smiling, and sleep when you need it... it's OK!)
This picture (13 weeks) I felt SO huge... now I look at myself and say "damn girl you look gooood" and can't WAIT to be back to that normal body (I hope some day).

Second trimester (weeks 14-27) you slowly start showing and feeling a little bit more comfortable with what's going on, but soon enough you realize what fun it is to try to put socks on, clean the floor, or have sex! The little things in life that you never think about become such a pain-in-the-butt, like getting dressed. PERIOD. This was the moment in my pregnancy when I couldn't help but think "is there really a baby in there? Or am I just gaining weight" because I wasn't getting nice shiny hair, beautiful glowing skin, or anything of the sort. I was breaking out with like 3-4 zits a day (or so it seemed) and I have never been the girl with zits, ever... My hair wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything great, and I learned to accept that things are-a-changin sista! I started working out more and more and when I stopped working I felt 1000% better about myself and comfortable in my ever-stretching-skin.
Check the difference between my 17 week and 27 week photo... CA-RAZY right?!

Third trimester (weeks 28-40+) is great because usually you're full blown bump and people no longer question (in their heads) on the street if you're just fat or pregnant. It's also a great time because you can start dressing your bump, realizing that any shoe that isn't slip on isn't worth wearing, soon enough you give up on jeans (even of the maternity sort), and sometimes... juust sometimes you're skin stops being mad at you and bursting into blemishes. This is also the time that you feel yucky because things REALLY stop fitting (even the stretchy stuff), your feet feel miles away, the pains arrive and sometimes never stop, you get a little waddle on when you walk, the nesting starts, sex is just funny (see: starfish no matter what), some women get stretch marks or varicose veins, and shit start getting real. The count down begins and you've got to learn to accept that your body is growing to create a home for your unborn child, and you can't do a damn thing about that! 
Here is my daring part-nudie photos of 28 weeks and 38 weeks... nuts eh?!

2. Worry-wort-ing doesn't solve anything!
I can worry all I want but what matters is what I am able to action. There are endless things that a first time mother can worry about: is he growing alright in there? is there enough space in our one bedroom condo? will I be a good mother? will he cry so much that I go crazy? will I be able to deal with the lack of sleep? will I get the support I need from Wayne? will I loose all sense of self? will I loose the "baby weight" and have a "normal" body again? will our relationship change for the better or the worse? will I be able to enjoy summer? will I loose all my friends? have I done enough in my life to feel complete ie travel etc? will Bossy be a good boy with a baby around? will the baby die from hair-ball ingestion? do I have everything I need? will I be able to breast feed? 
OK, that's out there, now to what I can action. Learning to accept that there are some things in life that you just can't change is good, hard, but good. I've learned that I will have to make due with the living space that we have and the dog that we have and the support that I have, and most important... that all I have is GREAT! I am so fortunate to have everything I do, and this little baby is going to have all this greatness as well. The worries, they will subside when Wayne and I meet and learn about this little human being and we will succeed as we go. I love that every mother I talk to reminds me "you will make mistakes, you will learn from it, and you won't be perfect but it WILL be ok!" This babe is going to love the crap out of Wayne and me like no other human can... that is enough for me to feel happy.
3. Appreciation for the things in life you forget. 
This is mainly me saying "OMG thank you mom for putting up with all the times I kicked you in the ribs, prevented you from sleeping, made you crave pickles, sucked on your nose etc." When mother's day rolls around, and maybe some days between, you've always got reasons to be thankful for your mother... but when you're pregnant and going through all the same or similar pains she went through (or maybe worse) you have a whole new appreciation for what she (and millions and millions of other mothers around the world) do to bring you into this world and make you a pretty great person. Now, I don't mean to say that fathers have nothing to do with the raising and developing of a child, but the relationship between a mother and her child is SO different and indescribable. No other person, other than your child(ren), will ever hear your heart being from the inside. You will never use your own body to create another human being's brains, heart, lungs, bones, skin, hair, eyes... THINK about all the things that your own mother did with her body, just so that you would exist! Every time I think about the things my body is creating right this second... I am at a loss of words. Pretty.darn.amazing!
My Momma Drea :) 

I also have a new appreciation for Wayne. He has put up with one very moody and emotional me. I'm usually not super emotional or bitchy (I mean we all have our times) but pregnancy is one of those times when you cry for no reason, or get really frustrated about nothing, stressed about silly things, or anxious about (in reality) nothing. Instead of getting angry with me or frustrated as well, all he does is hugs me, rubs my belly, or just sits and cuddles with me and I am constantly reminded of why I love this guy SO freakin' much. He hasn't read a darn thing about pregnancy, labour, child rearing of any sort... but I have learned to accept that he will learn in his own way when the time comes. He has proved to be the rock in our relationship when I am but a kite flying around thinking about moving, baby clothes, diapers, the cleanliness of our house, what to do with the dog...OH the list goes on and on, he reminds me that it will be alright and that as long as we are together we will be one happy family in a small house with a big dog, and it will be great! I couldn't be more thankful to have him in my life... I won the lottery with this one and wouldn't change a thing about him!!

4. Style as a momma. WAY less than you might think it needs to be/is.
I say this because I have learned (with the help of the ladies' blogs I follow online http://lolovelace.blogspot.ca/ and http://www.thedaybookblog.com/ and http://www.natthefatrat.com/ ) that motherhood style doesn't have to be any different than anyone else's normal style. That being said I am one super relaxed, cotton/stretchy loving, laid back stylist that doesn't do the bangles and neck laces and high heels that some mommy's do... BUT I have started to invision what I will look like as a mother. Picture a semi-hippy-semi-stylish, dress-nice-when-I-MUST, don't-give-a-shit-what-you-think momma wearing berks, lululemon leggings, dresses that seem like they're from the kids section, cotton/stretch-all-the-time-to-keep-it-comfy, scarves in summer, curly almost-afro-hair, little-to-no make up, loving life with one UBER cute little fat babe. I think (or at least I hope) that once you're a mom you can also get away with a few things that no other human being would dare to wear together, like weird colours/prints and miss matchy-ness all around. Correct me if I'm wrong but I just CREATED and BIRTHED a human being, I get to wear whatever I want... right?!
Here's a funny one... Halloween 2010 me as mother nature...?

5. I wish I was a journal-er.
I've never been into writing in a journal, and I wish I had thought of starting this blog a LOT earlier in my pregnancy. I think it would have been SO great to look back at what I was thinking when times were not so sunny and bright, and had the comparison to show my little one some day. that being said I'm glad I started none the less! I also wish that I took more pictures of not only my belly but of life as well... I do it now so for that I can be grateful :)

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