I had so many ideas of how being pregnant would be, feel and change me but have been more surprised by things ... that have really ... suprised me.
It's time I take this list to my blog 'cause in my head it might not stay much longer. I had several moments of "PB" (pregnant brain) this past weekend, a couple of which were pretty confusing, so I thought I'd better document these important memories sooner than later.
THINGS I'VE LEARNED @ 7 MONTHS
1. Maternity Jeans Are Not The Enemy. When I first started showing, I was carrying really high and continued to wear my usual jeans and other clothes. I figured I'd switch to stretchy pants eventually and continue wearing what shirts I already had. Empire waists help tons, right? Sorta.
It wasn't until a visit to see Amanda in DC around February when she helped me realize the importance and BENEFIT of wearing clothes that were made to cater to my cute belly. We went shopping at H&M and she basically forced me to try on maternity jeans. "OHMIGOSH, these are so cute!! And HERE", as she shoved a maternity shirt in the door of my dressing room, "try this on too!!"
Forcing me to try them on is what it took because I was really resistant. I am so grateful because once I stepped out of the dressing room, I lost my breath at how great they looked and fit. I then realized too how frumpy I'd been looking before my beloved Amanda got ahold of me. She'd also saved a ton of her maternity clothes for me and when I left to go home, I felt more confident about my cute pregnant belly than ever.
2. Doctor's Appointments On My Own. I remember sitting in the waiting room with DK at one of my first appointments. Our surroundings still so new and unfamiliar, I noticed a really pregnant girl across the room reading a magazine and sitting on her own. The door opened, the nurse called her name and the pregnant girl disappeared into the back area... all on her own. I thought to myself then and there "That will never be me. DK has to be here for every appointment. I don't know how she does it."
A couple months later, DK had a shoot on the same morning as one of my regular check-ups and it didn't even phase me a bit. It wasn't until I was in the back with my nurse taking my blood pressure that I realized I was on my own and I started laughing to myself. "Guess I'm a veteran at this now..." Not so bad!
3. Keep Your Circle Small. The greatest pregnancy advice I've received came early on from my dear friend Becky and has stuck with me since. "Everyone's journey is completely different... and everyone will have an idea or suggestion of how you could or should be doing things differently. You've got to stick with what you know is right for you and your baby." Done and done.
Since then, I've kept my circle pretty tight, sharing details about doctor visits, my fears, my thoughts, asking advice and more with a limited number of extremely trusted women around me. It's so easy in this position to allow anxiety and fear to creep in and though I truly believe a lot of people have great and helpful intentions, sometimes too much information can just be ... too much information.
4. Baby Kicks... Whoa. Butterfly flutters, my butt!! Whoever said it felt like "a butterfly's wings fluttering against your belly from within" was pregnant with Mother Theresa. But this kid, this little fragile baby girl has been pummeling and karate chopping pretty much non-stop. Now she's stretching out into my ribs and into odd corners that feel so bizarre, yet so miraculous too.
Last night, Kim and I were sitting on the couch at home watching tv when I paused the movie and exclaimed "Kim!! Look!!" and there we sat for a short bit until Rambette inside there poked and wobbled my entire stomach with great gusto in one big motion. We shrieked so loud, the guys came running in from the kitchen to see what on earth was going on.
And then, last week I was sitting at my desk, leaning in towards my computer as I typed an email when she used her foot to push against the desk ledge, thus pushing ME back from my desk. I shot out of my chair, my heart racing, and ran down the hall to tell Barabara what had just happened.
Yeah ... butterfly flutters ... pffft.
5. I Am Beautiful. I've never weighed more or been this huge size, but have also never in my life felt more naturally me and naturally beautiful. I feel for the first time in my life this here (pointing to my belly) is my ultimate purpose in life, to grow, nuture and protect this beautiful little being no matter what. And because of that confidence, bravery and assurance that God has designated me her mother, I feel BEAUTIFUL.
6. Name Picking is Dern Tough. We can't decide. It's too hard. I thought it would be as easy as picking my "fake name" when playing pretend as a kid? I always picked Carroll, Stephanie and what else Tiffany? (Tiffany is my bff from birth, she would remember this well.) But this one is just really tough though. I want something classic, lovely, fierce, strong and feminine. DK does too, we just have different ideas about what that looks like right now. Like I told you though, we're ok with waiting till we see her face to face and deciding then.
7. I Have A Shopping Addiction. I'm currently on probation, in fact! I couldn't help myself, especially after we found out she's a girl. There are. so. many. cute things for GIRLS! What's funny is that I've never been much of a shopper for clothes myself but for her, I've thrifted, Etsy'd, shopped the Marshall's and Ross circuits and even discovered this new little piece of shopping Heaven in The Heights on 19th St. called Thread.
Not sure when my probation is up, but for now, she has plenty of onesies, leggings, dresses, overalls, a pair of skinny jeans haha, socks, new shoes and some of my baby shoes, and lots of beautiful handmedowns. I should post a photo of the beautiful coat DK picked up for her in Jerusalem. A definite fashion statement.
8. Baby Excitement Is & Isn't Contagious. When planning our wedding, I learned pretty quickly how even though I was the bride, the world and all it's inhabitants did not revolve around catering to me and my needs. While intially I was sure more people would be focused and excited for us, they too had their own things still going on in their own lives. And I've learned the same applies for the preparation of a baby. I love my therapist as she's helped me with perspective on this confusion and having learned a lot from my wedding experience, I've decided I need to be completely realisitic about the who and what I place expectations on. From there, I need to be totally assertive, telling people what I need from them, instead of me expecting them to just know. I think it helps too in balancing those that do bend over backwards with help and excitement, cause those surely exist too :)
9. Baby Dreams. One of the funniest dreams I had early on in my pregnancy was when Beyonce and I were racing around to prep for her wedding. That was nuts but oddly enough, really real! I've also had some pretty spiritual dreams, including one where I saw myself discovering a house full of young women being sold into slavery ... a few blocks from where we live now. I'm still praying on that one. The one I want you to know about most though, is the one I dreamed about HER. I don't remember where I was or who I was with, but I was holding my baby girl. I CLEARLY remember her delicate facial features, her long eyelashes and her breathtaking smile. She was exquisite.
In church a few weeks later, my friend Holly asked if we knew the sex of the baby yet. I told her no, that we'd be finding out later that week. "Have you had a dream yet?" she asked. "Yes, so funny, I dreamed about this baby girl but she ..." Before I could finish, Holly said "It's a girl!" I think your pregnant dreams have beautiful meaning and connection to something deeper and more spiritual than we realize. Pay attention to your pregnant dreams.
10. Cling To My Man. I am so clingy to him! Never before have I ever been a clingy girl who misses people desperately, but the further along I get in my pregnancy, the more I need to hold his hand, stand close to him or even touch his face. Hugs and hugs often are so vital too lately. Pretty hilarious.
I hope I never forget these times. God is so good. More to come :)