I’ve been thinking about my pregnancy a lot. Probably because those baby emails I get remind me that we’re closing in on the week where Ben has been out as long as he was in – 34 weeks.
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this on the blog before but my feeling about pregnancy is this: I wasn’t done being pregnant. I wasn’t over it. I was still enjoying my pregnancy and in some ways when Ben was born so abruptly, I kind of had to grieve the loss of the pregnancy (and birth) I thought I’d have.
I didn’t have much time to fuss over it though, since Ben was in the NICU.
Still, I enjoyed being pregnant and I’m hopeful to have the experience again. I’ll do so much differently. Here are some of those things I’ve got on my list for the next go around:
Take more regular bump pics.
I always thought I’d be the girl who took regular bump pics and did bumpdates etc. Then I didn’t show for like, ever. When I announced at nearly 20 weeks, I still barely had a bump. I kept thinking that I’d take pictures once I had a bump but then once I did, I wasn’t in the habit. Then I was bumpin’ for 14 weeks and then Ben came early.
It still makes me sad that I don’t really have any bump pics from the day or even the day before I gave birth. I didn’t know he was coming and just like that, it was over. Moral of the story, take that dang mirror selfie every day and have no shame about it.
Hire a photographer for the baby shower.
Okay okay, baby showers are really just for the first baby so I won’t have one next time. But one of my biggest regrets from my first pregnancy was that I have zero pictures from my baby shower. I have one photo of me and my bestie at my baby shower before guests arrived. That’s it. I don’t have a picture with N, with my Mom, with any other friends or family members.
Before my baby shower I had reached out to a family photographer who had given me pricing to come for an hour of the baby shower to take photos. I was worried it would seem to “extra” and people would think it was outrageous that I hired a photographer for such an occasion. But I love photos (and most people who know me, know that). I wish I had done it. It would have been well worth the money.
Plus my friend Christina who hosted it for us did the most amazing job and threw us a Philly themed shower, complete with soft pretzels in the shape of a “B”, tomato pie, hoagies, and my favorite cupcakes. It was perfect and I’m sad there are no photos.
Stay close to home.
Next time, I will not leave Philadelphia after 30 weeks. I really had zero idea Ben would ever come early. Ever. I’d have bet my life that he wouldn’t. Now that I’m at an increased risk for a placental abruption, I’m probably going to play it safe and stay in my city as much as possible but definitely after about 30 weeks. On that note…
Pack a hospital bag.
Pack one absurdly early. I didn’t do this one. I never packed a hospital bag. My friend Christina packed it for me while consulting with my friend Kaylin (who has a baby) about what I’d need. This was after I’d already given birth.
The only funny part about this is that the nurses at the hospital said that I looked like a seasoned pro because most 1st time Moms overpack and I had literally a backpack with some headphones and a granola bar (I did think I was going to work, after all).
I thought I had plenty of time and I won’t make that mistake again.
Pee literally anywhere.
I don’t want to sound entitled or anything but women rarely mention how startling it is to go from pregnant to not-pregnant in society.
One day people are opening doors for you, making friendly conversation with you, and letting you pee places where you haven’t even bought anything! Then a week later you’ve got to buy a coffee to get the dang code to the bathroom door.
I enjoyed these pregnancy perks and I’m not afraid to admit it. I thought I had at least 6 weeks left of being a special snowflake in society (lol kidding, kind of). I’m just saying that next pregnancy I’ll pee in so many bathrooms as a non-paying customer. That really was the life.
Get that pre-natal massage.
I should have pampered myself more. I kept putting it off and thinking that I’d justify the cost toward the end of my pregnancy when I was really uncomfortable. Then I had Ben and never got one.
I should have gone all in on the pampering. I deserved it, even earlier in pregnancy. I was growing a human and I shouldn’t have measured my self-care by my comfort level.
Ask for more foot rubs from my husband.
Again, I was saving these requests up for the end of my pregnancy when I thought I’d really need them. Now I wish I’d really just asked whenever I wanted one. He’s a good guy. He would have done it.
Listen to my body and trust myself.
I had convinced myself that the severe back pain I was experiencing was just how pregnancy was. That I was being a wimp about the whole thing. Nope.
In retrospect, the back pain I was experiencing leading up to Ben’s birth was worse than c-section recovery. Let’s say that again, it was worse than c-section recovery.
Mamas, listen to yourself. If something feels off, get checked. Get checked right away. I literally waited days because I was convinced I was being a wuss and now I know that what I was feeling was more painful than something most people deem pretty painful (you know, major abdominal surgery). I ignored my pain because I was scared that other people would think I was being a whiner about normal pregnancy pains. I was scared of what other people might think and it could have jeopardized Ben’s health, maybe his life.
So yeah, next pregnancy I’ll play my cards differently. I’ll probably get to take less naps with a toddler running around. And I’m sure the exhaustion of the first trimester is exponentially worse while entertaining a toddler. But for the most part I enjoyed being pregnant and I hope one day I’m lucky enough to have that experience again.
Now tell me, Mamas…what is something you wish you’d done differently during pregnancy? Any regrets?