When I first found out I was pregnant, I contemplated resurrecting this blog and posting about my pregnancy weekly. This is by far the most exciting adventure I’ve had in my life. It seemed fitting that I should regularly blog about it. Then, I decided against it. I had several reasons. One of which is that I suspected that my folks would be unhappy about me being unmarried and pregnant. For harmony’s sake, I decided to keep the news of my pregnancy low-profile for as long as possible. (Sidenote: My suspicions regarding my folks were correct, but that is a story for another day.) My other reason for not blogging throughout this pregnancy is that I am among the last of my friends to have a baby. I didn’t think I had anything to add to the conversation. If you search, there are THOUSANDS of pregnancy & mommy blogs out there.
At present, I’m 38 weeks pregnant and 2 weeks away from our due date. We’re expecting a little girl who for the purposes of this blog I will refer to as “Baby Darling”. Now that I am almost at the end of my pregnancy, I did want to share a few of my thoughts. They’re a bit random, but I’ll try to organize them as best I can. So here goes…
I love being pregnant.
I never thought I’d say this, but I do love being pregnant. I have been very fortunate to have had a smooth and uneventful pregnancy thus far. Years ago when I contemplated becoming a mom, I assumed that I would be one of those women who gained 50 lbs, had weird cravings and had an altogether uncomfortable pregnancy. In light of my family’s history with babies over the last couple of years (my cousin’s passing after childbirth and my other cousin’s premature labor), it wasn’t that much of a stretch.
I have been presently surprised and relieved. I have felt amazing. Although, I’m a fairly dull pregnant woman. Sorry, no weird cravings here. I have my fair share of minor pregnancy complaints like stretch marks, heartburn, hot flashes, exhaustion, swelling, difficulty sleeping and carpal tunnel. You can’t put your body through the rigors of growing another human being without some side effects. On the upside, I have enjoyed feeling Baby Darling grow and move as this pregnancy progresses. When no one is around, I play little games and read to my baby bump and am always thrilled when Baby Darling responds.
I have never felt more beautiful in my life. I’m infatuated with my baby bump. I have gained 12 lbs thus far and it’s pretty much all in my belly. If you don’t believe me, you should see all the selfies I post to my Instagram. I’m really hoping I can carry this love of my body into my postpartum life.
I believe my overall well-being has a lot to do with being physically active and eating well through most of this pregnancy. I have not binged terribly or “ate for two”. I’m still human. So I will have a large lemonberry slush from Sonic or doughnuts from Krispy Kreme or large Cajun fries with a milkshake from Cookout from time to time. Now that I’m much larger I’m not running anymore, but I’m still doing my best to do stretches and take walks.
The medical community makes a big deal about having a baby over the age of 35. Thankfully, because of my general good health, this hasn’t been a factor. But, it has given me some pause emotionally…
I’m going to be an “old mom”.
When I first discovered I was pregnant, I was panicked. I don’t feel particularly old, but I am 38 and pregnant. While many of my peers will have kids who are in high school and college, I will be changing diapers and teaching Baby Darling the alphabet. I did the math and realized that I will be in my 50s when she graduates from high school.
I never planned to have a baby at this point in my life, but I always wanted to have children. If things always went as people planned, I would’ve been a mom in my mid-late 20s. That, of course, did not happen. During my mid-20s, I had my “Must-be-married-and-have-kids-by-30” crisis, which led to a series of disastrous relationships. It left me emotionally spent and I put my quest to start a family on the back burner. Then in my late 20s, I met and married Rob who wasn’t exactly keen on starting a family. The timing was never right. Then, I realized that starting a family with Rob would’ve been a grave mistake. After the divorce, I thought I’d never have children and was preparing myself to be “Cool Auntie Anne” for the rest of my life.
Needless to say, I am thrilled to become a mom. I have embraced the idea that Baby Darling is arriving at exactly the right time. The beauty of having her at this point in my life is that I have had a full life thus far with many adventures. I’ve had my wild child phase, traveled, moved around, and been career-driven. I’m ready to “settle down”. Although, I don’t believe that having children necessarily stops you from having adventures or makes your life dull. It just changes things a bit. The other benefit to having a baby at this point is I’m having this baby with the best partner possible. Which brings me to my next point….
D is an amazing partner.
When D and I talked about having a family, I didn’t really think about the details. Like me, he has always been family-oriented and loved spending time with his niece and nephews. I just knew he’d be a great dad. I never gave much thought to what he would be like once I actually got pregnant. To his credit, D has really surprised me. He has been wonderful throughout this pregnancy. When I was initially stunned and upset about being pregnant, he was a reassuring force and was so happy that it was contagious. Any doubts that I may have had were instantly removed.
I have always said that I didn’t want to have children unless I had an equal partner. D has exceeded any expectations I might have had. He has been so loving and sweet. From kissing my belly before he leaves for work, tiptoeing quietly when I sleep in, and rubbing my ever swelling feet, he has been exactly what I need when I need it. When I am nervous, he is the calm voice of reason. Since we took our Birthworks – childbirth prep class, D has become even more involved with this pregnancy and the decisions we make for our child. This is a segue to my next thought….
We are going to be crunchy, granola, hipster-y parents.
I am just going to go ahead and own this one. We took Birthworks classes, which are an 8 week course on childbirth and postpartum in lieu of the 1-day Hospital education class. After taking classes and weighing our options, I’d like to have as natural as birth as possible with minimal medical interventions. We’ve hired a doula to help with labor and delivery. I’d like to labor at home for as long as possible and let my body do what it is meant to do. No, this doesn’t mean I’m trying to have a homebirth. Nor does it mean that in the heat of the moment I won’t change my mind and opt for drugs and whatever other medical interventions I’m offered. We’re flexible and willing to go with whatever the situation requires. I’m just glad to have had a chance to weigh all of our options and come up with some a gameplan.
We are planning to cloth diaper Baby Darling. This has brought a wild array of reactions. We (meaning I) researched and felt like this would be a good option for us. Cloth diapering isn’t like it used to be and there are lots of modern options. If you’re curious about cloth diapering, you can find more information here.
We also would like to baby wear and make our own baby food. There’s more, but I think you get the gist of things.
What has surprised me is the amount of flack we’ve gotten for some of these choices. While these choices are different from what our peers and family members have done, we aren’t saying our choices are better or that what others have done is wrong. We’re just choosing to do what we think is best for us. None of these decisions were made lightly nor without extensive research. Sometimes, I wish people would realize that. Because neither of us have ever been parents, we are trying what we think will work, but understand that sometimes you’ll have to alter your plans to fit the needs of your family.
These are all the random thoughts I can gather about being pregnant. If I think of anything else, I’ll be sure to write another post. With any luck, it’ll be before Baby Darling arrives ;)