When I was younger I would look at pregnant women and think that they were just so beautiful. They usually had a glow about them, and they seemed filled with this inner joy and excitement about carrying a child.
After learning I was pregnant, I thought those were some of the wonderful things that I had to look forward to. And they were; however, there are also many things about pregnancy that you cannot understand or know until you are pregnant.
Pregnancy is something that you can never actually prepare for. However, here are 10 things that are helpful and good to know beforehand.
1. Invest in a body pillow
Honestly, your body pillow will become your best friend! Whether it's to help with comfort for morning sickness, aches and pains, insomnia, or is just something to cry into, your body pillow will be essential through each trimester of your pregnancy.
2. Sleeping becomes very, very hard
This is due to a variety of factors, from your ever-growing belly to nighttime bathroom trips to fears of inadequacy about becoming a parent. But try to rest up, because having a newborn does not mean you will be catching up on that sleep anytime soon.
3. Pregnancy brain is really a thing
Ever heard of "pregnancy brain"? Well let me tell you, it is all too real! No one had shared with me before I was pregnant that due to general exhaustion and the million other things you are probably worrying about now that you are about to become a parent means that you are going to begin to forget things you would have never forgotten before, such as your husband's name, or how to form a sentence. I do not lie; these things really do happen!
4. Morning sickness does not just happen in the morning
There is a slight chance that some (lucky) women will not have this issue, but I have found that the majority of pregnant women suffered through nausea all day, at least in their first trimester. Let me tell you, it really does last ALL DAY LONG — and I mean 24/7. You will become very familiar with saltine crackers and ginger ale.
5. Staying active is really important
This might be advice that you've heard before, but I just want to reiterate it due to its importance. No matter how exhausted or nauseated you may be, it is important to do moderate exercise throughout your pregnancy. You will find this can sometimes be the solution for some of the minor discomforts that pop up during pregnancy, as well as just being good for your self-esteem. Both your body and your baby will thank you in the end!
6. Stretch marks are a thing
Yes, you will gain weight during pregnancy, and yes this means stretch marks. You may think you are the exception to this rule, but most likely you are not. Cocoa butter and other lotions help; but a growing body is a great sign that you contain a healthy baby. Don't stress out too much about it, and take it as proof of your forthcoming miracle.
7. The Internet is not always your friend
The Internet is a wonderful place to find information instantly. However, when it comes to pregnancy, especially for new moms, it can become a scary black hole that makes you think that a million different things are wrong with either you or your baby. So take everything you read with a grain of salt, and if you are really convinced that something is wrong, call your OB-GYN.
8. You will cry. A lot
Even if you were not a crier before getting pregnant, get ready for the waterworks. Whether it is a beer commercial or simply spilling some milk, you will find yourself crying over the weirdest things. Just blame the hormones.
9. You actually don't have to buy that many maternity clothes
This is something really useful to know, because it may seem that as your belly grows, you will need a whole new wardrobe to go with it. And although I am not someone to ever turn down an excuse to shop, the reality is that you only have to buy a few essentials — and the rest you can use from your pre-baby wardrobe. Your husband and your wallet will thank you for this.
10. In the end you are OK
Let this become your mantra: "Everything is OK; everything is alright." Being pregnant for the first time is a scary ordeal, and is different for every single person. Don't get overly anxious because 1) it is bad for the baby and 2) it is usually something that's not a big deal. Rely on your husband, mother and most importantly, God, and you will get through it! Trust me; when you meet your precious new baby for the first time you will want to do it all over again.