10 Things I Didn’t Expect While Being Pregnant #20weeks

week4.week20
Left: 4 week picture taken on my birthday          Right: 20 week picture taken a few days ago
{ I sent the one on the right to my mom to say thanks for my new LuLu birthday outfit, little did she know I was 4 weeks pregnant. Now at 20 weeks I would wear this shirt every day if I could }

We’re at the half-way point and there is definitely a growing, kicking, little life inside of me.  For those of you who are following the life of Baby P and his/her mama (that’s me) here are:

10 Things I Didn’t Expect While Being Pregnant

 

1. How much I would really enjoy being pregnant.
I’ve always wanted to be mom, but I never really thought much about being pregnant. In fact, I used to imagine making up fun games and science experiments to teach my kids and enlisting their help in the kitchen. Whenever I imagined having kids I always pictured them about 7 or 8. (all of you with 7 and 8 year olds, just let me keep holding onto my idealist picture of child rearing 🙂 I imagined having conversations with my kids and going on hikes together, but somehow imagining the baby years escaped me. Maybe because I spent a lot of time around babies and toddlers and I knew how much work they take, and underneath their baby soft skin, and adorable smile is a little creature who depends on you for everything and doesn’t understand, I’m sorry, sweetie can you wait 5 min while mommy goes to the bathroom?  I’m obviously not in the baby quite stage yet, but I have so enjoyed being pregnant. Watching my belly grow, feeling little kicks against my stomach and praying for this life inside has been better than anything I could have imagined.

 

2. How for weeks I couldn’t tell the difference between gas bubbles and the baby kicking.
The first time I actually felt him/her kick was in yoga class at about 19 weeks. As I was relaxing in child’s pose I felt the slightest little tap, tap- like someone poking at me from the inside. I imagine the baby saying oh, I like this or hey, mom stop squishing me…probably the latter. Since then I often sit still with my hands on my belly to just feel his/her little movements. I’m convinced that the baby also has an affinity for top 40 tunes- which will make your aunts so proud– because every time we’re at the gym or cleaning the house he/she also starts kicking.
(You didn’t know I listened to top 40, huh? Well let me tell you it makes doing dishes and cleaning the house so much more fun. Next time you have a sink full of dishes or a floor to mop try playing some Gangnam style or Kelly Clarkson or a little Usher. Warning your baby may kick, too.)

 

3. That Google has become my first go-to source for all questions.
yeah, yeah…I know it’s probably better to email my midwife or ask a dr or a good friend, but sometimes I just want to see what Google says. Here is what I have googled so far: “pregnancy chai tea” “pregnancy bikini wax” “pregnancy iron rich foods” “pregnancy and sex” “pregnancy curly hair” “pregnancy varicose veins” “pregnancy coconut oil” and just this past week “the belly bandit.” As you can see these are very serious topics and questions. Thankfully google has not let me down.

 

4. How being pregnant is such a great conversation starter with strangers.
I like meeting new people and don’t mind at all when a conversation starts with “So, when are you due?” I find that even across cultural lines and language all women have something to say about being a mom or an aunt or a grandma. And for some reason I don’t even mind when they reach out and touch my belly.

 

5. How I could love someone who I’ve never even met.
I don’t know how, but I already love this little baby so much. We both do. It’s kind of miraculous really. The whole thing…how a little piece of me and a little piece of Gerber and a whole lot of God make this growing, living, kicking, now blinking and thumb sucking thing inside. We often will talk to the baby at night and as I rub my belly I whisper, te amamos mucho. We love you a lot!

 

6. How excited G was the moment he felt the baby kick for the first time.
usually our conversation would go something like this
m: ooh, the baby’s kicking…come here!
g: {resting his hand on my belly} I don’t feel anything.
m: I think it stopped.
g: {disappointed}
Of course baby’s don’t kick on demand. But the other night Gerber had his hands resting on my belly and he felt it! I don’t think I have ever seen him smile so big!

 

7. How extra kind people are because you’re pregnant.
Seriously, I don’t know how it is in the states…but here someone carries my grocery to the car when I ask for help, I get escorted to the front of the bank to the pregnant/with children/elderly line and people in general just seem extra patient. Now, my hope is that those same people are extra patient when I have a screaming, agitated little one strapped to my body and am taking like 30 minutes just to get them into the car-seat.

 

8. How there is really so little I can do for my baby.
Maybe this is part of being a mom….I mean, I can eat well and take my vitamins and try to get rest, but there is this humbling point where I’ve had to realize I cannot protect you little one from a car accident or from some explosion or a horrible earthquake. Of course, these thoughts enter my mind and when they do I say little prayer.

 

9. How generous people have been by sharing baby carriers and outgrown clothes and helpful pieces of advice.
We are having the baby here in Guatemala and although there may be lots of things I’d like to have from the good U S of A, we’re going to get by with less. But people both in the states and here have been so kind. Giving us used baby carriers, and newborn clothes. A friend from the states packaged up blankets and baby toys and a nursing cover and sent it down. Another friend who came on a team brought us a baby first aid kit with all those things you need but don’t think about buying. We have felt blessed and encouraged and dear Baby P, you should know how many people love you!

 

10. How relatively un-stressed I am.
This is so uncharacteristic for me. Any big life change, or really any change at all, usually involves lots of lists and some tears and a whole lot of stress. But for some reason the anticipation and actual pregnancy has been joyful and easy and well, really exciting. When I think back about the past few years and some of the big life changes I am reminded how transitions have often brought me stress. Moving, job changes, dating, even planning a wedding and figuring out marriage were all good, but filled with ups and downs. Almost like a roller coaster, where every so often you want off because it’s just too much. You get a little too scared, too overwhelmed, and too worried that you just cant do it right. Maybe this is what I’ll feel with a newborn. But some part of being pregnant has brought this peace. This odd feeling like this is what my body was made for. And for the moment that feeling has graciously consumed any stress…and I kind of hope it stays that way.
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8 thoughts on “10 Things I Didn’t Expect While Being Pregnant #20weeks

  1. Yay for the half-way point! 🙂 I am right there with you. When I imagined having kids they were 7ish, too. So glad you are enjoying pregnancy. It is a sweet time.

  2. Thank you for your reflective post on your pregnancy Michelle! It’s great to hear other expectant moms’ perspectives and experiences (I’m expecting my second in a few weeks). I think you should revisit this list at the end of your pregnancy and see if anything has changed and if there’s anything else you could add to your experiences. Congratulations!! Becoming a mother has definitely changed me… Humbled me, made me less selfish, grown my patience, and taught me so much about love and life. Welcome to motherhood! Praying for a healthy baby and smooth delivery!

  3. Thanks Krista! Congrats to you, too! Yeah, I’m sure I’ll write a much different post in a few months 🙂

    Sarah, even though I always imagined 7 year olds, I’m kinda excited for little, soft, crying babies. Are you half-way as well?

  4. I’m not sure about 7 year olds yet, but almost 6 years olds tell you they love you, want to help you make dinner and run errands, coo and talk to the baby, and are pretty darn sweet. You won’t be disappointed in a newborn either! 🙂 God has made each age come with its own special blessings.

  5. Love this post, Michelle! It’s so lovely to know you’re filled with such peace and goodness. Though I haven’t had my own (yet, hopefully), the biggest lesson I’ve learned by being a stepmom and a nanny is that kids teach you to let go if control. So, to hear you talk about that and relaxing and living in the present is wonderful! Sending you love and smiles from santa monica!

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