Any time you want something desperately in life, the stakes are that much higher. I knew that once hubby and I started down the path of trying to get pregnant, it would surface a lot of anxiety in me, and that it certainly did! Here is what I wish I knew before getting pregnant.
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- Lack of understanding. I heard opinions from everyone about becoming pregnant and becoming pregnant at my age (over 40). To be honest: not a single person gave me information that was accurate. I don’t blame any of them! There is so much pervasive misinformation out there about pregnancy in general that it’s understandable. However, I wish I knew that for the most part, no one knows what they are talking about 🙂 That includes you, Google.
- Lack of privacy/boundaries. It’s a funny thing that as soon as you tell people you’re pregnant they 1) know you have sex with your husband. This was the first semblance of pregnancy feeling like an open book for me. There is also a sense that your body is not your own anymore. People stare at your belly and while for the most part I avoided belly touches, there were definitely people out there who asked (and I obliged). Thankfully I did have one of my kids during the pandemic, so I was able to be a lot more private about that pregnancy.
- Extreme anxiety. On top of pregnancy hormones doing a number on me, there was everything outside of my orbit that drove me bonkers and had me question everything. On top of my anxiety, there was anxiety from my parents and my family (and hubby). Don’t let her walk up the stairs! Don’t lift anything (my dad). I made sure to meditate and walk a ton (that helped a lot) but I also used Hypnobabies (click for 20% off, through Oct. 31, 2022!), a course that not only released my anxiety, but was chock full of incredible advice on all the things I need to know to have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
- Pregnancy symptoms can vary widely (even in the same person). During my first pregnancy, I did not feel any type of anything until I was in my second trimester. Of course I Googled this and worried that my HCG levels weren’t high enough (that was listed as a reason) but our little guy was healthy and flourishing in there. I didn’t have an ounce of morning sickness or anything like that. Again, that was completely normal and our little guy was doing just fine. My pregnancy symptoms were very different when we got pregnant again. While I did not have morning sickness, I definitely felt dizzy and nauseous at times. It felt like a completely different type of pregnancy from my first. I thought that meant I was having a girl (I had looked that up as well, and it looked to be the case) but not so…we had ourselves another little boy.
- Your age doesn’t mean you’re high risk. I automatically thought that because I was 40 when I was pregnant, I was high risk and wouldn’t be able to have a natural childbirth and had to be induced and have a C-section. I mean, that’s the information I was getting at every turn. And it wasn’t correct. I was blessed to work with a team of medical providers that never made me feel that my age was a hindrance, in fact, one doula told me I wasn’t considered high-risk just because of my age. I didn’t have any of the conditions that would warrant that label – gestational diabetes, pre-eclempsia, multiple pregnancy, etc. And they treated me as such! Which led to me having two vaginal births, the second one completely unmedicated.
I could probably fill up this page with more factoids about pregnancy that I wish I knew. But here are a few to get you started. Drop your thoughts in the comments below.