I’m not one to snub advice from veteran moms, but I’m generally pretty hesitant to dole any out. There are about five girlfriends who I feel comfortable giving “mom” advice to and that’s only when I’ve been asked. I just figure parenting is one of those things that we all do differently and as long as your kid is happy and loved, who am I to judge where they sleep, what they eat or how they play?
Saying that, I will hand out pregnancy advice. Not because I think being pregnant three times makes me any kind of expert, but because I feel so often the majority of advice pregnant women get from other women who have been there is: “Just enjoy it! Pregnancy is the best time of a woman’s life!” Blah-blah-blah.
While I think that positive attitude is a great thing, I also think it’s not super realistic. A lot of times the women dishing out this advice are several years removed from actually having been pregnant and therefore have a selective memory. So, from a woman in the throes of her third pregnancy, here are a few gems I toss out to other women who are expecting:
- Getting huge is not fun. Let’s be real, babies are a blessing. Gaining so much weight that you’re afraid you’re gonna have to be crane-lifted out of your house when your water finally breaks, is not.
- You’re gonna feel out of shape, a lot. I’m no marathoner (or 5k-er for that matter), but normally I can walk to the mailbox without getting winded. Nowadays, I’m lucky to get out of bed and to the bathroom without having to stop and gasp for air.
- You still have to watch what you eat. This one seems like a no-brainer that the doctor’s office will tell you, but I’m not saying it to advise you on any nutritional standards. I’m here to tell you that if you decided to eat an entire bag of Oreos (to which I feel you are a TOTALLY entitled), you’re gonna feel like crap about three hours later. Maybe you’ll feel guilty for feeding your growing baby crap, but mostly you’re gonna feel terrible because a serving of Oreos is two cookies and although that chocolaty, creamy cookie goodness is tempting, after 25 servings, it doesn’t sit so well on the gut.
- No, you’re not crazy. You can blame feeling like the latest escapee from a mental health hospital on your raging hormones. In the span of thirty minutes this morning, I had a melt down because Ans won’t drink milk from a cup; I cried at a segment about a young married couple on GMA; and I laughed (hysterically) at something on Sesame Street.
- Invest in some Neutrogena. ‘Cause you’re gonna get acne to rival a 13-year-old boy. Those awesome hormones that are surging through your body and making you cry at Folgers commercials will also wreck havoc on your skin and will manifest themselves in angry red bumps all over your face. Ever heard of the pregnancy glow? It’s not a magical aura you project because you’re creating life; it’s from all the oil you’re producing (maybe the 25-servings of Oreos have something to do with that?) that will eventually clog your pores and cause your face to look like last night’s leftover pepperoni pizza.
- Forget how to sleep. A lot of people will tell you to “sleep now because when the baby gets here you won’t be able to!” and they’re right about the second part. But what they never tell you is how to get sleep now when your gut is so huge that turning from one side to the other is a five minute process and once you finally do get your breath back and get settled, you have to get up to go to the bathroom for the third time in an hour. Forget sleep and embrace infomercials ‘cause they’re the only things on at two in the morning when you decide to give up on trying to sleep.
There are other lessons I’ve gleaned from my time as a pregnant lady, but these were some of the highlights.
Babies really are a gift from God, and as women, I think if we have kids, our highest calling is as a mom. I thank God everyday for my girls and I pray for them and the babies I carry. I pray for their safety, health and happiness and that they’ll be people to know and love God.
Seeing them grow and learn new things is the highlight of my day and is such a reminder of God’s goodness and love.
Still, saying all of that, the gestational period of the whole baby process isn’t something you can really “enjoy,” like we’re so often told to do. And it’s definitely not the best time of your life. That comes later, when you can finally hold that baby you’ve been lugging around for ten months.
it’s definitely not the best time of your life.