When I was a little girl, I fantasized about the day I would be pregnant. I didn’t know that my pregnancy would come with 12 weeks of barfing, fatigue that rivaled what I assume running a marathon everyday would feel like, and a to-do list that actually never ends.
I’m not complaining, I would take 100 times the vomiting, fatigue, and crankiness for this. But what I’m trying to say is the reality of pregnancy is hard. Add in the high chance of complications that the baby and mother may experience if the mother is high-risk and it is very easy to let your mind wander into a land of what-ifs.
I hope in sharing a few of the things I try to do every day, that someone else who is feeling the anxiety and worry I first felt, can feel peace and enjoy their pregnancy.
1. Ryan Gosling Talk Yourself Everyday
You know those shirtless “Hey Girl” pictures of Ryan Gosling where he continues to say something motivational? I talk to myself like that. It usually goes something like this “Sarah, today you’re going to take it one moment at a time. You are incredible, not only are you working two jobs, but you also are growing a baby. Instead of getting exasperated and overwhelmed you handle each situation with grace and peace. By keeping yourself calm you are helping your baby grow and develop. The people who love you, respect you and pray for you. They understand and don’t expect you to be 100% every day. They lovingly care for you and do what they can to help you. On this day you get to spend it with your baby and helping her grow.”
It sounds silly, but it helps keep you focused on what matters. What matters is your unborn child, making sure your actions and choices reflect the quality of life and stability you want to give him or her. There will always be more work to do, ways you can be better at your job, books that need to be read, but you’ll never get to be pregnant with that child again.
I’m a people pleaser. I love to make sure everyone else around me is comfortable and if anyone thinks ill-will of me, I’m devastated. Being pregnant has put a new perspective in place, as I realize other people’s opinions are not my priority. I’m not for everyone and that’s okay.
Writing out your priorities is helpful because you bring attention to the things that matter and its easier to say no to the things that don’t. There is so much going on in your body already, that added stress should be avoided.
I wrote out my priorities for each section of my life. My priorities when I’m home are to rest, create a cozy, warm space for my family, and to spend time with my husband before it’s the three of us. I do not bring work home, home is a place of rest, comfort, and love.
My priorities at work are to engage my students the best I can, to conserve emotional and physical energy, and to make sure I’m nourishing my body throughout the day.
When I work on Sweet As Honey Studio, I limit my work time during the week to two hours at the most and work mainly on the weekends. I use my income to help supplement income for the baby. My priorities are to create work I’m confident in and will help grow my business, to efficiently plan out my work before I start, and to do my best and allow God to do the rest.
Not everyone will understand your obstacles. Some people make their hardships the standard for everyone else, and instead of giving out the grace they so desperately want during their struggles, they simply think “well, I had it worse.” And some people may not like your priorities. And that’s okay. You do you. Your baby, your family, your well being comes first.
3. Take Time for Yourself
I’ll keep this one short. Take time for yourself. It’s not selfish. Your body is currently a funnel and if you don’t fill it up constantly, it will run out. You know what brings you happiness and how to rejuvenate your soul, do those things.
4. Read Positive Birth Stories
There is a lot of negative stories when it comes to labor and birth. When people find out you are pregnant, everyone has automatically received their OBGYN degree and loves to share their opinion. Reading positive birth stories, especially about quick labors or high risk pregnancies, helps me visualize what my own labor will be like. Afterwards, I focus on holding a healthy baby girl, swaddled in a floral blanket, and she has full head of hair and healthy rosy skin.
It can be really hard to separate yourself from one person’s experience, especially if it was traumatic or they have a negative tone. But remember, women have been birthing for thousands of years. There are plenty of ways to have a healthy baby. My opinion is to educate yourself the best you can, understand your body knows what it needs to do, and there are amazing doctors and medicines at your disposal to help you deliver a healthy baby if needed.
5. Take It One Day at a Time
The best advice I can offer is to take your pregnancy one day at a time. Do your best (and know your best changes) and soon you will have a full pregnancy lined up with doing your best. Good thoughts and will wishes on your journey!