Pregnancy can be grueling.
I have heard stories about women who had wonderful, glowing pregnancies with few very problems, but I think that for most of us, pregnancy is an experience filled with quite a few challenges, aches, and pains.
Nothing can truly prepare a new mom for the tidal wave that is caring for a newborn, however, in at least 5 significant ways, pregnancy is really like boot camp for motherhood.
1. It Shakes up Your Schedule — When you are pregnant, you eat, sleep, drink, and go to the bathroom when your body demands. This new rush of hormones is like an angry drill sergeant. Reacting swiftly to your bodily cues is very important, and you will find that your routine may be out the window. By the time your baby is born, you will be mildly accustomed to the loss of your own schedule.
2. It Conditions You for Sleep Deprivation — There is really no way to fully articulate the degree of agony that you will feel after your first week of sleepless nights with a new baby. I can only say that the second week of sleepless nights is even worse. If you have children, you know! It’s a good chance that by your third trimester, you will be too uncomfortable to sleep. Combine that with frequent trips to the bathroom, and you will have a glimpse into what it will be like when baby arrives — but only a glimpse!
3. It Builds Cohesion in Your Relationship — Ideally, as your pregnancy progresses, you will gain a new closeness with your partner. This isn’t to say that there won’t be moments of stress and friction while you are pregnant, but as parenthood looms on the horizon, you may realize just how important it is to work as a team!
4. It Prepares You for a Lifetime of Concern — The worries for your microscopic embryo begin when you see that first positive pregnancy test. If you think worrying about a person you can’t see is bad, wait until they are walking around in the world outside your body!
5. It Prepares You for a Lifetime of Love — I don’t necessarily think that every woman is in love with her baby before he or she is born. In fact, it might not even happen immediately after the birth. However, the love that you do feel for your unborn baby is really just a taste of what will develop as you step into motherhood. It is a big, consuming, overwhelming love that really found its foundation in those nine months of your pregnancy, whether you realized it at the time, or not.
Do you think that your pregnancy prepared you physically or emotionally for motherhood, or is caring for a newborn truly something that you can not prepare for?