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Pregnancy Expectations v. Reality

When we found out that we were pregnant, I was scared and nervous, but I also felt like I knew a lot about pregnancy from my friends and reading.  I felt pretty prepared for what was next.  Or so I thought.

Here’s a comparison of my pregnancy expectations v. realities.  Now – this is just MY version of pregnancy.  What is yours like?

Expectation:  I will love every single minute of pregnancy.

Reality: I think women feel pressured to say that they LOVE being pregnant.  It’s almost as if you aren’t a constant glowing, smiling pregnant lady, people think there is something wrong with you, you’re ungrateful, or you don’t love your baby. Look, pregnancy is hard (and I had an easy pregnancy). And just like parenting, just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.  But it’s not all roses and sunshine another person has literally hijacked your body. I’m looking forward to the baby being on the outside so I can take care of them in a different way… and I can go back to rolling over in bed without groaning, getting out of a chair normally, drinking big glasses of wine, etc.  I like 90% of the pregnancy experience.   I refuse to feel bad about the other 10%.  It doesn’t mean I don’t love my baby.

Expectation: I will be a pregnant runner.

Reality: I wrote about this pregnancy expectation on my Week 29 update.  As much as I wanted to be a pregnant runner, it just did not happen.  Running while pregnant did not agree with my body.  After my 5K at Week 16, I was reduced to walk/running, and shortly after, I quit all attempts at running altogether.  You know what? I’m okay with it. I really do miss running and can’t wait to get back at it, but taking a 21 week break (so far) has been kind of nice.  The key has been to find OTHER exercises that I can do and enjoy namely, swimming.  Swimming has been my lifesaver throughout pregnancy!

Expectation: My body is going to change a lot and, beyond the cute baby bump, I am probably going to hate it.

Reality:  I have gained about 32 pounds thus far.  32 pounds on my 5-foot, 3.5-inch frame.  Even though a lot of it is pure baby and baby accessories, that’s additional weight no matter how you slice it.  My thighs do this awesome rubbing-together thing that induces bleeding! when I wear dresses.  I’ve got more cellulite.  I have to wear the Husband’s pajamas bottoms… and not because of the bump (because of my widening rear).  I know that my breasts will never, ever look the same when this is all over.  I look back at pre-pregnancy photos of myself and cannot believe I looked so fit.  Damn!  Hindsight is 20/20 I thought I was a little out of shape when I got pregnant.  But you know what?  I don’t hate my 9 month pregnant body at all. In fact, I usually actively love it.  And I don’t just like it because it’s the cost of baby I like it because it’s my body.  A few years ago, when writing the first Operation Beautiful bookand editing a story about a woman struggling to come to terms with her post-baby body, I decided that no matter what journey my body went through whether I gained weight, lost muscle, my boobs got big and saggy, I got stretch marks and cellulite I would never hate my body again.  And I’ve made good on that promise.  It’s not always easy to keep the promise, but when I start to feel negative, I make myself take off all my clothes, stand nekkid in front of the mirror, and think as many positive thoughts about myself and my body as I can.  It’s totally corny, but it truly works for me.  (I also love The Shape of a Mother site it’s the ultimate mood lifter.)

Expectation:  I’m going to be sick as a dog.

Reality:  I never threw up.  Not once.  I didn’t really have terrible food aversions either.  I never knew this before my own pregnancy, but not everyone gets morning sickness.  I’m thankful!  However, I did not anticipate how exhausting being pregnant would be I get tired so easily.  I wear out fast.  Especially at this point, my body aches all the time.  It is a grueling experience physically, even if you’re having an ‘easy’ time.

To read more of my pregnancy expectations v. realities, head over to Healthy Tipping Point.

Read more from Caitlin on Healthy Tipping Point and Operation Beautiful.  Follow all her Babble posts here!

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