What I Learned While Pregnant with my First Baby
Maybe I’m still too close and involved in my pregnancy to try to evaluate the last 9 months of my life. But my head cannot stop searching for lessons from this season of life – because that’s just how my brain works.
Let’s just say the Ups and Downs of my pregnancy have been much more personal than physical. Thanking Jesus every day that I have a healthy baby growing, I’ve also encountered the raw truths about becoming a mother — or more specifically, how the world reacts when you’re becoming a mother.
As the dynamics of life inevitably change, here’s what I’ve learned while being pregnant:
It’s the Perfect Opportunity to Reevaluate Relationships.
The people around you shape the life you live. They influence the choices you make. I’m very susceptible of being formed by the people I spend the most time with.
Luckily, “big milestone” moments offer the opportunity to reevaluate friendships. I went through this in college, my wedding, and now with babies, too.
When you go off to college you get to release the friends of convenience from your home town. People you wouldn’t really like if they didn’t sit next to you in Spanish class every single day. You know who these people are because when you run into them again, the only thing you have to talk about is that ONE thing you had in common: Spanish class. They become your friends because they are in your life daily, not because they’re particularly a great fit for you.
When you get married, you realize your partner is your true best friend for life, and you don’t need a million other people you call “best friends” simply for the sheer numbers of it. Surrounding yourself with good people becomes a big focus. Because, why would I choose to leave my house to hang out with shitty people when I have my very best friend, my hubby, at home? Quality over quantity.
Having a baby has made obvious who themselves choose to be in my life/our life. I’ve gotten to witness people who are besides themselves excited for our growing family. And I’ve witnessed friends who want no part in it whatsoever. And family members who don’t step up when we really just need to feel supported.
Eye opening, hurtful, confusing, it’s all of those things when people choose distance over happiness. But when the baby comes, I won’t have the energy to focus on toxic relationships. The silver lining is that I’m appreciative of the opportunity to sort it out now.
Mental Health is a Real Thing.
I’ve always been someone who could just take on everything. I didn’t need to think too much about it. I like being busy and having a full plate, so when fun opportunities come I usually just say yes.
That is no longer “a given” for me, and my ability to take on more has all been challenged. It’s hard enough to say “no” to things I really want to do. But it took me to a whole new level: “I don’t have the brain capacity for that right now.”
The Outside World Sees me Differently Now.
But there’s a flip end to that, too. The assumption is that since I’m pregnant, I need to slow down and that I need to take on less.
That’s kind of true.
But I kind of get hurt by the text messages that say, “I didn’t want to bother you since you’re 8 months pregnant…”
Slowing down or taking things off my plate is a case-by-case decision, but it should be one that’s made by me. It’s hard to watch the world go by, and hear that “people didn’t want to bother me” with this or that.
Believe me, if I needed to use my pregnancy as an excuse to get out of something, I would! Now I’ve been very intentional about making sure everyone knows — friends, family, clients — that I am very much game for the same old Kristi activities as always, whether it be spontaneously eating tacos on a patio or showing homes to clients. Don’t count me out so quickly.
What I Learned from Being Pregnant
A pregnancy, especially a first pregnancy, is one of those weird life transitions that the world doesn’t know how to respond to. Everyone has different boundaries. Some mamas want mega space, some want business as usual. Not knowing where I fall on that spectrum has been the hardest thing to deal with.
UPDATE: World, Meet Baby Bennett! Our hearts and hands are full since his arrival on September 10, 2018!
Maternity Photos: I Love U More Photography
Maternity Shoot Location: Patriot Park, Downers Grove
Maternity Dress: sicily Maternity Grace Off The Shoulder Maxi Dress, $24.99 (Amazon)