Though it may seem like the longest nine months ever, I think many women look back after the fact and realize their pregnancy actually went by pretty quickly. I suppose that also depends on how great or not-so-great your pregnancy was, too. Let’s face it, some of us are fortunate to have wonderful pregnancies and others spend countless days sick, swollen and even on bed rest or in the hospital. I imagine the majority have a combination of the two, good and bad.
Regardless of how you may feel or have felt during your pregnancy, I think one thing we can agree on is that growing a baby (or babies) inside of you from microscopic embryo to the newborn you will hold in your arms on the day he or she arrives is pretty damn incredible. I mean, wow. I still randomly look at Brecken and think, “I grew him inside of me?!” I’m sure I’ll do that for the rest of his life, too. There’s no denying that women are impressive beings anyways, but this level of badassery should definitely be recognized. I truly hope for all women to be able to celebrate and find joy during this pretty amazing time (at least as much as possible between the early trips to the toilet).
I also want to add that as a member of the infertility community, I know firsthand that for those of us who have struggled to conceive, this time means even more. We are forever grateful to be pregnant because some of us didn’t know if it would ever be possible. We try to push through even the worst of days with a smile on our faces because we know so many women who haven’t even had this opportunity yet and others that, sadly, never will. I don’t share this to suggest that women who conceive without any struggles should feel any less, rather that we should all take some time to recognize just how lucky we are to be able to expand our hearts and families this way. In honor of all of us making the most of pregnancy, I thought I would share a little list of ideas to remember and celebrate the good, the bad and the ugly.
Take Weekly Bump Photos
These don’t have to be professional, by any means. Instead, they should be quick and easy. I love the app “Baby Story” to add artwork, like weekly fruit size, to your pictures. Trust me when I say that looking back you will be glad you have these. It’s crazy to see how your stomach grew with each week that passed. I still like looking back at my pictures because it wasn’t long after delivering that I seemed to forget what being pregnant even felt like (so weird!).
Invest in Professional Maternity Photos
If you have it in your budget to invest in some professional photos, I highly recommend it. Depending on where you live, a quick session with a professional photographer should be about $250-$500 and include the digital files. We actually had professional announcement photos taken during a vacation in Park City, UT instead of maternity photos. I had planned to do both, but my hospital stay and surgery ate up weeks 34 & 35, and after that life just felt like a whirlwind with multiple doctors appointments a week and getting ready for Brecken. (This is another reason why I’m glad I at least have my weekly bump photos!) Even if you don’t want to pay for professional photos, use this as an excuse to buy a cute dress, get dolled up and have a friend or family member take some photos of you somewhere local. A great time to take maternity photos is around 36w.
Have a Baby Shower/Baby Sprinkle/Gender Reveal/BabyQ/etc.
This is probably a given, but there are so many ways to celebrate with a get-together, big or small. You don’t have to throw a party asking for gifts either; I know for some people that’s really not their intention behind having a celebration to begin with. It can simply be your close friends and family coming together to share their love for the little baby that will be joining you soon.
Don’t be afraid to pamper yourself a bit. Get a prenatal massage or two, get your nails done, buy some cute maternity outfits… whatever makes you happy! You’re growing a human, remember?!
Go to a Nice Dinner with your Partner
Admittedly, Matt and I do go out to eat a lot, but we made it a point to go out for two “special” dinners in the days leading up to the induction. We went out for hibachi (yum!!!) and a nice steak dinner (double yum!!!). It was just our little way of celebrating our last few nights before our duo turned into a trio.
Go on a Babymoon
Of course, this also depends on your budget, but whether big or small, it’s great to take some time away with just you and your partner before your lives truly change forever. Relax, reflect, laugh, indulge. We took a long trip to Paris, but a night at a nearby hotel works just as well! You could even plan a weekend of staying in together with no plans at all. You could make it extra special by picking up ingredients to make your favorite meals, grab your favorite desserts and snacks, watch some movies you’ve been wanting to see, play some board games, etc. Sometimes we take each other’s company for granted, so it’s nice to simply take time to be together.
A Final Note: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
I know it’s easier said than done, but your baby will be perfectly fine as long as you have the essentials. I wanted every little thing to be perfect before Brecken came, and, while I did the best I could, some projects just weren’t finished and the house wasn’t as spotless as I had hoped. Guess what?! He was none the wiser while he snuggled away in my arms. It will all get done… someday. That day just may not be today, and that’s okay. I’m continuously working on this myself because it’s a struggle, but I’ve gotten much better about letting go of the things that don’t really matter in life.